The following is the introductory paragraph of a paper I am writing for college. Once it is submitted, I might post it here and elsewhere in its entirety.
It seemed that, for a while, the media was saturated with "animals with 'tude", flippant, rebellious, and cynical representatives of what the youth of the 90s wanted to tell the world. Though not all of this was represented by anthropomorphic, cartoon animals, they were a symbol for the general message shouted by Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, and all of the grunge-era creations that seemed to be the inevitable conclusion of the prevalent cynicism of the 80s, like how the postmodern literary movement followed the modern. What once was communicated through witty observations, unconventional forms of physical expression, and a simultaneous reverence and skepticism of the previous generation's ideals of peace, love, and understanding became yet another social movement exploited by the media to sell images and products. The 60s and 70s declared, "I am a human being with my own desires, concerns, and identity. I can cannot be constrained by the current social structure. I am an individual!" "Yeah, you and everyone else!" retorted the 90s. Despite all this, however, the people of the 80s and 90s shared more in common with their predecessors then they wished to recognize. There were many that sought to change the social norms and augment what could be deemed acceptable forms of expression, and there were those who wanted their lives to remain more traditional out of fear, repulsion, or simple misunderstanding of that change. The same phenomenon occurs today with regards to various religious groups (and those without any religious or spiritual affiliation), furries, and other marginalized and frequently misinterpreted "minorities", and it also occurred as far into the past as history has recorded with too many others groups to count. When looked at from that perspective, were the 90s and the "animals with 'tude" all that terrible when compared with the predominantly "man"-centric fantasy narratives that pervaded popular fiction before woman, African-Americans, and others began to tell their own stories? Speaking of gender roles, this paper will focus on analyzing an advertisement starring Andy Dick as a disgruntled conservative woman ranting about Sonic The Hedgehog and the Sega Genesis (in other words, telling you to buy it), and how it's innovation and societal context affected how "animals with 'tude" became so prevalent and criticized in the first place. Perhaps more importantly, I will impel the reader to pause and contemplate if the controversy was really worth it.