Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was my favourite show as a kid. Then it became Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. I still remember the day they changed Ninja to Hero and the reason given – “The word ‘Ninja’ implies violence and children shouldn’t be exposed to violence.”

WTF? First of all, these guys are mutant turtles. Secondly, they use dangerous Ninjitsu weapons to beat the shit out of bad guys. But the word Ninja is ‘too violent’? This was the same time that Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and my political awareness and ideas on civil freedom were starting to take hold. Outraged, I vowed to defy the nanny-state censorship with every fibre of my 8-year-old being.

Every time the show came on, my little brother (I enlisted him) and I would defiantly sing along to the theme tune inserting the word Ninja loudly over the word Hero. I even wrote an essay on it. Bless my teacher Mrs Barlow for encouraging me with an A+. Isn’t it odd, the things that inspire us?


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