Associate Managing Editor
I miss being little. No, I miss the pop culture that made growing up in the 90s so special.
Our generation hits this topic all the time. We reminisce so much we sound like we are 20 years older than we really are, rambling on and on about our childhoods and how things were “back in the gap.” We talk about the music we grew up listening to and how much better it was in sound and content; about the candy we used to eat until we felt sick; but most importantly we talk about the cartoons we religiously watched.
There are an overwhelming number of memes on Facebook that remind us of the shows we watched when we were growing up. “Like if you grew up watching ‘Hey, Arnold,’ ‘Rugrats,’ ‘Rocket Power’ or ‘Angry Beavers.’”
The list of great shows goes on and on. I cannot think of a single show that was not worth watching, and it kind of makes me wonder why it all had to go.
Sadly, my 10-year-old niece will never be able to say the same.
Watching shows with her, I noticed cartoons have gone to two different extremes since most of the shows we grew up with stopped airing.
On one extreme, there are the shows that are so worthless that more entertainment and value can be found in “Beavis and Butthead.”
On the other extreme, there are the educational cartoons that seem to be borderline brainwashing. You know, the shows that have characters with the high-pitched, yet monotone voices, robotic sentence structure and lack of any kind of action or excitement — and I don’t mean the pre-school shows.
Where did the entertainment in cartoons go?
I read an article not too long ago in the local newspaper back home on a study that used “Spongebob Squarepants” to investigate the effects of television on children’s behavior. The cartoons today illustrate the findings of these brilliant scientists.
Apparently, too much action is bad for children. I seriously doubt it was the action in “Spongebob” that affected the children.
If a child is bouncing off the walls and misbehaving, that is a parenting issue — don’t blame television.
Obviously if you let your child watch TV all day they are going to pick up on some undesirable behavior, but that is when parenting skills come into play.
Should parents be concerned with and aware of what their children are watching? Absolutely, but the extent to which parents are going these days to regulate cartoons is unnecessary.
It all comes down to what parents teach children as they observe the world around them. Well, at least that is how my parents raised my siblings and me.
So, Generation Y, if you were wondering where our awesome shows went and why cartoons have flipped a 180, I think this may be our explanation.
All I can say is I feel sorry for later generations — they will never know a screwdriver is the most handy tool in the world.
Rebecca Alvarez is a junior journalism and political science major from El Paso, Texas who serves as associate managing editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to rha...@latech.edu.