My 7 year old had an existential crisis last night, based on the fact that TiVo had captured the classic 1960s cartoon “The dot and the line.” It’s a brilliant cartoon, based on Norton Juster’s book of the same name, in which a boring line is madly in love with a frivolous dot who, in turn, loves a shallow squiggle. It has a happy ending: the line discovers its full potential, the dot grows in stature to match him, and the squiggle slinks away. My son, though, misinterpreted the last scene of the dot growing and the squiggle slinking, and thought that the dot squished the squiggle to death. He kept quiet about it all day but at bedtime, in the dark, he couldn’t cope any more with the cruelty and unfairness he saw in that little cartoon. First I heard sniffles, then soft groans, then wild sobs. It actually took quite a while for me to figure out what the problem was, since he was sobbing so hard he rendered himself incoherent. He refused to accept my reading of the cartoon, but agreed that he would make a promise to himself to be a kinder person to help offset the fact that life is sometimes unfair.