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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Wil's web log, The Wil Forbis Blog, and receive complete enlightenment.