Jul 24, 2010
When I try and objectively compare kids nowadays and kids form my era a bit later and a lot before, I see that in comparison kids from today may be cute, but they’re wanting. They have less drive, aren’t as creative and although they’re smarter, they’re not so adept at having fun as children from past generations.
Baseline, if you look at what makes a kid a kid, then you can put up a list like this one:
THINGS THAT MAKE A KID A KID
1. Toys that went with you everywhere
2. A body made of 23% sugar
3. Playing outside
4. Imagining a jungle gym was a spaceship
5. A moldy granny you were forced to kiss on the cheek even if she smelled like cabbage and moth balls
6. A relative that gave you awesome toys every Christmas that would annoy your parents to no end
7. Velcro sneakers
8. An inability to color coordinate your clothing, what we insisted was our style
9. A squeaky voice we swore was a lot deeper than what we heard on video
10. Saturday Morning Cartoons
If you analyze each point you see that they simply can’t compete with us. Sure they’re cute and probably smarter in a bunch of things, but the toys that annoy parents nowadays can’t even begin to compete with what I grew up with. A post on my toys is forthcoming, but suffice to compare GI JOEs from today and the ones I grew up with. As for bodies made of sugar, sure kids have sugary cereals but the nuclear levels at which I consumed sugar HAVE to scare even the most lenient parent. But kids still eat shitloads of sugar.
But now the list gets dicey… playing outside. Seriously, it seems we’re just breeding mall children Gollum hybrids that shun away from the sun. I remember crashing into a huge bush and creating what became the neighborhood Bat Cave. I look at my hand and remember that time I was playing on a felled fence which was the cause of that one inch scar after I fell and stabbed my hand on the top of the fence. I remember crawling in mud and hiding against trees during cops and robbers and hide and seek.
In also remember my imagination taking me to places unknown to man. That wasn’t a jungle gym. It was a fucking spaceship and a sweet one at that. That wasn’t a slide; it was the unstairway to the underworld. It wasn’t a stick, it was a samurai sword. Now all kids do is suction cup their eyes onto their Nintento DS and whatnot.
As for the mandatory granny that was a bit funky, well that’s not a bad change because now a bevy of GILFs are definitely not a pain to kiss and your older brother’s friends can’t stop looking at their necklace… even if they’re not wearing one.
Velcro sneakers have been replaced by Crocs which makes them look more Mickey Mouse like, but that’s about it. As for the inability to color coordinate, I still see some cute cases, but nothing that can stand toe to toe with my purple shorts-grey sneakers – blue shirt combo. Luckily though, genetics still keep the cartoon voices in place… but the cartoons?
I grew up with MASK, GI Joe, Silverhawks, Thunder Cats, Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry, Shirt Tales, Hong Kong Phooey, Amazing Race, Beetlejuice, Pirates of Dark Water, Starzinger/El Galactico, Mazinger Z, Voltron, Sky Commanders, Tiger Sharks, Darkwing Duck, Gummy Bears, Duck Tales, and the list of cartoons go on and on. And I watched everything. I mean every single cartoon I could get my eyes on, I watched. Care Bears? Shit yeah I watched Care Bears, and Popples, and Unico (Unico kicks ass!!). I also watched the original Dragon Ball, and even the shitty cartoons based on videogames like Super Mario, Sonic, Legend of Zelda and Mega Man. You look at cartoons nowadays and most blow so bad you feel the urge to fill your Netflix queue with real titles for kids nowadays to enjoy. But that takes away the benefits from Saturday morning cartoons.
It took discipline to watch your cartoons. You had to get up early, multitask your brain by switching from channel to channel and the ability to program a VCR to capture the cartoons you weren’t able to watch. There weren’t any reruns. There was no TIVO. Fuck, I shit on TIVO for making TV so easy to watch. There’s not commitment in kids nowadays and it’s to do with their lack of wanting to stop playing video games and their lax behavior in regards to cartoons, because after all, they can watch it later or whenever they want. VCR’s were designed for kids because if they watch a movie too many times, the fucking tape snaps. Take care of a DVD and you’ll see Cars about 1,600 times in one year.
I appreciated all I had and trust me, I had a lot. But I played with my toys. I played with my videogames. I played outside. I played with my friends. And I watched my cartoons.
The toys made me appreciate the material possessions I was fortunate enough to have and I dedicated fair time to all of them. I tried not having favorites and I tried to be understanding with the toys that kind of sucked. It wasn’t their fault they weren’t as cool, but damnit, they wanted to play with me so that’s what was going down. I played with my videogames and I had to give thanks the electricity didn’t go, because there were no save points. I had to jot down 38 character passwords in Metroid or deal with the frustration of not beating the original Ninja Gaiden… a reality that still haunts me and that I will remedy before I die. I played outside and I was lucky enough to have the second floor of my mom’s store all to myself. You’d be amazed the crazy adventures I had with cannonballs made of plastic wrap, coat hanger boomerangs and the dark corner I never went to because of a spider that once jumped out. I played with my friends. And when I say play with my friends, I don’t mean I played videogames with my friends. I mean I played with them. Hide and Seek, Cops and Robbers, tag, and Chico Paralizado (Frozen kid is the best translation I can come up with, without saying Paralyzed kid, which is kind of creepy). I also had cartoons. And I mean badass cartoons. From COPS, to Binky and the Brain, Animaniacs and the Gobots. He-Man, She-ra, Jem (so I could talk with the ladies), Josie and the Pussy Cats, Space Ghost and everything in between. I woke up at 7 on Saturdays and didn’t bitch. I was glued to the TV until the programming started to suck… then it was time to play.
Somehow we’ve lost this nowadays… I hope I can bring it back when I have little jokers running around and to be honest… I hope you feel the same.
Cheers friends, and long live good Saturday cartoons.
Posted by Joker at 11:21 AM