Thursday, July 29, 2004

Cartoons: Then and Now

When I was a kid (no dinosaurs did not still walk the earth), cartoons actually had meaning. Don't get me wrong. I realize some were stupid and silly. But these seemed in the minority. Most had strong morals underlying the fun. Heroism, honor, integrity, courage in the face of evil, kindness, mercy--these were just a few of the traits exhibited. Even the Looney Tunes cartoons had witty, sarcastic dialiogue, designed not just for the amusement of children, but also adults.

I have two neices and three nephews, and I spend a lot of time in their presence. So cartoons often drone in the background. Occasionally, I pay attention to what I'm watching. Most of today's animated tv shows are frivolous and stupid, with no values or morals at all. Few elevate the finer virtues of humanity. All too often, they degrade and appeal only to the lowest common denominator of society. They revel in potty humor and vulgarity, or in the sheer joy of being a complete fool. They use inappropriate language and wallow in the grotesque. A few examples: Ed, Edd, and Eddy; Fairly Odd Parents; Courage the Cowardly Dog; Johnny Bravo; Grim and Evil--I could go on and on.

A few good cartoons still play, but most are reruns from years ago. The garbage has spilled out of the landfill and taken over kids' tv shows. All the more reason to turn the tv OFF.

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