My friend Soerha and I were IMing one another one day when she sent me a link to a YouTube video. She told me to take a look at the comments, which were pretty racist. Because the comments were really messed up, Soerha said she felt like sending a complaint to YouTube and she then wrote:
I feel like an old man these days – Just wanting to sit on my porch and yell at the youths and write complaint forms now.
That cracked me up because I feel like I have been in that same mental mode as well. I don’t feel old, I just have been thinking older these days.
This really came into fruition when I happened to be watching an episode of Animaniacs on TV recently.
I used to watch Animaniancs all the time when there were new episodes on Saturday mornings. I liked most of the characters: Slappy and Skippy Squirrel, Rita and Runt, The Goodfeathers, Pinky and the Brain, and, of course, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot. I can even sort of do an impression of Wakko (I thought my impression of Dr. Scratch n’ Sniff was passable as well but my little sister really doesn’t think so. Whatever).
Anyways, back to the episode I watched recently…
In this particular episode, which I had seen when it first came on years ago, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot went into a candy shop and proceeded to run amuck. They were trying out the candy- Dot licked a bunch of lollipops, and Yakko even stuck his whole face into a barrel of chocolate- and they just never ceased to terrorize the owner.
Like I said, amuck.
And then came the ending. SPOILER ALERT – Yakko, Wakko, and Dot threw the owner in a vat of chocolate and after being encased in chocolate, he was offered up to children from an orphanage as a treat. Yakko ends with “Wait until they get to the creamy filling!” END SPOILER ALERT.
While watching this entire episode, I couldn’t help but think about the owner. Yes, he was stuck up and could have been been more polite to the nun in the beginning, but the dude is just trying to earn a living! He deserved none of what the Warner Brothers (and their Sister Dot) dished out to him. That was his merchandise they were sampling for free (and without permission!). I mean, entire batches of chocolate were ruined when Yakko decided to dip his whole face in it. Was that really necessary?
The owner especially didn’t deserve losing his entire establishment in order to be offered up as dessert.
I’m 100% sure this wasn’t my reaction when I had first seen this particular cartoon years ago.
I think this change in mindset is natural as one gets older. I never thought it would change how I percieve cartoons of my youth though, but it has. I can’t even watch Robotech without being shocked at the violence that we all consumed from that show when we were really young. Don’t get me wrong, I still love that show and I will still happily watch it. I just can’t believe that’s what constituted a “kid’s program” and that we watched it all the time.
Alas, I think I should just embrace this natural progression of my manner of thinking and the fact that I may very well be an adult now.
If anything, I should be consoled by the fact that I was already out of the target demographic for Animaniacs when it first came out. I don’t know why that would console me but anyways…
And so I say in classic Yakko: Mua! Goodnight everybody!
NOTE: The episode of Animaniacs in question is below: