The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Posts Tagged ‘television

Gadget Wheels, dinos, mice and banana peels: my Top 4 cartoons of the 80s

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The children of today are screwed. I was writing another piece for today, but I realised it was shit and going nowhere at about the exact time I was hit by a wave of laziness; the notes I had scribbled were scrunched up and thrown across the room, and I plonked myself on the lounge, flicking casually through the channels with no destination in mind. Amidst the soap operas, news programs and advertisements, I came across a children’s cartoon. I have no idea what it was called, but it appeared to be a terrible amalgamation of poor animation, talking dogs and painfully cheerful theme music. Was this really the best we could come up with in the 21st century to entertain kiddies? What the hell happened to the awesome cartoons of the 80s and early 90s?

Feeling lazy and overcome with nostalgia, and with Heather’s article on The B(itch)Log earlier this week still fresh in my mind, I decided to take a stand against the fucked up children’s entertainment of 2012. How am I going to do it? Easy. I’m going to regress twenty or so years and reintroduce the world to my four favourite cartoons of the 80s. Given that I’ve got intellectual maturity of a 9-year-old, it’s not going to be that difficult.

Bananaman

Eric Wimp was just a normal boy who lived at 29 Acacia Road until he indulged in the tropical delight, at which stage he transformed into a nutritious vigilante, intent on keeping the world safe from the evil schemes of corny supervillans. With an outfit that would make Batman reassess what it meant to wear a cowl, Bananaman got around by flying, albeit with a technique reminiscent of a swimming stroke. When the Australian Banana Growers’ Council was working on its marketing strategy, it should have looked no further than the quiet British schoolboy: he’s the poster child for potassium.

Bruce Wayne, eat your heart out. Source: gotgames.com.au

His greatest achievement? Wearing banana skins as boots and never slipping on them.

This is a banana man, not THE Bananaman. Source: aj-smith.com.au

Danger Mouse

Eye patches: not just for pirates. Source: dogatemywookie.co.uk

The British know comedy, and in the 80s, they were all over cartoons like a fat kid on a cheesecake. Aided by his nerdy hamster offsider Penfold, Danger Mouse was the James Bond of the rodent world, complete with flying car and an eye patch. How could you not love a Mickey Mouse 007 wannabe whose arch-nemesis was an obese toad with emphysema called Baron Silas Greenback?

Ever tried to picture Ernst Stavro Blofeld as a cartoon? Source: vimeo.com

The biggest question to come out of the series pertained to the preferred garb of the furry secret agent: did Danger Mouse wear pants?

Dino-Riders

Dinosaurs. Lasers. Aliens riding said dinosaurs. This concludes the lesson on why Dino-Riders was such an awesome cartoon. Hell, it was that amazing, it made kids want to learn about palaeontology; there was a time circa 1990 that I could spell the names of most dinosaurs, including Ankylosaurus, Diplodocus and Quetzalcoatlus.

Prehistoric creatures with firepower: the 80s had it all. Source: terriblehands.com

Inspector Gadget

 

Calling this detective bumbling is like calling Kim Jong-il misunderstood. As dumb as he was, you have to respect a guy with rocket-powered roller skates and rotor blades built into his hat.

Inspector Gadget was the pioneer of the cyborg anti-discrimination movement, and taught us to love our fellow man, regardless of whether they were black, white or had telescopic extremities.

Being dumb doesn't matter when you have gadgets. Source: mindgutterblog.com

Important safety tip: do not go out wearing a trench coat and ask women if they’d like to see your Gadget Periscope.

Go-Go Gadget Nostalgia!

Damn. If I could go back to 1989 knowing what I know now, my goal of world domination would be a lot easier to achieve. And I’d be able to appoint Bananaman as the Vice President of Kick-Ass Superhero Costumes. And ride an angry Pachycephalosaurus*, adorned with armour and lasers, instead of catching the bus.

* Author’s note: best dinosaur name of all time.

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So you want to be a reality TV star? Really?

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When I first clicked on Emma Ashton’s piece today on The Punch entitled “Top tips for becoming a reality TV star”, I was under the illusion that I was about to read a satirical article that poked fun at the ludicrous phenomenon that is reality television. How wrong I was. In hindsight, I should have never expected that someone who describes themselves as a “reality TV consultant” would make a mockery of the very thing that apparently funds their lifestyle, especially when they run a blog devoted to reality television and profess to helping people “make their reality TV dream come true”. I think I may have just died a little bit inside. When we reach the point of having dedicated reality television consultants, it’s a fair indication that society is well and truly fucked.

Why are so many individuals under the misconception that they deserve to be famous? At what stage did the collective group vote and decide that everyone was entitled to their fifteen minutes of notoriety? Lamentably, most people are as boring as hell and, whether they’d like to admit it or not, would continue to make reality television about as enjoyable as having a tooth removed with fencing pliers, should they be given the opportunity to let their star shine. Let’s face it: if “I’m so glad it’s Friday!” is the most riveting Facebook status update you can manage, it’s unlikely that you are going to set the reality television world alight with your wit and personality; no one wants to watch a show starring someone who’s as entertaining as a brick in a freezer.

I’m not entirely sure what the trend away from amusing, quality television in favour of televised stupidity means for humanity, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it’s not a good thing. If reality television is the future, bring on 21 December and the zombie Apocalypse.

That fact that this has run for six seasons should be a warning that the Mayans have their dates right. Source: chud.com

Seeing as the scourge on society that is reality television doesn’t look like vanishing in the foreseeable future, The Dissemination of Thought is pleased to provide its own useful, real tips on becoming a reality TV star; just bring a smile, and leave your talent at the door.

Tip 1: Have no discernible talent whatsoever

In this day and age you don’t need talent to be famous and, based on results from the Australian and American Idol franchises, you definitely don’t need to be able to hold a tune to release a record. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have ability, as long as you have sad eyes, a heartwarming story about overcoming adversity and/or human triumph, and an androgynous sexuality that appeals to both teenagers and their wallet-wielding parents. For the guys, maintaining a rugged growth of stubble will ensure that you are signed to a five-album deal and win two Grammys in your first eighteen months as a recording artist.

We SHOULDN'T know this guy's name, but we do. Source: williamhung.net

Tip 2: Be dumb and hate everything

If you’re a bigoted moron with an IQ similar to a telephone booth, don’t even worry about auditioning: you’re in. Should you be trying to develop a persona to convince producers and casting staff that you’re a narrow-minded twit, you need to hate everyone that’s different to you and despise everything you don’t understand, which, given that you are pretending to be an idiot, is most stuff. Immigrants? Can’t stand them. Any food that isn’t a pie or steak and chips? Foreign crap that gives you the shits. People with accents? Terrorists. For added impact, you should bleach your hair blonde and get yourself a Southern Cross tattoo. In the event that you are asked a question about politics or something intellectual during the audition, your standard answer should be “I dunno ‘bout that, but I can skol tequila and put my whole fist in my mouth.”

Tip 3: It’s all about the orange and the oil

If your aim is to be a reality star in a show that has anything to do with the beach, you’re going to need a tan and lots of oil; we’re talking about committing yourself to the point where you resemble a giant Oompla-Loompa who has bathed in baby oil. It doesn’t matter that you’re stupid and sound like Rocky after fighting twelve rounds with a mouth full of marshmallows: if you have a perpetual sheen not dissimilar to that of a roasting chicken, the reality TV world is your oyster.

A few more tips for those aspiring to be on the seventeenth season of Jersey Shore:

For guys: you’ll need to be ridiculously buffed, adorn yourself with stupid amounts of bling and buy a baseball cap with a stiff, unbent peak. To improve your chances of making the cut, get yourself a cool nickname like “Pauly D” or “Puffy P” and refer to yourself in the third person. A lot.

For girls: you’re going to need 74 bikinis that (unfortunately) leave nothing to the imagination, faux breasts that could double as floatation devices in the event your party boat sinks and a love of flashing the aforementioned floaties every time you see someone holding a camera, even if that someone is just your reflection in the mirror.

Entertainment in 2012: it's just sad. Source: buddytv.com