Lessons from a Cartoon’s Life

Bored Bob is a cartoon character I created when I was 6 minutes old.  After I was done with the mandatory post birth crying indicating I was alive, I signaled my mother to bring me a paper and started drawing Bob.  Bored Bob’s character spans the life of a face (he doesn’t have a body because I never got to that out of sheer lack of the urge to make it.)   Why it is important that Bob is a cartoon is because being a cartoon he is just observing the people around the world, he is not biased. Since he is not human, he offers the most neutral opinion on how human beings conduct themselves.

Why I drew Bob is a question I can’t answer, since I fail to find the answer even after an extensive google search.

All I know is that Bob was inspired out of boredom and the feeling of being unamused by almost everything in the world. Bob is pessimistic since he wants human beings to think about the downside of being in a certain situation. He expects you to think about the negatives before the positives. Having said that, Bob is a practical individual too, since through his pessimism he is constantly trying to improve. It’s efficient pessimism, in other words. Or is that called being a realist?  He wants you to not find a silver lining always. Bob feels that boredom can lead to great things. Take for instance, the case of a glass that is half filled with water, or empty. Compare this to the entire volume of water that the earth has inside it today. If we keep thinking that the glass is half full and are satisfied by that thought, we will never be able to look at the problem of there soon being a dearth in the water supply. Hence, Bob’s practicality is established.

If you are still not convinced, think about it, if you are always happy and moderately satisfied with your life, how will you be able to drive change? You will continue to be in a very comfortable bubble and keep doing the same things till you die. It is only when you feel bored that you think about other possibilities and other great things you can do with your life. Bob does not encourage pessimism to the extent that there is no coming back from it, he just urges you to think if you are amused or excited about anything, often enough to keep you going.

Bored Bob was very happy being in his mother’s womb, but now suddenly, he was out in this cruel world. A world in which people chase useless things. Someone is running after money, some people are running after getting themselves degrees to hang on their walls. Some our building resume’s so that they get a higher paying job which is equally un-interesting. Worse, some are just fulfilling their parent’s expectations because they are too chicken to follow their passion, which they don’t even know exists. They think it is okay to do drab work and have a few hobby’s on the side. Little do they know that maybe those hobbies could be what could fuel a brilliant life. So, finding a silver lining everywhere will lead you no where.

“If you expect the worst, you’ll never be disappointed.” is  a quote by Sarah Dessen and it couldn’t be truer.

Bored Bob knew what kind of a world he had entered into. He always knew that he had to chase boredom, critique and comment on everything that the world was up to.

He was greeted with negativity as soon as he was born. Negativity related to his father not giving him enough attention because he was clicking selfies with him, negativity because his own mother was off to work after delivering him, skyping to console Bob. Bored Bob was lonely minutes after stepping into the world. As a mechanism to protect himself from the cruel world, he became a hard core pessimist and decided that nothing will make him happy, so it’s better to bring to light these negativities so that more people realise how dysfunctional they are. At least that way they know that things need to be changed. Boredom is a like a point of inflection between being average and being great.

When he was born, his parents were amused by the number of cares he could not give.  There has been one exception though, there was a time when Bored Bob chuckled for a duration of 30 hours. He just couldn’t get over how humans follow routines every day. They wake up at a certain time of the day and get ready to work and complain. Why do they get caught in these ruts, is not understandable. Imagine a world where there’s a majority of people doing what they love. There will be less depression, less worries and more peace.

But why is Bored Bob important at all? He is important because he stands for all those people who couldn’t care less about the world. Who couldn’t care less about what you ate for lunch, or how many babies you want when you grow up. Bored Bob and his followers, which are none at the moment, stand up for the right to be indifferent to all the non-sense humans have created.

Agreeing to what this giant leprechaun once said, ” If it were not for pessimists, optimists would be all the people in this world. “

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Toony Loons

Cartoon, the word has no relation to an automobile, rather we may associate the word to a colourful, vibrant parallel universe. Animators and cartoon ideators ( is that a thing?) have so much creative freedom since they can produce a series without any limits and realistic boundaries.  At the same time, they are responsible for putting up content that keeps restless, short attention spanned children, entertained. 
Some cartoons are so bizarre, pulling us away from reality into a world where anything is possible. Chicken puff replaced by Power puff girls. (There might be a couple or more really bad jokes ahead, bear with me.) 3 girls with no fingers, that attracted no attention in the program. The girls were portrayed as super heroes, who’d do anything and everything to save the imaginary city from evil monsters. Also telling shy and scared kids that they can fight too, courtesy of the character, Bubbles. How can we forget, “nasamajh doggie” aka Courage the Cowardly Dog. Courage the cowardly dog is especially dear to me since it starred my hair as Muriels’s wig.
If I’ve done anything during childhood, it is watching umpteen amounts of cartoon.  I was a big fan of tiny tv’s Noddy, Pingu and the rest of the brigade. How can I forget Shaun the sheep, and not a lot of people saw this one but there was one called ‘Boo‘. Having said that, there were some that boiled my blood, on the top of that list was Kipper. I mean, just add some colour to his life. Or maybe he was a dead dog in cartoon heaven?
I wish when I was a kid, there had been online streaming or a Netflix where I could watch cartoons. There were so many of these series to keep up with, so many important twists and turns to know about and so many murder mysteries to be solved by the mystery machine owning team.
When you’re around 6 years old you already have a hectic schedule, a busy life. Meet with friends, be gross, irritate the mother, spill drinks on your clothes and annoy adults with your banter. It was hard to fit in a tv watching hour within this tight schedule. But I managed since I am such a multi-tasker. #efficiency
The world of cartoons or animated creatures seems to be a place where anything can be true. While cartoons were colourful creatures doing dumb stuff, some cartoons were smarter than you and I. ( Dexter, anyone?) I was faced with an inferiority complex whenever I saw Dexter. The guy was so smart, and his days so productive. I am sure he inspired a lot of kids to take interest in science and piss their parents off with their experiment’s dirtying the house. Plus one to Dexter.
Tom & Jerry sent across the message that it’s okay to look different from the other, it’s okay to vary in size and shape. No matter how badly an eraser wants to rub the pencil off, pencils and erasers can co-exist. (Unless you chewed and massacred the eraser at the end of your pencil.)
Flintstones let children know that the world wasn’t blessed with advancement since the beginning of time. These things were discovered, invented and created. So cartoons are important beings and they should continue to exist. But creatures like Ninja Hatori, Chota Bheem, Oggy and the Cockroaches are seriously threatening their existence.
 Since kids are so curious and inquisitive, I think someone learned  animation to escape from the experience of being bombarded with their questions. How many times did your parents let you watch more cartoon just to make you forget your unreasonable demand, or to avoid answering an awkward question? Also, kids love attractive packaging, so there was the idea: stories told by colourful creatures with a carton or two of  magical realism.
Additionally, cartoons have genres too, so kids have plenty to choose from to quench their curiosity. While some cartoons pull them away from reality, putting more made up things in their minds, some cartoons mean pure business. Swat Cats, anyone? No, okay.
Mr. Bean, the animated series, for instance, tells us the struggles of a socially awkward guy, staying alone in London, while Noddy sort of sent the message that kids can drive and have a crush on  living teddy bears. Which may not be an ideal situation.
 Cartoons are colourful, vibrant personalities living in rainbow cities where dogs can talk and blue Octopuses can conveniently walk around. Add to that a flower that walks and talks, a butterfly that is such a great entrepreneur. I’ve seen and loved all this like a lot of you. Obviously, back then I was a dumber version of myself and couldn’t really rationalise or think why something is happening the way it is. Now if you did question their practicality as a kid, good for you. I am impressed.
 I don’t regret my decisions and choices of the shows I saw, they were brilliantly made, the animations were perfect and the stories had just the right amount of a concrete story-line, funny music and bizarre situations to keep me engaged.
On the down side, at some level I always wanted to be a cartoon. Not in an ‘I want to be an astronaut when I grow up’ kind of way, of course. I wanted to be inside my tv screen and in that fictional world that convinced me that the adventures they are going on and experiencing are better than what I am doing. You have to agree, working as a full-time kid can take it’s toll on you. I was the one sitting on the couch while these people inside the tv screen were doing so many interesting things. During such stressful times, a glass of bournvita calmed me down.
Even now, I enjoy certain animated series. Because in animation nothing can go really wrong, even if it does, become an animator and make a series of your own fixing what didn’t go down well with you.
Cartoons have a purpose. They’ve shaped our minds and made us believe in a lot of things and at some point even motivated little kids to just do it. (Not promoting Nike, I swear!) They are the purest form of entertainment a kid can experience and I am glad that Charles-Émile Reynaud made this possible. He was the first person to create an animated project back in 1877. (Just googled it.)
 If you’re at a point where you’re completely over them, it’s okay. I still stream Scooby Doo on YouTube sometimes which is better than watching re-runs of Friends for the 100th time.
Long live, looney toons and toony lunes, both!