In September this year, an era ended. Did you notice?
September 27, 2014 was the last Saturday that morning cartoons were shown. No more Saturday cartoons! If you didn’t know, don’t feel bad. I found out myself by accident I was scrolling through Facebook and noticed a short video requiem decrying the end this childhood ritual.
I stared transfixed and sad. I was immediately propelled into memories of so many hours of childhood happiness, so many cartoons that I’d watched and enjoyed. Scooby doo, Jonny Quest, on and on and on. Cartoons and programming designed to capture my young interest. I loved them. I remember the season premiers which took away the sting from the return to school by introducing me to all of the new shows waiting for my consumption, as well as old friends that would be retuning.
As an adult, I am quite aware that my particular attachment to television ws incredibly unhealthy. I was trapped in an incredibly unhappy childhood. My young soul was chronically in search of distraction, amusement, and solice. Books, television and films were not just entertainments to me ghey were life lines. They were portals into vistas that didn’t include pain and fear. They made me smile, helped me dream. They were on a tangible level – my friends.
My adult mind realizes that Saturday cartoon were birthed as a tool for advertising, to sell me and other children products and this realization angers me. The ulterior motive behind them were to inspire a sense of need in me to fuel and feed the consumer that I, a child in the USA was expected to become. Something in me wanted to rise up against this thought – but I took a deep breath and calmed myself. remembering that there is more than one truth in effect in most of live’s situations.
So yes. Saturday morning cartoons came to be because cereal and toy companies wanted to be have a solid block of time that children would be gathered for the purpose of which is classic and usual in corporate America – to sell. To induce children to beg their parents for these products and for the companies to make a profit. They were quite successful for a very long time.
But today’s child has many more options. You Tube. Entertainment apss. Netflix. Cable channels. All feature children’s programming and all are avavailbe 24 hours a day. Without commercials.
There are new laws which very much restrict how companies can market to children in any case. And so the incentive for manufacturers to court and sponsor children’s programming has been greatly reduced. Public television provides entertainments which have a focus on education, much more than a story that sells the matching doll, book or dream house.
So I suppose in the great scheme of things this is better for children’s developing psyches in the long term.
Yet my inner child and I are grieving.
I smile with pleasure as I recall Saturday mornings of long ago – when a bowl of cereal, ice cold milk and my favorite cartoon, felt like love; and meant a weekly escape. I am so grateful for the hours of bliss and laughter; hours of fun. Thank you.
Good bye my Saturday friends …
I will come visit you on You Tube!
below, a walk down memory lane!!!
by Samsarah Morgan (Urban Nana) C2014