"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, good will toward men!"
This is one of the most well known passages from the Bible. This is what the heavenly army (yes, its often translated to 'heavenly host', but 'stratia' means army) proclaimed to the shepherds in Luke 2:14.

"Doxa en hupsistos Theo, Kai epi ge eirene, En anthropos eudokia!"
This word is glory, and honor. It is the basis for the word 'doxology'. There are other shades in the Greek meaning though. Originally the word referred to an opinion, or estimation. Later it 'doxa' came to mean honor, fame, and praise.
A preposition that can be translated as:
  • in
  • at
  • with
  • amoung
The highest or heights - often meaning Heaven.
'God' (its a very straight forward word)
Simply, the conjuction 'And'.
Another preposition - upon/on
Earth (as opposed to heaven)
Peace, similar to the Hebrew equivalent - shalom. While this word means national tranquility and freedom from war, it also has a strong spiritual implication of peace between individuals, harmony and a spiritual well being.
(see above)
Men, human being (of either gender), all human beings. The Greek word 'aner' means manly men as opposed to human - 'anthropos' has no such implications.
The most interesting and complex of all the words in this passage - good will. The verb form 'eudokeo' is comes from two Greek words: 'eo' meaning well, and good; and 'dokeo' meaning to consider and think. There are two basic ways which this can be used:
  • To think or consider it good to do something
  • To take pleasure or delight in something or someone
The first usage is common in legal documents with the stress on the willingness of someone's intentions concerning the good. The second usage can be found in Matthew 3:17 referring to God's delight in His Son.

The noun form (which is used here) refers to an active good will and good pleasure. In some places this passage has been translated to 'peace on earth towards men of good will' or 'peace on earth, and goodwill to men with whom He is well pleased'. While the second translation is also valid, it should be noted that 'eudokia' does not have a condition upon it. This refers to all people, not just a select group. It is also reasonable to read this passage as: 'peace on earth, good will with/among humanity' - the wish of an active good will between all people.

Peace on Earth
Edwin Arlington Robinson

He took a frayed hat from his head,
And "Peace on Earth" was what he said.
"A morsel out of what you're worth,
And there we have it: Peace on Earth.
Not much, although a little more
Than what there was on earth before.
I'm as you see, I'm Ichabod, --
But never mind the ways I've trod;
I'm sober now, so help me God."

I could not pass the fellow by.
"Do you believe in God?" said I;
"And is there to be Peace on Earth?"

"Tonight we celebrate the birth,"
He said, "of One who died for men;
The Son of God, we say. What then?
Your God, or mine? I'd make you laugh
Were I to tell you even half
That I have learned of mine today
Where yours would hardly seem to stay.
Could He but follow in and out
Some anthropoids I know about,
The God to whom you may have prayed
Might see a world He never made."

"Your words are flowing full," said I;
"But yet they give me no reply;
Your fountain might as well be dry."

"A wiser One than you, my friend,
Would wait and hear me to the end;
And for His eyes a light would shine
Through this unpleasant shell of mine
That in your fancy makes of me
A Christmas curiosity.
All right, I might be worse than that;
And you might now be lying flat;
I might have done it from behind,
And taken what there was to find.
Don't worry, for I'm not that kind.
`Do I believe in God?' Is that
The price tonight of a new hat?
Has He commanded that His name
Be written everywhere the same?
Have all who live in every place
Identified His hidden face?
Who knows but He may like as well
My story as one you may tell?
And if He show me there be Peace
On Earth, as there be fields and trees
Outside a jail-yard, am I wrong
If now I sing Him a new song?
Your world is in yourself, my friend,
For your endurance to the end;
And all the Peace there is on Earth
Is faith in what your world is worth,
And saying, without any lies,
Your world could not be otherwise."

"One might say that and then be shot,"
I told him; and he said: "Why not?"
I ceased, and gave him rather more
Than he was counting of my store.
"And since I have it, thanks to you,
Don't ask me what I mean to do,"
Said he. "Believe that even I
Would rather tell the truth than lie --
On Christmas Eve. No matter why."

His unshaved, educated face,
His inextinguishable grace,
And his hard smile, are with me still,
Deplore the vision as I will;
For whatsoever he be at,
So droll a derelict as that
Should have at least another hat.

Hugh Harman, of Harman-Ising fame, directed this cartoon while he and Rudolf Ising were at MGM. For the most part, their cartoons kept to the old big-eyed, anthropomorphic animal style that had served them well. Many of these cartoons now look much too syrupy sweet, and looking back, simply aren't as funny or entertaining as the kinetic cartoons of Tex Avery or the anarchistic output of the boys at Termite Terrace. A good summary, in my opinion, goes along the lines of this: adorable, diminutive, singing, humanoid mice/birds/squirrels/kittens triumphing against an ugly, huge, sneering, humanoid owl/cat/dog/wolf/rat attempting to devour them, with little of interest along the way. Well, maybe of interest to Furries, but as for me, pass.

But this one is different. There's no real villain in this cartoon. This one actually explains why there are all these animals with a human-like society. This is the one that answers the nagging question, why aren't there any real humans to be seen? And unlike so many other, now unwatchable, cute talking-animal-with-clothes cartoons, this one actually has little cuteness, contains realistically-animated human figures, and ultimately tells a dark tale, indeed. With its bait-and-switch story construction, where it first looks like typical funny animal fare and goes on to tell, dramatically, the story of the last two men on Earth, I can't help but speculate what kind of impact it must have had on its World War II audiences. It may well be the first theatrical animation with a serious theme, and let me tell you, it works. It is considered by some to be Hugh Harman's best cartoon.

Cartoon Network shows it a few times each year as part of its Christmas programming, in the Toonheads Christmas Special. You may still have time to see it this year, if they show it again on Christmas Day. Worthwhile, not only for this cartoon, but also for the only Tom & Jerry Christmas cartoon, The Night Before Christmas.

Toonheads (on Cartoon Network)

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