“What’s up, Doc?” These are words that my generation loved to hear. It is probably the most common phrase ever remembered from a cartoon character. The now famous words of Bugs Bunny.
This brings to mind something my wife and I were just talking about. As kids, we lived for Saturday morning cartoons! Around mid-week the countdown would already begin for the unleashing of many hours of cartoon fun. (I know for me and my brother, that countdown also was for the sugar cereals we would sometimes be able to have on Saturday mornings.) So there was lots to look forward to every week!
What’s it like now? B-o-o-r-r-r-i-n-g. Where’s He-Man? Where’s Superfriends? Where’s Scooby Doo? And best of all, where’s The Bugs Bunny Roadrunner Show? I distinctly remember The Bugs Bunny Roadrunner Show being an hour and a half of full-length six- to eight-minute long cartoons–classic ones at that. Like Foghorn Leghorn and the weasel; Yosemite Sam and the camel riding excursion in the desert; Daffy Duck as Robin Hood; Bugs Bunny and the forgetful wolf; and countless attempts by Wile E. Coyote to overcome and suppress his nemesis, The Roadrunner.
In spite of the attempts of some to say that these cartoons were too violent (Really? Compared to what? The video games of today?), they still live on through certain cable channels and YouTube. But what happened to our Saturday morning line-up? The answer is that our education system got involved.
Through the antics of politics, money, and influence, the education system insisted that children must learn something educational when watching cartoons. If a cartoon didn’t have that key ingredient in it somehow, it was thrown to the curb. But let me ask you something: What child wants to learn anything on a Saturday morning?? Saturday morning cartoons were an escape from having to do any of that! A child spends his days in school all week long learning all kinds of things that typically in his mind are pointless, needless, and downright stupid. He doesn’t look forward to Saturday morning cartoons to learn something more. He looks forward to Saturday morning cartoons to escape into those worlds for a little while and enjoy the fun of doing that. Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to be. Or was. Because it sure isn’t that way any more.
It’s sad because my kids won’t have that experience. Granted, they can get on YouTube or a cable channel to see some of those same cartoons, but it’s just not the same. (There was just something about knowing that come 9:30 a.m. you were going to be tied up for an hour and a half watching Bugs Bunny). And as far as the cartoons of today, they certainly don’t have the same type of cartoons to choose from that we did! It’s a bygone era that thankfully lives on in the memories we share with our kids and that can be backed up by watching certain episodes found on YouTube.
Though things do change, it’s great knowing we can still use today’s technology to keep the memories of yesterday alive!