Dennis Finocchiaro is the author of a few novels and loves everything 80s.
“Everything I needed to learn about being a good person I learned from 80s cartoons.”
“Really,” she responded with obvious dubiousness, one eyebrow raised and a sly grin on her face.
“Sure. G.I. Joe taught me to resolve my arguments with peace. And not to talk to strangers. And any other number of lessons. They had public service announcements after each episode. I learned from Slimer and the Ninja Turtles, Mickey Mouse and everyone else to say no to drugs thanks to Cartoon All Stars to the Rescue. I learned to treat my family right and to be good to people in general thanks to the television shows I watched.”
“Of course! They were the kindest most congenial beings ever created. I can’t even watch them now…they’re so pure. It makes me sick.”
She laughed. “Okay what about He-Man? What could you possibly learn from him?”
“Are you kidding? Orko always caused some sort of trouble that I learned from. Don’t eavesdrop, don’t meddle, etc. That show had lessons after it just like G.I. Joe.”
“Okay, what about your precious Transformers? What could you possibly learn from them?”
“Seriously? They taught me the importance of doing the right thing, being a good guy instead of a Decepticon. Come on. Optimus Prime showed wisdom in every choice he made. I learned what a great leader possesses.”
She shook her head. “You’re ridiculous. Bugs Bunny?”
“That wasn’t 1980s, although I did watch it.”
“So what did you learn?”
“Not to fuck with a road runner? I dunno. That technically was the 70s and doesn’t count. The 80s were all about purity. Learning lessons. Being a good person. If I didn’t know better, I would think Humanists were running children’s programming.”
“Snorks? Centurions? Biskits? Shirt Tales?”
“Are you kidding me? You have got to be kidding. Snorks were practically an offshoot of Smurfs. Same comments apply. And the others? Trust me, every 80s cartoon was about teaching kids right from wrong.”
She looked at me across the table with pure seriousness.
“So you’re saying you don’t think kids need to go to church, so long as they watch 80s cartoons?”