The entire time I was growing up, I heard tales of how Saturday morning cartoons were the instruments of Satan to warp young minds into a worship of the occult and practice of witchcraft. People like this guy told us that everything from He-Man to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were really part of a global conspiracy to enslave the nation’s children in between ads for breakfast cereal. Sneaky.
Of course, the real problem with these claims of satanic subterfuge is that the vast majority of a generation of cartoon watchers eventually grew up into more or less responsible adults who were curiously non-satanic. One would think that if Old Nick was afoot in our subconscious there would be a whole lot more ritual sacrifice, demon possession, and general witch-like cackling going on. Heck, to hear some folks talk, by this time you’d expect a pentagram to have replaced the stars on the American Flag. A quick look around, however, shows that instead of the really cool sins we were promised, it’s pretty much just the same old lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and pride of life that we’ve always seen.
But maybe the conspiracy theorists will be proven right after all. Perhaps our entire society is composed of sleeper agents who harbor dormant demons unaware and some fateful day when a yet unwritten Miley Cyrus song plays on the radio, a veritable Satanic army of cartoon watchers will spring to life, wreaking havoc, sacrificing small animals, and possibly even bringing back disco. The word “nightmare” doesn’t begin to cover it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go deal with my daughter who has been watching Scooby Doo all morning and is now levitating our cat.
Update: Jordan Poss has provided me with some excerpts from the book Turmoil in the Toybox (PDF 4MB) by Phil Phillips which describes some of the various cartoons and toys are of the devil.