Friday, August 7, 2015

High Brow Literary Allusions

So Thumper was watching Cartoon Network the other day, joyfully. We dropped digital cable awhile back because the content is generally awful and the cost is ridiculously high. But somehow, when I moved into the new apartment and I was activating internet service, I lost my mind and allowed myself to be lead by the nose into the land of "we're a bundling company, so it'll be a better value for you if you get all of our services rather than just one!" What can I say; I wasn't thinking clearly then. I'll rectify it soon, but in the meantime, the boy gets spectacularly awful Cartoon Network and Disney Channel and Disney XD shows.

Speaking of which, if Disney is a premium American entertainment company, producing, especially with their acquisition of Pixar and the Muppets, high quality works of contemporary pop culture art and children's programming, how on earth can they wake up in the morning and look themselves in the collective face knowing that they are cranking out an incredible volume of the lowest quality schlock and feeding it directly into the brains of millions of children worldwide? Have you watched any of those "sitcoms" on Disney Channel or Disney XD? The writing is awful. The premises are ridiculously half-formed ideas. The humor is so formulaic that you could mix and match virtually any of the characters and settings and the storylines would be indistinguishable. And they use the laugh track like a sledgehammer. The number of those shows that the same stable of child laborers, er, actors, appear on would lead one to believe that Disney Studios is a sweatshop, and those same kids are probably the ones writing and producing this awful canal of sludge that's flowing steadily into my home.

So, anyway, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah. How I see metaphors for my life everywhere I look. I realize I hadn't gotten there quite yet, but that's where I was going with this.

Cartoon Network, which does produce some of my favorite kids' television programming, including "Adventure Time with Finn and Jake" and "The Amazing World of Gumball" (both of which, incidentally, may be less "kid's television programming" and more "programming for dope-smoking teens and young adults") has apparently completely given up and decided just to air "Teen Titans Go!" 24 hours a day. It's so bad, this is video Thumper took of me one of the times that he asked, "Can I put on Cartoon Network?" and I said, "Sure," and it was frigging "Teen Titans Go!" again:

So in this episode, which shockingly I had not seen before, Beast Boy gets frustrated that he's not as smart as the other Teen Titans, and he steals Raven's spell book to cast a spell to make himself smarter. I'm not sure why every spell she utters is the same: "Azarath... Metrion... Zinthos!" But anyway, he steals the book, casts the spell, screws it up, then tests his results with "The Ultimate Test of Smartness," a box with various shaped pegs and holes. As he's doing his best to jam the round peg into the square hole, Thumper says, "Everybody knows you can't fit the round one in the square one. Everybody knows that!"

And it hit me in that moment that I, like Beast Boy, spent a lot of time and energy thinking that if I just! Shoved! Hard! Enough! that fucker would finally slide right in there. Ha. Everybody knows that.

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