It’s a sadder day for Saturday cartoons

Graham C Wheat, Contributing writer

The last vestiges of what it once meant to be a kid have forever faded into the ether, and it is a shift in the way our society thinks and acts.

The sole-remaining block of broadcast Saturday morning cartoons has been pulled from the television lineup to never be resurrected again.

The last piece of what childhood once meant was airing faithfully on The CW with shows like Dragon Ball Z Kai, Yu-Gi-Oh, Sonic X, and some other popular franchises in that young demographic during their Vexxal times lot. While the cartoons of generations past might know aren’t present on broadcast television any longer, there was still the concreteness of that lounging morning. It was still cartoons on Saturday, and that meant something.

While you might not have known, or even cared for, the programs that The CW chose to air during the most recent iteration of the fabled time slot doesn’t matter. It is the death of certain values and experiences that are wholly American.

My childhood weekends, and many other people’s younger-self to be sure, we catered to the day. Early weekend mornings started with Pokémon and Power Rangers while inhaling a few bowls of sugary goodness. It signified the beginning of something glorious that might happen. The day would be rife with promise, cereal-fueled make believe, and crammed with supplemented imagination. For generations, this was the case. Whether it was Super Friends for the real oldsters or He-Man and Transformers for the now 30-somethings, nearly every child in America started their Saturday this way.

It was even a right of passage in my family for the older sibling to hand down the wisdom that was held in their generation’s cartoons. I knew about Hee-Haw and The Cousin Herb Show only because my father chose to tolerate the cartoons I liked, and felt the need to inform me of his Saturday rite of passage.

Truly it has been a rite of passage for so many people who have grown up in this country. To some it must seem trivial; after all, it’s just a block of programming that was geared toward kids of the timeframe.

However, it is a telling sign the world around us indeed changing. That one of the last connections to generations past, an activity that was shared through decades of age gaps, is now and forever lost.

With all the need for instant gratification that has strangled our culture, there are still cartoons and kid’s shows at the touch of a button; while appointment viewing hasn’t been viable in a long time, Saturday still held a special place.

Are we really saying that whimsy and fantasy is only available to those who have the means to procure it through cable television or Netflix?

While it may be inconsequential to a lot of you, examine what it means in the broader spectrum of what path we are traveling and taking our youth on as well.