This has been bottling up in me for a while now.
I love the Smurfs.
I am proud and practising Smurfaholic. For over 30 years now.
Till today, my face breaks into a toothy grin on hearing the La La song. I swing my fists in indignant fury at the nonsensical schemes Gargamel cooks up.
Oh gosh, how I love those three apples tall, little blue rascals.
Here are the seven reasons why I love the Smurfs.
1) Papa Smurf is such a great leader
We all need someone to depend on, someone to look up to. In Smurf Village, Papa Smurf fulfils that role. Often, admirably too. Sure, he could be a tad draconian sometimes. He basically dictates whatever he thinks should be done. No questions entertained. But come on, he’s over five centuries old and a superb magic user. You seriously think you would know better than him?
I mean, just consider how shrewd Papa Smurf is when it comes to Gargamel. I have no doubt Papa Smurf can take out Gargamel anytime, but he chose to tolerate constant threat from the bumbling wizard just so to keep his Smurfs on their toes. Think about the wisdom behind this profound social engineering! As much as I love the Smurfs, I’m also jealous of how they have such a splendid leader to obey and look up to.
2) All Smurfs have the perfect job
Look at all the online help articles on jobs and job hunting. How to do well at interviews, 101 sure-fire ways not to annoy your boss, etc. Despite so much advice, job-related frustrations remain one of the most stressful concerns worldwide. In turn, these frustrations lead to bigger social issues, such as immigration, socially unfair practices, etc.
Wouldn’t it be great if you’re liberated from such worries? Isn’t it fantastic if you’re assigned a job from birth, and you don’t have to worry about job hopping or promotions because you will do that job for life?
And in Smurf Village, whatever job you’re assigned to would also be the task you’re best at. This leads to you ultimately being indispensable, which does wonders for your ego. Of course, there’s a chance you might not be given the job you prefer to do. But come on. The harmony and sustainability of the village come first. (In your case, country) And from the Smurfs, we all know it’s possible to be happy doing the job you aren’t given a choice of. Because choice, in so many cases, is a wicked seed for unproductive discontent.
3) They don’t need to worry about appearances!
Think about it. How much money have you wasted on clothes throughout your life? How much time has gone down the drain trying to make yourself look different or superior?
Wouldn’t your life be better if liberated from such pointless burdens? Through the assurance that everybody would always look the same as you?
On top of which, when everybody looks the same, everybody looks good by default. Everybody then feels inclined to work harder and work together. This leads to productivity spikes. If you ask me, that’s the reason why Smurf Village never runs out of food.
4) There are no financial worries!
If you ask me, most problems of the world stem from money. The lack of, or the excess of. Smurf Villages immunises itself by entirely removing the source of all evil. Through that, unnecessary social competition is also removed, and every Smurf can then just focus on the basic needs of life. These being food, shelter, and La La singing. Imagine yourself in their shoes. Don’t you feel your days would be brighter if you could live life that way, relieved of all money concerns? I’m sure mine would. I’m sure yours would too.
5) Every Smurf fulfill an important role in society!
A while back, I brought up (3) with some confidants and received aghast reactions. These buddies of mine felt it is utterly inhumane to force a person (Smurf) to do the same job from birth to demise. To them, it’s akin to torture.
They feel this way because their concept of “jobs” is the human one. Where you labour for a stipulated amount of hours daily, in exchange for the seeds to the root of all evil.
That’s not so for the Smurfs. Their jobs include social roles. Joker Smurf obviously does no “work,” but what he does do provides important therapeutic distraction and relief. Similarly, Vanity Smurf has never been seen doing “work.” But his obsession with himself is a crucial social message to other Smurfs of what fools they would be, should they choose to fuss over physical appearances. In indirect ways, Joker and Vanity are cornerstones in maintaining the sanity and sensibility of Smurf Village.
In my opinion too, no human society has ever managed the thorny topic of “jobs” as well as the Smurfs.
6) I love the Smurfs for their faith in good old, down to earth hard labour
Handy Smurf is one of the more likeable characters in the cartoon series. His only flaw is that he regularly poisons Smurf Village with outrageous concepts and inventions. The cartoons then demonstrate to us how such irresponsible machinations have unspeakable repercussions on society.
Some sort of telephone network using vines? Think about prank calls and time wasted on chatting! Some sort of high-rise apartment with cutting-edge technologies? Give a thought to what happens when those technologies fail on you.
You know, I think a lot of today’s worries come from our gadgets not working as we demand them to. (Every time there’s an Internet outrage in my country, there’s a nation-wide uproar) If only we could live like the Smurfs. No gadgets. No shortcuts. Just good, old fashion work every day with hands and in groups. How peaceful our days would then be! And at the end of it, we can all enjoy a smurf berry BBQ and sing the La La song the whole night long.
7) All Smurfs are equal! (Mostly) No matter what they do
This isn’t explicitly stated anywhere in the cartoons, of course. But you can’t miss the drift of it. Why else would the huge majority of the Smurfs look and dress the same? Why else would they all live in cutesy mushroom houses?
Yes, yes. I know that Farmer Smurf, Greedy Smurf, etc, dresses differently. But come on, arguably they serve the most important functions in the village, yes? Don’t they deserve some symbolic highlight?
And yes, I know that some Smurfs are more equal than other Smurfs. Papa being the first to come to mind. But all of us need leaders, don’t we? We also need some way to easily identify leaders?
I think overall, Smurf Village is the perfect example of how everyone will live in peace if you remove social tensions birthed by meaningless competition. Everybody would learn to love, to share and care. If the human world does this, my goodness, I think we can even do away with wars! Each day would then be one endless, blissful, La La song.
PS: This post is meant for a laugh, although I do truly feel the Smurfs have strong socialist undertones. By writing this, I’m also not advocating you reject the cartoons series. In fact, I strongly feel that exposure to idealised manifestations of any political philosophy helps us to identify their shortcomings easier. In the case of the little blue ones, how could they possibly not feel discontent from doing the same job over decades and centuries?