Saturday, June 21, 2014

"My Little Moosey"

I'm a little slow sometimes, and certainly way behind the curve when it comes to trends in pop culture. No worries though, as that's one of the fringe benefits to always having an academic toe in the water and being consequently exposed to all sorts of spiffy things by my students - especially in the Cartoon & Comic Art course. As someone weaned on classic Looney Tunes I plateaued on that particular style of animated television shows, and have since regressed into ever more historical features (a prime example being the Fleischer Studio's "Popeye" from the 1930') - not watching TV much anymore would be a major factor (not even having a conventional TV for many years also helps getting untethered). But boy do I ever think today's kids are lucky to grow up with so much cool stuff to look at - take Adventure Time for example.

So when reading the story of 11-year old Michael Morones attempting suicide and consequently suffering brain damage (backstory here, here and Facebook support page here) after getting bullied for being a "brony," a male fan of the series "My Little Pony," it really touched me. Enough to draw up this panel in support: see the You Will Rise Project for the outpouring of other artist's contributions.

As someone who routinely underwent similar situations and was ostracized for simply being different and liking weird things I certainly can relate. Maybe it's just basic empathy from being mercilessly taunted for liking books, wearing thick, coke-bottle glasses and especially for having a girl's name, and the ensuing feedback cycle of being more comfortable spending time alone which in turn reinforced the desire to be simply left alone. Later on in life it became a valuable skill when trying to avoid getting the shit beaten out of me for being weird, or white, or having long hair etc. and especially for a penchant at being a smartass. Some things never change, and while I'm glad to have been lucky enough to turn out the way I have, there will always be jerks who will pick on other people just because they are different.
Mean people suck.

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