Hello all. First, I have a new article up at Cracked, 5 Works of Art That Can Probably Kill You. Read it. If you like it, give it a digg or just print it out and snuggle with it at night. Now, more importantly, there’s a GI Joe movie coming out soon and I wanted to talk about some of the implications.
For any young boy coming of age in the late 1980s there was one primary source for both patriotic fervor and unmitigated violence, and that was G.I. Joe.
Yes, there was nothing quite like the Joes to inspire a love for one’s nation, instill a strong moral compass, or sometimes just provoke a small and ineffective, but passionate boyhood fistfight over who gets be Snake Eyes this round. Maybe G.I. Joe wasn’t everybody’s favorite cartoon, but to those whom it was, there was a passion bordering on psychosis. It truly became something you aspired towards, as though the real American army was filled with soldiers who, though they couldn’t shoot a rifle or do a push-up to save their lives, nevertheless had some obscure specialty that made them invaluable. G.I. Joe told you that you may be a loser everywhere else in life, but dammit son, if you can climb a tree really well you too can be a hero (see: Muskrat.) By virtue of this implied promise, G.I. Joe won over the hearts and minds of many fat, asthmatic, or myopic kids so completely that it was more akin to stalking than fandom. For example, my first childhood crush was on Scarlett:
That’s right. I am not ashamed to admit to that or, perhaps more accurately, I am not nearly ashamed enough.
At age nine I thought this overspecialization was almost as awesome as light up shoes, and probably even more awesome than my Huffy Motorcycle Bike. Now, looking back, I realize how ridiculous it became.
Before the cartoon, there was only one G.I. Joe. That was his fucking name. His first name was G.I., his last name was Joe and his middle name was fuck you for asking, commie. He was one guy, and he was out there to swim the vast greatness of that puddle in your backyard, traverse the lonely tundra of your picnic table, climb the mammoth peaks of your dog, and shoot the god damn bad guy who, due to a slight oversight by Hasbro did not have a toy yet, and was thus relegated to whatever you had in front of you at the time. Sometimes he was a Ken doll. More often he was just your sister.
Being one guy, you only had to buy one toy. They got your popsicle-sticky five dollar allowance, and that was that: Good day sir, you are now an American citizen. This…well, this didn’t make them a whole lot of money, and Hasbro was stuck. Ah, but now imagine what would happen if G.I. Joe was horrendously incompetent, perhaps due to severe autism, and could only do one thing per person, but do that one thing ridiculously well?
Well, you’d have to buy literally millions of toys, wouldn’t you?
What if you needed to fight in water? You’d need Deep Six, the diving Joe. Put out a fire? That’s Barbecue’s job, clearly. But what if you needed to collect a small fee, in exchange for use of a bridge? Well, that’s obviously…
I’m not fucking kidding. He came equipped with a hat. That was about it. He made appearances in such famous episodes as “Captives of Cobra,” whose title implied that he was obviously captured by Cobra, presumably because they didn’t want to pay the two bucks fifty to use the turnpike.
Well, what if Kevin Bacon’s not available and you need to free a small midwest town from the oppressive clutches of a minister who (that son of a bitch,) won’t let those freewheeling kids dance? Well, you’re entering the spunky terrain of…
Hey, Jack. Get Back. C’mon… before we crack. Seriously guys, this is Footloose. He came equipped with Sunday Shoes, which you could, of course, kick off whenever you wanted. Footloose is a a fine example of what we will soon see is a common affliction: The G.I. Joe West-Village Homosexual Stereotype Mustache. He appeared in such episodes as, uh… “Captives of Cobra.” Jesus, Joes, did you try say, I don’t know, just running?
Well, what if you need a quick, sloppy blowjob in the alley behind Spartacus on a Tuesday night and you don’t have the five dollars that the male prostitute on the corner with sores on his mouth requires? Step back, boys, this is a job for…
If, to turn the tides of terror and misery that war brings to the doorsteps of man, you for some reason require a homosexual dominatrix, Gung-Ho is your man. He came equipped with a green leather biker’s cap and a denim vest! Ha ha, really! He appeared in such episodes as…keep in mind that I’m not making these up…”The Gamesmaster,” “Into Your Tent,” and “Let’s Play Soldier!” These are real, honest to god episode titles starring Gung-Ho! I’m sorry if this is getting homophobic, but seriously, does anybody else remember their childhood being this gay? I genuinely don’t mean to be disrespectful to homosexuals, but these were my heroes when I was a kid and all of a sudden I feel like I might need to belt out some Kylie Minogue and drink a Mimosa.
You know, maybe it’s just me. My mind is always in the gutter, after all, and I’m probably just reading into things that aren’t really there…
Hahaha! Well! Okay then. Way to go…”Snowjob.” Way to keep it under the table, so to speak. He came equipped with lube, I’d imagine, and probably the pride that can only come from being yourself and not being ashamed of it. He appeared in such episodes as, once more I remind you these are real, “Cold Slither,” “Spell of the Siren,” and, did you guess it? “Into Your Tent.” Ah! I see! So that’s who was in there with Gung-Ho. How lovely! It was a romantic episode.
This is beginning to worry me a bit. I reminisce fondly on those long, golden childhood days spent playing with Gung-Ho, Footloose, and Snowjob, who now sound more like the forum names of aging johns perusing the Casual Hookups board over at http://www.i’myourboymeat.com for a cheap Saturday night’s entertainment.
I was going to touch on He-man next week, but…
You know what? I just typed that last sentence out and re-read it and I think I need to call my parents now and have a little talk about self discovery.