Men Don’t Grow Up, They Just Get Older

March 1, 2016

“L-A-Z-L-O, L-A-Z-L-OOOOOOOO, and Lazlo was his name-o.” I recently rediscovered a cartoon I remember watching in elementary school, Camp Lazlo. I remember laying on my living room floor, eating Chex-mix and watching Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon everyday after school. Watching a multitude of episodes has brought back the feeling of nostalgia of watching Cartoon Network and then recapping the next day at school. (The coolest kid was the one who directly quoted every line).

It seems like a thing with all men, no matter what age, to love cartoons. I remember waking up many mornings to watch Spongebob Squarepants with my Dad before getting ready to go to elementary school. Back then the episodes were simpler and ten times better.

I was sitting in my dorm room, on my futon, with my computer in my lap and a box of Cheez-It’s next to me watching Camp Lazlo on Youtube. I looked around at myself and realized I had reverted back to 10-year old Seth, and it was actually kind of fun. There was something special about feeling like a kid again, a new sense of freedom I guess.

Since I have been in College, I’ve found myself getting into hobbies and activities I used to be into when I was younger. I built model airplanes, (the glue together not the “snaptite”, snaps are silly). I started collecting baseball cards again and started playing Mario Kart again with a few friends.

I think what draws a lot of guys to cartoons and to hobbies meant for a younger generation is the simplicity of it all. When we were kids, we had nothing to worry about. Our parents took care of everything and the only decision we had to make was what flavor of Capri-Sun to get. (Pacific Cooler was my personal favorite).

Once we got older, things got harder. Friends started to change and school got real. We lost the innocence of running around in the dirt with our friends and playing Dragonball Z on the playground at school. (Or whatever you played. That’s what we did, and I had a good childhood).

Cartoons have the power to take us as men back to the years before girls mattered and before we had to shave our faces and dress ourselves.

For me, it was shows like Fairly Odd Parents that told me I didn’t have to grow up and shows like Spongebob Squarepants that told me all I need in life was a passion and an idiot friend who would always be there for me. (Except for the episode where Patrick goes to boating school and gets Spongebob in trouble with Mrs. Puff).

When I realized, though, that I was a kid again, I felt good again. It made me happy. I felt silly, and I love to be silly. Taking life too seriously is pointless. Why would I want to be serious about everything when I could have fun? I think that’s the key to a good life: to stay young at heart and find a friend that will laugh with you no matter what.

-Seth Reeks, A&E Editor

this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 9 of The Mississippi Collegian

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