The year was 1999 when Spongebob Squarepants premiered on Nickelodeon right after the Kids’ Choice Awards. There was something so incredibly captivating about this cartoon and I took a liking to it almost immediately. It had this ridiculously happy-go-lucky theme song, an amazing collection of colors in the animation, and arguably the strangest main character seen to date: A seemingly pansexual sponge that, well, lived in a pineapple under the sea.
Within less than a month, almost every student at Spring Garden Elementary was donning some sort of Spongebob apparel while drawing Patrick Star on their notebooks and trying to perfect their best Squidward impressions. If I remember correctly, it was one of the biggest shows that both boys and girls were equally into at the time. Strangely enough, I actually started developing legitimate friendships with a lot of girls due to our mutual love for the show. I would usually play football during recess, but over the next year or so I became more interested in hanging out, drawing pictures, and cracking jokes with the type of people who also loved Spongebob.
Eventually my football friends turned into enemies. They would poke fun at me and the Spongebob crew because we were nice to girls and no longer cared for getting riled up over a leather ball. They would overreact and taunt me as if I was playing with Barbies while belting Britney Spears when in reality I was just enjoying a common interest with a group of people regardless of anyone’s gender. My new group of friends was actually a lot more fun to be around; no one said the word “fag,” no one would get made fun of for how they threw a ball, and no one wanted to pick fights. Now that I think about it, those times were actually pretty beautiful. I went from a potential bro to a tolerant young man mostly because of that little yellow fucker and his underwater friends.
So anyway, it’s no secret to anyone that there is currently an epidemic amongst the male population: the definition of a “man” is slowly turning into that of a “grown up boy.” Year after year I see waves of these dudes resort to over-the-top antics in order to solidify a heterosexual image and it’s actually really sad. For whatever reason, thousands upon thousands of dudes are joining frats, over-partying, filming each other get into fights, taking steroids, and treating their girlfriends like shit all in the name of “being manly.” If it were up to me, boys wouldn’t be so concerned with the implied competition that comes with being a male. However, I also understand that not every guy ends up being exposed to any sort of common ground they can share with the female demographic. So nowadays, any time I see some thirsty-ass-shrimp-dicked-wannabe-alpha-male-meathead pounding on his chest after a fifteen second keg stand, I’m all like “Yo… That kid NEVER watched Spongebob.”