Doug Funny and Dirty Hands

December 13, 2011

Political Theory


Last night, some friend and I took a stroll down nostalgia lane and turned on an old episode of the tv show Doug. Doug was a very popular show from all of our childhoods, following the life of a good natured, pre-teen named Doug Funny. In the episode we watched, Doug and his Bluff Scout Troop needed to fundraise money in order to pay for new canoes for their camping trip. The only problem was, their way of raising money was by selling candy bars, candy bars that tasted like cement. DOug tries going door to door but everyone in town knows how bad the candy is and want no part in wasting their money on it. DOug didn;t know what he could do to raise money, and then he saw the school bully, Roger, selling the same candy bars in bulk. Doug knew something was fishy so when he approached Roger about it, Roger revealed that he would provide a fake sample of the candy bar so the customer would feel compelled to by the gross candy bars, becuase they were under the impression that they were different. Roger explained to Doug that what he was doing was wrong, but it was for the betterment of the scout group because they could raise enough money for them to afford the equipment they need. Doug tried but couldn’t stomach the fact that he was cheating out his neighbors.

This is as simple, and as clear an example of dirty hands I have thus far encountered while being enrolled in this class. Roger clearly is breaking a moral code, and is well aware of it, but knew that by deceiving his neighbors he could help raise the money necessary for his troop to go on a trip  with new camping equipment. I understand why Doug wouldn’t be willing to because he is lying to all his neighbors and they will eventually find out, but Roger was onto something way ahead of his time. The show introduces the concept of Dirty Hands to its viewers at a very young age. Naturally anything morally wrong will not be approved on a kids show, but it suggests that there is an alternative in making decisions and formulating ideas.

Would any of you consider doing something of like Roger if you knew it would help out a lot of your friends. Roger was painted out to be a rotten kid during the episode, but his actions weren’t for his own gain, they were in the best interest of his friends and scout group. Knowing you wouldn;t be caught, would you consider doing something similar to what Roger did?

Watching this episode, it really was as easy an example of Dirty Hands as you could ever find, because it’s simple and easy to relate to. It’s hard to understand certain topics of dirty hands because they raise such controversial or morally questionable political issue that can have severe consequences, that we are just not capable of making a decision on. This is so much more clear cut and dry to understand the concept. I personally believe if I could help out an entire organization of my closest friends by doing something like Roger did, I would do it.

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2 Comments on “Doug Funny and Dirty Hands”

  1. nnvirani Says:

    We all want to help our friends and family out. I mean, why not? However, I was raised to never do anything that requires stealing or cheating. In the most dire situations, it is understandable that a homeless man would steal to feed his family. Something that is merely a desire and not a necessity does not constitute a breaking of moral values. What Roger is doing is pure deception. He advertises a product that is clearly not what the consumers are buying. Sure he is helping out an entire organization but it not only makes the whole group look bad, it is a pure case of dirty hands. The circumstances are the pivotal determining factor on whether an issue is dirty hands or not. In this case, a trip is not worth the lie. As most children shows do, the main character always makes the “right” decision in the end. Doug opted out of deceiving his neighbors. When your number one priority is material gain and morals do not play a role, Roger is making the right decision. However, one’s morals are the determining factors in whether something is a dirty hands problem or not. Personally, I would have acted just like Doug did but would have taken another approach to raising the money. A little bit of material gain is not worth the guilt and moral hazards involved.

  2. William Burton Says:

    I agree, this seems to be a very clear case of dirty hands to me. however, I want to argue that Roger may have actually been rotten and not just portrayed that way. you always have to consider the possibility that he was pocketing the money. a stretch? apart from that, it was not a wholly selfless act, because he benefited from the money also.

    Personally, I wouldn’t do it because it just seems like a really douche-move.

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