Sunday, August 13, 2006

8 Important Lessons Learned from '80s Cartoons

8 Important Lessons Learned from '80s Cartoons. Maybe this article is not history related but I think it is. What lessons did the cartoons from the '80s, (The Smurfs, G.I. Joe, He-Man, and The Transformers) teach children? Several cartoons seem to teach lessons which can be applied to history.

Here are a few:

CARTOON: The Smurfs, LESSON: Communism works! The 20th century showed repeatedly that communism is a miserable failure. It does not provide economic security for people and often results in famine due to mismanaged agriculture. Further, human rights such as religious freedom suffer. But hey, communism worked for the Smurfs! I wonder if this show was the genesis of the newest crop of American communists?

CARTOON: G.I. Joe, LESSON: Knowing is half the battle. Or, as the article notes, "Actually, we’re pretty certain that our strategy for the Iraq War was conceived after a two day long G.I. Joe marathon in the Pentagon. They just implicitly trusted that the good guys were going to win, that firing off our guns would make the bad guys run for the caves and that giving everyone cute nicknames was somehow endearing."

CARTOON: Transformers, LESSON: If we’re not careful, robots will kill us all. This is probably good advice for the future. Robots may yet be our doom.

I wonder what the current crop of cartoons are teaching children. As my sons watch TV, how are they being possibly indoctrinated? I note that the Teletubbies live in a totalitarian state...


elementaryhistoryteacher said...

Interesting. I never really thought about the Smurfs in that way.

I guess looking at it from a "message" point of view some could view SpongeBob and Patrick as having a very "special" kind of relationship.

teachmehistory said...

I love the smurfs!

Life in the 80's said...

Haha good post. I think that the most educating 80s programme was Fraggle Rock. Not that the fraggles themselves cared, but they actully had loads of good stuff in there about getting along. Check it out