I remember a simpler time in my youth where adults spoke truth at all times. I never questioned the validity of our media and therefore believed a lot of what I was being told. As a child many of my friends were engrossed with Transformers, Johnny Quest, and Robotech. I; however, was affixed on one cartoon only. That cartoon being G.I. Joe.
G.I. Joe chronicled the story of an elite military group who fought terrorists named Cobra who were hellbent on taking over the planet for reasons unbeknownst to the viewer. They had colorful characters such as Shipwreck, who lead the Navy, and Roadblock, who was a big black guy that specialized in heavy weapons.
At the end of each cartoon they had a public service announcement for children advising them not to pet stray dogs or to never go somewhere with a stranger who offers candy. At the end of the announcements the kids, having learned a valuable lesson, would always cry "and now we know." The G.I. Joe character, who just instructed the child in the ways of safe and moral conduct, would then reply "And knowing is half the battle."
G.I. Joe's tag line was that it and it's members were "real American heroes." Although I didn't buy that the Joe team actually fought that way I did believe that there was some task force that did battle with terrorists on a daily basis. Since I watched the evening news a lot with the folks and saw images of bombings in Jerusalem and Northern Ireland on a daily basis the whole concept of an evil army led by a coward with a speech impediment didn't seem all that ridiculous to my six year old mind.
Alas my folks instructed me that G.I. Joe was not a real American hero as I was led to believe. Sadly my dream of growing up to be a ninja who fights Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world, would not come to pass. Now instead of single handily engaging in combat with evil folks who try to cause world destruction with bizarre weather machines I sit here in a cube and blog. Sigh.
After the show aired for a few years the producers released G.I. Joe the Movie with the voice acting talents of Don Johnson, Burgess Meredith, and Sgt Slaughter of WWF fame. Yes I still love this movie with all of it's flaws.
I do admit that when Bush made his State of the Union speech shortly after 9/11 I was hoping he would announce the new appointments as White House counsel being Snake Eyes and Cover Girl.
"The saddest part about G.I. Joe: The Movie is that it is probably the best G.I. Joe project. The animation of the movie is very inconsistent, at best good, at worst little better than the TV series. The story tries to be a little more serious than usual, but the plot is so unfocused we don't really care." - Stomp Tokyo