“Ash Ketchum failing for 22 years taught me being a loser is OK”

I really geniunely love this article.

A few nice quotes from Pokemon fans:

“Pokemon was great escapism for me but it also taught me that not necessarily being the best, that was OK too,” 27-year-old Jake Saunders from Bromborough tells BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“Putting it bluntly, it was like being a loser is OK. The important lesson is to pick yourself back up, roll with the punches and keep going.

This little graphic I found on Twitter illustrates the point nicely. Look how he kept on getting better and better! Sometimes you really do gotta keep working for twenty years.

And Laura Kate Dale, who’s 28 and from Surrey, says Ash proved to her that you could be “still worthy of praise” even if you failed every single time.

“He was always the underdog, half the times he won gym badges it was because he did something nice, not because he was the best at fighting,” she tells Newsbeat.

“There was something really beautiful about seeing that growing up – that it’s OK if you’re not the strongest, the most qualified, as long as you keep trying to be the best person you can be, the nicest you can be to people around you.”

That was probably the most important thing Pokemon taught me, to be honest.

Kate says an episode in which Ash met a Charmander (small, red, dragon-ish, tail on fire – you know the one) which had been abandoned by its original trainer has stuck with her to this day.
“At the time, I was a child dealing with the fact that my biological dad had left and didn’t seem to care the way he was supposed to,” she says.
“The episode’s story was about learning to move on and be OK after someone who was supposed to look after you just vanishes – it was really tasteful in dealing with something that as a child was really difficult to comprehend.
“That’s what the show was really good at. It told stories about relatable themes in digestible ways for children.”

It was, it really really was. As a child I related to Brock the most because he was forced by circumstances into caring for his younger siblings. That wasn’t too far away from my reality. So here I was, clinging to a fictional story for children that every adult within the vincity mocked and mocked and mocked while the home life got ever worse.

Don’t make fun of stuff children like. Please don’t. Look what they can do with it.

Vintage Disneyworld: Discovery Island

DISCOVERY ISLAND! It has long been a source of fascination for me. That sweet little zoo I visited as a child in 1996 is now apparently an overgrown, decaying, delightful house of mild horrors. There are vultures! There are dead snakes in jars!


Anyway. Many brave souls have ventured their way into Discovery Island over the years. Some also have been sued by Disney I believe. I would definitely jump at the chance to explore the still-very much abandoned Island, but instead, hey, let’s see what it was like as a fully-functioning, snakesinjars-less part of the park.

It’s a croc! Is it just me or does he not look all that happy to be behind fencing?

I can’t read these signs but I think they’re telling you to please not feed the animals or presumably the Mouse will get you.

These adorable Roseate Spoonbills all got relocated to Animal Kingdom when it opened, I think.

I don’t think my family spent too long at Discovery Island during ye olde Disney holiday. From what I remember it wasn’t really appealing to children because there were no rides or costumed characters around.

My brother it seems REALLY REALLY liked the sand though.

Vintage Disneyworld: Magic Kingdom

So I stumbled across a treasure trove of photos in my parents’ house, hooray. I was DELIGHTED.

Ya see, my love affair/general bizarre fascination with theme parks probably started when I was 8 or so and got taken to Disneyworld in Florida. I have very few actual memories of the experience, but thank god, my parents were early adopters of state-of-the-art camera technology!

…Sadly I am not, and all of these pictures are photos of photos because I have no access to a scanner. But for my fellow lovers of the Disney parks and spectacular theme parks in general, here’s a reasonably clear look of what Disneyworld looked like circa 1996 (yep, pre-Animal Kingdom). Part one! I’ll cover Epcot, the Studios, Typhoon Lagoon and poor, forgotten, abandoned Discovery Island later.

The ferry to the Magic Kingdom. Whether this ferry still exists, and where one would get on it, I have no idea. Hey, there’s the castle in the background!

The cable cars! I have vague memories of us riding in either a red or yellow one. Apparently the cable cars are gone now? Aw man. One of the memories I do have from Disneyworld is going over a lake (I think that’s the black blob to the left) in the cable car and my dad telling me that the submarines used to be under there. That would have been the 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride, which shut down a mere two years before my family visited. I was so close.

The castle as seen from the cable cars.

Now this is from a parade I gather was a surreal celebration of all things Mickey. According to my husband, the picture on the left “looks like a Mickey Mouse head stuck on something’s crotch.”

Still, at least the ‘real’ Mickey was less unnerving, right?

Okay nevermind.

A couple of other, much better photos from the Mickey Parade (Why does the name ‘Mickey and Friends Parade’ keep coming back to me? Maybe that was its actual name?)

Here’s Splash Mountain, which I never rode:

According to my eight-year-old self, encouraged by my parents to label the Disney photos in the family photo album, this is a ‘indien village’. What it actually is and where it was, if it’s even actually in the Magic Kingdom, I have no idea. Anyone recognise this?

Here’s Cogsworth. Why he has a tiny Mickey inside him I have no idea.

Here’s It’s A Small World, which I gather has not in fact changed much in the past couple decades:

I’m guessing this is Discoveryland, with its funky retro rockets:

And that’s 1996 Magic Kingdom! I have a few more disconnected memories. I remember we nearly set the holiday villa on fire. Ah, good times.

On the left is the Pokemon card I got when I saw Pokemon: The First Movie in 2000 at age 12. On the right is the Pokemon card I got when I saw Detective Pikachu with my husband at age 31.

I wonder what will be next.