NEW YORK CITY—“The Care Bears no longer care.” This stunning announcement, made by Cheer Bear during a press conference yesterday afternoon at New York’s Ritz Carlton Hotel, sent shock waves across the nation. “For years, we have poured our hearts out to both human beings and to our fellow Care Bears as well,” he said. “But it has gotten us nothing in return. We care and we care and we care. We care under the false belief that we might be able to affect others and create some sort of positive change, but we get walked on. Well, The Care Bears no longer care. In fact, to put it quite bluntly, The Care Bears no longer give a shit. There. I said it.”
When asked to elaborate on why The Care Bears no longer give a shit, Tenderheart Bear said, “Come on! Open up your eyes and look around you! A third of the world’s population is at war, 39 million people suffer from AIDS in Africa, one in five of the world’s people live on less than $1 a day, thousands of surface to air missiles are missing, and Ray Charles is dead. And without Ray Charles, we’re all seriously fucked.” When asked whether or not The Care Bears will ever care again, Tenderheart Bear said, “Yes, but only if the state of the world suddenly changes for the better, and we figure out how to treat one another. I wouldn’t hold my breath though if I were you.”
UCLA psychologist Monique Soltani, author of the book “Caring Is Daring: 12 Steps To Eliminating Cynicism And Becoming More Emotionally Available,” doesn’t believe that The Care Bears have stopped caring. “You have to understand that The Care Bears are going through some really difficult things right now, like having to see Bush occupy the White House for another four years. Rather than deal with the pain, they’ve become very passive-aggressive, convincing themselves that they don’t care, when on the contrary, they care very much. It’s a classic defense mechanism.” When asked if The Care Bears will become warm and loving again instead of cold-hearted and cynical, Soltani’s professional, detached demeanor broke down as tears ran down her cheeks. “Good God, I hope so,” she said.
Soltani wasn’t the only one who was despondent about The Care Bears sudden change in attitude. Lee Romero, 31, of Astoria, Queens, lamented, “You know, The Care Bears have always been such a driving force in my life, not only in childhood, but in adulthood as well. Whenever I’m going through something rough, I always know that someone out there, even if it’s just a cartoon bear, cares about me. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them.” He too, began to cry, and then, feeling embarrassed, he quickly walked away.
I want to take this opportunity to tell both Monique and Lee that you are not alone. Tonight, there are hundreds of millions of people around the world who feel the same way that you do. Yesterday afternoon, at a press conference in a hotel in New York City, one of the brightest candles the world has ever known was blown out. And it is in this journalist’s humble opinion that until that candle is re-lit, none of us will ever be the same.
February 28, 2005