People We Look Up To #1: Shipwreck (GI Joe)

Grappling hooks are similar to anchors, watch the fuck out!

Everything that defines a real man. Note the matching pants/shoes. They’re perfect. How did he do that?

Unquestionably when today’s generation was still in its drooling, bra-strap snapping, juvenile develoment era (Approximately ending last week) it had strong role models to look up to, giving it a severe advantage over the generations of the future who had to look up to characters from Power Rangers, or worse yet, Naruto. If you cast your attention and your eyes out into the entertainment world of today’s youth you will ultimately be brought to tears at the lack of Characters who can even hold a candle to Shipwreck. One of the best parts of GI Joe was the vast selection of characters who actually had character. The fact that Shipwreck stood apart from the rest in his absolute greatness is what earns him the honour of being the Greatest Joe of All Time. I’m not here to listen to your silly jokes about Snake Eyes.
Shipwreck was a sailor who worked his way around various naval forces before ultimately ending up with the Joes. He was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish his goals. Anything. People he was close to might get seriously injured and/or killed? Tough shit. Expensive experimental military equipment might get destroyed, likely endangering the lives of innocent passers-by? Is there even a question? Shipwreck taught us all, as children, that there were always three ways to get things done: the right way, the wrong way and whatever the fuck way you wanted to do things. You’ll note that the last option never truly lines up with “the right way” or “the wrong way”, it’s a fantastic mix of the two, usually with an example for the kids about why it’s bad to smoke, steal things or paint your bikes with spray paint cans inside the garage without proper ventilation and masks. He also had a parrot. Looking up to Shipwreck is sometimes difficult because you have to strain your neck to look that high.
Shipwreck often got himself into trouble, and understandably, as no true genius is ever understood in their time. His supposed “superiors” were often stricken with a case of the sourest of the grapes the world around. They ultimately never got rid of him, though, because they knew a good thing when they saw it. He was never even sent to the infamous Slaughterhouse to get straightened out by running a great distance to be too late for dinner and to learn that teamwork is the most lethal weapon in the world, right in front of cheesegrater-baseball bat (My friend, Chris’ invention, I can take no credit). Shipwreck mostly hit on women who were not interested in him and, in fact, dating prissier men than he. The more I think about it, the more I realize I really am Shipwreck, without all of the nautical adventure. I’m just lacking in tattoos of ships and anchors on my forearms. And the parrot. I guess I’m like him personality-wise and not so much in habit. I do look rather sassy in a sailor’s cap.
In the show, Real American Hero, Shipwreck also suffered from the most horrible acid-trip event of any Joe when he was trapped on an island where there were a bunch of things that looked like his friends, only they eventually melted into blob things that drag him, screaming, into the darkness. I’m not sure why they visited this nightmare upon him, as sailors are more prone to alcohol or muscle relaxants or Sting and the Police. I guess if you mix those three things together in excess, though, it would be very similar to a bad acid trip where everything feels safe and then everyone you trust loses their solidity and drags you away. I guess I never really thought about it that way before. The point is, Shipwreck not only survives this, he goes on to jeopardize the lives of his teammates for years. That’s something I think we can all look up to.

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