Sonic Boom Off the Air for One Month

Sonic Boom Off the Air for One Month

I didn’t expect Sonic Boom to not be on the air today. I certainly didn’t expect to hear that the show will be on hiatus for a month one week after the premiere of its second season.

Two years ago, I shied away from Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal following their horrendous display of glitches and deafening dialogue on top of a shoddy storyline, but I couldn’t resist watching the TV show on Cartoon Network. I believed that Sonic Boom, along with Adventure Time, Regular Show and Steven Universe, was going to drag Cartoon Network out of its creative hell. Actually, the show would’ve made twice the positive impact on the network’s quality as the other ones mentioned here were not for the 7:30am time slot it was given for Saturday mornings. I used to get of bed that early on the weekends for Sonic X because a decade ago, there weren’t any DVRs to help viewers record programs of their choosing except for TiVO, which I didn’t have at the time. Because 4KidsTV would change the time slot for Sonic X at any time, be it at 8:30am or 10:30am, I got out of bed at 6:30 in the morning to watch the other shows first. Nowadays, kids don’t wake up that early on a Saturday morning anymore because of the high academic and extracurricular demands disrupting their sleep schedules, not to mention their circadian rhythms, making them sleep in until 9:00 or 10:00 on the weekends. Thankfully, their DVRs can record their favorite cartoons if they set it to “Series Recording.”

Then there’s lack of advertising. Cartoon Network promoted Sonic Boom at least a week before it first aired. The second time they advertised the show was in July 2015, when they announced that they would air two weeks worth of new episodes from July 13th to the 24th. They haven’t advertised anything for the current season, which resulted in the 560,000 viewer rating for the season premiere episode “Tommy Thunder: Method Actor.”

I was expecting Sonic Boom to be just as serious as Sonic X, but the humor it took after popular comedy shows like Friends and The Big Bang Theory drew me to the show like a honeybee flying to the most beautiful rose in the park. I hope Cartoon Network places Sonic Boom on to later time slot come December. Until then, I’ll find other comedy shows to release the dopamine I need to survive the rest of the semester.

Driven to Anxiety

Driven to Anxiety

I thought I would be happy to get back into the groove of academic life after my eight-month break from school, but unfortunately I’ve transferred to Florida Atlantic University in worse emotional shape than when I left Broward College with my AA degree in hand. Why? Although I’ve become more socially engaged, my anxiety has somehow managed to come back to ruin me–not just in mind, but in body and soul as well. For over two months, I’ve had heart palpitations, headaches, upset stomach, muscular spasms, and more recently pins and needles. I can still function just fine, but my body would still be in optimal condition if not for the following issues looming over my head.

  1. My incomplete novel
    • I’m just one hair strand close to done with writing my first novel, but I just needed some inspiration from Law & Order: SVU to finish the last chapter or two. I promised myself I would finish the book by the time I got back to school, but it seems I kind of let myself down. If I had signed my soul over to a publisher, then I would’ve had it finished, edited if need be, and placed it on  the shelves of Barnes & Noble a lot faster.
  2.  Driving
    • On Friday, September 9th, I passed my driving test and acquired my driver’s license. While I am grateful that I worked so hard to get the ultimate ticket to social freedom, I should’ve done this a lot sooner. Right now, I’m driving to and from school with my mom in her mini-van, and so far I’m doing remarkably well. My parents got me a new car on Halloween, but I have to put off driving it by myself for a few days.
  3. The possibility of someone ending my new relationship
    • Kristoff is just the most amazing man to ever come into my life. He’s smart, funny, affectionate–and he was in my church’s youth group back in high school (even though I don’t remember talking to him much). Unfortunately, someone on Facebook wasn’t too happy about the fact that I found love during the summer and he didn’t. That someone was my college acquaintance, who I’ll call Juan. About a week into the Olympics, Juan messaged me on Facebook asking me what I did this past summer. My answer was very simple–“I went to Vegas, went to SuperCon, and I found love.” The last part pissed Juan off to the point where he bitched at me for spending so much of my time with Kristoff and not him, to which I responded, “He’s a good guy! I even practiced some of my driving with him!” (Okay, I probably didn’t type that last sentence, even though it was true. Either way, that conversation has been long since deleted.) Juan got pissed off even more, saying that I sat our friendship on the sidelines as was the case with all of his other friends when they got into relationships. I decided he went too far, so I blocked him immediately. A few weeks later, I talked to Juan over the phone and told him that me having a new boyfriend doesn’t give him the right to yell at me. I assured him that he’ll find somebody to share his life with someday, but he has to do some growing up first. Juan apologized, and I never spoke to him again since. What Kristoff and I have is beautiful, but I’m scared that someone will do something that will bring our relationship to a screeching end.
  4. School
    • Attending university may cost a lot of money–and thank God for financial aid–but it shouldn’t have to cost me my mental health. In Broward College, I was able to focus in class and complete my assignments without any issues. Now at Florida Atlantic University, because I’m now a junior, the workload has become a little unbearable, especially because I’m taking one class that’s not exactly required for my major. On top of that, the majority of the journalism classes I need to take are held at the main campus 45 minutes from home, and my mom isn’t exactly ready for me to attend classes at that campus next semester, which means I will be forced to take two classes next semester and two classes during the summer (if my financial aid will even cover that), or I’ll have to take two online classes (which I don’t want to do, not after what happened with Intro to Ethics). If my brother is able to go to a medical school far from home, why can’t I attend a campus that has all the classes I need for my major? This brings me to my final point.
  5. Double standards
    • This practice is highly prevalent in Hispanic families: sons have more social rights, whereas daughters need to be overprotected regardless of their maturity level. Even though I’m autistic, I’m quite mature for my age, yet my mother insists that I shouldn’t participate in the some of the same activities as my brother based on the simple fact that I’m a girl.
      • My brother can go on trips to Orlando, New York, Vegas, and pretty much all the other 50 states with his friends and his girlfriend; I can only do so with my family.
      • He can work while he’s in school (although he’s unemployed now because most schools forbid Master’s students to hold a job); I cannot.
      • He can go sleep over at his girlfriend’s house if he so chooses; I cannot do the same with my boyfriend, even though his apartment has a guest room available.

These problems have been causing me great anxiety for over two months already, and I’m afraid I won’t relax until I take care of most of these issues. Why anxiety chooses to afflict the smartest people on the planet, especially autistic people, is something I cannot fathom. It’s a bitch, but I have to fight it so I can be fully happy again.

Autism Speaks’s Mission Statement Change

Well, well, well. I never thought I’d be writing about Autism Speaks again at this point. The good news is, they have dropped the word “cure” from their mission statement–something the autistic community has been begging the organization to do since its inception in 2005. Their statement is now written like this:

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder, and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
 Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.

The bad news: the words “intervention” and “research into causes” remain.

While it’s good that Autism Speaks has somewhat turned over a new leaf to understand us better, it’s 11 years too late. All they did was change their words around, but what about their actions? Are they still going to spread ableist propaganda about us on TV and billboards? Are they still going to exclude us from discussions on how to help us cope with a neurotypical world? Are they still going to encourage our parents to kill us simply because we don’t see things or act the same way that they and other neurotypical family members do? Or are they actually going to buck up and start listening to us, start including our input in their media projects, and start respecting our right to live, work, and play with our neurotypical peers?

Until I see actual changes in their treatment of autistic people like myself, my distrust of Autism Speaks will stay.

 

Letter to Toni Braxton Regarding Diezel’s Autism Status

Letter to Toni Braxton Regarding Diezel’s Autism Status
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Toni Braxton with Diezel at the premiere of “Motown: The Musical.” Courtesy: Essence

Dear Toni Braxton,

Recently, you have announced in an interview with Access Hollywood that your youngest son, Diezel, “is no longer autistic,” giving credit to Suzanne Wright–in light of her death from pancreatic cancer–for his ability to “overcome his diagnosis.” I’m sorry to have to say this as a fan of your music, but…

Wave LMETYWTBS
Wave the Swallow resting on her hoverboard in issue #22 of “Sonic Universe.” The original speech caption, “LOOKS LIKE MY SENSORS WERE RIGHT AFTER ALL!” has been edited to be replaced with, “LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU WHY THAT IS BULLSHIT.” Courtesy: Archie Comics

To say that your son is “showing no signs of autism” is to say that he has been taught to mask every trait that comprises his neurology in order to pass as a normal, average person. In other words, you and the therapists Wright referred him to have taught him that being autistic is frowned upon by society–and it shouldn’t be. Diezel may be a social butterfly now thanks to the speech and language therapy he received in school, assuming he wasn’t referred to a therapist outside of an academic facility, but that does not stipulate that he’s transformed into a neurotypical person.
Oh, and the “my son Diezel suffered from autism” line? The word “suffered” should only apply to cancer patients, NEVER autistic kids. God only gifted Diezel with the ability to think differently from everyone else.

I know all of this from my experience as an autistic woman–or an Aspie, as I like to address myself. At 18 months old, I was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Translation: Autistic. Most boys are given a specific autism diagnosis, like Asperger’s syndrome or severe autism. Since I was a girl, the doctors didn’t know which end of the spectrum to place me, so they slapped PDD-NOS on my psychological record. I was enrolled in special education classes and mainstreamed from kindergarten until 3rd Grade, when the powers that be decided that I was intelligent enough to attend regular classes. However, I walked back and forth between my regular class and a special ed class for extra help in math until the 5th Grade. I maintained average to above-average grades, but I was forced to repeat the 3rd Grade based on my low scores on the standardized test formerly known as the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). I even had to go to a speech and language therapist until the 8th Grade, although I didn’t attend a lot of sessions in 6th Grade. My teachers treated me with the utmost respect, but how my peers treated me was a different matter. While some kids were friendly with me, others just bullied and teased me for exhibiting some of the traits that came with my autistic brain, such as taking their jokes too literal, expressing interest in things that either everyone else has supposedly outgrown by the 5th Grade or earlier is strange to them, and attaining a higher GPA than most students in my class. To put it lightly, I was a glutton for verbal punishment. I even thought of being autistic as a curse because of everything I did–singing and listening to J-Pop songs, whispering to myself (both privately and publicly), expressing my love for the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise despite all the production problems some its games endured, and avoiding school dances (even prom, but that’s another story). Eventually, I learned that if other people don’t respect my interests, then that’s their loss.

I may have received help in learning to be sociable, but that doesn’t mean I’m “cured of autism.” Absolutely not. Society shouldn’t expect me to be less autistic, nor should they punish me for living my life differently. Just because I show some of the aforementioned quirks, doesn’t make me a bad person. My family and friends love me unconditionally for who I am. I expect you do the same for Diezel.

And for the love of God, stop supporting and working for Autism Speaks. Suzanne Wright may be gone, but the organization’s mission is still a gargantuan farce.

 

Your fan,

Cristina Alexander

Eulogy for the Ableist

I know all of you religious folk are expecting me to read a verse from the Bible. As much as I would love to read such words of inspiration written by the hands of God, today I would like read a quote from a whole different source and explain why I chose such a quote for your dearly departed Suzanne as theologically as possible.

“Darkness sleeps in every heart, no matter how pure. Given the chance, the smallest drop can spread and swallow the heart.”
Anybody wanna guess where this quote came from? Anyone?
Since no one has the slightest clue who said this, I will tell you that the philosopher who wrote this originated from a work of fiction. Not a novel, but rather a video game produced by none other than Disney and Square Enix, called Kingdom Hearts. One of the main characters, Ansem, is the fictional philosopher in question who wrote the same words I recited to you earlier in one of his reports regarding his studies of the darkness of the heart.

Suzanne Werner-Wright, like most people, was born with a pure heart–a heart that saw no imperfections in anyone, even if they saw themselves or others as imperfect in any way. But as soon as one of her grandchildren became autistic, Wright struggled to prevent darkness from unleashing itself inside her heart. The more imperfections she saw in her grandson, the more darkness had taken hold of her heart and drove her to stomp out people with the neurology under the guise of charity.

Instead of providing us autistic people the supports and accommodations we felt were appropriate, Suzanne did us a grave disservice by stigmatizing our neurology through advertisements claiming that autism is a disease that spreads faster than cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined; that we contribute to the 50% divorce rate in this country; and that our behaviors, intentional or otherwise, bring shame and embarrassment to our families in public places.

Instead of focusing on the positive aspects of autism–high IQs, intense focus on fields interesting to us (be it STEM, arts and literature, video games, music, or even history), enhanced vocabularies–Suzanne scrutinized the complications autism brings–anxiety, meltdowns, and speech impairments–and referred our families to mental facilities notorious for abusive practices, like applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and electric shock therapy, she believes are designed to eliminate our behaviors and, ultimately, cure autism.

Despite her best intentions, Suzanne NEVER advocated for the acceptance of autistic people. All she’s done in her last 11 years of life was encourage the wider society to tell us over and over again that being autistic is not okay, therefore we should be punished, or even killed if need be.

Eulogy for the Ableist caption
Black and red grunge texture wallpaper bearing the sentence, “Suzanne did us a grave disservice by stigmatizing our neurology through advertisements claiming that autism is a disease that spreads faster than cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined; that we contribute to the 50% divorce rate in this country; and that our behaviors, intentional or otherwise, bring shame and embarrassment to our families in public places.”

Take a look at me. I’ve been autistic for most of my 22 years on this earth, and I know a lot about the life of an autistic person ten times better than Suzanne has. Did I cause my parents’ divorce when I was almost 2? No. Have I ever embarrassed my family in public in any way? Maybe, but I don’t remember exactly what I did to embarrass them. Does the fact that I received speech and language therapy and acquired social skills from pre-K to 8th Grade mean that I’m no longer autistic? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I only attended one Autism Speaks walk in my sophomore year of high school, and I never went back. Suzanne’s “Call to Action” speech in Washington, D.C. two years later confirmed my decision to not walk for the organization since she deemed us and our families “not living.” Upon hearing this from John Elder Robison, who resigned from the Autism Speaks Board of Science, I plucked the two puzzle piece bracelets I got from the Autism Speaks walk out of my purse and threw them in the trash, ultimately renouncing my support for the organization.

I’m proud to be autistic, and I’m glad that I’ve met people who are on the same boat as me. Together, we are working and/or have worked to defeat every demeaning autism stereotype in Suzanne’s book. She said that we will never attend college and graduate with a degree; we are, and we have–because we have every right to an education. She said we will never leave our parents’ homes and find jobs we’ll be successful in; we are, and we have–because we have every right to live independently. She said we’ll never find love, get married, and raise children (if we so choose); we are, and we have–because we have every right to be in loving relationships.

About Suzanne’s claim that autism is like cancer–the joke’s on her. Darkness had spread everywhere in her body and consumed her before she even had the slightest decency to apologize to all of us for saying such lies about us. I understand that where she will go from here depends on the Lord’s judgment, but because she has promoted ableism against us all these years, I believe she does not deserve to spend eternity in Heaven.

If I ever have children and any of them turn out to be autistic–which is likely due to genetics–I will treat them with bountiful love and respect, and raise them to advocate for their human rights if anyone ever tells them their lives and their contributions to society don’t matter. I will never subject them to any abusive therapies and treatments Suzanne and other so-called “autism warrior parents” swear by to change them. Don’t agree with me? Then I have a special guest here to sing a song dedicated to you and all those who have supported Suzanne’s ableist endeavors.

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s Disturbed performing “Who Taught You How to Hate” from their latest album, Immortalized.

Good night, everybody.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th Anniversary: Celebrating the Blue Blur’s Past, Present and Future

Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th Anniversary: Celebrating the Blue Blur’s Past, Present and Future

Writing about my experience with the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is long overdue. One month overdue, to be precise. On the day of Sonic’s actual birthday, I wanted to post a picture of myself wearing a blue Classic Sonic top and white Celebrity Pink pants, but a kidney stone struck with the most excruciating pain I’ve ever endured since high school. My renal issue is another story that I hope I won’t have to speak about for a long time.

Although a party wasn’t held on June 23rd exactly, Sonic Team was nice enough to host one at the House of Blues in San Diego last night. Everyone and anyone who’s a fan of the blue hedgehog was invited–those who flew in to California for San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), and those who are stuck at home observing everything on social media (either by choice or due to financial constraints preventing them from attending both shindigs). For the latter group, Sonic Team set up a link for the live stream on Twitch, a video game streaming website  I haven’t logged in to since the ill-fated release of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric on Wii U.

It was 8:30/5:30 PST. I jumped out of my shower, my hair tied in a turban towel, and prepared myself some instant ramen noodles much to the dismay of my mother, who told me to finish up the puré my grandmother had cooked for us earlier this week. “Too late, I already opened [my Yakisoba noodles],” I retorted as I sprinkled the dried vegetables to the bottom of the plastic black container, shook it, and poured filtered water all the way up to the indicated fill line in the middle of the container. I was planning on watching the Sonic 25th anniversary party live stream on TV via my Wii U with my new boyfriend, Christoph, but my mom was watching her novelas, Christoph was visiting a friend nearly an hour away from home, and my Wii U required the installation of Adobe Flash in order to watch the stream on Twitch, which might be fiscally painful to do. So, I retreated back upstairs to my room and logged into my Twitch account–I haven’t used it since my second year of college because I have no experience in streaming gameplay nor had the thought of streaming my video games at all–and waited for the live stream to begin. At the stroke of 9:00/6:00 PST, I expected the camera to switch on to the crowd of people dancing in their Sonic cosplays. All I got for the next half-hour was the Sonic 25th anniversary logo tilting itself right and left to its own in-game music and immature Twitch users begging for Sonic Adventure 3 in the comments section. Both the seemingly eternal delay and the users rabidly imploring SEGA to announce Sonic Adventure 3 as new Sonic game (the latter of which placed me in a threshold between scoffing, “Jesus Christ, who the hell cares?” and flat-out screaming in all caps, “‘SONIC HEROES’ IS THE CLOSEST THING TO SONIC ADVENTURE 3 WE HAVE RIGHT NOW! SO SHUT UP, APPRECIATE WHAT WE GOT, AND LET THE PRODUCERS OF SONIC TEAM DO THE TALKING!”) made me test my faith and love in the franchise I’ve grown up playing since I was 9 years old.

At 9:30/6:30 PST, the wait was finally over. The camera opened its lid to the DJ duo Hyper Potions playing remixes of Chao Garden theme songs from the Sonic Adventure saga from their Apple laptop. They were the cutest remixes ever! But the coolest song Hyper Potions ever played was their own “Porta Vista”, featured in last year’s announcement trailer for Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. Take a listen to these sick beats! (Deadmau5, Calvin Harris and David Guetta, this goes for you, too!)

This song got everyone, even the guy in the Sonic costume, jumping.

The lights slowly dimmed to black as the technicians whisked the turntable off the stage. Then, out of nowhere, the sinister voice of Dr. Eggman (portrayed by none other than Mike Pollock) announced conceitedly and humorously, “It’s finally time! My 25th anniversary party is almost upon us. Look at all these people”–referring to the audience at the House of Blues–“and even more on the live stream! You’re all here to adore the great Dr. Eggman, aren’t you?” As if he was sitting at his computer, Eggman came across a video sent to him by Sonic Team. The video began with the famous SEGA logo flashing across the screen, with the chorus belting out its name with the same 8-bit tone they did during the Genesis era. Sonic, in his Classic form, was lying down on his belly, impatiently tapping his fingers on the floor. Suddenly, a ball of bright light came down on Sonic and transported him to Green Hill Zone. He jumped through the giant, floating, spinning Portal Ring at the end of the famous first level of Sonic 1, and video clips of almost every Sonic game in the past 25 years plays in tribute to the Blue Blur’s greatness.

At the end of the opening tribute video, Dr. Eggman introduced Sonic the Hedgehog PR and social media manager Aaron Webber (a.k.a. RubyEclipse) to the stage. Webber, a blond, slender, and witty guy donning a black T-shirt of Classic Sonic, Tails and Knuckles grouped together in their own frames with the Japanese sign ソニック (Romaji: SONIKKU) popping out, broke the ice by asking the audience if they liked the memes posted on Sonic’s social media accounts–he created them!–and where they came from. After going through the free special collector’s swag in everyone’s goodie bags–including, but not limited to, the Sonic Mega Drive comic book from Archie Comics, and a silver Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary coin (only 2,000 have been made)–Webber answered the question everyone in the fan base has asked in the past year, “What’s next for Sonic?” by showing this highly unexpected trailer.

Sonic Mania is not a remake of the early Sonic games, nor is it a sequel to Sonic 4. It’s a direct sequel to Sonic & Knuckles that, along with new zones and new features such as the Drop Dash, brings the blue hedgehog to his former glory. “That can’t be the only new Sonic game SEGA’s developing [Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice aside], can it?” I asked myself, confused as to why Sonic Team shrunk Sonic back down to his chubby size and possibly lock the taller, sexier, more modern Sonic away forever.

As far as musical guest appearances go, I was expecting to see some of my favorite mainstream artists and bands like Justin Timberlake, Pink, Fall Out Boy, Britney Spears, Sia, even Panic! at the Disco, to show up and play their own renditions of the best songs from every Sonic game starting with Sonic Adventure. The only band to perform was franchise staple Crush 40–and Lord, did Jun Senoue shred his guitar! Johnny Gioeli joined Senoue after strumming to “Emerald Coast” and “Pyramid Cave.” While Gioeli sang everything from “Open Your Heart” to “Sonic Heroes” to “Knight of the Wind” remarkably well–though not as stellar as the studio-recorded versions–everyone in the Twitch chat room gave him a hard time, telling that he needs to get off the stage because his vocal quality waned with age, which I don’t agree with.

Just like I would a regular party, I left the live stream, shut my laptop down, and went to bed–but not before I scrolled through my Twitter feed and caught this next trailer by surprise.

Project Sonic 2017 is a working title, but it’s glorious. Glorious! But why we have to wait until the 2017 holiday season for this game to be released is beyond my comprehension. What I did understand was, Sonic Team has the tendency to experiment with other video game elements. They executed that fabulously in the 2000s, even going so far as to give Shadow the Hedgehog, the edgiest, hardcore character in the main canon his own game and turn Sonic into a werewolf. It’s only now they decided that experimentation is no longer working, hence they’re going back to the formula used in the early days to make Sonic the greatest video game icon in the history of the industry.

I slept peacefully, knowing that Sonic’s future is looking bright, and that I can trust SEGA and Sonic Team to do it right.

The Truth about the Powerpuff Girls Reboot

A week after Cartoon Network aired five days’ worth of new episodes of The Powerpuff Girls reboot, I wrote a post stating that despite the changes made from the original, the dynamics of the show remained the same. Here’s how I really feel about reboot now, over a month later.

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Courtesy: Cartoon Network

I take back anything I said about the PPG reboot, because guess what. Nothing in there is the same as the original. NOT ONE FUCKING THING! It’s like the producers who made the reboot took the most glorious, beloved work of art out of the vault, placed it underneath an outhouse in the lowest slums of India, and dumped the biggest shit on it in diarrhea form. That’s how bad it is.

Before you judge me for cussing Cartoon Network out, here’s how they gave The Powerpuff Girls the world’s ugliest makeover.

 

1. Animation inconsistencies

The animation in the PPG reboot is poorly executed in terms of speed and other technical issues that should’ve been addressed before the show reached our television and computer screens. To wit, the episode “The Wringlegruff Gals.” In a scene where Mojo Jojo berates the girls for looking old as hell while walking his dog–they implored Professor Utonium to concoct a potion that, when consumed, will render them as old as their middle school-aged classmates because they got teased for looking like babies–the dog leash disappears from view. Seriously? In the online short “Air Buttercup”, a title reference to Air Bud, Buttercup tries to throw a paper ball into a netted garbage can from as far a distance as the school cafeteria allowed. As the mean, green tough girl attempts to score more than three points, the paper ball flies through the air over the students’ heads as slow as a turtle. It should’ve flown at a higher frame rate than that.

2. Frequent usage of Internet memes

A network animated episode takes about 6 to 12 months to animate, and popular memes die out three weeks after they’ve made the rounds on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vine. The Simpsons, Family Guy, and other adult animated shows that have been airing since before the advent of social media can get away with employing Internet pop culture because they know when it’s appropriate to feature a meme and when it’s not. On a cartoon show intended for elementary-aged children, especially a reboot, not so much. There are a million memes thrown around in one single episode of the PPG reboot. Bubbles scrunched her face into the pointy-nosed “NO ME GUSTA” face in one episode, and shouted “YAAASSS!!” with the gusto of a 12-year-old girl who’s one year away from being legally able to use Facebook and other social media sites (if she hasn’t lied about her age to create accounts for them, that is) in another episode. The producers even had the audacity to paste in a Windows 7-style wallpaper of a desert as a backdrop for Buttercup’s meditation session in “Man Up” and leave it at that. No good taste whatsoever.

Oh, and they made the girls twerk with a panda who was high on something funky.

Thanks a lot, Miley Cyrus.

3. Balance of old and new villains, or lack thereof

The notorious villains from the original series, like fan favorite Mojo Jojo, doled out the greatest evil schemes that even the Joker and Lex Luthor would be proud of. In the reboot, they’re still there, but they don’t even do shit! We were lucky enough to see Princess Morbucks go at her attempts to include herself as a Powerpuff Girl on one occasion. Other than that, their villainous plots have been greatly reduced to real world humdrums, like Mojo delivering pizza to the PPG’s house. The new villains are… [disgusted groan] SO. FRICKIN’. STUPID! Packrat collects jewels and metal (?) for a solar-dancing doll, Man-Boy is as misogynistic as Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, and don’t even get me started on the pink-skinned fashionista wannabe duo.

 

4. Personality changes and character disappearances

The PPGs no longer seem to care much about the responsibilities accompanied with being superheroes, except on some occasions. They’re more focused on the normal side of girlhood–or, at the very least, girlhood in the 2010s–just as the Teen Titans in Teen Titans GO! are more focused on the daily life of normal adolescence than on crime-fighting. The narrator, an omniscient character, no longer interjects in the stories like any superhero TV show announcer–then again, no narrator was heard in Justice League. Ms. Keane’s breasts have somehow been sliced off. And Miss Bellum, whose face still leaves plenty to our imagination, has left her secretarial post at the Mayor’s office because the producers deemed her offensive. I’m sorry, but at what point in the original series did Miss Bellum offend the young viewers of the late-1990s and early-2000s like myself–or parents of said viewers for that matter? All she did was give reasonable advice to both the dim-witted Mayor and the Powerpuff Girls–and kicked Sedusa’s ass with flair! Whatever the reason may be, writing Miss Bellum out of the show was the stupidest decision the producers made.

 

And last, but certainly not least because this isn’t the top five list of reasons why the PPG reboot isn’t as good as I originally thought…

 

5. Poor handling of today’s social issues

Most specifically, issues concerning the transgender (or LGBT) community. The producers of the PPG proved that much in the subliminally controversial episode “Horn, Sweet Horn.” It centers around a white pony named Donny, who believes in his heart of hearts that he is a unicorn. Bubbles, a firm believer in the existence of unicorns, pressures Donny to undergo a transformation procedure so that she’ll prove to her classmates that unicorns do exist. The girls ask the Professor if he can change Donny into a unicorn. After giving a lot of thought and writing an exhaustive list of negative side effects that can come after the transition procedure for Donny to read and sign, he goes through with it. But instead of turning into a unicorn, Donny transforms into a scarlet bogeyman and terrorizes Townsville. The LGBT community took great offense with how the episode was written, calling it out as a great bias towards children and teens who have already come to terms with their gender identity or are still struggling to figure it out. I agree. Take a look at trans advocate Delia Melody’s “Trans People React to The Powerpuff Girls ‘Horn, Sweet Horn.'”

 

From animation errors to change in cast of characters to the producers’ audacity to offend a marginalized community with a single episode in a time when they’re suffering interminable discrimination by the government–especially with the passing of House Bill 2 (HB2) in North Carolina–I have decided that I can no longer stomach any more episodes of the PPG reboot.

This is just the trouble with animated reboots. The people who create them wish to maintain the legacy of the original series and its creators, whether they’re alive or dead. Craig McCracken is still alive and well, but wasn’t involved with the PPG reboot because he’s invested his time in producing other shows for other networks. Nick Jennings and Bob Boyle should’ve watched the original PPG in its entirety to make the reboot exactly like that, but they watered it down in favor of the animation standards Cartoon Network has set today. It is, unfortunately, the price we pay for harboring nostalgia over the greatest cartoons of our generation.

Now, if you can grant me permission to recite this meme in two words: CHILDHOOD. RUINED.