My 3 year old has discovered the joy that is Speed Racer. Every morning when he has breakfast he starts asking for it. So I put in the DVD and Speed appears.
I was a big fan when I was younger. Then in college I got a job doing security at an empty building that had cable. I discovered it again on MTV late at night. I never missed it.
When the Fast and Furious Franchise came out I watched all of them. The acting was terrible, the driving was hilarious, the stunts were against the laws of physics, but I watched them all. It was basically a live action cartoon.
Speed was the ultimate good guy. He respected his parents. He obeyed the law. He never risked the lives of others. Even when he was racing he never cheated, never drove recklessly, and never gave up. He worked for the police. He fought evil and corruption. He was true to his girl, Trixie. He was never mean to his little brother no matter how much trouble he got in.
In short he was the complete opposite of members of the Fast and Furious gang. They were criminals. They stole. They cheated. They fought the police. They were unnecessarily cruel to others. They were completely reckless when they raced, drove, or did anything else. They were bad guys pure and simple. They destroyed most of a village in some foreign country by driving through it. And yet somehow we are supposed to root for them.
I really don't know if there is a cartoon contemporary of the Speed Racer series. However, the juxtaposition of the two shows is a view into the problems we face in this country as a whole.
We no longer root for the good guy. Cops are the enemy. Good is bad, and bad is good. Laws are to be broken. No ones life matters but your own. And the end justifies the means. Do what you want, when you want, the way you want, and don't worry about the consequences. You are entitled to whatever you think you deserve – whether you do or not.
Having the approval of those around you is the supreme justification for your actions – not right and wrong.
With this attitude we have a generation of sub humans who are so self centered they can justify murder. A police officer can, while clearly in the right, shoot a criminal who is committing a crime, and it is the officers fault because the criminal was a “good boy.”
When the word good looses all meaning the word evil does too. When evil looses its meaning then it becomes the norm.
We have websites making celebrities of people who are committing crimes. If you can get the most violent activity possible you can have the top rated video. If you have the most vile language and gore you are a shoe if for the top spot.
We have turned our backs on all that is good and become enamored with evil. It is a complete reversal of the way things should be.
F&F drivers can steal, lie, cheat, kill, and destroy – and they are the heroes. Someone as clean cut as Speed Racer would be laughed at and scoffed.
But I really believe that Speed Racer would shrug it off. He is made of sterner stuff than having to have the approval of others. He would take Trixie, rev up the Mach 5, and speed away. A man who is right and knows it doesn't need a pat on the back from everyone – he knows what he stands for.
Like I said, we need more Speed Racer and less, much less, Fast and Furious.
Speed Racer picture was taken from www.comicvine.com