Transforming Times. A blog post.

By Nicky Tyranno.

The year was 1984, and the best thing known to man happened. And I’m not just talking about the birth of yours truly. Or the Challenger explosion. I’m talking about the rise of a certain race of rambunctious robots who are clearly more than meets the eye, The Transformers. These transforming war machines catapulted onto the toy scene, destroying all in their path.

The Heroic Autobots battled the Evil Decepticons to protect our planet, Earth, and reclaim their home world, Cybertron. Respectively lead, primarily, by Optimus Prime and Megatron, their war captured and inspired the minds of millions of children, some eventually becoming grown men who collect their plastic counterparts, displaying them prominently on shelves in their computer rooms. These people are the definition of men.

youre-not-as-much-of-a-man-as-him

But this is not a transformers history lesson. That would take forever. With countless alternate universes, numerous cartoons and comics, attempting to cover it all in a single blog post would be excessive and futile. If you would love to experience that phenomenon, I recommend visiting the Transformers Wiki. The end all, be all of Transformers. I approve. It fucking dominates.

What this blog is, however, is a blog about a race of creatures that transform from cute to adorable, Air Buddies!

airbuddies
Just kidding, but really, who can pass up an Air Buddies reference? Not this man, that’s for sure.

Now, what this blog is really about, is how Transformers, while being a child’s toy line, was actually waaay more than that. While on the surface the cartoon was simply a cartoon with the intention of selling toys, it was a sign of the times in which it was made.

Cybertron is a planet devastated by war. Its resources are running thin. There is practically nothing left. During the late 1970’s, Iran had a revolution where the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, fled his country in early 1979, allowing Ayatollah Khomeini to gain control. The protests and subsequent revolution devastated the Iranian oil markets, forcing Iran to export less oil than it previously had. There was a shortage. The entire world was in disarray. Just like on Cybertron.

transformers_animated

Now this isn’t to say the Autobots and Decepticons are supposed to be Iranians or any other nationality, simply that for the first time on Earth our leaders realized that energy would eventually run out.  It was finite. We could dry it all up.

What the Autobots and Decepticons represent are the two different mindsets in which we could go about acquiring new forms of energy. Autobots, search and explore new regions and new methods of power (shown by how the Autobots left their home world aboard their ship, to see what else was out there) or the Decepticons, who are all about taking, stealing and conquering to get whatever they want. (Shown by, well, every Decepticon action in the history of Decepticon history).

Now, by looking at how things are going down on our planet, you can see who is following a Decepticon trail or thought or an Autobot one. Keep in mind, Megatron’s motto is “Peace through Tyranny”. In order to solve their problem, both sides believe what they’re doing is the “right” thing to do, but without the willingness to negotiate with each other, constant war is inevitable. There’s a reason these two collectives have been blowing each other apart for thousands of millennia.

But lack of energy is only a byproduct of The Transformers overarching civil war. How was this war started? Well, the media differs between each other, but more often than not, the Autobots and Decepticons used to be united. They used to be one, solid race until a group started becoming either oppressed or neglected. When one side felt its needs were not being met, they took action to get those needs met. Is there a lesson to be learned here? Does this mirror any of the current situations going on in our own, less fictional world?

Good question.

So yeah, you can expect more of the same types of reflections from me in the future. Media is often a product of the times created, and not produced in a vacuum. Evaluating these things, because I think most people don’t think about things this way, is a good way to address serious issues in a less serious, more entertaining way. Which really, is the goal of good movies in the first place.

-Nick

To check out my comic page, Happy Robots, and see what else I’m up to, click here.

And to read about our latest Podcast at Total Domination, click here, or scroll down the page.

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