Batman in Retrospect…

Now, I don’t know how many people remember the show or even watched it, but for me, every weekday after school, life began at 4 and ended promptly at 4:30. “Batman :The Animated Series” on Cartoon Network was one of the bright spots in an otherwise dull suburban existence. See, I was raised by strict parents (who now every time we go out for dinner, ask if I want a beer with my meal… I mean, sure I’m of age, but it still seems weird) We had all sorts of rules; no chewing gum because people who did it were tacky, no swearing because people who swear are uneducated, and perhaps most crushing of all, no more than 30 minutes of TV time.

That may sound harsh to some or just plain ridiculous to others. let me be clear, I in no way rely on TV for some sense of emotional and spiritual fulfillment. But when you’re raised in Wyoming, Ohio there isn’t a whole lot going on. Factor in that I was too young to drive and you’ve got yourself one hell of a problem. So it all made sense that Batman would come to mean this much to me, it was pretty much my only chance at escape.

Still, there’s no accounting for why it means as much as it does to me now. Well, I’m sure if I went into a therapy-induced rant, I could find a reason and probably blame it on my parents… but I’m willing to accept the fact that I’m still just a huge comic nerd, so you should too. But as is the case with most children-oriented programs or movies, as time marches on, the cracks begin to show.

First and foremost is this whole issue of the time… I mean, the whole thing is styled in art deco so that would suggest that it’s supposed to take time around the time that Bob Kane (the creator of Batman) first began the comics. The fact that whenever Batman is watching the news, they make it a point to be in black and white further supports this. Then there’s this whole issue of Batman having a computer. I understand the concept of suspension of disbelief, but when so much effort is put into making it look authentic and antique, just tossing in a computer is one of those things that just makes you go “huh?”

Still, perhaps more alarming are the meanings that these TV shows and movies, that used to be a symbol of our own innocence, take on as we get older. You could easily just attribute it to my sick mind, which probably has something to do with it, but there are just some things… One episode that even freaked me out when I was little was about a guy who steals an invisibility suit so that he can be with his daughter. His ex-wife doesn’t want this little girl to have anything to do with her father and it’s never really explained why. But then he sneaks into her bedroom one night and gives her a pearl necklace and it’s easy to see why his ex wants him out of her life. I mean, sure the term pearl necklace has taken on a new meaning (seriously, if you don’t know what it is, go to urbandictionary.com and search for it) but even the creeping in through her window thing is creepy.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me and how time has warped my mind, but I mean, the anachronisms are obvious. You can’t even really make an argument against that. I get that bruce Wayne is supposed to have the best that money can buy, but that doesn’t mean he has technology from the future. More disturbing is what MY mind has turned into and how that can mess up what should be an innocent viewing of childhood nostalgia. Still, can’t deny it’s there.

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