Childhood Ruined
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Politics and Activism

Childhood Ruined

How the FCC killed Saturday morning cartoons.

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Childhood Ruined

As a college student in Mississippi, last Saturday marked a historic weekend. Wins by both State and Ole Miss energized the entire state. However, while we were all celebrating the victories over top-ranked opponents, something terrible happened. We didn’t notice because we are all grown up, but for the first time in 50 years, there were no Saturday morning cartoons.  

Yes, those cartoons that we all grew up watching are now gone. I remember waking up Saturday mornings and being excited to watch 6 straight hours of cartoons. Fairly Odd Parents, The Replacements, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Power Rangers - all gone! 

Honestly, all those shows kinda sucked, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that school was out on Saturdays and watching cartoons during that time has always been a traditionally essential part of childhood. 

Think about it: Your parents always said you shouldn’t be watching too much TV, except on Saturday. They never got mad on Saturdays because they grew up doing the same things. They remembered watching Scooby Doo and The Jetsons when they were your age. Saturday morning programming is an American tradition, and it stinks that it’s gone. 

Like everything else good in life, all of our animated Saturday morning companions were killed by government regulations. No, there was no bill passed in congress banning children’s shows, but the FCC put enough restrictions on children’s television that even Donald Trump couldn’t turn a decent profit. For those of you that don’t know, FCC stands for Federal Communications Commission - or "The Freaking FCC," according to Family Guy - and these are the people that censor things and tell us what is appropriate for ourselves. 

The FCC killed Saturday morning cartoons inadvertently in two ways. 

1. They made a certain number of hours be set aside for “educational programming.” Now, if I’m not mistaken, the point of giving children and adults alike Saturdays off is to provide a break from school and work. So why is packing in educational shows such a big deal, and is anyone really surprised that those children don’t want to spend Saturdays watching animated school? The whole reasoning is it to promote education in the U.S. - which, I'll grant, sounds really nice when politicians say it. However, I think we all know that our kids will get smarter by improving schools, not by making networks air Between the Lions

2. They limit the amount of advertising that can be targeted at children. This little rule is aimed at protecting our precious children from being exploited for profit. This is a bit ridiculous because children don’t have their own source of income, and therefore can’t be scammed out of their hard-earned money. But I digress; at the end of the day it makes it hard to profit when you aren’t allowed, so sell advertising space to the companies that appeal to your target audience. 

Even though we may be too old for any of this to affect us, it’s still a sad day when part of your childhood dies. I’m not taking about subliminal messages in movies (DISNEY) or gimmicky toys that kids no longer play with. I’m taking about half a century of tradition slowly wiped out by petty rules that don’t really fix anything. 

Thanks, FCC.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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