The human experience can be defined in a myriad of ways. At the basic level, it's really all just a slew of events and moments of significant change and growth all strung together along the length of our individual and collective lifetimes like pearls. Every now and again, one of those pearls is bigger than the others and shapes the very reality of our world and alters our perception of the information we've always accepted as standard and constant.
For me, this Big Bang happened one early Saturday morning when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I was absorbed in the common childhood routine of sitting on the floor in front of the family television, watching the usual lineup of my favorite cartoons. This was of course always done with the ubiquitous bowl of cereal containing enough sugar in it to make me spontaneously burst into flames and do the Curly Shuffle. There I sat. Cranked up on Fruity Pebbles, laughing at the animated slapstick. Business as usual. Little did I know, I was in for the mother of all juvenile epiphanies.
The cartoon story formula that was understood by most kids my age was that you had your villains and you had your heroes. The heroes were heroes no matter what they did and were infallible. The villains would always remain unscrupulous and dastardly. Forever in the middle of a plan to get the best of the hero in some crazy way or another. Wile E. Coyote was always an anomaly that seemed to go against this trend to me. He didn't seem like a bad guy. He just wanted some goddamned lunch and lunch happened to be the fastest bird in the history of the universe. It was during the course of this dynamic predator/prey dance that something deep inside of me started to stir. A switch clicked over to the ON position and I immediately felt the wrongness of what I was witnessing on the old Zenith in front of me. The world of right and wrong and fair and unfair had been turned completely tits-up in just a fraction of a second.
"No." I thought. "This is all fucked." Here was this poor sap. All he wanted was an honest meal, but he could NEVER catch that fucking Roadrunner and that asshole bird KNEW IT. He teased the undying hope of that Wile E. like some sick and twisted jerk that got off on watching his misery. It's not like that coyote wasn't persistent to a fault. Of course he was. He spent thousands upon thousands of his hard earned dollars ordering gadgets and contraptions supposedly designed to be foolproof in aiding his quest to finally nab himself some yummy speed-chicken. Trap doors. Rockets. Slingshot nooses. Spiked hammers. Rock cutting buzzsaws. Nuclear dildos. Bombs with smaller bombs attached to them. You name it. All junk. Why did he keep ordering from ACME? Why didn't he learn? Then it hit me like a punch in the stomach...
The Roadrunner had been in collusion with ACME this whole fucking time.
He'd let Wile E. Coyote believe he could catch him time and time again. It was all just so he could line his pockets with lucrative ACME payola. A purse full of prize money for reeling in that big whale. Shit. He probably even owned some major stock in that company, now that I look back at it. It was pure and brilliant evil. That dirty motherfucker.
HOW COULD HE DO THIS?
This question echoed in my little mind and shattered me for good. After that day, I couldn't bear the chase anymore and it was strictly Muppet Babies for me.
This pivotal moment in my life stayed with me in my soul and changed the way I understood how the gears turned in the great machine that is America. The way I see it now, we've all been spoon-fed the archetypes of who the good guys are and what they look like. They are perfect in the eyes of the gods and therefore incapable of fault or wrongdoing in any form. Any deviation of that idea is simply unacceptable and if you dare think that out loud, you are worthy of being publicly flogged and cast beyond the city walls as refuse.
This has slowly made our society regress and lose sight of individuality and the nourishment of ideas and innovation that were once a shining example of who we are as citizens of this country. We no longer place a premium on voicing your own unique opinion. It has become taboo to question what has been told to you verbatim from all of the history books and religious texts. You are a social pariah for being furious at the outrageous abuse of others. Whether it's the shameless pilfering of the life-savings of an elderly widow by so-called "men of God", or the sight of a troubled 16year old girl with emotional issues being horribly tossed around by someone entrusted to uphold the law and serve the public. We've become so used to being slapped over the head with the ugliness of these things, we've forgotten the sting of it. We sleep and we eat. We fuck and we get fucked over. All the while, rationalizing the worst in ourselves and doing it with a passion. Conned and tricked into eating each other like zombies. The ACME Corporation sold us a bill of goods and we all bought in like a bunch of assholes.
I would be remiss if I sat here and told you that I knew what the answers are. I don't. All I know is that something has to give and give soon. The bubble was due to burst and cover us in the excrement we've been sweeping under the rug a long time ago. We can no longer afford to lie to each other about who the heroes and villains are. Butt-naked honesty is desperately vital nowadys. Use it. Be annoyed. Get angry. Feel horrified. Put the ladle back in that vat of cyanide-laced Kool Aid and get the fuck outta Jonestown as fast as you can. Don't look back. Join me on the living room floor and help yourself to some of my Fruity Pebbles.
I hope you'll see the Roadrunner for the lying sack of shit he really is...