When we were kids we had it good. There was that one Saturday morning in September that was almost as good as Christmas. You planned out your morning like you were about to take a safari through Africa. You started early, jumped on the couch aroun 5 am or so...started the morning off with those reruns they had been showing since 1972. There's was some dirty puppet on what seemed to be a knock of a combination of Sesame Street and some bizarre fish auction in Gloucester. After that you has some show where all they did was speak a little english and a lot of Spanish and you weren't quite sure exactly what you were supposed to learn but you think you had some idea it was about gardening or community or something. Then some guy taught you how to draw all while mystifying you with his seemingly endless afro. Already hopped up on your four bowls of Sugar Smacks, the real fun started. You had pain stakingly gone through every page of your special TV Guide, staking out your path for morning viewing, trying to figure out if you would stick with the Smurfs for the whole 90 minutes or take a side trip down Muppet Baby Avenue. The cartoons just got better and better. And you didn't care how wimpy, how girly, how babyish those shows were because they were cartoons dammnit and they were made for you. Fuck Sunday, being made to wear those stuffy clothes and listen to some old guy babble on for what seemed like days about something you really didn't have the mental capacity to handle, this was your church. And it wasn't just Saturday mornings. It carried over the whole week. You and your friends running home straight from school to watch the next adventures of Lion-O or Inspector Gadget. Just waiting through that epic fight between Skeletor and He Man so you could find out what words of wisdom Orko would lay on you today. Waiting until that new Transformers or GI Joe mini-series started. (You see kids, before they were actually everyday series, they teased us with miniseries to whet our appetites. There were even Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite mini-series for the girls.) And the only show after school you wanted to see with real people involved a fucked up blonde mom and brunette dad with 3 brothers and 3 sisters, a dog named Tiger a maid named Alice and when they all got a little older a cousin named Oliver that was unlike any fucking family you had ever seen. And maybe just maybe, you'd allow your self a little education by the way of the Electric Company or 3-2-1 Contact. I mean, Mom and Dad got you the magazines every month, you might as well have watched the shows. We grew up in the early days of Nickolodeon, where You Can't Do That On Television And The Weekend Special filled up our Saturday afternoons; where Livewire and Reggie Jackson ended our Sundays. Where when you were home sick from school, the only thing to watch was Pinwheel and Today's Special (I still say they got the whole idea for this show from that Andre McCarthy gem, Mannequin) .And where every weeknight after Danger Mouse, the first kid's network actually went off the air. Imagine that.
Somewhere along the way kids lost their way. You allowed our sacred ritual of sugar cereals and technicolor fanatasies to be taken over by the corpoarte masses. You kids out there...you can have your Poke-things and Yu-Gi-Whatsits. I'll keep my Picture Pages, thank you.