80s Cartoons Rule My Life
Shock. Total and absolute.
For those not familiar with the slew of 80′s cartoon culture, it was a phrase from Jem and the Holograms, a show in the mid eighties that was wildy popular with girls under the age of nine. What’s scary is that I was a) talking to myself and b) it was a total reflex, whispering to the computer. Had I done this before? If so, how often? So it got me to thinking, if this had invaded my subconcious, how many other 80′s cartoons shaped my life? Let’s consider the evidence…
Exhibit A: Jem, Kidd Video, Josie and the Pussycats, Beverly Hills Teens
The above cartoons are all single-handedly responsible for me finding gold glitter in my bed. The worst offender of these is Jem. The premise is of an all-girl band who have glamour-eccentric adventures on the day-to-day. I FULLY blame Jem and the Holograms for the path I took in life. Now, I struggle with my own glamour-eccentric descisions I face on a daily basis such as where should we hang the giant sparkle cage? Where’s my keytar? Should I wear these hooker pumps to the performance or my board meeting? Why are my strong, multiracial friends so hot and talented? And so on. All while keeping a straight face and GIANT hair in the colors of either hot pink, pillarbox red, or blue. With role models like this, it was inevitable I was going to be either a burlesque dancer or a drag queen. However, with Jem she provided a surprisingly feminist perspective where despite being huge rock stars, the main characters also wrestled with questions about do you choose your career or your boyfriend? Kind of heady stuff for prepubescents. Impressive, even.
Next up on the dockett is Kidd Video. If you look closely at the main character who is the lead singer/guitar player for his band, he’s actually pretty cute. Or, as cute as a badly drawn cartoon character can get. The adventures of this cartoon band in a parallel universe involve driving around, playing shows for strange locals and having to resolve inner band conflict is a HUGE parallel in my own life. Incidently, everything I learned about band resolution conflict I learned from Kidd Video. This is probably why I don’t actually PLAY an instrument and why I’m not a hostage negotiator. The only difference is the only sprite that dresses like Olivia Newton John in her “Physical” video is named Lil’Luvroc.And our audiences generally don’t look like demented animated Muppets…
Josie and the Pussycats: This was produced by Hannah Barbara and was a spin-off of sorts from Scooby Doo. What am I saying, it was a wholesale ripoff of the Scooby Doo formula. However, the show was not without it’s life lessons. Josie showed me tolerance (how she never popped her manager’s snotty twin sister, Alexandra in the nose I will NEVER know) and that despite having a haunted amusement park mystery to solve, you still need to arrive at your gig on time and ready to play. It also later demonstrated that even in deep space you still have to get to your gigs in a timely manner. Worm holes be damned.
And then there’s Beverly Hills Teens, about a group of wealthy teens in BH who have very expensive adventures. The only thing that really correllates from this to my life is that it gave me the seeds for some interesting party ideas. But really, having a hot tub in the back of your limo and a spa that has bubbles with strawberries in them is a good idea in my world. Not practical, but still fun.
Exhibit B: She-Ra, He-Man
She-ra and He-Man I know (now) were nothing more than half hour long commericals. They were designed to pump out toys, toys, and more toys until you couldn’t walk into a family room without tripping over Man-At-Arms or Castaspella. But there in the cartoons I loved the dark/scary side of He-Man (and had a weird crush on Skeletor). It was dangerous and fantastic all at once. She-Ra had a fairy forest feel and even the villans were a little fey. But the outfits were pretty awesome. The highlight, of course, was the insane make up to their EYEBROWS that all the villanesses wore as well as the kick-ass outfits. Anyone in the fetish scene is lying if they said they could resist some hot chick in a PVC or rubber Evilyn or Scorpia outfit.
(And I also want a flying unicorn that talks AND can dress up too… kind of a horse in drag)
Exhibit C: Transformers, M.A.S.K., Mighty Orbots
All the afforementioned cartoons had two things in common: robot sidekicks/henchmen and really, really cool looking motorcycles. I’m a vintage girl and I love old BMW and Triumphs, but my head will always turn when I see some crotch rocket come ripping down the street. Especially if it looks like it was built by Hasbro. I’ve carried this over too into adulthood and I not only rode, but I go all sloppy when faced with the idea of buying a bike that looks like it might turn into a robot henchman. The more evil, the better.
So there it is. Some of my concious (and unconcious) shaping that has me wondering how many other folks out there are living their lives the way they are because of early childhood Idiot Box trauma. For those parents out there, let this be the gypsy’s warning that your rugrats might become what they watch, and that, all in all, it’s not nessarily a bad thing, as I’ve found out.
Hugs and hisses,
Little Miss Risk