The Big 5 – Who is your Underdog ?


still waiting

One of our earliest memories is sitting in front of a small black and white set (yes, Virginia there was a time when there was no colour) watching classic cartoons. We could easily relate to ordinary, spectacle-wearing Shoeshine Boy magically transform into his canine alter-ego Underdog and knew every word of the opening theme song. It had kitschy graphics, iconic villains and simple plot lines that that never failed to amuse. The series was filled to the brim with stereotypes – helpless, arm-waving young ladies, Soviet mad scientists, Irish-accented cops and Italian gangster-styled robbers – everyone was fair-game for the cartoonists and they put their hands to everything that would be considered politically incorrect today. Our pre-school mind wondered why Underdog had such a big forehead (he was a beagle) and why his superhero outfit was a baggy, oversized t-shirt: we just couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t go to the store and get one that fit properly… In retrospect, that was all part of the charm and the whole genre, along with many of the other animated shows of the time, were a huge formative influence not only on our artistic sensibilities but on the way we deal with real life.

Popular culture has been pounding us with the notion that we could have been heroes for awhile now and everyone from the government to the media has their agenda on how best to exploit it. The false importance attached to the arbitrary definition of success in all things personal and public has become overwhelming but at the same time there seems to be a shift in ulterior motives, personal responsibility, even our sense of how the smallest actions, or lack thereof, have far-reaching consequences. In a society that increasingly acts without any moral compass, it is getting harder to be fearless and noble, to distinguish who merits our adulation or respect and sadly, who deserves our investment of time and emotion. Depending on the day, we are both superhero and everyman but, as the comics have told us in all their four-colour glory, everyone has their soft spot and so this fortnight’s Big 5 Challenge asks:

Who is your Underdog?” – young or old, timid or bold, flash in the pan or kicking the can, cartoon or larger than life …

We would love to know who flies above the crowd for you.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary such as the above on one of the five Ws (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN or WHY and sometimes HOW) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a reply in the comment box, in a new post with a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Challenge yourself to dig deep for an answer.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

SO – Create your Big 5 Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “The Big 5 Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Big 5” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on The Big 5 Challenge page.
  5. Remember to Follow to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

6 thoughts on “The Big 5 – Who is your Underdog ?

  1. Starralee says:

    WOWZA, you’ve really given us a great question to munch on. I’m hung up on the statement about popular culture pounding us with the notion that “we could have been heroes”. Is the underlying accusation/judgment (by society) that we’re all waiting for the “next guy” to take on the duty, pull on the oversize T-shirt? At the moment, I’m trying to crawl out of the ditch–I’m burned up and burned out with doing my best to make overtures of goodwill and consideration, and feeling like it’s all one-way; sick of trying to be a heroine, and getting mud kicked in my face–or just being ignored. I know, I know–I’ll rally, be up on the hill once more, T-shirt perhaps a little more snug, insisting we all sing rousing camp songs…. I’ll ponder the question, and my homework may be late, but at least I’m in class….


    • ideflex says:

      You have already done it! What you are describing is how many of us feel: that our superhuman efforts are being wasted on those who don’t deserve, want or even care about them… I’m really pissed at the lack of acknowledgement for those who do more than their best regularly, those underdogs, who just because they are not young singer/actress philanthropist and all around great humanitarians, are not getting the respect they deserve for continuing to do the right thing. Society does wait for the next guy to put on the cape and fix everything and they forget to say thank you every time someone does, it’s not only disheartening but it also makes one reevaluate whether the whole exercise was just perhaps a huge waste of time… I, like Santa, have sent my superhero costume to the dry-cleaners – when it gets back it will go into storage for a while: maybe that is, ultimately, the moral of the story: that every once in a while we just have to let everyone else fend for themselves, beat back the villains and find out how the real world works without us…


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