Cartoons, they are a changin'...
That's the best way to describe the shows and cartoons aired for children nowadays. I was trying to watch a cartoon my nephew was obsessed with the other day, and could barely get through ten minutes of it before I had to walk out of the room.
I think current network broadcasts are breeding a generation of blockheads with all that silly, boorish crud that kids are digesting every day.
Where's the calamity? The gore? The wanton violence and blood lust that I was privy to? I awoke at 6am each morning with two thoughts on my still forming mind: Cartoons and cereal.
So with eyes wide with gleeful anticipation, and the next brutal beating of one cartoon character by another imminent, I dove into my Cheerios and kept the 'toons flowing.
Who says cartoons and early morning entertainment weren't educational?
I learned about physics. Like if you step off a cliff, you won't actually fall until you realize that you're still hovering over empty space. You usually get about three running steps before you disappear in a downward plume of smoke.
I also learned that umbrellas don't do squat when you jump off the house. Mary Poppins is a goddamn liar.
I learned about drug use. If you can honestly tell me that Scooby and the gang weren't smoking weed, then I'll personally buy you your own Mystery Machine.
Plus, did you notice that Fred kept sending Velma off with Shaggy, the shiftless hippy, and Scooby, the only dog with a speech impediment, off on their own so that he could “search for clues” with Daphne. Yeah, whatever Fred...nice neckerchief.
I learned about abstinence from watching the Smurf's. Since there were about a hundred of those little blue freaks and only one was female. Or maybe Smurfette was just exhausted.
I learned when you take a young boy into your home and share with him your love of tight spandex, manservants, and cave dwelling you're not a creepy billionaire...you're Batman. And he's not a scarred, abused youth in need of therapy...he's Robin, the Boy Wonder. I think it's more like...the Boy's Wondering what the hell he's doing with this this creepy guy with the codpiece.
I learned that creativity can come from anywhere. I personally feel that Sid and Marty Kroft must have been eating handfuls of blotter acid before they created H.R. Pufnstuf. That show freaked me out, but strangely enough babysitters and older relatives with bloodshot eyes thought it was hilarious.
I learned that the dinosaurs from Land of the Lost would eat that silly stupid stuffed Barney the Purple Dinosaur. That's if the Sleestaks didn't get him first.
Then there's the crowning achievement of all violent cartoons: Tom and Jerry. That frisky cat and smarmy mouse did battle for decades, never once wavering from their pervasive onslaught of pain and torture upon one another. I'm not really sure what the ASPCA's official feeling was about the show, but it couldn't have been very positive.
I also learned that hitting your brother in the head with a frying pan doesn't change the shape of the frying pan, only the shape of his skull. Oh, and a fire cracker blowing up in your hand/face doesn't actually turn you black from the explosion. It only results in second degree burns and lifelong ligament damage. Whouda thunk it?
So when you hear people discussing my age group as the “Lost Generation”, don't readily take that dismissive pablum as truth...because it's not.
After all the violence, creepy animated adventures and drug addled television we've see growing up, we're not lost...we're just hiding.