July 18, 2012 | LXXII, No. 16

Cartoons - not like they use to be

Jess Shut Up

I was watching cartoons the other morning with my nephew, Terrill, and man have things changed.

It seemed that all the cartoons he was watching had killing, fighting and weapons of some sort. Violence seemed to be the plot in all of them. I quickly did some channel surfing until I found the good old Looney Toons. After some disagreement between myself and a 9-and-a-half-year-old, the TV was turned off and outside he went.

Whatever happened to the Jetsons, Strawberry Shortcake and He Man. Characters never died, rarely did they get hurt. Yes there was violence but it was comical violence. We also learned from our Saturday mornings, sitting in our footie pajamas with a big bowl of Cocoa Puffs. What did we learn you ask? Well, OK, let’s look at some of my favorites.

On Scooby-Doo we learned that you must like what you do. Have fun while conquering your fears, and don’t forget, snacks are good. While solving mysteries, Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Velma and Fred always seemed to be having a good time.

The Smurfs taught us how to be a community. Every person has a role or job they are good at, and every one is a valuable piece of the group. Whether you’re like Papa Smurf, Smurffette or Grumpy, you are needed at different times for your wisdom or talent.

Yogi Bear taught us stealing is bad. He also taught us that sometimes wisdom comes in small packages. If Yogi would just listen to Boo Boo he would never have got in trouble.

The Justice League was made up of different superheros like Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, Aqua Man, Green Lantern, The Wonder Twins and many others. This show taught us that even our heros need heros.

Captain Cave Man and Son taught us to have fun with family. Mighty Mouse taught us that, no matter how small you are, you can accomplish big things. Thunder Cats always called upon the One that gave them strength, they could not do it without help. The Pink Panther taught us you don’t have to have a loud voice to be cool.

The Flintstones had many good lessons. The main one was that we will make mistakes; it’s important to forgive those that mess up and hurt us. Wilma forgave Fred hundreds of times. Barney never gave up on Fred either, even after all the disasters he got them into.

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner taught us to never give up. It doesn’t matter if you’re being chased or you are chasing something. Never Give Up.

So what exactly am I saying? We learned valuable life lessons from these good old cartoons. Lessons that have stayed with many of us a long time. I don’t know if these same lessons are being passed on to our younger generation. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have learned these lessons in some other form. Because I did. I’m just saying every Saturday morning I was getting good information that, along with the teaching of my parents and teachers, gelled into something good and long lasting. I just don’t see those same moral values in the popular cartoons of today.

Thank you Bugs, Elmer and Porky for the life lessons. That’s all folks.

Oh and Happy Birthday to my bride, Karrie. I love you.

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