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He Is a Master Baiter October 8, 2012

Posted by J. in Genius.
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Geoduck wants to know which is worse: My Little Pony or the Star Wars remastered special editions.

Geoduck is also baiting me.

I said I wouldn’t discuss My Little Pony, and yet, here we are. He’s waiting to see if I’ll take the bait. And he sweetened it by including Star Wars in the question. He’s dangling a big old worm out there for me.

Yeah, buddy. I see what you did there. I AM SO ONTO YOU.

But then last week I came out of the closet as a writer and talked about religion as well, so what the fuck. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say. What do I think is the greater abomination?

Well, the truth is, I don’t dislike the ponies much more than I dislike any other children’s programming. Now, I know what you’re thinking.

No, I haven’t gone over to the Dark Side. I see My Little Pony for what it is. It’s a children’s cartoon that puts stuff in that appeals to grownups. Bugs Bunny did it famously. Spongebob does it. The Animaniacs is another one that brought it to new heights.

That video clip right there? It’s a joke about fudge-knuckling a pop star. And I really should own the collector’s edition of all the Animaniacs ever made because that show was fucking awesome. I watched it as an adult all the time. If you say to me, “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?” I will come back with a reply.

But essentially, what makes a cartoon watchable as an adult is the annoyance factor. I have three kids and have spent a lot of time over the last 12 years listening to and watching children’s programming. There are shows I can hear or see that don’t bother me. Super Why is on right now and I barely notice it in the background. They’re asking questions and every now and again I can hear Dave play along and shout out the letters they’re asking for.

Now, you put the Fairly Oddparents on in the next room and my hackles go up. That is a collection of the most annoying voices on television, hands down. I hear Timmy Turner start to speak and it’s like nails on a chalkboard. I’m the same way with Dora the Explorer. WHY IS THAT CHILD ALWAYS SHOUTING AT ME? Kick it back a notch, chica. We’re not deaf. Not all of us.

The ponies has the same effect. Honestly, with the sound turned off, I don’t get stabby. It’s ponies. Weird-ass looking ponies, but I’ve seen worse. It’s the SOUND, man. I can’t take the voices, or the music. And if my kids wanted to watch it, if they kept the sound down, I don’t care. They’re children.

I do not understand Bronies.

I can’t understand how a grown person could subject themselves to that mindless crap for hours on end, on purpose. I guess I just don’t find it witty or clever, or the songs particularly engaging. And the voices. *shudders* Just awful.

Then again, my kids have discovered reruns of Full House and I’ve never understood the appeal of that show either but it ran for-fucking-ever. It’s painfully unfunny.

But I digress.


As usual.

Is My Little Pony a greater abomination than the remastered Star Wars special editions?

Oh, George Lucas. Let me tell you what I told a friend of mine years ago as he planned to do a back flip off of a 6 foot set piece: just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

I understand his frustration, honestly. It’s well-documented that when George made the original Star Wars he was limited by budget and technological constraints, and he always felt he could have done it better if he hadn’t had those kind of imposed limits on his creativity. I mean, I can see that. It sucks to have to work on the cheap, or to have an idea in your head and not be able to realize it because the way to make it happen hasn’t been invented yet.

Not for nothing, but those limits are what pushed him to and other filmmakers like him to grow and invent and create and take movie making places it had only imagined. And that is amazing.

But part of the charm of the original Star Wars in its original format was that there was a bit of cheesiness about it. It was reminiscent of the old Saturday afternoon movie serials. The effects were simple, but it let the story shine through. And as confined as he felt he was, he still managed to make a movie that was like nothing we’d ever seen. There’s a reason it was the top-grossing movie of all time for so long. Simply put, it was amazing.

When I watch Star Wars, Episode IV, A New Hope, I want to watch it in the original format.

But there are things I like about the enhanced version. Some of the effects, like the Death Star explosion are much cooler now. And I kind of like Mos Eisley fleshed out a bit. And honestly, I really prefer the ending of Return of the Jedi where they show the celebrations on all the distant worlds of the Empire with new music that’s not that stupid Ewok song. Though I’m not sure why Hayden Christiensen shows up at the end.  I mean, we see Old Yoda and Old Obi-Wan, but young Anakin.  Why? Old Anakin makes more sense. Seems like a cheap tie-in to the prequels.

Which, I hate to say it, sucked. The prequels were just bad movies. EXCEPT. Except for the last ten or so minutes of the third one, when Anakin becomes Darth Vader and he gets his helmet and you see the panic in his eyes. And seeing Luke and Leia go to their separate families and destinies. I got goosebumps. The rest of that horrid lead-up was worth it to get to that precious, well-done bit of screen time.

Goosebumps, man.

I like how they torture him when they’re getting him in his Vader suit. I mean, they can make a robot man, but they hadn’t invented the spinal block or even a good sedative? God is in the details, George. And how did he go from being average Haydn height to 7 feet tall in the original movies? And why?


Curiously enough, back in the day, I was obsessed by Star Wars. I can quote every line of dialogue from A New Hope verbatim, and most of the second two. I was the Star Wars equivalent of a Brony, I guess. I still am. I just watched YouTube clips of Star Wars all morning while I was writing this.

Of course, ponies are stupid and Star Wars kicks ass, even if George Lucas fucked around with it too much.

So I guess to answer Geoduck’s master baiting question, I think My Little Pony is the greater abomination, because at the end of the day, I have to force myself to watch even a clip of those god-forsaken ponies, but I will sit here and watch clips of both the original and remastered Star Wars trilogy all day if given a chance. And since the girls have gone to the fair today and it’s just me and Dave, and I have a lot of knitting to do, I might do just that.

Then again, I’m thinking it’s a good day to pop in the original letterbox version and let it wash over me.

Because movies formatted to fit a TV screen are an abomination. Letterbox format for life, man.



1. Boob - October 8, 2012

I love that I’ve known you for so long and so well that I get every reference (I know who flipped off the set piece)… AND I own the entire series of Animaniacs on DVD! Love you!

2. pinkynotbrain - October 8, 2012

I will amaze you with my knowledge and astound you with the connection between 2 of the cartoons on your loathed list: Fairly Odd Parents and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Both star voice actress Tara Strong, as Timmy Turner and as Twilight Sparkle.


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