Idealism, Philosophy

How Nickelodeon Changed MY World

I’ve really turned this blog into a “My Peace Corps experience” thing. However, this blog is really more than that. I had it before PC and shall continue it after PC. Thus, here is a post that has nothing to do with Peace Corps.

I was texting with a friend here in The Phillies and we realized that Nick has really done a lot to change the world. Well… at least 90s Nickelodeon cartoons. Nickelodeon was totally preparing us for a world filled with people who were different from us!

1.) Doug

Was Doug really a hipster past his prime? V-Neck Sweater vest, skinny limbs with a potbelly, a writer, still living with his parents.... Lay off the PBR, Funnie or nobody will believe you're eleven

First of all, everyone in Doug’s universe (except Doug) is some strange color. His best friend is blue, his enemy is green, his crush is orange, and his family is varied enough for me to wonder if either Doug and his sister are adopted… or if something funny was happening in the Funnie home.

Umm... probably not.

Anyway, as you can see Doug’s world is diverse and the diversity is what makes it fun! Doug taught us that it’s ok to be a pre-maturely bald 11-year old with little to no social skills who lives in a world that seems to be some kind of U.N. thought experiment gone awry.

Biggest Lesson: When life becomes too much to process… just withdraw from it and write and draw pictures and talk to your dog. Why? Because let’s face it, being the only white person left in this world… has driven you crazy.

Even the authorities... are minorities...

2.) Aaahh!! Real Monsters

Aaahh!!! A disembodied screaming mouth!

I’m not going to blatantly say what was going on here, but let’s just review the evidence shall we? First of all, we have creatures who despite having no outwardly visible genitalia, seem to have sexes and (loose, but we’ll get to that later) gender roles. The girls have higher voices, long eyelashes, big lips and they gossip. The boys tend to be boxier and less ornate and are… well, boyish.

Now, all the monsters live in a boarding school ruled by a headmaster who’s named The Gromble. He’s everyhing you’d expect from a scary monster. A masculine deep grumble-y voice, he’s abusive, mean, loud, brash, and… wait, is he wearing a red pump on each of his feet?

Yes... You ARE the bell of the ball!


When they need to meet up or travel they use bathroom stalls and toilets,

And they are HAPPY about it!

they have an underground “sub-culture” of sorts and they scare adults and children mostly out of sport. Scaring is apparently not an inherent thing seeing as they have to go to school for it. The adults and older kids in the world always seem somehow deserving of the scaring, however. Though, when someone does end up getting through to the monsters… it’s a kid.

A kid just like you

In fact, every time someone ends up really understanding them or liking them it’s a kid. A kid who hasn’t been conditioned by the adults to be afraid of the “monsters” and yes I put quotation marks around monsters; because, let’s face it, they’re just like you and me.

There are a few “crazy” humans throughout the show that want to “out” the monsters and they make it their business to interfere with their (the monsters) lives. When really, all the monsters want is to be left alone.

But… honestly, in a world in which monsters are real… Aren’t the monster hunters actually highly aware and intuitive people? Aren’t they the ones to whom people should actually be paying attention? Honestly, it seems like the rest of the world is either, unobservant, completely in denial, or batsh*^& insane!

But seriously? Let’s think about The Gromble again…

Sorry Dumbledore! Snick did it first...

Biggest Lesson: There are beings that exist in our world that may SEEM different and may even scare us, but in the end. They’re no different than you or I… Well, other than being terrifying sub-humans. But we can totally co-exist! Wait… was this a bad example?

3.) Rocko’s Modern Life

By far the biggest offender. The show that really tried to get 90s kids to become accepting human beings was this.

The main character is an Australian Wallaby (read: foreigner) yet us American kids learn to relate to him. His best friends are a socially awkward (Jewish?) turtle who gets the hottest lady in town

Well... er... I mean RELATIVELY SPEAKING she's hot.

and a cow (steer) named Heffer who still lives with his parents, who are wolves.

His neighbors are two toads. The male is constantly angry and is a desk-jockey for the biggest corporation in town. Though, I think I’d be angry too if my slacker neighbor was somehow making the same amount of money as me. Let’s face it, Rocko works as a cashier at a comic book store! Well, and apparently as a phone sex operator.

Be Hot. Be Naughty. Be Courteous... oh baby oh baby oh baby...

Anyway, the wife is a nymphomaniac. Let’s not forget the sex-tape episode AND the episode where she attempts to seduce Rocko.


On top of all of this craziness, we have two Swedish entrepreneurial chameleons, an over-bearing boss (who always picks his nose), and a real life superhero who has extremely elastic nipples that are somehow clairvoyant.

This was my childhood, folks.

But then ish get’s real! The socially awkward, weak, fragile Norbert gets more action than anyone on the show (his girlfriend is a cat… and this show was for KIDS??) (2.) He is compelled to (at the age of 21) go to an orgy island and he (3) even father’s children with this highly successful hot kitty! It’s a cartoon, so we’ll forgive the interspecies mating thing (is this subtle support for interracial marriage?), but then… Norbert lays eggs! He’s a SHE! But THEN, it gets worse. Not only is Norbert a chick, but at some point he was cuckolded by one of his best friends!

I'm not EXACTLY sure how egg-laying works, but sitting on an egg doesn't mean one of the chicks will look like you.

Now, that movie with Ryan Reynolds taught us it’s totally cool to raise your best friend’s kid. Er… *spoiler alert*

Say what?

But THEN it gets even MORE disturbing because, let’s look at that baby picture again. The baby cow has NORBERT’S EYES!!! That’s right, Norbert cheated on his wife with Heffer! But that’s strange because Heffer’s sex is in question as well. His name sounds like heife, I’m pretty sure it’s implied that he has udders, and he’s not like the rest of his family. Try as he might to be “normal” he’s not. However, his family accepts him anyway. Which is nice.

This nipple obsessed overtly sexual show was indoctrinating us.

That’s why my generation is so open to gay marriage and is especially sensitive to LGBT rights!

Biggest Lesson:
The world is a crazy place filled with sexually and gender diverse people, some of whom may be your best friends. Learn to love it and them because it’s all you have. Also… a lot of people are crazy.

Nick, you were subtly creepy, but I thank you. It’s my belief that people with closed minds in my generation were either very sheltered, naive or… simply didn’t have cable.


Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –


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