I was born in 1974 and spent my early years watching every cartoon I could. My afternoons were spent with the Transformers, G. I. Joe and Scooby-Doo. My Saturday mornings were always about Spider-Man, He-Man and sometimes, yes I admit Josie and the Pussycats. I still know every Smurf’s name and sometimes speak in cartoon tongues (you know, things like “want a Scooby snack” “be very quiet, we huntin rabbit” and “wonder twin powers, activate” at the completely wrong times).
I grew a little older and as a budding adult was introduced to the town of Springfield and the Simpsons family. I spent many years hanging out with the wonderful people of this colorful world. There were a few times in life when I wished I could be as brave as Lisa, as mischievous as Bart, as unnoticed as Maggie, as forgiving as Marge or as clueless as Homer. I wished I could have a frank discussion with Comic Book Guy about the state of Super-Hero lore or spend a day with Otto and maybe share in his haze. An evening at Moe’s and a Duff beer with friends wouldn’t be a bad way to spend some time either.
Eventually, I’m not sure when, I moved on. I decided Bart’s antics were not as humorous anymore and Homer was a bit of a dope (d’oh!-pe?). Saying things like “eat my shorts” “Don’t have a cow man” and “Why you little!” just felt weird. They just made people look at me funny and instead of the joy I got from my other cartoony phrases, I felt embarrassed. I decided these were better suited to TV land than the real world, although I do still occasionally use “Excellent!” while wearing a sinister grin and lightly tapping my fingers together.
There were many other places for me to visit now. The TV was filled with cartoons like Family Guy, American Dad and South Park. I have spoken a bit about my addiction to these ridiculously hilarious programs before. I am almost always in front of my TV on Sunday nights for Fox’s Animation Domination programming block and adult swim on the cartoon network is where my remote stops nearly every evening. I admit it, I’m an immature kid at heart. I can’t help it. After spending a day worrying about bills, work and everything else the day throws at me I need a little immaturity.
Recently I saw a few advertisements for FXX running a twelve day every episode marathon of The Simpsons. Something like 552 episodes back to back to back to…well you know what a marathon is I’m sure. I have spent a few evenings and mornings since this started flipping channels looking for something to watch. I have passed by the FXX channel several times and seen the Simpson’s playing. I have not felt the need to turn it there yet, even when I could find nothing else on.
Then a couple days ago, somewhere in the back of my mind, a little voice spoke to me and said “You will not tune in to the marathon. You will resist and be able to say you didn’t watch a single episode during the momentous twelve day event!” Since then I keep flipping past and wondering what did the Simpsons ever do to me? Why after they gave me so much enjoyment have I abandoned the folks of Springfield? I have no answers.
Have I become too old for their brand of humor? Did I just tire of it? Have the newer, raunchier cartoon programs spoiled me? Do I need my cartoon character’s to curse, make rude sexual comments and cause world destroying chaos? Again, I have no answers.
If the answer to any of these questions is yes does that mean I have grown too old for the Simpsons or too immature? Am I becoming dependent on raunchy, disgusting, derogatory humor? Is the world following along suit with me? After all think about the state of today’s entertainment, especially here in the U.S.. So many movies and TV shows are about more than the story. The amount of entertainment is measured by the total nude scenes, genitalia references or swear words and we are eating it up.
I’m not necessarily saying any of this is a bad thing, just a bit of my mind wandering for this evening. It’s about time for me to finish my thought’s though, American Dad just came on the Cartoon Network. I believe this may be the one where Steve orders a mail order bride and him and his friends try to get her to take her clothes off. Or maybe it’s the one where he trades medicine for booze with a meth head who later is shot after they all break into a young girl’s bedroom. Either way I plan to watch it again and leave Bart to his playing hooky or pranking schoolteacher antics.
Although I may not be watching the Simpsons today, it seems they are still very much on my mind. I kind of wish I could get a little advice from Marge right about now. I swear I’d refrain from replying “Ay, Caramba” if she would just tell me if I should be worried about myself!