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Let me start off with a few things. I’m a grown man. I have a job, pay my taxes, make the bills on time, and enjoy staying active with hobbies. With that being said, I also have to make a confession: I will never stop watching cartoons.
You may be thinking that it’s, “time to grow up.” But I have to tell you that cartoons are just as much for adults now as they are for children. Sure, we all remember the Saturday morning block as youngsters, but for some of us that transitioned to a 10 p.m. Wednesday slot. A youth filled with subliminally laced cartoons like Rocko’s Modern Life, Ren & Stimpy, and Johnny Bravo set me up for an adulthood of obscenity-laced animation. And I absolutely love this medium of TV entertainment.
For starters, it seems lately that cartoons are the only shows with enough balls to joke about or even bring to light some of the issues with the world we live in today. One quick example is a favorite of mine, South Park. This show has run the table on relevant humor. Week in and week out, they not only give us a cheap laugh but also shed light on major social issues in our nation today, and I’m not alone in that sentiment.
This season of South Park might be the most important, relevant (and above all, hilarious) commentary on modern society this decade.
— Rob Fox III (@BaconTFM) November 19, 2015
I mean, let’s be real. South Park is probably one of the only shows ever capable of having an episode titled, “Le Petit Tourette” starring Chris Hanson convincing sex offenders to kill themselves on TV while a manipulative 4th grader fakes Tourettes for an opportunity to make an anti-semitic speech uncensored on TV, to actually get accredited on the record by the Tourette Syndrome Association. They even went on the record to say they were actually impressed by how well researched the show was on the issue. Bravo, Matt Parker and Trey Stone, Bravo. (NSFW clip below)
It’s not just the anti-PC sentiment that I love, though. Cartoons offer something many other mediums of entertainment lack, which is an ability for the viewer to temporarily suspend their disbelief. I don’t know what it is, but when I see Rick and Morty travel through space, dimensions, and reality, I find myself less critical of the logic behind the show as compared to a show with actual actors. Maybe it’s because animators have a greater range to express themselves, without the laws of physics or a special effects budget hindering them. Or it could just be the fact that I’m laughing at the fact they have a character named “Mr. Poopy Butthole” integrated into the show. OOOWEEEE!
Either way, it’s not changing the fact that I have had no problem following along with the concept of a man named Peter Griffin from Rhode Island who gets into epic fight scenes with a giant overgrown rooster.
Is it logical? No. Hilariously entertaining. Yes.
I’d love to meet the writer who created that bit and just ask him what he was thinking (or how high he was) when he came up with that.
Which leads me to another point I love about watching cartoons: the character dynamics. It’s not often that you find yourself empathizing with a kleptomaniac, adulterous, and egotistical robot who’d be just as likely to mug you as he would be tell you, “kill all humans,” but that’s the beauty of cartoons and characters like Bender B. Rodriguez of Futurama. That element paired with the versatility of transcending the loose laws of inter-dimensional travel gives viewers the ability to even combine some of their favorite shows like how The Simpsons did everything on South Park, clashed with the Griffin family in Springfield, and were wiped out by the crashed spaceship of Rick and Morty.
(And for those of you who watched don’t think I didn’t notice the Slurm machine paying homeage to another one of Simpson’s creator Matt Groening’s other hit series Futurama. Think again.)
All of these things together are what make cartoons such great entertainment, to me, and plenty of other people out there.
Some of you out there reading are probably rolling your eyes ready to comment, “Grow up Peter Pan, Count Chocula…” But after reading this and the logic behind my admiration of cartoons can you really say that this argument, albeit crude, is childish?
Who knows, maybe you still do.
But for those who feel that way, the ones who want to tell me to grow up and stop watching cartoons, I have one thing I’d like to respectfully say to you. I’m going to quote two of my favorite characters on this one. In the words of Bender B. Rodriguez and Rick Sanchez, “Bite my shiny metal ass” and “L-L-L-Lick my balls burrrrrrpppp, Bitchhhhh!” .