Wednesday, January 14, 2009

why I love cartoons (plus an episode of my current favorite).

There are few things better in the universe of Pamplemousse than a well made animated comedy type show. It perhaps comes from a long lost time of my youth when my parents would drive into Edmonton from my childhood home town of Spruce Grove to attend an Amway meeting.

That's right. My parents, for some years, sold Amway door to door. It even took me to Disney Land as a 6 year old, since that is where the conference was.

On an interesting side note, my brother was conceived on that trip. This bit of family lore is more disturbing when you factor in that we only had one hotel room and it was shared with my grandmother, me, my 4 year old sister and my parents. I pray that the deed was done when the Amway youth coordinator took me and my sister away to do some kid related activity.

My parents were also on a born again christian kick at the time and that called for a trip to the crystal cathedral. As a result of that period of christianity, my brother's middle name is Graham after Billy Graham. This has absolutely nothing to do with my love of cartoons, but it does make for an interesting snap shot of my family history. For those of you keeping track, that is two cult like activites my parents engaged in.

To be honest, the whole Amway era is a bit of a blur. I was too young to be truly embarrassed by it. I do remember my mom and dad practising their sales technique, which I could tell my father hated doing. I suppose they wanted to be 'financially independant' which is just a nice way of saying filthy rich.

I don't talk about this period in the early 1980's with my parents. Perhaps I should, but I think that they are embarrassed by all the born again and money making ideals that probably didn't seem out of place in the era of shameless money making and wearing of polyester. It could have been worse. They could have developed an addiction to cocaine and key parties.

Anyway, my teevee watching was strictly controlled. I in no way am bitter of this fact. Though I currently love television and am having to force myself to watch it more sparingly, I firmly believe that a child should develop an imagination for her/himself before television completely destroys it.

Amway Saturdays were an exception. While on regular Saturdays I would not be allowed to sit and watch a morning's worth of animated ... well let's face it... crap (at that time anyway) like all my other friends, if Mom and Dad had an Amway meeting with other prospective yuppies, then it was off to home of the local Amway chieftain.

The chieftain's aging mother would watch over me and my sister. No one else had kids under 10, I guess. Or perhaps the other parents sprung for a babysitter.

The old lady would just sit there and smile. I remember her being nice. I remember that she eventually died and that I attended the funeral, which was my first.

I digress.

The real point was that instead of grade 1 homework (my mom always assigned me extra math problems on vacation and weekends in the form of work books. This I do harbour resentment for.), I instead took advantage of the old lady and my parents' being distracted by dreams and promises of easy wealth. I watched cartoons.

I don't remember which cartoons, but I remember that I watched them for the entire length of the meeting and that I loved them. Back then I loved adventure cartoons with super heros and such.

Later, as my french immersion progressed, I read bande déssinée which is just french for comic book. My mother was horrified (and continues to be) as in her mind cartoons offer nothing but pablum for the brain.

She is, of course, wrong. Much can be learnt from cartoons. Languages can be easily learnt through cartoons. At least the learning is faster than with grammar text books. I even had a comic book bible which provided me with a wealth of theological knowledge that is still trapped in my brain. How else could I remember bible stories having not attended a sermon since the age of 17 and still go head to head with crazed fundamentalist christians?

Cartoons offer an escape. Animation makes anything possible. Which is why I love them so.

This overly long post is all to introduce to those that have not seen it, my new favorite toon... Lucy Daughter of the Devil. I don't need to explain it... it does a fine job all on it's own.

Please enjoy,

1 comment:

french panic said...

Okay. I didn't know until just now that your lil bro was conceived on a family holiday. I DO know the story of your conception, and both stories make me wonder about your parents' sex life, which makes me uncomfortable.

I have also heard other conception stories, which makes me wonder about other people's sex lives in general: do most people have baby-making sex so infrequently that they are actually able to pinpoint the specific day and time? And WHY share that information with others? It just makes me feel very bad for people.

It also makes me REALLY not want to have babies because I suspect that once children are in the picture, you seriously do have to schedule sex and it really does happen so infrequently that one actually CAN pinpoint exact times. Creepy.

I am actually really struggling to figure out why people have children at all, what with the no sex, the endless body issues on the mom's part, the no sleep & increasingly haggardliness of most of the parents I know, and of course, having to watch someone go through adolescence. Torture.

Also, the next time I am at your parents' place, I am tearing that place apart to find this mythical comic bible. I want that thing. Badly.