Fables of yesteryear

Just a short filler entry today. I was anticipating the modern remake movie of my favourite childhood cartoon series Thundercats but was recently disappointed but the announcment of it's cancellation. That really came as a surprise as old childhood favourites like The A Team and G.I. Joe had already made it to the silver screen. Thundercats in my books were even more cool than the two former. I remember when I was 9 for a class art project I fashioned my own version of "Mumm-Ra"'s head gear, complete with those dreadlock thungys! Well, the dread locks were just streaks of paper but hey, I was 9 okay! Mumm-Ra is the chief baddie in Thundercats. For those who don't know how Mumm-Ra looks like I will elighten you:


I wonder if they'll remake Mc Gyver. That WOULD be cool! =) I think the little boys of the late 70s and 80s have now made it into the ranks of the movie makers and are now pushing for the remakes of their own childhood favourites. Funnily, the cartoons and series of yesteryear always has a community message at the end. The cartoon He-Man and She-Ra had them give a short "tazkirah" at the end of the episode to remind kids on various morality issues. Even the original A-Team series had Mr T at the end of the episode with all his bling2 glory telling kids to drink their milk and go to school! And I think it worked! Kids actually did go to school, and drank their milk cos their "hero" says it's cool to do so. It may look cheesy to us adults but to kids, they really look up to their role models.

Which brings me to a topic I've discussed with a few friends of mine before: Do we as muslims have a role model for the young? Some will say of course! We have the Prophet pbuh. the sahabas(companions) and all the good people mentioned in the Quran! Well yes, I agree but how many people here are actually touched by these great characters and are influenced by them?! Here in Malaysia, again the earliest form of Islamic media was pioneered by the late Al-Arqam movements with Islamic comics etc. Though Arqam has been long deceased, a recent trip to this year's KL international book fair has proved that Islamic comic books and media for children is very much alive and kicking but to have any for of impacts on the general public, TV is the way to go and this is where there is a vacuum despite there being "islamic" channels on both free channels and Astro. On second thought, for any sort of Islamic role model to be successful, he/she has to go mainstream, i.e. acceptance must come from the general public hence the popular channels must be able to take the character on, like how UPIN and IPIN had garnered such a following. I heard that they're even popular in Indonesia! Kudos to the team behind Upin & Ipin.

I haven't really thought this out thoroughly yet but you may be asking what this role model would be like? To me on first thought, the basic requirements is he must be a cool in a way that kids will look up to him/her. A good role model must also espouse good values, Akhlaq and should be able to be accepted as a role model for all. When I mean for all, i mean for muslims and non-muslims alike. Therefore he must espouse the universal goodness of islam in has actions and conversations. He/she must be socially acceptable to the masses. To achieve this, taking the middle line is best. I think there is a muslim tradition (hadith) saying that in areas of dispute or uncertainty the best way is the way of moderation. Even in worship there must be moderation like what was written in Imam Nawawi's Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous) which you can read by following this link here. In fact you can read the whole book there! Okay I think I'm off tangent again...

Okay, back to the heroes of yesteryear. Do you remember Bruce Lee? Well he used to play the character "Kato" in an old tv series "The Green hornet". Guess what? they're re-making the old series into a movie due out in 2011! Watch the trailer on the movie site page here. the film has the recipies to please boys of all ages out there: A hero that kicks Ass, A side kick with cool martial arts moves, gadgets that are out of this world and a car with a big engine, big wheels and as an added bonus, the car has guns attached to it too! Huge great big guns! hahaha... Okay, now i'm starting to think that all those guns isn't such a good influence on kids hey, that's what they like to watch! So a i think a disclaimer is required: "Please don't try this at home". Old TV heroes are so much cooler than the Ben10s and Pokemons of today but one must be in touch with the real world to see why these characters have such a following and try to replicate their success and use it to spread the word. Like what Yusoff Estes said when he came to Malaysia a few years back: "As muslims our duty is not to convert people, that is the work of God but to spread the message of Islam." May Allah be pleased with us. Final thoughts: Have you noticed that all the old 80's heroes speak with a deep, projected voice... none of the modern heroes speak like that anymore...i guess that was the "macho" voice back then....


Boys will love this! A car with a big engine which has guns!! hehehe...


The original "Black Beauty":

The new "Black Beauty":


Now with all the guns out!: