March 15, 2002

The Daze Rant

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As Americans, we all know that children aren’t raised by their parents or teachers. We are a nation of television zombies, bound to the floor six-inches in front of the T.V. screen. I was no exception. As a child, many a cold, gray winter afternoon was warmed by the gentle sound of cartoon mayhem.

Thus, imagine my horror when I sat down recently one cold, gray winter afternoon to discover that instead of my beloved cartoons, Fox was showing a rerun of Judge Judy. In the past, I remembered dark days where cartoons would be preempted by sports broadcasts. But this wasn’t sports. Granted, Judge Judy is as intimidating as the entire 2002 NFL line-up, but surly even she couldn’t have the power needed to end cartoons. I thought it must be a mistake, but the next day, again came Judge Judy. Thus, I came to the chilling conclusion that weekday cartoons had indeed been canceled.

As disturbing as not having cartoons on weekday afternoons is, my concerns run much deeper than having a cherished institution callously ripped away by crack-addled T.V. executives. By canceling weekday cartoons, Fox threatens to tear asunder the very moral fabric of our society.

Think about it. Everything important or worthwhile children know, they were taught by cartoons. G.I. Joe taught us important facts about life we probably wouldn’t know otherwise, like not to stick our tongues in electrical outlets, bad guys always have blue lasers, and not to accept rides from strangers driving tanks. Gem taught us that if you had a dream, all you needed was optimism and a powerful holographic sentient computer to make it come true. Cartoons in general taught us that crime just doesn’t pay, because the second you try anything illegal, you’ll be beaten down by the X-Men, Spiderman, Batman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the gang from Scooby Doo — simultaneously.

Even more disturbing is what’s replacing our beloved cartoons. WB is infested with Dawson’s Creek and its demon-spawn copycats. Pok