The 80s were a golden age for cartoon antagonists. As proof, I submit that from thence came such figures as…
And who can forget…
And the reason they were great was this – they were allowed to do more than mildly inconvenience the protagonist. This is unlike modern times where, if a thirty-minute animated special doesn’t end with the good guys and slightly less good guys holding hands/paws/hooves and performing a musical number, it’s cited in court cases involving serial murder.
However, I have to acknowledge there is a singular problem with my everything-was-better-in-the-80s theory. There is a flaw in my logic of sufficient dimensions that a guitar-shaped motorcycle could be driven right through it.
I give you the Misfits, antagonists for the Jem television program, which ran from 1985 to 1988. Her – Jem’s – tagline is that “she’s truly outrageous.” As antagonists, the Misfits (a rival pop band) are not entitled to a tagline, but they should have one to the effect of “we’re truly incompetent.” But even with that said, my primary problem with the Misfits is not their stupidity – let us not forget that even the distinguished Shredder suffered from more than his share of intellectual shortcomings. No, my problem with the Misfits is the guitar-cycles, which appeared in exactly one episode, but for which I cannot forgive them.
To make my point, I’ve taken the liberty of making a comprehensive list of everything wrong with this picture.
3. Presumably, she’s riding it inside because, to hearken back to point one, she was unable to assert any directional preference and can now only hope she exits via window or the thin sheetrocked space between studs.
5a. What kind of guitar is this supposed to be? The Fender Crapocaster? A Gibson Les Poop? No – wait a minute. It looks like it’s made of plastic and costs way too much. It must be a Rickenbacker.
5b. Oh… wait… it has four strings. It’s a BASS guitar. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any less cool.
6. …Where’s the motor on this thing, anyway?
7. No place to put her feet. No kickstand. And based on the scale of this drawing, I’m assuming the Guitar-Cycle is about the size of a draft horse. I’m also guessing that the only way to get on is to run really fast alongside it and jump…while in your high heels. Likewise, dismounts are best done near municipal hospitals since they involve a six or seven foot fall.
8. The bad news is that there are no brakes. The good news is that, in the 80s, both sexes were expected to sport enough hair to serve as an impromptu parachute.
9. Headlight? Tail light? Turn signals? Admittedly, the last would be superfluous given the complete absence of a steering column, but it’s the principle of the thing.
Now I admit that perhaps my thesis should have been less along the lines that 80s villains were better and more along the lines of “Shredder does everything better,” which would make an awesome bumper sticker or presidential slogan. If nothing else, his ride puts Air Force One to shame.
In related news, I now know who I’m voting for in 2012.