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Cartoons innocent? Heck no!

I still remember the day when I used to watch the good old mouse chasing in Tom and Jerry or the fantastic dogfights in Swat Cats, but there comes a time when you realize (obviously) how silly they are. For example, can't Tom just give up? Or Hey Scooby Doo people, (those guys have a name right?) stop going to haunted places and trying to 'solve mysteries'; go to college, get a job or better, get a life!

I guess this is the time when you try to become an adult and close down all the links to kiddihood. But after a couple of years you are mature enough to realize that you are not too old to watch cartoons. Although maybe you are too old to watch some cartoons. So here are some cartoons you can watch without consciously feeling kiddish- some of these are the best cartoons in the world.

The Simpsons
The timeless Simpsons has returned for an entire new season. Bart and Lisa are a little older now and so Homer Simpson thinks this is the time for having 'the talk' with Bart. I saw this part in a TV ad, and I laughed my head off. Ok here is it:

Homer: Son, its time to tell you a few stuff
Bart: Sure, Homer, what is it?

Homer: Why do you think your mom and I sleep in the same bed?
Bart: Because we are poor

Homer: Exactly. And why do you think we are poor? Because we have too many kids. And do you know why we have too many kids?

Yup, The Simpsons is back with its characteristic wacky humor. I would rate The Simpsons as one of the best cartoons ever and can be watched by both kids and adults alike.

South Park
SEVERE 18+ Rating for horrible language and slang use.
You know about South Park. Sure you do! South Park is the most outrageous and disgusting cartoon on the planet. It's so disgusting that it's also probably the most hilarious thing on the planet. The cartoon has minimalist graphics. I mean if you look at it, you will think: What the hell? These are drawings? My kid brother can draw better than that! For one thing everything is in 2D. But the story and the dialogues make up the lack of mind-bending illustrations.

South Park is basically about four fourth graders, Portman, Lenny, Kyle and Stan and the stuff they do. After looking at this, your whole perspective on fourth graders is going to change. South Park is all about black humor and slang- poking fun at the less-so-to-be-proud off stuff in our society, like Tom Cruise and Boy-bands. OK, let me leave you with a small sample of the South Park magic:

Kyle: It's so unfair! How can my parents do that to me?!
Stan: Parents can be pretty cruel sometimes, dude. They get off on it.

Cartman: Well, you…could make them… go away for a while.

Kyle: How?!
Cartman: Well, I mean, you… could… call the police and have them take your parents away.

Stan: The police?
Cartman: Yeah, I saw it on TV. All you gotta do is call the police and say that your parents both molestered you.

Kyle: What's that?
Cartman: I don't know, but it works. When I wanted to get rid of my mom's last boyfriend, I just called the police, and said he was molestering me, and I haven't seen him for three months.

Family Guy:
If you like The Simpsons you will love the Family Guy. The Family Guy is more realistic and consequently a bit more 'grown-up'. But who am I kidding? This cartoon has a talking dog with a taste for the works of Shakespeare and Thomas Mann and who can't find the girl (a human girl. Yes, a dog looking for a human girl) with the right amount of sophistication and maturity for his taste. After dating many hot chicks, he finds his true love in an 80 year old grandma who once used to be Opera Singer.

Not crazy enough for you? There is also a little baby, Stewie, with a football shaped head, who not only can talk, but talks in a British accent and hates his mother. Actually in every episode he tries to umm...well…kill his mother.

The other members are stereotypical, with the father being a fat moron and the mother being the only normal one in the family. OK, why should I divulge everything? Watch it. There are a host of crazy characters in the little town, whose antics are going to make you choke over your coke. Dialogue now if you please:

Stewie Griffin: Damn the broccoli, damn you, and damn the Wright Brothers!
Lois Griffin: My, aren't we fussy tonight. Okay. No broccoli.

Stewie Griffin: Very well then. L...
[Lois shoves the Broccoli into his mouth. Stewie then spits it out.]

Stewie Griffin: Who the hell do you think you are?
Lois Griffin: Honey, it's not gonna go away just because you don't like it.

Stewie Griffin: Damn you, vile woman! You've impeded my work since the day I escaped from your wretched womb!
Awesome, awesome. Highly recommended.

Dragon Ball Z
Well, almost everyone knows about Dragon Ball Z- the cartoon which I think is one of the most sorry-est excuse for a cartoon, yet is so addictive that some claim it is a cigarette stick disguised as a cartoon show. I haven't seen DBZ yet and my friends warn me not to: They say you are going to get hooked up so bad that you can't quit. For example take this tale of a certain friend whose A-Level Exams are well two days later:

“ Man, I can't quit. DBZ is like one of the stupidest thing ever, but it's so catchy. You just got to know what happens next. You just can't stop. And there are 280 episodes in total!”

Hmm, if you didn't watch DBZ yet, try it out. I know I am going to this summer, to see what the hype is all about. But don't come crying to me with sore eyes and burnt out TVs. From what people say, it's good, it's really good. Oh and if you are wondering, its about this guy Goku who can fight by shooting fireballs from his hand. I think the story is mostly about trying to save the world by collecting these dragon ball thingies before the evil dudes collect it.
And disclaimer: I have nothing against my parents.

By Reggie

Book review
The boy in the striped pajamas

Last week, I raced through the last pages of The Crystal Gorge, breathlessly waiting to see what transpires in the end, only to discover what I'd thought of as a trilogy actually had a fourth book…and, not having this fourth book, I felt cheated of the ending.

That put me in such a foul mood, I was out of sorts with everybody…starting from the local bookstores for never having affordable quality fantasy in their stocks, to whoever wrote the blurbs for the three books, making me believe there were just the three, and finally myself for making too many stupid assumptions.

Still in a sulky mood, I picked up this book with the plain, unpretentious cover, a gift from my good friend Natalie, and started reading it. The story ended up touching my heart and left me feeling guilty for kicking up such a fuss over trivial matters. Told through the perspective of a nine-year old boy Bruno, the story outlines the unlikely friendship between the son of a Nazi Commandant and a Polish Jew, who is a prisoner at the very concentration camp his father is in charge of. It begins with Bruno being told by his mother that they are to leave their large and luxurious house in Berlin and move to a seedy looking place (that had only three storeys!) in a place called Out-With, because his father had done something to please the 'Fury'. If that's not bad enough, they don't get to leave back his older sister Gretel, even though she is a Hopeless Case.

In the beginning, Bruno is in ill humour, and rants against his cruel fate, missing his old life, his friends and the old house. Out-with is a desolate place compared to Berlin, and his house is under siege from cold, forbidding soldiers, who are nothing like his father, who is so smart and impressive. Then there is the household help, which includes a sad-looking waiter called Pavel, who claims he's actually a doctor, and the funny fenced-in place he can see from his window, which is full of muddy huts, and people all dressed in striped pajamas.

One day, out of sheer boredom, Bruno decides to go exploring, and ultimately finds himself standing outside the fenced-in place. On the other side of the fence, a dot becomes a blob, which becomes a boy in striped pajamas. He says his name is Shmuel, a name Bruno has never heard before, and before long, the two become friends, and this friendship slowly changes Bruno's life forever. Just how this happens, I'll leave it to you to read and find out.

The story reads a little like Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole books, but Bruno's circumstances are so different from Adrian's, there isn't much scope for the tongue-in-cheek humour that Townsend liberally garnishes her story with. As the reader progresses through the story, and figures out what's actually going on, it takes on a fable-like form, not unlike The Happy Prince, and the ending is just as touching. This is definitely a story that will tug at your heartstrings and make you stop and count your blessings.

By Sabrina F Ahmad


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