So I hear that Garfield hates Mondays. I’m not a huge fan of them myself but for totally different reasons. My work week starts on Sunday but I’m usually pretty excited about that. I guess I’m just an optimist like that. Often I am so exhausted tired by the end of the night that I really don’t want to get up on Monday and I’m just not quite there all day. Some less holy folk might call this an anointing hangover but I’d never go there. I have to go in on Monday though because I have to clean my office and plan my week on Monday or the rest of the week is shot. It’s just not pretty when I have meetings on Monday morning like I’ve had for the past few weeks. My office is a very scary place right now.
Anyways, Mondays will come with a new feature. I had been keeping that day random but I got a great idea from a post over at SCL today. On the off chance that you read my blog but not Jon’s go check it out. From now on Mondays will be about the best things in life that I learned from 80s cartoons. Sure the 80s gave us terrible hair (be honest did you have a mullet?), downright scary clothing, and the 3rd worst musical fad of all time (80s hair bands *shudder*), but we did get a few awesome things from the 80s. We got Cyndi Lauper, The Princess Bride, Goonies, and most importantly the best cartoons ever. Sure the 90s had a few good cartoons but it also spelled the death of the before and after school cartoons. No the 80s had the real GI Joe, Transformers, Thundercats, He-Man … and also some stuff that girls liked but I didn’t watch them because I didn’t have a sister to share the TV with.
Come on a journey through my childhood and learn things that explain why therapists charge so much money.
My first lesson is this.
Sometimes Heroes Die
Yep, it’s true. The hero of the story can die. I was 7 when The Transformers Movie came out. Not the new live action version I’m talking about the old cartoon movie. It is the first movie I remember watching in theaters. I’m sure I watched others but this one stands out. I was addicted to Transformers like nothing else. My parents bought me several of the toys and they learned the difference between Transformers and Go Bots because that was very important to me. Transformers were cool and Go Bots were the cheap knockoffs that the pariah of the 2nd grade played with. I was so hip in 2nd grade because I had some seriously awesome toys. I had an Optimus Prime die cast transformer. I weep a little when I see how much those sell for now but mine didn’t survive because of the movie.
If you aren’t familiar with the movie Optimus dies in the opening sequence. Honestly that is all that I really remembered from it until I bought the movie for my son (that is what I told my wife at least) last year. I had it in my head that he dies at the end of the movie because it is the last thing I remember. Apparently like so many other things I have blocked that from my childhood. I had a good childhood but anything unpleasant gets filtered so … He can’t die though. He is the hero that always saves the day. Don’t they know the hero never dies?
Well, if I had read The Princess Bride I could have understood the lesson without the shock that lead me to destroy my Optimus Prime action figure. It is explained in the beginning of the book that sometimes the hero dies, and so it happens in the book. I think we do prime our kids to think that the hero always wins and get the girl and all that stuff, but I learned that this isn’t always true. I don’t know that modern cartoons would do something to dramatically risky. That is hard for me to imagine in today’s society but it is something we need to understand. We try so hard to keep our kids from heart break that when it does happen it is that much harder for them.
The good news is that even though the hero died, an unlikely character stepped up to the plate and saved the day. Also Optimus made a comeback in the cartoons and I regretted the whole “destroyed my toy because of that stupid movie” incident, but hey I was 7 not like I could predict the future.
PS, I also learned that when your hero dies it is ok to cry but that is a post for another day.