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Man or Pokemon?

(Transcribed from journal entry dated Jan 2, 2000)

By Wil Forbis

I got on the AM-TRAK train to L.A. after spending a rather debauched and drug addled New Years (Y2K) with my old chum, Conrad Keely. Upon finding my seat, I immediately got myself a scotch and Orange Juice from the train snack bar/pub. I then returned to my perch, ready to turn up my newly purchased copy of WhiteSnake's "Ready and Willing". However, just as I was about to settle into the unique bliss created by combining alcohol and 70's rock, a youngster to the left of me started in with a conversation about my least favorite subject: Pokemon.

What is with the youth of today? They've become completely enraptured with these beastly creatures, these "pocket monsters." There's only one word I can think of to describe Pokemon: Gay! They are gay, gay, gay! In fact, Pokemon make Liberace look like Charles Bronson.

In my day, we certainly couldn't be charmed by a bunch of mousy, squeaky voiced japanimations that looked like someone crossbred the McDonalds Fry Guys with the ghosts from Pac-Man. We had manly toys like the Kenner Stars Wars figures and Hasbro's excellent G.I. Joe series (I'm talking of the eighties G.I. Joe team, not the sixties solo adventurer of the same name.) Our toys were about one thing: killing - and they meted out violence and destruction without a second thought, acting as perfect metaphors for the final decade of the cold war.

The difference between toys of the 90's and toys of the 80's was aptly explained by one of the characters in the animated fest, "Toy Story:" There are dolls and then there are action figures. Those of us who survived the eighties were raised on action figures, a pointedly superior breed from dolls. The distinction can be tenuous, I admit, but a learned eye can tell the difference. Dolls are pacifist, they encourage tolerance, understanding and worst of all; education. Action figures are agents of chaos; they are the Shivas of the toy world. A doll has no place knocking over salt shakers in the middle of a pork chops and applesauce dinner, but any action figure that engages in such activity is perfectly within his element. Action figures get you kicked out of Catholic school, guarentee you a four year prescription to Ritalin, and annoy moms of all faiths and creeds. Dolls simply get your cheeks pinched at your cousin's wedding.

That's why I worry about today's generation. Their toys are fuzzy and warm - Tickle me Elmos, Beanie Babies and these atrocious Pokemon. Toys that offer no chance of putting your eye out or causing the family dog to despise you. Kids need toys that tell them about the real world - a world of alcoholic, babysitter-molesting daddies and Valium addicted, closet lesbian mommies. And more importantly, kids need toys that allow them to vent their feelings of confusion and frustration with the adult world by acting out through violence and aggression. It's the only healthy thing to do.

That's why my heart was warmed by the events of the next day. My Pokemon promoting seat-mate had ceased his bothersome blathering at me and had taken up with another Pikachu* aficionado a few seats away. Together they blissfully played their Satanic Pokemon card game till one accused the other of cheating. "Shut up!" was the other's response, but that simply caused a bop on the nose by his accusatory playmate. Suddenly they transformed into a name-calling, fist throwing, hair-pulling ball that rolled into the aisle and had to be forcibly separated by AM-TRAK employees.

"Kids," I thought to myself as a smile crossed my face. "They never change."

*Pikachus are the most evil of Pokemon.

Wil Forbis is a well known international playboy who lives a fast paced life attending chic parties, performing feats of derring-do and making love to the world's most beautiful women. Together with his partner, Scrotum-Boy, he is making the world safe for democracy. Email -

Visit Wil's web log, The Wil Forbis Blog, and receive complete enlightenment.