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“A big fellow posting flyers told me terrible things about you,” said an older man sitting on the sidewalk panning for change for his next beer.  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-alternative-theatre-founder-stands-up-to-bullying-threats/article549053/

“He’s been saying those terrible things for a long time about a lot of people,” I replied.

Slowly rising to his feet so he could look me in the eye the man said, “I don’t believe him.”

Thing is, a lot of folks don’t.

“Reg, you are the only man in Toronto who stands up,” said Ed Keenan of THE TORONTO STAR coming through my door:  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/06/27/cineforum-deserves-a-happy-ending-to-its-saga-keenan.html   .

“There are more,” I replied.

“And you will permit me an observation: if Martin Sheen can come to town and stand on the picket line with striking hotel workers, why won’t our senior cineastes stand up for Reg Hartt?” wrote Joe Fioritohttps://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2010/09/15/fiorito_we_gotta_have_hartt.html   .

Cineastes are not people who stand up. They spend most of their lives sitting down.

“It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, ‘Wait on time, this storm will pass.'”― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

The appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time, this storm will pass,” is something I am an authority on.

Which is one of the reasons I love Bugs Bunny.

Bugs Bunny is most of us.

He’s minding his own business when someone comes along who decides he wants Bugs for a rabbit stew.

Variations on this theme include building a free way or a high rise apartment over Bugs’ home.

The point is the big plans of this world do not include Bugs Bunny.

The big plans of this world do not include most of us. They do not include me.

The people those plans do include are the problem.

The people those plans include are mostly folks no one really wants to know (including them).

The great Academy Award honored animation artist Chuck Jones said, “Bugs Bunny is who I’d like to be. Daffy Duck is what I am.”

Now almost all of us start out as Daffy Duck.

By that I mean something happens and we lose our cool.

Bugs is about cool. Bugs is the coolest.

Bugs is about survival but not just survival. Bugs is about survival with carrots (lots of carrots).

A few years ago I was being interviewed live on TV by a person who seemed nice. A politician was doing to them what politicians do to the country.

They were so nice I could tell they were springing a trap.

I waited.

Finally they said, “Mr. Hartt, those Bugs Bunny cartoons are extremely violent. How can you possibly justify the violence in those cartoons?”

I replied, “How would you feel if the entire world wanted you for a rabbit stew or one of your feet for a lucky charm?”

As their jaw dropped to the floor the cameraman laughed so hard he lost control. His camera flew off the host towards the ceiling. The crew bust a gut laughing.

Bugs Bunny is about those of us who find we have to stand alone against forces bent upon our destruction; the people who set snares.

That is just about all of us.

Those it is not about are the ones who set the snares.

This years  marks Bugs Bunny’s 80th.

Join me in celebrating the rabbit.

I learned a lot from Bugs Bunny.

Let me share it with you.

Join me in standing up to the bullies.

Right now we have too many Elmer Fudds.

We need more Bugs Bunnys.

We can never have enough.

–Reg Hartt

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