The Death of Childhood

October 29, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Arcturus

Life was so simple when I was a kid. You did what your parents told you. You went to school every day and did what the teachers told you. You watched the same programs on TV every week and you and your friends saw and worshipped the same movies. (If you were like me, you wanted to be Mr. T when you grew up, even though you were white and scrawny.) Simple times populated by simple heroes who had only to kick ass and look cool doing it. It used to be that I could look back on my childhood and take comfort from those times. That was until the entertainment industry decided to cash in on my childhood memories, completely fucking everything up in the process. Thanks assholes, thanks a lot.

Dead Hero #1: The Duke Boys.

Man, when I was a kid, one of the coolest shows on the planet was The Dukes of Hazzard. Bo and Luke were two arrow-shooting, hunting knife toting sons of bitches with the sweetest ride in the South. And no, I'm not talking about cousin Daisy, although we'll get to that. I refer of course to the General Lee, the coolest car ever to grace the small screen. Every week, my little brother and I would eagerly tune in for the latest adventure. Oh sure, most of the plots were the same lame storyline about criminals robbing the bank or a kidnapping plot or some foolishness. Who gives a shit though, when you've got bad-ass driving, car crashes galore, explosive arrow shooting, and Catherine Bach in the shortest shorts God himself ever crafted from denim.

Cut to 2005. All of a sudden the guy from Jackass is Luke Duke? What the fuck, man? I watched this for free and I still feel like I should have gotten some sort of monetary compensation back. My childhood heroes were reduced to sleazy redneck stereotypes before my eyes and the plot of this movie was even more ludicrous than many of the craziest episodes, even the shitty ones with Coy and Vance. Now granted, the TV show Dukes were hicks, but they were cool hicks. Robin Hood-esque hicks. And I may be insulting the current generation when I say that Jessica Simpson is not nor ever will be Daisy Duke. Catherine Bach is a girl next door goddess. Jessica Simpson is a vapid Jon Mayer/Tony Romo/Nick Lachay fucking dimwit with nice legs. And watching Willie Nelson leer at her while portraying her uncle gave me the willies. Now I think of the mighty General and cringe. Thanks for that assbags.

Dead Hero #2: Indiana Jones

When I was a kid, Indiana Jones was The Man, especially for a little bookworm goober like myself. He was the smart kid grown up into a rough and tumble stubbly adventurer. He used his brain to solve ancient mysteries and his brawn and bullwhip to keep those mysteries from evil hands. In many ways, Indy was the ultimate role model. When he wasn't battling Nazis or the Thuggee for control of forgotten relics, he was being swooned over by lusty college coeds taking his history class. The Indiana Jones movies made history fun.

Cut to 2008. Indiana Jones is back. A little grayer to be sure, but he looked pretty good. Decent beginning to the movie. Then all fucking hell broke loose. Indy gets blown up in a nuclear explosion, which he survives by hiding in a refrigerator. Now okay, the previous movies required some suspension of disbelief as well. The Holy Grail, the Lost Ark, etc. But these are at least Biblical and some say historical artifacts. I'm with you there. Even the crystal skulls are real mysterious objects. But sweet Holy Jebus, Shia LaBeouf is Indy's kid? Fuck you Mr. Lucas and fuck you Mr. Speilberg. Did you pick that part of the story out of a writer's guide to lame plot points? I'll even deal with the alien bullshit, but come on.

Dead Heroes #3: Star Wars

Okay, I'll admit it. If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a big nerd. I loved Star Wars. Star Wars was the biggest thing when I was a kid. everybody had the toys, the bed sheets, the T-shirts, the plastic lightsabers, you name it. And every geek since then was obsessed with learning how the story began. How did the Empire come to power? How did Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader? Blah blah blah. But I was one of them, man.

When Episode I came out, my dick was as hard as carbonite. Then I saw the movie. Letdown isn't the word. Oh sure, the movie had moments. Darth Maul was pretty fucking cool. Ewan MacGregor channels Alec Guiness in the role of Obi Wan. And Natalie Portman is a complete babe. But that's about it. And that's all that you get for the next two movies as well. Turns out that Anakin is a bigger whiny pussy than his son and he doesn't have badass Han Solo to balance things out. Not to mention all the plot inconsistencies between the prequels and the original trilogy that could have been avoided if, oh shit, I don't know, someone had actually bothered to watch the films or read the scripts before making the new movies. How fucking hard is that? They'd only been around twenty fucking years or so. And Jar-Jar? Oh, George Lucas, what kind of crack were you on when you conceived that abortion of a character? Because I want some. You owe me motherfucker. You owe all of us who bought into this shit as kids, only to see it turn into this political talking nightmare with the worst fucking love story ever. And the end of Episode III is the worst Frankenstein parody I've ever seen, when Darth Vader learns Padme is dead. You took the scariest, evilest, most mysterious villain in film and turned him into a pantywaist. Thanks for that.

There's more evil afoot as well. Currently, NBC has rehashed Knight Rider yet again. I won't even go into Transformers because one mention of Shia LaBeouf is painful enough, thank you. Other franchises from my childhood and yours will be sure to follow as Hollywood continues to run the recycle machine, determined to tarnish all my playground dreams. What's next though? How about an updated A-Team where BA is a misunderstood lesbian? I pity the fools who have to suffer through that.

Don't Fuck With Mr. T's Legacy, Fool!