Its a mixed up muddled up shook up world

June 1, 2007

One of the highlights of my first year as a blogeur was my late night trip to Iowa, a trek I hope to approximate within the next two weeks. One of the quirks of the earlier trip that I neglected to mention in that last post was our musical accompaniment: Dash, ever the hype machine loving trendsetter/follower, made several mixes of indie rock madness (In order to demonstrate just how long Yesterday’s Salad has been extant, here are some tracks we were listening to: Final Fantasy, “The CN Tower is built upon the bones of the Dead,” Tapes ‘N Tapes, “Insistor,” and Paul McCartney’s, “Temporary Secretary“).

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My travelling companion, he of Junction 55 and the Trumpeteers fame, decided to make a mix tape of Cartoon theme songs. Apparently he and some friends had held a contest to determine the best cartoon theme song in history and he now wanted my take. For brevity’s sake, I’ll just mention that, in their humble opinions, “Chip N Dale’s Rescue Rangers” and “Duck Tales” are the top contenders.

But word has come to the Salad news desk that a new, highly scientific study based on multiple regression analyses has named a different best cartoon theme song: Cracked magazine (is still being published?) has ruled that “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is in fact the best cartoon theme song. While I admit that I am no great expert in Musically Themed Introductory Numbers to Animated Series, I was convinced that the “Duck Tales” theme is the finest of the lot, if only because of the audacity of using a Japanese theme song for an American Kids show during the peak of American fears of Japanese economic takeovers (see, for example, Gung Ho)

While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I just want to point out that this is completely a generational issue. Those who came of age a scant ten years before I mention Danger Mouse as the best theme.

It’s not, but I understand why they make the argument. It all comes down to Freud’s repetition principal. We enjoy what we know, what is comforting to us, and especially that which we experienced in childhood. But then again, maybe not. Maybe there is a “Best” in the sense that Citizen Kane is still the best movie of all-time even though younguns don’t especially enjoy it any more. We can still recognize the innovative elements of the movie, what it gave to modern cinema and the process of defamiliarization.

So, for those who wish to claim that TMNT is better than Duck Tales I have but one last thought: both theme songs feature stutters, however “Duck Tales” came first and was therefore more innovative. In short: The Who’s “My Generation” is the greatest cartoon theme of all-time.

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One Response to “Its a mixed up muddled up shook up world”

  1. Jen Says:

    Dear Sir: I believe it is Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers that has the (pronounced) stutter, not TMNT.


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