Friday, February 29, 2008

It's Always Something...

Yeah, I know that phrase is better identified with the late [God, why are so many of our talents "late"?] Gilda Radner's character of Rosanne Rosanadanna. But, it does cover my mindset at the mo. I mean, I was all ready to present a cute, charming essay on Leap Year Day, that once-every-four-years event that we all can look forward to [unlike the presidential elections here in the US; I like what Obama has to say, but I think he's struck a chord with myself, and many other voters, because he is NOT part of traditional politics, not affiliated with any of our nation's previous political disasters.
Anyway, I was all ready with that [even had a photo of Dick Fosbury, the American high-jumper who crossed the bar backwards (the "Fosbury Flop") ready to illustrate it]. But then disturbing news came in to Ranchero Bullwinkle, the little piece of Heaven where I write these entries:
Yes, Belgium's second-most important contribution to world culture [after Hercule Poirot, the Flemish master detective created, it should be pointed out, by English writer Agatha Christie] are coming out on DVD.
(Sometimes events happen that give you the feeling of driving your new tires over a rake. You feel deflated and torn. Hel-lllo, welcome to my world.)
For the record, "The Smurfs" isn't the worst cartoon series I've ever seen. But its success gave TV networks the excuse they needed to kill 90% of the entertaining Saturday morning cartoons they broadcast [Something about "less violence", "more positive role models", something to that effect. I think it was just an explanation for those of us in our 20's and 30's at the time, who were complaining about the state of affairs.]
Were they less violent? Of course they were! Were they frequently as dull as watching Painter Smurf's color-smeared smock dry? Oh yeah. And as to that "positive role models" claim, does our current world really strike you as a safer place than the one of a quarter-century ago?
(Let's be honest. This generation of youth is under-exercised, under-challenged mentally, and happy about both. If we really wanted to give them cartoon role models, I can't think of any better choices than the hyper-kinetic crew that populated the classic Warner Brothers cartoons of the 1940's and 1950's [Bugs, Daffy, Foghorn, Tweety and Sylvester; you probably know who I'm talking about]. Imaginative, solidly trained in the classics (ex: "What's Opera, Doc?"; I learned more about opera, and classical music in general, by watching the WB cartoons than I did in school. But that's another conversation, for another time...), and, best of all, ACTIVE. Nobody sat and quietly discussed things in a Bugs Bunny cartoon! [There's that "role model" thing again]
[Just then, two white-coated individuals grab Our Author by his arms and drag him, backwards, behind a curtain. In shadows seen through the thin fabric, we see them inject Mike with the contents of one of the largest needles you've ever seen in your lives, outside of, dare we say it, a WB cartoon...]
Wha? Who are you people? Smurfs? Yeah, Smurfs are OK. Now where's my money? Who's got my money. Wanna go home...
-Mike Riley
P.S.: And don't even get me started on the tragedy of Smurfette! No, she never got pregnant. But she never got anything else either! She was Smurfville's only Lesbian...
P.P.S: Now I'm scared! I ran the above through a "SpellCheck", and it offered me what it concidered the correct spelling of "Smurf"! What did Bill Gates watch on Saturday mornings? And what does he watch now?
P.P.S.S.: Happy Leap Day...