I’m not going to waste too much time on a fancy introduction on this list. As it is I could only think of three things to put on this one. It isn’t my usual five or the ever-so-popular ten, but why should that matter? The subject is still there, I still feel the same way about the particular items on this list—why give up writing about them because I don’t have “enough?”
Anyway, I got to thinking recently about a few things in my life that I enjoyed for a long time only to have them ruined by somebody making some sort of revelation about them. I’m not making a complaint along the lines of one bad movie ruined my love of an entire franchise. That’s too common a complaint these days. Besides, it doesn’t hold: the newest Batman movie is not going to stop me from watching the television series from the sixties. No, I’m referring to specific things that I used to enjoy.
Here they are: three things that were ruined for me by somebody else.
- “Love Me Tender.” When I was a kid I liked Elvis. At least, I thought I did. Having a lot of older adults in my life my first experiences with music, and pop culture at large, were more from decades before my birth than those afterwards. My first connection to music aside from cartoon theme songs was through my mother’s old records from the fifties and sixties, with Elvis singles among them.
I grew out of liking Elvis for the most part, although the one song that I could keep going back to was “Love Me Tender.” I find it to have the most enjoyable melody. I never gave the lyrics much thought, though. That is, I didn’t until a college professor pointed out that the main lyric of “Love me tender/Love me true” is grammatically incorrect. Now I can’t listen to the song without realizing that the words should be “tenderly” and “truly,” and that would ruin the rhyming scheme.
- “Count Chocula.” I wasn’t able to become vegetarian overnight. I had lapses for a few years. Even then, I didn’t do enough research. I didn’t even know I had to. But in these times of processed food it turns out that there are a lot of ingredients out there made from animal products. For the most part, they’re easy to avoid. It only requires a few adjustments of my shopping habits to satisfy my dietary needs. But that doesn’t mean that it was easy to give up everything, especially gelatin.
I could go on a rant of how gelatin can be made without dead animal products and we can substitute the gelatin in marshmallows without problem. But the only thing that I truly miss is “Count Chocula” cereal. I loved that cereal. Then my sister, a fellow vegetarian, explained to me that marshmallows have gelatin and what that means. Granted, for health reasons this probably turned out for the best as I used to eat almost an entire box for breakfast at a time. But still, I would love to have kept that option open.
- Ghostbusters. No, I’m not going to go on a rant about the new one. And this doesn’t affect my love for the cartoon shows. (And I mean both of them—am I the only one that wants Extreme Ghostbusters to make a comeback?) But I also use to love the first movie. Now I have a hard time watching it. It isn’t impossible for me, but given my disdain for certain politics I cringe when thinking about certain aspects of this movie.
It started when I was watching a retro review by The Nostalgia Critic. Near the end of his review he made what I thought at the time to be an interesting point: that Walter Peck, the representative from the E.P.A., was right. Sure, he was an asshole and should have looked into the consequences of opening the containment unit more before doing so, but he largely had the right idea.
Then I was listening to an episode of The Smartest Man in the World right after Harold Ramis died. Greg Proops was going over Ramis’ career, saying that he was skipping Ghostbusters because of how Regan-istic it was. Then it all clicked. The revolutionaries buck the establishment in order to go into business for themselves. They become successful enough to hire a token black guy when along comes an environmentalist from the government to ruin their plans. Because of his bleeding-heart liberalism the private business then has to risk their lives in order to save the world.
And don’t get me going on Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I already covered that issue with item number two.
Am I never going back to these things in order to enjoy them? Well, I can’t with the cereal. But I’m sure at some point I can get over the grammatical errors with “Love Me Tender.” I can probably watch Ghostbusters again if I try to forget the politics of the time. But these things won’t be the same. I’ll still be thinking about the problems while I’m trying to enjoy myself. Does that make me an adult or something?