Scars of the 90’s: Pinky and the Brain

In 90's, Life
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For most of us growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s cartoons had a fairly straightforward plot involving good and evil- the evil people were the ones trying to take over the world, while the good guys were trying to prevent that. In most cases the evildoers had no rationale involved in their efforts at world domination beyond a bare power grab, making the moral issue surrounding their lust for dominion easy to delineate.

Pinky and the Brain changed all of that and ushered those of us entering our teenage years into an uncertain world where we came face to face with the human side of megalomania, via two genetically enhanced labs rats.

Brain’s nightly plots to take over the world were not motivated by mere infatuation with power or even the desire to boost his own ego; rather, somewhere deep inside Brain’s psyche was the profound and deep-seated belief that he could truly make the world a better place by completely and unequivocally dominating it under his austere yet cuddly hand.

To add to the deep moral questions we were confronted with was a completely new nomenclature. We had only recently been weaned off of rad, tubular and boomshakalaka when we had a whole new vocabulary thrust upon us. Suddenly narf, poit, fjord and zounds become viable words that immediately had currency within the wider culture.

We were also introduced to cultural realities that we didn’t even realize existed. French cinema, country music, Apocalypse Now, sexual harrassment, The Beatles, a world full of cheeses and Al Gore, who may or may not be included in the list of cheeses. Entrusted with such knowledge we immediately forgot it so we could get in another round of Pokemon, which probably prevented Y2K from being a big deal.

Seriously, think about it.

Pinky and the Brain flung our impressionable minds headlong into the BIG QUESTIONS of existence itself. Consider the following:

Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

Pinky: I think so, Brain, but what would we do with a duck and a hose at this hour?

In a way these two genetically augmented lab mice served as a comforting guide for our young and fragile psyches, for not only did they ask the BIG QUESTIONS but also gave us the equally BIG ANSWERS. Consider once again the following:

Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

Pinky: I think so, Brain, but why would want to Pierce Brosnan?

Why would we want to Pierce Brosnan indeed.

Ultimately Pinky and the Brain taught us that no matter how intricate your planning, how dedicated your resolve, how paper mache-y your Chia-Earth, a less intelligent companion would inevitably destroy all that you had worked for. This sort of hard life lesson molded us into the adults we are today.

Fjord!

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