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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cartoons of our Childhood

Does anyone else feel like today's cartoons just aren't as good as the ones we watched as a child? Even the Christmas specials of nowadays are generally passed over for classics like Rudolph or the Peanuts' Christmas.

This afternoon as I was thinking back, I decided to look up a couple of my favorites to see if they were available to watch on the internet: A Claymation Christmas Celebration, and the Garfield Christmas special from 1987. When I was younger, we watched these so many times that I could still recite most of either one.

There were two huge differences that I noticed in both of these cartoons from the cartoons of today. First of all, a great deal of effort had been put into both of them - and not just because of the work that had to go into the animation back then. The dialogue was intelligent, and even though it was a cartoon for children, the jokes weren't about farting or dumbed down to the point that every other line was childish. I actually remember as a child that I would have to think about the jokes to get some of them. And some of the jokes with bigger words prompted me to ask my mom what they meant. Sometimes I figured out the meaning by thinking about the way the word was used. The cartoons made me think, and that made me smarter. The creators weren't worried about whether or not their entire audience would get every joke, every time - and that's part of what made them great.
Garfield Christmas
The creators also weren't worried about the other big difference I noticed: being politically correct. The family in Garfield's Christmas prayed, and grandma bopped Doc Boy in the head with a spoon when he started to protest about being picked as the prayer-giver. The Claymation Christmas featured carols that sang of Jesus and His birth, and the Joy to the World carol included imagery of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus. Personally, I never noticed the inclusion of God or Jesus in our cartoons when I was younger, but now that I am older and looking back, the exclusion of Him in today's cartoons is starkly felt - and it isn't a good feeling.

I find myself wishing now that I could replicate the way the world was in my childhood for my kids. How am I to do that though when it seems like our government is bent on freeing us from religion rather than giving us the freedom to have it? I don't think that a religion should be shoved down everyone's throat - that would be wrong, and that isn't the point of having a religion or faith. But if we are forced to endure a society where everyone is forcing non-religious beliefs at every turn, isn't that just about the same thing?

I myself have never minded seeing other religious symbols in public, such as the menorah or the Buddha. Those items don't represent my personal faith, but I've never taken offense at them and can't understand why anyone would. That's not to say that there aren't people from every religion who are overbearing and try to force others to believe the same way that they do - I can understand how someone who is Buddhist may take offense from another religious person mocking them, or how an Atheist may take offense from someone who tries to convert them everyday with rude tactics. Those things are inexcusable and aren't a true reflection of the great majority of people within a religion. But generally speaking, I don't see why we can't all get along in this great country.

Was our country in a great turmoil during our childhood? Was there massive animosity between us all due to the inclusion of religion on tv, or on store-posters, or even in school? I think in the end, a handful of noisy people spoke for our country, before our country was allowed to have a voice in the matter, and being 'politically correct' grew out of hand before anyone could stop it. Wouldn't you like to go back to a time where you could say "God Bless You" when someone sneezed without worrying that they would bite your head off afterwards? Is it such a bad thing for a person to wish a blessing upon you? Has anything bad ever come of being blessed, regardless of who is doing the blessing? I would welcome someone of a different faith blessing me from their religion. I would see it as a sign from a beautifully harmonized country, where people from all faiths can live together peacefully rather than being purposefully set at odds with each other by rules and regulations in our government.

For the sake of our children, people - let's go back to that time if we can. Drop your petty squabbles and learn to live peacefully. Don't take offense the next time someone says something to you that isn't your personal belief. Let someone bless you if they want to bless you.  And please, someone bring back the good cartoons!


  1. I miss the old cartoons also. They were smarter and simpler.