When I was a kid, I got up early every Saturday morning, poured myself a bowl of cereal and milk and camped out in front of the TV until noon. I had to get up early to control the TV before my younger siblings got any ideas. The ritual was often the highlight of my week. If memory serves I watched cartoons from Super Friends to Soul Train. The latter wasn’t a cartoon but I stayed to watch it. The ritual ended at noon after which I went outside to meet my friends and play.
My Father was not a fan of this. To him the television was the idiot box as it made you sit there dumbfounded until you got up. I don’t think he ever called it anything else. There were lectures where I was made to feel stupid for wanting to watch it but like most whoopings, they didn’t take in the long run. My Mother just ignored it and me and went about her own business though now I can’t recall what that actually was.
I was sad my Father wouldn’t enjoy this time with me. I really wanted him to sit down and watch a few with me, maybe even analyze a couple of them and discuss them with me. At that age however he didn’t really talk to me so much as he did talk at me. This being the case I vowed to sit and watch at least some cartoons with my son when the time came. I took pride in my silent commitment and over time set about growing up.
Things changed, not because I ultimately became my Father but because Saturday Morning cartoons went away. They just disappeared. According to the video below there might actually have been a conspiracy. I still watch some cartoons, though I prefer the term animation. It’s just that now I stream them at my leisure. Getting up early on Saturday mornings no longer yields that unique moment of joy. Most networks have moved on to fill the time with animal shows or sports anyway. Maybe the whole thing worked out for the best as I have not been blessed with any children to share the ritual with.