Matthew Graybosch
a cynical idealist, sf author, and full-stack developer

A Caturday Morning Cartoon I'd Like to Have Seen

If you remember Caturday morning cartoons, you might remember them being preachy infomercials for cheaply made, overpriced toys marketed as "action figures" so parents wouldn’t get uptight about their boys playing with dolls. Nevertheless, here’s some dialogue from one I’d like to see.


VILLAIN
Please don’t kill me!

CRUEL HERO
Why shouldn’t I?

KIND HERO
They’re human, just like you.

CRUEL HERO
They were happy to deny my humanity until I got my hand around their throat. Those who make me the other make themselves the other to me.

KIND HERO
You’re right. Killing this asshole would be the smart thing to do. But please stay your hand. Death would only end his misery.

CRUEL HERO
(grinning) Now you’re talking.

an hour later…

VILLAIN
Please! (gasp) Make them stop.

CRUEL HERO
(pulling KIND HERO away) Jeez. Save some for me, wouldja?

KIND HERO
I should be sorry. This is more your style.

CRUEL HERO
Not that I don’t like your style, but let’s get serious. What came over you?

KIND HERO
When I think of everything this asshole has done, and the way they’ve manipulated us, it makes me want to punch kittens. I wonder if maybe your way is better.

CRUEL HERO
You gotta do something about that empathy. Keep seeing shit from my viewpoint and you’ll lose sight of who you want to be. Writing these assholes’ obituaries with their own blood is my schtick.

KIND HERO
Is that really how you see yourself, after all we’ve been through?

CRUEL HERO
Listen: I don’t mind getting my hands dirty so my friends can rest easy with clean consciences. I can play the monster as long as you’re around to remind me I’m still human.

KIND HERO
Perhaps I’ve rubbed off on you more than you realize?

CRUEL HERO
While you’re flattering yourself, would you mind patching up this sack of shit so I can have a turn?


If you want to use this in a non-commercial production, it should be easy to change the names and pronouns. Just throw some credit my way, OK? (And if you want to use this in a for-profit production, that can be arranged.)


Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or constructive comments, please email me. I may reply directly to you, or if I think your message might be of interest to other readers I will answer with a new blog post.