When I was in my late dating years, I tried to woo a girl that didn’t particularly want to be wooed by me, but for whatever reason I kept trying to get a date with her. She finally relented and I decided that I should go on a double date with my brother and his date. What can only be described as her worst date ever(for her), I decided that we should watch Transformers The Movie. Not the four really awesome ones that just came out, but the original animated one. Maybe it wasn’t the normal acceptable thing to do on a date with a girl and clearly a bad decision for a girl that was already tipping the scales on not wanting to go out with me, but I liked that movie. And who’s to say that she just wasn’t catching the vision? It was one of my all time favorite movies. So just because a show is animated, it’s not PC for a guy to like it? So I’m an immature adult just because I watch a good show that happens to be computer animated or drawn instead of a terrible show you watch with “real people”? That is bitter madness to me.
It’s like when you turn a certain age, society tells you it isn’t okay to like cartoons anymore. You know what? That is absolutely true…if the cartoon sucks. Yes, if you are over 7, you should stop watching Doug, or Rugrats or Caillou, or any other abomination that has terrible plots, storylines, writing and acting. You should definitely stop watching cartoons if the main character is a whiny, entitled brat. You should definitely stop watching cartoons if the kids that are more hyper than a crack addict. But if the plot and characters are more compelling than your average episode of every comedy on CBS, then no you should not stop watching them and no you shouldn’t be ashamed. Bitter maybe, that society should tell me that anything that is drawn with pencil and colors is automatically more childish than Charlie Sheen, then yes, tell me I should stop watching cartoons. Feel free to tell express your opinion you bitter old grandpa with a hearing aid and a megaphone that automatically says to keep off your lawn. Go back to reading your Tolstoy and listening to your Bach and watching the Ed Sullivan show.
Tell me a show on TV or a book you’ve read, or song you’ve listened to that is so life changing because of it’s themes, or its message or how it made you feel, and I will find you a cartoon that changed my life in a similar way. Tell me a ground breaking moment in an epic movie you’ve seen. Tell me about how it dealt with death, or anger or sadness or rage or heartbreak, or was so imaginative, and creative and groundbreaking, you were left with your mouth open. I will find you a cartoon that deals with those same emotions, and probably one that was even better at dealing with the issue. I could even tell you about the ones that even dealt with bitterness. Characters that define who you are, and you can relate to.
Talk to me about a funny movie that you’ve seen or a book you’ve read, or a stand up comedian you’ve heard in person, and I will tell you about a cartoon that made me laugh so hard, I was choking on my popcorn. Tell me about a cheesy terrible movie that made you roll your eyes so far back in your head, you can see what is going on in that bitter brain of yours. I could even find you a cartoon that shows what your brain looks like (it’s tiny and very judgmental).
Tell me about a dream that you’ve had that was so messed up, so trippy, or exciting or magnificent, or scary, and I could not only find you a cartoon that would be similar, but maybe even more exciting or more scary or more magnificent than your dreams.
Tell me about a date you had where you talked about a guilty pleasure of a regular show that you loved and your date made fun of you for it, or laughed at you, or will talk about it someday as the worst date you ever had. I can talk to you about a cartoon that will do the same.
Tell me about a time when you had young kids and were “forced” to watch the same cartoons they watched because sometimes it was the only way you could get a moment’s peace. When it was the only time they would laugh, or it was the only thing they would fall asleep to. Then when they fell asleep, tell me there were some that you didn’t keep watching after they were asleep. Tell me you wouldn’t actually start watching even when they weren’t there. And some that you would secretly love, but would never admit to.
So ask yourself, is it really okay for you, or that date I had, or society to shame me for watching cartoons at the age of 42? When you watch a TV show with Charlie Sheen, or Steve Harvey, or Kim Kardashian, or the Bachelor, or Saturday Night Live, or Adam Sandler, or Will Ferrell, or Jim Carrey? Is it okay to shame me when you read 50 Shades of Grey, or Grey’s Anatomy, or Twilight or any show or book that has people wearing grey?
Yes, I still watch cartoons and will still watch them when I’m 92. If I live that long. And not because my kids watch. But don’t shame me for it, because they don’t call me Revengerman for nothing. If you shame me for cartoons, I will find your guilty pleasure and shame you for that. Count on it.
Bitterly Cartoonish Ben