When I was five, I got to meet the Ninja Turtles on the forth of July.
I was thoroughly confused when I noticed that Donatello (my favorite) was carrying what looked like a hunk of PVC pipe instead of his wooden bo staff. I got the distinct impression that these weren't REALLY the Ninja Turtles at all. That, and that their lumbering, felt-covered forms lacked the ninja-like fluidity that I had come to expect. I was glad they were trying, but I remember thinking that if we were to get attacked by the foot clan, these guys wouldn't be much help at all.
A year later, I met McGruff, the crime dog.
Once again, I was forced into a position to doubt his crime-fighting ability. He was way too soft to beat up any bad guys. And he kept pointing at everybody, as if he expected us to do his job for him.
I think that it was these incidents that made me first begin to doubt authority figures in general. The Turtles and McGruff were the most prominent crime fighters of the time, and I had the distinct impression that even I could kick their asses. Granted, McGruff tended to fight abstract concepts like "peer pressure" more than he fought actual bad guys, but still.
Why bring this up? Mostly because I was looking through some old pictures and I thought that these were funny. There were some others: Age ten, playing the violin and scowling with my tongue out and my eyes crossed (my usual expression when being forced to play the violin), me as a baby "reading" a Shakespeare anthology as big as I was, etc., but these really got me thinking about how my generation was raised by anthropomorphic crime fighters. Maybe that's why they have to taze us these days - when we see cops, military, etc., at least part of us is thinking about big, clumsy, felt-monsters, the least intimidating things in the world. How can we help but rebel against authority, when the symbols of authority are so damn goofy?
Man, I must be in a weird mood today. Ah well.
"After being with a peace-punk in black,
We're definite that you're never turning back!
I love hardcore boys,
I love boys, hardcore!"
-"I Love Hardcore Boys" by Limp Wrist