Friday, January 30, 2004

Strawberry Slutcake & The Chocolate Starfish

Remaindered from my Purple Pie Man image search (for the previous post)....

OK, fine. We all took the red pill, we're all hyper-aware of the trappings of our PoMo world: Alanis isn't ironic but The Carpenters are, new clothes are cheap but cheap-looking clothes are expensive, etc. And kids these days! In this post-punk day and age, all wide-eyed children's programming is actually secretly subversive and naughty, and 97.4% of the time it's geared toward whacked-out, sex-starved stoners1. It's all a case of target marketing, really: of the people who are at home to watch TV during midday children's programming hours, the only ones with any purchasing power (read: the only potty trained ones) are unemployed losers (ahem), and it's a proven fact that unemployed = filthy pit-stained drug addict. Throw some sly doobie references into the latest Sesame Street rip-off, and you're golden!

That said, I think I speak for the average loser when I say I like a little subtlety. For instance, take the Teletubbies, who worship a psychedelic baby and constantly crave giant mind-altering pills, a.k.a. Tubby Toast. Sure, ok, like groovy man and shit, I get it—but it's not obvious. So WTF is up with ole Strawberry Shortcake? Couldn't Strawberry & Co. try just a teensy bit harder to not be so fawking blatant about their B.V.D.-staining trampitude? Is it any wonder little girls (and prepubescent homos) look up to Britney Spears when faced with the kiddie porn/Lolita aesthetic of the Shortcake universe? Coy underage girls in fetchingly short outfits2 with their undies showing, all of them suffering from unhealthy attractions to horses and each other? Nothing wrong with that! And Ms. Shortcake's token slutty friend (the Blanche to her Dorothy, so to speak), who just happens to be named Raspberry Tart? She's not really a tart, she's just "friendly" and, uh, "sassy"! I mean, check out this comprehensive list of Strawberry's friends: Cherry Cuddler? Coco Nutwork? Baby Needs a Name? Are these children's cartoons, drag stripper names, or kinky sex positions? I'm too stoned to tell the difference!

[Speaking of stupid things you say when you're stoned, no talk of wink-wink cartoonery would be complete without mentioning Tinky Winky, cruelly outed by hatemongering douchebag Jerry Falwell a few years back. This post has more on the topic—the topic of sly children's programming that is, not Falwell's douchebagitude. For more on gay 'toons (and I don't mean yaoi or the Ambiguously Gay Duo), don't miss the list of top ten gay cartoon characters recently released by a UK radio station.]

Before I go, let's return to Exhibit A for a moment—SpongeBob SquarePants. I like him. He's gainfully employed. He's got moxie. He's best friends with a, ahem, starfish. He's great at trouncing his competition in the ratings every week—and last week was no different [link expires 2/6/04]. However (as the handy Zap2It reports), the 1/19-1/24 ratings win was a bittersweet victory for the underwater stoner. For in taking the #1 spot in the Nielsens, SpongeBob beat out preznit give me turkee's roid rage-fueled State of the Union Address, which tied with the WWF WWE at #8 in the ratings (lower than even Fox News's post-game analysis of the selfsame address, in at #4). A flaming but dapper loofa fares better than the President of the good ole US of A? I'm laughing and crying at the same time, and I don't think it's because of all this weed....

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1. Exhibit A, Exhibit B. Seriously, just try navigating through site B when you're sober.
2. N.B.: Don't confuse old-skool Strawberry Shortcake with the relaunched and quite modest SScake 2003, who's clad in the hippest threads from 1994.

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