Unless you have been living under a rock you will be familiar with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the ass-kicking amphibious home-boys that graced our screens every weekday afternoon. As a child of the ‘90s I was an avid watcher of the cartoons, a huge fan of the movies, and a collector of figurines, trading cards, and even posters of the awesome foursome.
I have always had an undocumented theory that finding out who a person’s favourite Ninja Turtle is serves as an insight to their personality. Do they prefer the noble leadership skills of Leonardo or the intelligent sensitivity of Donatello? Is Michelangelo’s cruisy, fun-loving attitude more to their liking, or do they admire the brooding intensity of Raphael?
The Turtle’s respective weapons must also come into consideration. The classic, masculine katana for Leo, the elegant bo for Donatello, the subtle deadliness of the sai for Raphael, or the flamboyant nanchaku for Michelangelo. I don’t know if I should be admitting this but I actually remember these details off by heart.
After discussing this theory with my friends in brief I gave the matter some more consideration, after which I did an informal survey of my office, expecting a varied response. But to my surprise, the majority of people profess their favourite Turtle to be Raphael, including myself! Michelangelo was the next most popular, followed by Donatello and then Leonardo.
What does this say about society at large?
First and foremost, we prefer the anti-social bad boy, prone to bouts of depression and internal chaos, who welds a pair of deadly three-pronged knives, perfect for completely effing someone up. Our second choice is the hedonistic party go-er who rarely delves beneath the psyche of what topping to have on his pizza, whose weapon is a pair of (highly amusing) accidents waiting to happen. The more peaceful, intelligent, whiz kid with the subtle bo doesn’t come in till third, and the courageous, accountable leader comes in dead last, his uncomplicated and highly effective weapons with him.
It would seem that the bad boy magnetism is alive and kicking! Or perhaps we relate more to Raphael’s insecurities and uncertainties…?
Or maybe I should go and do some work!
From now on, if I ask someone what Ninja Turtle they like the best I will not be pleased and surprised that they also like Raphael. I will mourn a little bit more about conformity and the propaganda that spreads it, and blush a little bit as I remember that I thought I was cool and unique for being a Raphael fan.