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Memory Suitcase: Bugs, Greens and Video Tapes

Mr. Bug Goes to Town (photo: www.flickr.com)
Photo: Mr Bug Goes to Town 4513, Brecht Bug, https://www.flickr.com/photos/93779577@N00/18252615844, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

What connects a childhood in wartime Yugoslavia with the story of a little grasshopper in Manhattan? Find out how a child’s cartoon infected Milan from Serbia with Wanderlust and shaped his view of society in our first video MEMORY SUITCASE.

Hoppity’s Struggle Against Urbanization

A grasshopper named Hoppity comes back to his old Bugville in Manhattan only to find it on the brink of destruction by vile humans and corrupted fellow-bugs. The couple, in whose garden the bugs used to live, is forced to leave the house since a check they were supposed to get got lost. Furthermore, the evil humans start building a huge skyscraper on the spot where little bugs’ heaven used to be. Moreover, an evil bug real-estate dealer tries to take over Hoppity’s sweetheart. However, after a lot of adventures and troubles, Hoppity manages to find the check, save the couple, and marry his sweetheart in a new garden on the top of the skyscraper, from which people on the street look like bugs.

This low production American cartoon, that went to the movie theaters two days before the United States went into World War II and it turned out to be a complete financial fiasco. People were not ready to let go of the idea of modern industrial urbanism and going green. But, how did this end up in my MEMORY SUITCASE?

How a Silly Cartoon Shaped My Social Views

I always knew my mum was a movie fan. She used to tell me that the first place she took me as a baby – after the hospital – was a video club. Afterwards she stopped going for a while. I still remember the first time we went there together again: I was in heaven! A whole new world was waiting for me to dive in. And this was one of the first movies I saw. Very soon I knew the dialogs by heart, and I felt a wanderlust starting to burn inside of me.

When I grew up, I realized that my mum transferred a great defense mechanism onto me. When it gets hard and there’s nothing you can do – watch a video tape. It really helps. I also understood why she spent that certain period without going to the video club: About two years after my birth, a mess in my country has started; the first war in Europe after World War II and the highest inflation ever recorded. There were days when people feared they won’t be able to feed their children, and a VCR (Videocassette Recorder, that big black device that people used before DVDs were invented) became a luxury. It was the time that requires a lot of good movies to forget it.

Additionally, I believe this silly cartoon shaped my social views. Nowadays, when I find myself torn between the need to be in a big city and a craving for the countryside, when I daydream of my future skyscraper rooftop garden and greener metropolises, I know that Hoppity is still hopping somewhere inside me.