A Post-September-11 Reaction to G1 Cartoon

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by 80Datsun210, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. 80Datsun210

    80Datsun210 Well-Known Member

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    I thought I'd share a "journal" entry I wrote earlier this summer (as I was eagerly awaiting release of the new film!). Until I started watching the trailers for this new movie, I really had had nothing to do with Transformers for 20 years. Next to Legos, they were my favorite toy in the mid-'80s and I loved the cartoon series. I remember coming home after school (5th/6th grade-ish), lying on the family room floor in front of the TV with a snack, and watching "Transformers." I even dressed as a Transformer for Halloween one year (Hound). Then I drifted away from it all, and like I said, only recently came back. In anticipation of the new live-action film, I decided to rent all the old G1 cartoon shows and revisit my childhood... Sorry if it's "too long," but hey--I'm a writer. :p 

    (Originally written June 19, 2007)
    I've been re-watching the old Transformers cartoons, now on DVD. I'm into the second season (doesn't take all that long, each show is only about half an hour). I've been enjoying this nostalgia trip and laughing at the dated-ness of some of it, and getting excited about seeing the Transformers transform for real in the upcoming movie (2 weeks!). I got out my old toys and looked at them and laughed at the Decepticons that are tapes, 'cuz like no one uses tapes anymore. One episode had a laser disk in it, another episode had one of the old-school large-format floppy disks, like what we used in the Osborne [my family's first computer, 1982). A couple times we see people hook up to the "internet" by placing the phone handset in an old-school modem cradle. I remember my dad had such a thing in the early-to-mid-'80s. You'd pick up the phone in another part of the house and hear this horrible electronic screeching, then Dad would yell that you'd messed up his connection. That's high tech! :lol 

    It kinda surprises me that the Decepticons never go after a nuclear power plant, they're always attacking things like hydro-power stations and oil rigs to get energy, or coming up with elaborate and doomed-to-fail ideas for generating power, either with their own technology or taking advantage of "advanced" (sci-fi) earthling technology. I wonder if it was because, in the mid-'80s, nuclear power was too real a potential threat and the script writers and/or producers wanted to stay away from that can of worms.

    Now I was just watching the episode "City of Steel." It's set in New York. We know this because the cartoon shows the cityscape, with the Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, the twin World Trade Center towers, and the Statue of Liberty clearly identifiable. I get a chill seeing those twin towers, any time I see a pre-9/11 image of New York. Iconic, of course. That was always how you knew you were looking at New York, if it wasn't the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, it had to be the twin towers of the WTC. The story moves on... The Decepticons are doing something underneath the city to undermine buildings. From above, we see the Empire State Building sinking down into the ground.

    I had to stop. I could feel my heart beating and a sick sensation in my stomach. The parallels between that and watching the second tower of the World Trade Center sink into oblivion were too much. I saw that happen on live television. Who could ever have imagined, in 1985 or whenever that cartoon was made, that we'd see such horror for real. In the cartoon, people on the street were looking on in horror, pointing, and yelling "The Empire State Building is sinking!" But no one ever actually gets killed in the cartoon. Even when something blows up or the Decepticons fire at the humans, we always see them get away. So there are the Decepticons, wreaking havoc in New York by causing buildings to fall down—sink straight down, not topple over or explode— and the Autobots will come in and save the day and help rebuild New York. Then 15 years later, it happens for real, killing thousands and leaving a huge mess (one small part of me thought, as the cartoon building collapsed, "There would be more dust."). I had a stomach ache for weeks after that, and I didn't even know anyone directly involved.

    We're watching the cartoon in 1985 or whenever it was, thinking, "Oh yeah, right, a skyscraper is going to go straight down like that." Or maybe we weren't thinking that, just watching the cartoon (honestly I don't remember what my reaction was, if any, when I saw it back then). But it's all science fiction and we know it's not real. Sometimes it's downright silly. Yet every now and then, some off-hand fiction may end up coming true down the line, and when it's something as awesome and awful as a skyscraper collapsing, it can really hit you (no pun intended). I had to take a break from the cartoon before I could go back to it and the fictionalized destruction in New York.
     
  2. Katamari Prime

    Katamari Prime Hassan Chop! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hmmm, that might be something else that could hold up the G1 release, becasue if you felt that way due to that image, others probably would too.
     
  3. Spoiler

    Spoiler Autobot Spoiler

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    I have a feeling that this whole topic is gonna open a can of worms.

    But let me have my take at this. Now I saw all the incidents from the TV at my school at the time of 9-11. Now, I didn't lose anyone first hand to this. So I don't know how it is to them...

    Now what I am about to say isn't aiming to be an insult, sense of indecency, or in any means intentions to make it sound like I am heartless.

    There are many things that have been done both before and after the incidents of 9-11, that may seem similar in ways or not anywhat similar, but merely shows them. From the music video from Disturbed-Prayer, talking about falling building chunks, a scene from Cowboy Bebop where a bomber blows up a connecting bridge between buildings that seem similar, Bicentennial Man(Robin Williams) where you see the twin towers in the backround twice the size they were, in the future. Taking out the helicopter robbery scene in Spiderman(you would have to see the first teaser trailer). To the 2 movies they made...hell, everytime I watch United 93, it reminds me of the stuff back from 9-11, and it does hurt.

    Sure this is a very sensative subject. But some people look at this and say that they are intentionally referencing back to the attacks...but I can guarentee they are not. Even stuff before hand...obviously not intentional.

    As I stated I am not trying to sound heartless, I am just stating that people need to look at this as unintentional actions, not that they are doing it so you will look at it and say "Hey remove that from movies, or shows".

    It is tough times for everyone for the past 6 years. We all hurt from it in one way shape or another, and we will likely continue to hurt.
     
  4. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    It's a natural effect of any given media as it ages. Specifics of events aside, it's very likely that 20 years from now, a modern and beloved show will be something inadvertantly tied far too close to another globally-recognized tragedy or unjustice.

    Will only recommend that one look back on older stories and media through the looking glass of that era, as the passage of time will almost always taint -something- once enjoyed.
     
  5. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    I agree. This, I think, is the best - and kindest - possible way to look at shows that might accidentially trigger harsh memories (like, for example, the Trade Center's collapse.) Add to that the fact that Transformers is a pretty light-hearted cartoon as it is; the inadvertently tear-jerking scenes hurt, (I understand where you're coming from,) but they are also a beautiful, well-painted and nicely-illustrated cartoon picture of our past.
     
  6. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Maybe 9/11 did affect me has much as others, but I never think about 9/11 when watching 'City of Steel'. Besides the Empire State Building sinking(not collapsing like the towers did) into the ground, the stories really have nothing in common.
     
  7. 80Datsun210

    80Datsun210 Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I wasn't complaining or saying I'm not watching Transformers anymore because of that! It was a gut reaction which I found interesting (it caught me off guard). I was pondering it. Plus, I had completely forgotten that episode.

    Some people saw the collapse of Barad-Dûr at the end of "Return of the King" as reminiscent of the collapse of the WTC and were upset by it, especially considering that ROTK came out well after 9/11. I'm not one of those people, I never saw a similarity. Of course the 1985 show could not possibly reference something that happened in 2001, but I sometimes imagine conversations between my now-self and my then-self, going back in time to 1985 and saying "Oh man, just wait...!" (Good and bad: The 9/11 thing, and "In 2007 they're going to coming out with this amazing Transformers movie, using technology you can't even imagine in 1985...!")
     
  8. seeker311

    seeker311 The Collector

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    Thought the events of that day were horrible for many reasons, I feel that our own people used it to exploit it. How many times did we hear, "oh do the american thing and spend!". I dont think companies should refrain from showing old shows that still have the towers, because just like loved ones that have passed away, we should look at the towers and remember the good times.
     
  9. Razorclaw

    Razorclaw Are ya gonna draw pistols

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    Well, traumatic experiences can be a real pain (pun intended). But I don't see a reason why I should stop watching something that reminds of something bad. You have to move on, accept that bad things happen and live with it.

    I live in Serbia, we were bombed for 78 days in 1999, although NATO officials said they were bombing military targets, people died in my city when they dropped bombs on the main hospital complex, a market place, several residental areas and an aquaduct hub. My mother was at the market when they dropped bombs, and my brother was with his friend when NATO dropped bombs on a Sveti Sava park area, cluster bombs fell 150 feet from him and his friend. He was lucky they malfunctioned or he would have been dead. That happened on St. Vasiliy's day, we're celebrating it ever since.
    I still get shivers when I hear an air-raid sirene, and hear a low passing jet. It isn't easy when I see planes dropping bombs on TV. But I don't flip out like some people do. That isn't sane, that's patological. Shrink should look into that.
     
  10. Abrogate

    Abrogate Nondescript Former Poster

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    Carbombya forever.
     
  11. Don_East

    Don_East Wants TFA Seeker Toys

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    Not really that much of a effect on the G1 cartoon. I mean the only we see the WTC in City Of Steel was at the beginning pan shot before Laserbeak appeared. I mean 9/11 was a tradegy but I think it shouldn't get the best of us. We to be strong and work for a better future.

    I always of this quote from MTMTE whenever I think of stuff like that.

    "We must have courage, Huffer. We can't ignore the danger, we must conquer it."- Optimus Prime
     
  12. Fairlady_Z

    Fairlady_Z Official Voice of Flareup

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    Well said quote, Don.

    I do admit I felt an eerie sadness the first time I rewatched City of Steel and saw the unintentional parallel, but as many have said, it's all retrospective so I don't let it bother me. Rewatching/reading old TMNT eps or comics that were set in NYC can conjure up much worse, believe me. (Trust me you really don't what to know what Baxter Stockman was originally going to do with those mousers in the comic, that gave me a true visions of 9/11 retrospective shock).
     
  13. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Alot has happened in world since 1985 give them a break.,Anyone remembers "I take thee Quagmire" Peter gave Quagmire the foot of the Statue of Liberty for his foot fetish and no one gave crap about that,and yet,you give crap about transformers and yet Family Guy did it,I like family Guy but that's my two cents.
     
  14. Sector Seven

    Sector Seven ∞ GΣΣK™

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    Have you actually read this topic? It doesn't seem like it.

    I don't think a sentiment could have been expressed more eloquently than that in this thread. Thank you, well said, +1, and QFT. :) 
     
  15. 80Datsun210

    80Datsun210 Well-Known Member

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    Dude, no one's giving crap. It's called introspection and discussion.

    I like the Optimus Prime quote.
     
  16. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    I have seen many a movie and tv show that have the twin towers proudly displayed and it makes me sad, but that being said, I never want to forget about the tragic happenings of that day because it always makes me want to hug my kids and wife just a little bit tighter when I see them.

    Thank you for sharing you journal entry.
     
  17. SamiWCP

    SamiWCP Guest

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    You can of course see some form of parallel type thing to that..Or, go one step further, and watch the pilot of The Lone Gunmen, and see a story from the summer of 2001 where terrorist decide to use a plane and crash it into the WTC..But are stopped litterally at the last second as the plane pulls past it, narrowly avoiding the tower..

    I do get that eerie feeling everytime some movie has them still, because every NYC movie would show that shot, and there they stood..I still love Spike Lee's tribute to it at the beginning of 25th Hour, or how the show Rescue Me handles a lot of it.

    Those who forget the past, are doomed to repeat it indeed. That feeling you get in your stomach when you see it shouldn't ever go away.
     
  18. Lady_Prime

    Lady_Prime Prime's Leading Lady

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    The weekend before 9/11 in Sacramento, CA...a security guard named Joe Ferguson went on a killing rampage..killing our friends Nick, Marsha and Nina..I was stuck down in my landlord's apartment hiding out from Joe (he had the book of addresses where all supervisors lived) while my husband (Barricade643 here on the board) was busy trying to protect his people at his site. Joe stole Nick's car after putting a bullet through Nick's head and kidnapped his wife, finally releasing her into my husband's custody. My husband was on the phone with his supervior with updates and never left his site...knowing that Joe could come there and shoot him...

    My memories of 9/11 are very vivid to this day. Marsha, one of our best friends in the whole world, was pumped with 75 rounds because she couldn't "run fast enough" (Joe's words on a recording). After Joe eventually killed himself, the nightmare wasn't finished..we all had to bury Nick that next Saturday in Citrus Heights..all of our friends were there..and to this day, I can never forget what happened.

    I pray that none of you ever go through what Daryl and I went through in that weekend before 9/11...

    Heather
     
  19. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Well fuck...now I really need a drink. Come on 5 o' clock time to go home!
     
  20. PrimulArchangel

    PrimulArchangel Well-Known Member

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    This reminds me of the Comic Book story that i see a while back where someone on on ebay was selling a comic that predicted 9/11.. wait let me see if i can find anything about it .............

    OK back this is what i found on a quick search http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/permalink/transformers_911/

    Just reading through this thread made me remember about that comic book .
    Thats a little more erie i think seeing rodimus prime strung up between the two destroyed trade center buildings.
     

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