Stone Age Stumpers


My habit of over-thinking cartoons has led me to wonder how the technology on The Flintstones came into existence in the first place. There’s an incomplete list of animal appliances on the show here, and later specials sometimes updated the technology so that Bedrock would have analogs of things invented after the sixties.

Some of these devices are quite simple, like a pig being used as a garbage disposal. I mean, that’s essentially what some people who keep pigs in real life really DO use them for.

Others, however, must have required inventors that were both really creative and really cruel.

I mean, a mastodon sucking dirt into its trunk?

A pelican trash can? That bird in the opening credit sequence that cries out in pain to signal the end of the work day? Don’t forget that these animals are generally sentient and prone to making sarcastic comments, yet never seem to actually do anything to improve their lot in life. I guess when they say “it’s a living,” that’s accurate, as they must at least get fed by the people using them. Still, isn’t it basically slavery? I wonder if the Flintstone era ended when the animals started campaigning for their rights, reducing human society back to the hunter-gatherer model.

In addition to the animals, some technology on the show simply consisted of stone versions of twentieth-century devices, and these were often even more absurd. How did the television work without even being plugged in? And how much strength would it require to start a car by running, especially when it had several passengers in it?

People in the Flintstones’ time must have been incredibly strong compared to people today. In addition to the cars, they’re always carrying around heavy stone tablets to write things down on. It’s a shame people today no longer possess this level of strength. Animals not being able to talk anymore kind of sucks too.

As you can see, trying to analyze the show scientifically is an exercise in futility, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. Yeah, I know it’s a show and I should really just relax, but I often find this sort of analysis just makes things MORE fun. It comes of having an obsessive personality, I suppose. I didn’t even specifically bring up that dinosaurs were living alongside humans, even though they’d actually gone extinct millions of years previously.

It’s not like anachronisms like this don’t occur even in more realistic media, however. At least the writers of The Flintstones were TRYING to be funny. Some Creationists, stubbornly holding to the idea that Earth is only about 6000 years old, try to argue that humans and dinosaurs really DID exist simultaneously. I’m not sure when this idea started, but I have to wonder if it was directly influenced by The Flintstones.


Finally, how was this clam shell with a bee supposed to work? Mind you, I’ve used electric razors that didn’t seem to do much more than make noise. And maybe that’s why Fred always has the five o’clock shadow.

This entry was posted in Cartoons, Television, The Flintstones and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Stone Age Stumpers

  1. SamuraiFrog says:

    Well, there’s always the fan theory that the Flintstones and the Jetsons take place in the same post-apocalyptic future and the Jetsons just live in one of the really good parts of town.

    • Nathan says:

      In which case I suppose the talking animals would be products of genetic engineering. Astro was an early example of this, from back before they had totally worked out the vocal chords.

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