Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pokemon makes Bio majors, and Wishbone makes English majors.

Just about every biology major I knew in college remembers Pokemon fondly.  While people who loved Wishbone ended up in the humanities.  I have always found that concept interesting.

Whether the exposure the Pokemon causes people's interest in real world animals, or if possibly they're already inclined and therefore seek things like Pokemon out, it's undeniable that children's media has a huge impact on individuals the children will become.  For me personally, I loved both Pokemon and Wishbone, I ended up graduating with a major in English and minors in Biology and Theater.

So today I would like to talk about three pieces of children's television that I think had the biggest effect on me, and why.

The Magic School Bus:  This show might be my quintessential children's media.  Ms. Frizzle explained so many aspects of science, but she did it in a theatrical way.  It was hard to not become enthralled, not that I put up much a of a fight.  In fact when I was in biology classes as an adult, before a test while we were studying we would often find a relevant episode of The Magic School Bus.  Perhaps the best part was that while we had it on typically other people would wonder into our study zone and would then sit down to watch it with us.  No motivation of a test in the morning just the love for the fun antics of the yellow bus and it's crazy redheaded owner.

The Powerpuff Girls:  For me this isn't the whole show as much as one particular episode.  "Equal Fights" is an episode that involves a woman villain called Femme Fatale who only steal Susan B. Anthony coins.  She convinces the Powerpuff girls to not arrest her under the umbrella of feminism.  The Powerpuff girls go through a period where they oppress men, again under the umbrella of feminism, before eventually explaining the story of Susan B. Anthony in the most brutal way possible.  Enforcing upon a young me that feminism could go wrong, you can oppress men, and real feminism is about the taking the good with the bad in terms of equal rights.

Batman The Animated Series:  This is kind of hard to explain, I just loved the show.  For me it is the only accurate version of Batman in existence.  However, I think what had the most impact was how human everyone in the show was.  Villain and hero a like everyone had bad days, and had days where they had victories.  I remember feeling sorry for Harley Quin and feeling such joy from the friendship between her and Poison Ivy.  I also remember the sibling like interactions between Batgirl and the young Robin.  While at the same time seeing them as the tough crime fighters they were.  Everyone had a personality and everyone was believable in who they were.

I am hugely grateful to the creators of these shows.  I'm sure they are a large part of why I see the world in the way that I do.  As the next generations starts to appear in my life I know what I want to share with them, what I view as valuable lessons and valuable lesson vehicles.  In part it's all thanks to a group of people who like to draw cartoons.

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