The Art of Projection

What an incredible organ the human mind is.

The mind is so powerful that it is able to create alternate universes and allow its’ user to fully believe that they reside in said universe instead of the real one.

This practice is called projection.

The dictionary defines projection as “the tendency to ascribe to another’s feelings, thoughts or attitudes present in oneself, or to regard external reality as embodying such feelings, thoughts, etc., in some way.” In the internet pop culture sense, it means the art of formulating some well-honed opinion, belief or ideal in one’s head and having such a passion and fervor for said belief system that one starts to believe in said formulation as concrete fact rather than mere opinion.

In my travels through Cyberville, I’ve encountered some truly unique and interesting projections. They’re not true, but boy are they colorful. Listed below are 6 of the more deadening, popular or jarring projections that I’ve heard over the years, with a handy little debunking of each:

PROJECTION #1: “Disney’s acquisition of Marvel, as well as their current wave of tweencoms, are an abomination of the Disney name and brand. Walt would not approve of this, nor would he allow this if he were alive today.”

REALITY: This is nothing more than opinion. The truth is that while we may not like what Disney is doing currently, the bigwigs at Disney don’t care about our gripes, because they’re raking in the money. The Mouse House is just as popular and profitable right now as it’s ever been, so they don’t view what they’re doing as a failure or an abomination of any kind.

As for “Walt wouldn’t do this/Walt is doing cartwheels in his grave over this” rhetoric, people need to keep in mind that the Disney corporation is a business. Yes, it’s a business. Some folks may want to believe that Walt was just a jolly old benevolent soul who lived in a gingerbread and lollipop factory with his crew of happy little elves, making cartoons and dreams to make children smile and would have done so for free, the truth is that Walt was a businessman. He was as much a capitalist as anyone else. He wanted to make money, and he would’ve had no problem with Disney’s current practices. And why would he? The Mouse House isn’t doing anything different than any other major conglomerate.

When Disney bought Marvel last year, so many people starting running around like chickens with their heads cut off, crying that the sky was falling and the seas were going to turn into fire. I don’t get why so many people are having conniptions over Disney’s acquisition of Marvel when Warner Bros. has owned the rights to DC Comics’ properties for years now, and no one bats an eyelash over that. Disney acquired Marvel in order to capture the preteen boy demographic that they so desperately desire (this is also why Toon Disney was transformed into Disney Close-Eyed Grin (XD)), and they’ve stated quite tellingly that they wouldn’t be interfering with any of Marvel’s productions. Does anybody really think that this means that Mickey, Donald and Goofy will be joining the Avengers or that Peter Parker is going to start hitting up the Disney Princesses for some digits now that he’s on the rebound thanks to Joe Quesada? I think not.

Regarding Disney’s acquisition of the Muppets: would it be better if Disney had left the Muppets where they were before? In the hands of some unknown German company collecting dust in some closet? At least Disney is trying to give the Muppets some exposure and is willing to actually do something with them. (If only they would start giving a crud about the Fox Kids properties that they’re just sitting on right now.)

As for the tweencoms, does anybody remember Tim Consadine? Annette Funicello? Spin and Marty? Merlin Jones? Hayley Mills? They were the Miley Cyurses, Demi Lovatos, Ashley Tisdales and Dylan and Cole Sprouces of their day. The notion that “Walt wouldn’t allow tweencoms under his rule” is a complete and total load. Even Kurt Russel starred in Disney movies as a teenager. There have always been Disney teen stars, and there will always be Disney teen stars. Get over it.

PROJECTION #2: “Behind-the-scenes politics and/or poor scheduling is what caused my favorite show to get canceled. The network is mean; they had it in for my favorite show all along and they didn’t give it a chance.”

REALITY: I’ve read this on so many message boards that’s it not even funny. OK, maybe it’s a little funny, because it’s so far-fetched and paranoid. To name just one example: I’ve heard tons of conspiracy theories regarding why Cartoon Network US dumped HiHi Puffy AmiYumi. They range from “Cartoon Network hates girls” to “Someone at Cartoon Network is prejudiced against the nation of Japan” to my favorite, “It was killed by Andre Benjamin, who’s obviously a gangster because he played a gangster in the movie Four Brothers and clearly worked behind the scenes to kill HiHI so he could get his show, Class of 3000, on the air in its’ place”. I kid you not.

Here’s the real reason that HHPAY was removed from CN: its’ ratings were terrible and CN took it off, then washed their hands of the show. That’s it. “But I read comments on YouTube that the show is more popular than what’s on Cartoon Network right now!” And we all know how credible YouTube comments are; if some shmoe on YouTube said it, it must be true.

Reality check time: Nobody launches or buys a show hoping that it will fail. If a network really had it in for a particular show, they wouldn’t bother buying it or getting it made in the first place. People will tell you (and tell you and tell you) that there’s some deep-seeded conspiracy going on when their favorite show goes away, or that network execs are just evil meanies in black cloaks, who twirl their mustaches and chuckle in malevolent glee as they randomly drop the ax on our favorite shows, just to make the kids cry. Did it ever occur to these people that the show you liked just didn’t get the ratings that the network wanted, and that’s why it was taken off?

PROJECTION #3: “Boomerang stays the way it is because they have a real commitment to the classics, conversely Nicktoons changed because they lost sight of their goal to only run classic Nicktoons.”

REALITY: No. Boomerang hasn’t made any major changes to its’ programming in going on 10 years because they have no real commitment to the channel.

Boomerang doesn’t exist because Turner or Cartoon Network have some passionate devotion to keeping classic cartoons alive. You want to know the real reason why the Boomerang channel was created? Here it is: Boomerang (the channel) was created because the suits at Cartoon Network wanted the really old shows off of the channel in order to make more room for their newer shows and acquisitions. CN wasn’t making a lot of money as the Hanna-Barbera Reruns Channel and they wanted to expand on their original productions and latter-day acquisitions, which were actually bringing them money. But they knew that some nostalgia-loving purists would complain if they just dropped the old-school toons altogether, so someone said, “OK, we’ll create this bonus tier digital ‘trash’ network that will loop the classic cartoons ad nausea, and those who wish to have this channel will have to pay an additional fee in order to receive it, so it’ll still make us money even though advertisers won’t go near it.” That’s why. All of that business about Boomerang being the “home for classic cartoons”? That’s just smoke concocted by the PR department to get people to subscribe to the channel. Boomerang, for all intents and purposes, is basically Cartoon Network’s recycle bin.

Nicktoons changed because it too wasn’t making a lot of money as an ad-free channel that ran nothing but old 90’s Nicktoons, so they altered their schedule accordingly. If the all old-school format were working and was profitable, then they wouldn’t have changed it in the first place. Nicktoons changed because it’s parent company Viacom actually cared enough about the channel to turn it into something profitable. (If only they cared enough about its’ now grown-up fans to give us proper DVD releases of its’ classic Nicktoons….) Boomerang stays the way it is because its’ parents don’t care about it.

As for the notion that “Boomerang has a real commitment to showing classic cartoons”: remember back in late 2005 to early 2006, when the channel began airing shows like Krypto the Superdog, Gerald McBoing-Boing, Baby Looney Tunes and The Mr. Men Show? Ever wonder why Boom just started randomly showing preschool shows on the channel? Well, in 2006, Turner was considering launching a preschool channel to compete with the likes of Nick Jr. and PBS Sprout. (Note that over at CN, a preschool block called Tickle U was running there at the same time.) All of this was a test-run; had Tickle U been a success on CN, Turner would’ve changed Boomerang into this proposed preschool channel. The plans were scrapped only after the Tickle U shows failed to capture an audience and bring in ratings. Had the preschool block been successful, Boomerang viewers be watching the Tickle U channel right now. So much for “commitment to the classics.” It’s all about the dollars, baby. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Tickle U
A glimpse of a future that nearly happened. We dodged a bullet and didn’t even know it.

PROJECTION #4: “The recent Looney Tunes marathons should have aired on Boomerang instead of Cartoon Network, because the Looney Tunes have outgrown CN.”

REALITY: If that were true, then why is Warner Bros developing a new Looney Tunes series, The Looney Tunes Show, for Cartoon Network? Answer: because it isn’t true. At all.

Since the point of the Looney Tunes marathons was to earn ratings and generate new interest in the Looney Tunes, it wouldn’t have made any sense for the Looney Tunes marathons to air on a digital extra channel that hardly anyone gets. Ideally, the Looney Tunes should be airing on both networks, but from a business standpoint, it makes much more sense for the Looney Tunes to be airing on Cartoon Network as opposed to Boomerang.

The Looney Tunes are timeless. There always will be (and should be) a place for them on Cartoon Network. Scooby-Doo and Tom & Jerry have been on CN since day 1, and there’s no reason why Looney Tunes can’t do the same. In fact, there’s only 1 (and I should stress ONLY 1) reason why they don’t: because the Looney Tunes are property of Warner Bros. and as such, the Turner half of the Turner/Time-Warner partnership has to pay the Warner half fees in order to run anything WB owned. Otherwise you’d be seeing Bugs, Daffy, Taz and the gang on CN just as much and as often as Tom, Jerry and Scooby. Believe it.

PROJECTION #5: If Ted Turner were still running Cartoon Network, things would a whole lot better on the channel than they are now. If Ted were in charge again, the Cartoon-Cartoons and Toonami would come back to CN.”

REALITY: First off, let’s fact facts here: Ted isn’t coming back. He couldn’t buy Cartoon Network back now even if he wanted to. The going price for the channel is too rich even for his blood. Second, people need to stop crediting Ted Turner for all of the things that they remember fondly about CN during the mid-to-late 90s to early 00s. Ted wasn’t responsible for the Cartoon-Cartoons or Toonami. Let’s give credit where credit is due here: the “What-A-Cartoon!” project, which led to the Cartoon-Cartoons, was the brainchild of Fred Siebert, not Ted; Toonami was created by Sean Akins and Jason DeMarco, Ted had nothing to do with either of those favorites. So let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that if Ted were to suddenly re-assume the throne of Cartoon Network, that the channel would magically transform into a 90’s nostalgia paradise which shows nothing but Cartoon-Cartoons and anime all day. If you want to know what Cartoon Network would be like under Ted’s command, just look at Boomerang. That’s how it would be, except that we’d be seeing a lot more of this guy…

“Protect the environment, or I’ll @#%!ing kill you! CAPTAIN PLANET!!!”
*********************************
PROJECTION #6: “I don’t watch cartoons, I only watch anime. Anime and action shows like Batman: The Animated Series aren’t cartoons.”

REALITY: This one’s easy to debunk. If something is drawn and animated, then it’s a cartoon, regardless of what country it comes from or what genre it embodies. Many of the people who want to claim that anime and action animated series are something separate from cartoons tend to be teens and young adults who don’t wish to be branded “immature” by admitting that they like cartoons. But you are watching cartoons. It’s simple, this

Batman_the_Animated_Series_logo
..and this

…are just as much cartoons as this

YOGI---BOOBOO

..and this.

Got it? Good. Deal with it.

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