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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Saturday Morning Cartoons

When I was wee, Saturday was for cartoons.

Our parents would sleep late, a little, and we’d get up an fashion our own breakfast, after a fashion. Toast with butter and sugar mixed with cinnamon, and a glass of milk.

There were 3 VHF channels, on a little black and white TV. Channel 2 was there, the PBS station, but it was kinda sketchy. All it had was MisterRogers anyway, and even when I was 5 that was too lame for me. I saw it in the TV listings and it was printed as one word: Misterrogers. I didn’t realize it was a man’s name. I thought it was some sort of mystery story by by an orthographically challenged pirate or something. That would have been a lot more interesting, now that I consider it.

There were 2 UHF channels after a while. They were the equivalent of a lemonade stand. They’d get their hands on whatever they could for next to no money and broadcast it. The TV for UHF required you to tune it like a radio. You’d sit there like a Kinchloe and try to hit the dial just right to banish half the broadcast snow and stop the sizzling on the audio. And we’d watch drivel.

Speed Racer and Jonnny Quest and The Three Stooges and Clutch Cargo and Thunderbirds are Go! and whatever else the management could use to sell a few used car dealer ads and keep the lights on. Much, much, later, the people that produced entertainment noticed that the audience actually liked crap more than they liked anything serious, and TV became all crap all the time, endlessly subreferencing itself until you wondered if there ever was any onion to start with, or peeling the onion was the exercise itself.

My little son’s favorite thing is an advertisement in a language he doesn’t speak for a product he is unaware of that we can’t buy and wouldn’t if we could from a country he’s never been to: Pat et Stanley. And like his old man, he wanted to see it on Saturday morning. He’s pushing on my elbow right now. Let’s hear a few bars of that old Saturday morning polyglot non- sequitur pop-culture flotsam homesick jetsam blues, maestro. And look! A fresh Pat et Stanley today!


And Crazy Frog!

One Response

  1. This commenter has the worst memory ever. There are some antique futuristic toons that should be posted here in defense of the times, but all I can ‘member is a name from immature, abstract and
    wonderfully insane, insensate years…

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