Updated: Sep 8, 2017
When I was growing up I seriously loved my cartoons – Bugs, Daffy, Tweetie, Tom & Jerry, Woody, Popeye, and the Roadrunner. Little did I realize, that great stuff was from the 1940’s and 50’s but who really cared, it was on Saturday mornings and I didn’t go out until they were done airing at around noon. My brother and I would pour ourselves a big ol’ bowl of Frosted Flakes (which were known as ‘Sugar’ Frosted
Flakes back then), turn on one of three network channels and laugh like a couple of giddy little bastids until our mom made us go outside and play.
I know I’m seriously dating myself here, but does anybody remember Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, Underdog, Tennessee Tuxedo, Sherman and Mr. Peabody? Okay, now THAT was entertainment – before computers, the internet, video games, or cable and satellite television and 10,000 channels – and most importantly, long before political correctness.
In any of these animated classics, you could guarantee that sometime within the next five minutes, some person or talking animal was going to completely get his ass handed to him. Anvils fell from the sky, trains thundered through living rooms, dynamite blew shit up, dudes fell from twenty story buildings and walked away, and shotgun blasts to the face caused heavy gunpowder burns that washed right off. Popeye and Bluto unmercifully beat the snot out of one another, the Coyote was maimed on a regular basis, and instead of that delicious mouse dinner he dreamed of, Tom the cat was sure to receive a sledgehammer to the back of his feline skull. And, if you remember, many a cartoon character smoked a big, fat cigar. (Did I forget to mention there was a fat stuttering pig?)
Afterwards, we’d go out and play football or street hockey, tag, hide and go seek, and we only came in for lunch and dinner. We rode our bikes with no helmets what seemed like miles away to another kid’s house, there were no cell phones, and the thought of a child predator lurking about was the absolute furthest thing from a parent’s mind.
Damn, those are great memories and I really dug my early childhood. And you know what? Those cartoons subjected me to more brutality and physical violence than most Sopranos episodes (although I do admit it would have been pretty sweet to see Yosemite Sam receive a good old fashioned, Jersey-style shine-boxing.) But I can say with total honesty that watching these toons never made me think about hurting other children, or causing vile mischief. I never wanted to stick explosives in someone’s pants, run them over with a bus, or bash their head in with a wooden club. (And I haven’t even mentioned the Three Stooges.) And yet, I grew up to be a responsible adult, with a wife, two great kids, and a nice home.
This just in from the true and incredibly disturbing department… there is a group in England that is responsible for censoring all the cartoon classics, removing all violent scenes and any characters who smoke, gamble, or drink alcohol. Absurd you say? Rumor has it that there is a kid’s consumer watchdog group lobbying to do the same here in America. (Me thinks “kid’s consumer watchdog group” is just another term for “uptight, politically correct assholes.”)
Here’s what is simply amazing, my friends – when I was a young child there were no politically correct do-gooders saving me from myself, but yet I turned out all right. There was no one rating kids shows to make sure that there’s one white kid, one black, one Asian, and one Hispanic in every episode. And cartoons weren’t on from morning ‘til night with their own dedicated channels – completely desensitizing today’s kids into thinking that Sponge Bob Ass-Pants, That’s So Fatso Raven and all the other P.C. Disney and Nickelodeon dreck is the only type of programming that exists.
Let me say it one more time, people – I turned out all right. Thank you mom and dad for raising me correctly – but with all the violent programming and un-supervision – I turned out just fine. (I know some of you may be debating that very thought, but I like to amuse myself, so just keep it to yourself, thanks.)
Okay, so maybe I have a few vices, smoke a cigar (or ten), yeah, I admit it – but I’m a good husband, great dad, and loving son, and the cartoons of my youth didn’t see me strapping myself to an Acme rocket, or turning me into some shotgun toting, mallet wielding, dynamite igniting Looney Tune. There comes a time in your childhood when you realize what’s real and what’s not, and I didn’t need some politically correct ass-wipe to play God, determining what was good for me and what wasn’t. Even as we speak there’s a group of these hypochondriacs putting together a 250 million-dollar class action suit against Warner Brothers for exposing them to a lifetime of second-hand cartoon smoke.
Dag nabbit… where’s one of them goddamned screwy anvils when you really need one?