Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
July 11, 2020

When the going gets tough, get a shiny dress - Hopkins students think back to when Saturday mornings were worth getting up for

By Jeff Katzenstein | October 4, 2001

Ah,'80s cartoons. They were a part of us then, and they still are today. I think just about every person who grew up in the '80s has fond memories of some specific cartoon. This is no better shown than in Hopkins students, who have no problem telling me about their favorite '80s cartoons.

Let me just say that some of the students, when asked to be interviewed, generated more excitement than I've seen out of anyone since I've been here. I asked these people two questions, and instead of thinking about their response, it was if they had already decided, and I could not seem to write fast enough to record the endless stream of nostalgia.

So, if you could be any '80s cartoon character, who would you be, and why?

"Rainbow Brite," Freshman Kaitlin Dow admitted. "She was so cool. I had a Rainbow Brite doll and a record. She sang really cool songs, and had a really awesome horse. She was always having fun, and her skirt was shiny."

Kaitlin has taken steps to become just like Rainbow Brite by joining Sirens and attempting to sing "cool songs." She is currently looking into purchasing a horse, but doesn't think it will go over too well with the housing department. As for the shiny skirt, well good luck, Kaitlin.

On the male end of the spectrum, I received more strange responses.

"Conan the Barbarian," replied Freshman James Hegi. "He could fight people with his sword, and it was made of some superpowerful metal from another planet or dimension or some shit, and he was jacked and got to kick ass a lot;.and if it were realistic, he'd be saving chicks and getting lots of sex."

Okay, this interview took all innocence there ever was in '80s cartoons away. James, I hope you only formed that reason within the past couple years. If you thought about that when you watched Conan the Barbarian as a young child, well, I think you watched cartoons for a different reason than Kaitlin's.

Other guys, like Sophomore Russ Frisby, had a deeper understanding of '80s cartoons. Russ said that he enjoyed the Nickelodeon cartoon Spartacus because it had an interesting plot line and it was different from all the other cartoons. Russ was ecstatic when he found out that I had also been as Spartacus fan, and admitted that I was the first person he'd met who liked Spartacus.

As for what cartoon character he would be, Russ, like James, reached into his masculine psyche and said he'd be Spartacus, because "he would kick people's asses, and was like the Shaft of the '80s cartoon world."

Yet, some females, like sophomore Brittany McClure, also want to kick ass like the cartoon characters they idolize.

"I would be She-Ra," said Brittany. "She was beautiful and strong and always kicked some ass. I had a pretty pink She-Ra bag that I loved."

Kicking ass, getting sex and wearing shiny skirts. And people say that cartoons don't teach you anything.

After interviewing these people, I learned two things. First, when I meet someone, I will no longer ask boring questions like "what's your major?" Instead, I will ask "what's your favorite '80s cartoon?" You'd be surprised how much you can learn about someone from this simple question.

Second, '80s cartoons should be made into a class at Hopkins. Here you have child psychology, culture, art and media studies all in one.

Plus you would get to watch cartoons, and that would kick some real ass.

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