I don’t recall having a terrible childhood. I thought everything was pretty good at the time. Apparently, though, I should be the victim of terrible psychosis with rage issues and be morbidly obese.
Apparently my parents didn’t either.
My parents allowed me to watch what I called at the time “cartoons,” but what are now called “displayed violence aimed at children.” Every Saturday, I ate my high-fructose corn syrup infused cereal (part of a complete balanced breakfast, as long as you plan on getting your nutrients somewhere else) and plopped myself in front of the television. There, I witnessed animal after animal maimed by bombs, sledge hammers, anvils, and all assortments of falling objects. They were often the objects themselves, hurtling off of the edge of a cliff while the creature they chased somehow managed to escape a fall to their death.
If you’ve seen cartoons now, there are no bombs in sight. No weaponry. No logic defying escapes from death. Just boring characters saying boring things while they participate in boring events.
The reason for this is, of course, due to the likelihood of the violence seen on television being repeated by children. The chances are greatly increased that your kid will sneak into your dynamite and anvil stash and try to destroy his friends if they watch Looney Tunes. If they watch the new cartoons, they’ll probably just gouge out their eyes out of boredom, which is completely victimless.
I have experienced this myself. At the time, it just seemed like innocent fun, but looking back I realize that I was bordering on becoming a public menace.
One Saturday, I experienced my usual cartoon and sugar induced buzz. While I focused on the blurry images on the screen (yes kids, this was BEFORE HD TV), I witnessed one of the greatest physics examples of my young life. A man was swiftly running, his arms and legs pumping while the soundtrack flitted and fluttered in the background. All of a sudden, his running was met with an unexpected impedance.
He hit a banana peel.
As soon as the man hit the ground, it was as if the thud of the body to ground contact shook an idea loose in my head.
I had to know if this would work.
I immediately went to work, a preteen version of Mythbusters. My lab would be my kitchen floor, much to the chagrin of my parents.
I carefully peeled a banana, making sure to leave the peel intact, before placing it, ever so gently, on the floor.
I’m sure I tried to talk my sister into being the subject of this particular exploration of the sciences. She was concerned with, of all things, that little fact that she would fall down if it was true. Since she was going to be a little baby, I was left to be the scientist and the guinea pig.
As it turns out, you don’t really fall down like in cartoons. You really just squish banana peel all over the kitchen floor. I’m not sure, but I think my mom would have dropped an anvil on my head that day. Fortunately, we lived in an anvil free household.
So I guess it might be a good thing that cartoons border on torture nowadays. Now all children have to reenact is whatever it is that’s entertaining about modern cartoons.
It, at least, keeps the kitchen floor a little bit cleaner.
- Everything you wanted to know about cartooning but were afraid to ask . . . [Simoncartoono.co.uk Ellinas] (ecademy.com)
- Woman Slips on Banana Peel, Sues (neatorama.com)
- Woman sues after slipping on banana peel (cnews.canoe.ca)
- Black Magic (richpowellart.wordpress.com)
- Once again, kids prefer foods in packages with cartoons (foodpolitics.com)