Do we really want Captain Planet back?

“Captain Planet, he’s our hero,

Gonna take pollution down to zero!”

Arguably one of the most defining jingles of the period. Being a city kid of the nineties, a major part of my childhood was spent in front of the TV watching cartoons, one of my favourites being the iconic series centred around the green-haired blue-skinned superhero whose sole mission was to save the planet from the damaging effects of pollution.

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That was an eyewash. In retrospect, the entire scheme of things in the show was a ploy by Gaia – the self-serving ‘spirit of the earth’ whose repulsion for pollutants and its proponents arose only when the drilling, commissioned by one of the villains, above her chamber of rest disrupted her century long sleep. Pollution, she recognised, was also a source that directly harmed her own health, to protect which she quickly lured four teenagers and a preteen – Ma Ti from Brazil was just 12 – with five magical rings to take care of her wellness and even gave them the ability to summon a superservant to handle situations that they were too inefficient to handle themselves. Someone remind me if the any of the kids was ever shown attending school.

But that’s a story for another day.

As for now, it was still a killer of a show and one can imagine the frenzy an entire generation of its followers was sent into when a day back it was announced that a Captain Planet movie might be coming up from Paramount Pictures and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way.

It makes me wonder – given the daily demoralising dose of updates about the steady disintegration of the world – what if Captain Planet manifested in real life? I mean we have sooo many reasons to call on him, starting from global warming to rising sea-levels to exploiting fossil fuels and not to forget the daily debate on which country has the right to own nuclear weapons.

Gi would have died over the official declaration of the death of the coral reef.

Kim Jong-un – the leader of North Korea – along with Vladimir Putin, would be the two Duke Nukems, one of the main Eco-villains, who had the ability to shoot his opponents with self-generated radioactive blasts; the former could also double up as Hoggish Greedly.

Kamwe – the kid from Ghana possessing the ring to control earth – would be replaced by someone from Indonesia, the country currently ranking at the top for extensive deforestation.

Looten Plunder wouldn’t be much of a menace because most of the animals he would have poached are extinct anyway.

Which brings us to the dilemma of Ma Ti, whose power to communicate with animals wouldn’t have much use. Since most of the rare ones don’t exist anymore. I don’t think he would be much interested to take up the cause of cows and goats. He knows where to draw the line.

Captain Planet wouldn’t be very welcome in his country of origin as his line of work would bring industries and urbanisation to a standstill, because ironically the United States is the second largest contributor to global warming.

His enemies would be invincible in over 70 countries which have been reported to have pollution levels way beyond the ‘unhealthy’ limit, stretching to conditions described as ‘environmental emergency’ in some countries.

Gaia would be behind bars for flouting child labour laws.

Captain Planet would be behind bars for offending the fashion-police with his mullet.

I just sprayed a mosquito with artificial aerosol. You are reading this in an air-conditioned space. Your phone is charged with electricity that comes from burning coal.

We are all eco-villains.

Which begs the question: Should we really be excited for the return of Captain Planet?




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