Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It was Saturday Morning

On these days, I never left my pajamas.  With a box of cereal and a gallon of milk I could be found perched in front of our giant wood box television set for a solid morning of cartoon shows.  From Bugs Bunny to the Flintstones to Super Friends, I would just float from one animated adventure to the next until my mom had had enough and I was told to “get my ass outside and play.”

Still, it was three to four hours of mind-numbing entertainment.  Oh, they tried to be responsible and tossed in some School House Rock educational commercials and soon I was “hankering for a hunk of cheese.”  We also followed a bill on its journey through Washington, learning little tidbits before Hanna-Barbera gave us another hour of comedic cartoons with the occasional moral if we paid attention enough to find them.

Saturday morning cartoons was like a child’s reward for going to school Monday through Friday and suffering church on Sunday.  This was our time, to waste away with bed head, morning breath, and Marvin the Martian.  We spent the time building forts with signs that read “No Adults Allowed.”  Nothing was required of us until lunchtime.

Perhaps it’s just me and how I remember my childhood, but children’s television just isn’t the same.  Shows aren’t created for the pure joy of ratings alone symbolizing a captured elementary-age audience.  Now they are wrapped around merchandising, concerts, compact discs, and clothing lines.  I blame Disney.  I know the idea is to maximize a marketable show, but really, it’s way over done.  I just want a cartoon where a coyote gets blown off a cliff and buried into a crater shaped like his body.

Even those cartoons are different, however.  While we were in Mississippi, I sat on the couch with Dylan watching Bugs and Daffy and only felt myself growing frustrated instead of entertained.  The script seemed above kid’s head and lacked anything to make anyone laugh who wasn’t on the laugh track.  Dylan shrugged her shoulders and we played Angry Birds on my phone, instead.

Special effects have come a long way as has computerized graphics and shows and some are pretty good.  I’m a big fan of the Backyardigans.  However, as far as we have come in the areas of techniques and animation, I think we’ve slipped on the entertainment level.  Children grow up too fast and some of that is due to the subject matter of the shows.  We were kids back then and only kids.  We watched Bugs Bunny outfox Elmer Fudd and Scooby Doo solve every mystery.  We laughed and ate our cereal and then went outside to play in the streets with the other neighborhood kids.

As I said before, it could just be my age and a faulty memory.  I often heard my parents talking about the good old days and how a double feature only cost a nickel and included a jumbo popcorn, soda and bus fare home.  They’ve complained how the actors of today couldn’t hold a candle to Cary Grant or Bette Davis.  I would groan and try to escape the room.  However, I’m beginning o understand their complaints the older I get.  Saturday mornings just aren’t the same as they used to be in the good old days, and to be honest, I miss my Bugs Bunny.  This one’s just not the same.

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  1. aaw I love bugs too and so empathise with your words here. i wonder to about such things I wonder too if it was the fear of kids suddenly being kidnapped of the street back in the 70's i think it really hit america in england i think the 60's with the Moors murders ours i guess in Aus is the Beaumont children three of them disappearing also in the 60s.. so I think it is a mix of fear that stopped parents encouraging their kids outside to play as it just wasn't safe no more, technology which likely also takes into all of these considerations psychology plays a big part in the marketing so they really would have felt the games like mario & those b4 it would have been great to exploit while the fear is out there take advantage of it .. mom & dad will snap up these for their lil ones rather than risk them going out to the park riding a bike etc. The cartoons now I don't know I don't really watch them but .. I guess the story lines have changed because times technology and what kids do now is very different .. they dont go outside and play its not safe.. they use computers in school computers are a phone they are just about part of everything one does or touches They weren't around in schools when the bugs and daffy was on tele ... so the story lines are a lot different .. we have wars being fought continuously now overseas and this is being spoken about freely on tele between moms dads teachers etc all over the internet like a rash as is also anything to do with sex.. It used to be a slower process but now it is there right in your kids face Wham no explanations No excuses No apologies No lessons No Guess work its there in all its glory and its not so glory Your kids are and can be and likely will be exposed to things not even you have likely seen in your life time ... the Wars the Violence is spoken about like you would talk about work or a school essay that had to be done .. its NO Biggy hush up because the kids are listening anymore its all out there yeah .. & definitely has to have an impact on how a child's mind develops now how they see things how they value empathise care is all in the package i feel that is handed to them. My time your time was I feel a gentler time of growing up we had the grass beneath our feet more often than not the wind in our hair as we swung back and forth on a swing .. they still have swings but only for the very tiny babes with their moms or dads in the parks there is not many parks you will see a group of kids without parents and swinging on the swings and if you do You more often think what are they up to.. No one thinks oh there is a group of kids innocent.. .. no kids kill now .. and Us adults have open the doors to that also.. i dont think it is so much technology but what it is being used for. Also our laws for the protection of children is anything but ok and that is another reason I believe things are so hard difficult now . bugs and the duck were the real deal they were inventions created by sequences of movement hand drawn out on paper that took gad only knows how long to get all that done before they even thought about getting them onto the reels to film to screen ; digitally I think most of the affects I see now I am always disappointed in i truly expect so much more with all the technology and brain matter behind it I really am not surprised like I used to be .. :)

    1. Quite a bit of truth there, Beez. And I agree; we have become more casual about issues we used to protect our children from such as sex and war. We catch ourselves all of the time with the 8-year old in our home and have to remind the teenagers and young adults that she hasn't seen it all yet and doesn't need to. She needs to stay as innocent as long as possible.

      I also agree with our viewpoint toward children unsupervised nowadays. As a people we have grown more suspicious and the media has helped that along. News is more available and we hear the nightmares more than the good stories. It's a sad commentary on our times.

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts. Always love hearing them. :)

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    1. I put the response in the wrong me.