Essay: Bullying frequently explored in SpongeBob Square Pants


By Martin Miller
Los Angeles Times
One serves up the glorious Krabby Patty; the other metes out pitiless death. You might think that a gregarious sponge who is fond of red ties and speaks crystal clear English underwater has little in common with a time-traveling, red-eyed killing machine whose default language setting comes with a heavy Germanic accent.

And that’s where you would be wrong. Spongy, dead wrong.

Despite their obvious differences, like for instance, a backbone and a penchant for murder, SpongeBob Squarepants and the Terminator are actually brothers from different mothers, as the kids might say. The two are alike in surprising ways that has everything to do with why there are SpongeBob ceiling fans at Target and a newly opened roller coaster called Terminator Salvation: The Ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Although the two-dimensional characters share a host of traits — ferocious dedication to work, extreme mood swings, a distinct fashion style and an ambiguous sexuality — it is their mutual ability to emerge unbreakable from nearly all circumstances that helps explain their colossal worldwide appeal to three-dimensional humans. What mortal among us, subject to the blings and arrows of our consumerist, post- 9/11 world, wouldn’t like to plow through the day with the relative ease of either of these two fine fellows? Full story.

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