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. (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! 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.