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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

How Bambi fought the Viet Cong

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I don't know whether to laugh or cry about this incredible story. I think I'll do both.
The tanned old man in the bifocals and cowboy boots could stand as a living emblem for America's loss of innocence. He has worked as a spy in cold war Berlin, and came under fire while fighting in Vietnam. The collapse of Enron ate his savings and he is now struggling to make ends meet. But once, long ago, Donnie Dunagan was the voice of Bambi. He said "bird-a" and "butterfly" and mistook a skunk for a flower.
The entire article, which is not very long, is well worth the read. The unnamed Guardian reporter nails it when he talks about America's loss of innocence, how transient the so-called "American Dream" can be, and we have just one more in a long history of reminders that the attainment of wealth and celebrity is no guarantee of happiness. Do you think Michael Jackson is happy?

And, while we're mentioning Mr. Jackson, there is something in here about the dangers of childhood celebrity. What is it about the experience that has ruined the lives of so many kids? Could it be that they were forced to grow up too quickly? Denied the freedom to be children in every sense of the word?

One thing's for sure, I'll never be able to watch Bambi again without thinking about Donnie Dunagan, about the loss of innocence, the siren call of fame, and the horrors of war.