If you grew up prior to 2000, then you might remember Saturday morning cartoons. The big networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) would relinquish their Saturday programming block to play cartoons for the kids. Sadly, this ended in 2004, and now their weekends are full of sports🤮 and other crap. Kids now have the internet to browse, stream and/or pirate just about any show they want.
As kids, we watched cartoons for the entertainment, but now, I look back at some of those cartoons, and some things really bother the hell out of me. I guess we could call these things “cartoon logic”, which means absolutely nothing in reality. A number of things either confuse me, bother me, or just downright piss me off. Let’s run down a few of these things.
First off, a couple of things that really piss me off. Who all out there watched Popeye? Okay, the dude smoked a pipe. Real example for kids right there. His strength came from a can of slimy spinach, and anyone else who ate it would get the same strength. Was that spinach laced with something🤔? Then there’s that annoying girlfriend of his, Olive Oyl. Oh my lord, how irritating that bitch was. She would humiliate him often, and he’d always be at her beck and call. Whenever she needed saving, it was always the same, shrill “Help, Popeye!” If I were Popeye, I’d be like “Shut up, bitch! Aliens in the next galaxy can hear your whiny-ass squealing!” And what did he ever see in her? She was this gigantic stick, with clown-size feet. To call her a looker meant you’d be looking the other direction. Lord, she was hideous!
Why is it that the Road Runner never got caught by the coyote? The poor guy got himself pummeled, flattened, shot, blown up, run over and fallen thousands of feet from a high cliff in order to get that fucking road runner. Ole Wile E. Coyote tried everything he could think of to catch that damned Road Runner, but was never successful. I always hoped, just once, that he’d kill that little speedy fucker. Along those same lines was in Tom & Jerry. Poor Tom had everything under the sun happen to him, but he never could catch that little bastard Jerry. Just like with the Road Runner, I wanted Jerry to get killed just once.
Speaking of terrible examples, there was always so much gratuitous violence in those cartoons. Such as Daffy Duck getting blasted by Elmer Fudd’s hunting rifle. Stuff that would get anything killed in real life was just another day in the cartoon-verse.
I think about the Flintstones, and realize how much of a douchebag Fred was. A huge chauvinist loudmouth, who had a gambling problem, and enjoyed a smoke occasionally (in one episode, Fred offers a cigarette to someone), while Wilma was a stay-at-home mom attending to his whims. Perhaps that was a product of the 1960s. But still, Fred was definitely a huge asshole. A bit of trivia for you: the Flintstones were used in commercials for Winston cigarettes. That was before television cigarette advertising was banned. Go look it up on YouTube; you’ll find them.
General cartoon logic always baffled me. Like, how did gravity never work, unless you looked down? Or how does getting your face blown off (a la Daffy Duck) not kill you? Or how do Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny breathe in space? How does a hailstorm of bullets not hit anyone? Get smacked square in the face or head with a baseball bat, and you fall over, but survive. Tom gets run over by a lawn mower when caught in a hammock, and he gets turned into paper dolls. It makes no sense whatsoever.
As a Transformers fan/nerd, a few things puzzle me about that original animated series. Where in the hell does Optimus Prime’s trailer go? It just goes away, and comes back from nowhere. How does a humongous robot turn into a tiny gun (Megatron) or a human-sized cassette recorder (Soundwave)? And when they go back to being robots, they’re full sized again? And how does Optimus Prime have more lives than a damned cat? That guy has died and resurrected so many times, it makes your head swim. In one episode, he gets half his body blown away in a ship explosion, and in the chronologically subsequent episode, he’s rescued from the same ship, completely intact. No logic or explanation will suffice there.
Now, why, in most cartoons, do the bad guys always lose? Sometimes, the bad guys win. And why did most characters never die? Back in the 1980s, death was something unheard of. Well, unless you count Duke in GI Joe, or in Transformers: The Movie. The logic in the Transformers movie was simple: kill off the old toy line, and introduce the new one. Cartoons from the 80s were simply 22-minute toy commercials. Only after that 1986 Transformers movie did the toy creators realize they made a huge mistake, killing off the favorite character of thousands of kids. Today, some of these shows have more of a real-life tone or darkness, in that some characters do get killed, and that once dead, they don’t come back.
Then there’s SpongeBob. That show is full of things that are completely illogical. How does SpongeBob blow up a bubble through glass? Why does Mr. Krabs listen to headphones with his eyes? How does water stay in their water helmets? How do you have a campfire, a hot greasy grill or vats of hot fryer oil at the ocean floor? Everything is weird about SpongeBob, and I guess it’s not supposed to make sense. Yes, I have watched that show. Some of the episodes were funny; others absolutely gross me out.
This boggles my mind about cartoons: why does no one age? Rugrats came out in the early 90s, and they were babies for the next 10+ years. The Simpsons is now over 30 years old with nearly 700 episodes, and no one has aged a bit. Bart should be in his 40s now; Homer should be an old man and even the baby should be in her 30s by now. Here again, I’ll never understand.
Is there something that bothers you in cartoons? Is it the gratuitous violence? Is it the lack of logic in “cartoon logic”? Is it something else? Feel free to comment here or on my social media profiles. Fortunately, we don’t live in a cartoon world; it’s reality all the way. The reality is that this week’s post has come to an end😭. Check back next week for yet another random posting from me. Until then, please be safe and be well.