>Back in my house that my parents requested that I no longer refer to as "Jewish white trash," we used to have a small B&W TV in the kitchen. It sat on the china hutch behind my dad's chair at our cramped kitchen table until I was about 7 or 8. (The generic canned grape juice and fruit punch was stored under the table next to my dad's feet and the heating vent.) I nearly late for the bus every morning because I sat, my eyes glazed over at the "woody Woodpecker" cartoons that blared at me while cereal dripped out of my mouth due to the trance induced by toy commercials. This was not acceptable, according to my mom. Further, my mom decided that watching quality programs like "Tic Tac Dough" and "Joker's Wild" were not better than family discussions. The TV was whisked away. (She was wrong, of course. Much dinner table talk revolved around whether there were boogers in the Kool Aid, as my sister maintained, or not.)
Sources (i.e. - my mom) also claim that in my youth, I used to watch an enormous amount of cartoons on Saturday morning and ask for every damn toy that was advertised. The answer was always, "No." Eventually I stopped being a brat, but I didn't stop watching the cartoon lineup. While I could barely get my little ass out of bed for school during the week, every Sat. morning I woke up at 6:30 like clockwork so that I could begin my day of leisure with the craptastic show known as "Zoobilee Zoo." (Sometimes I even got up earlier and stared at the colored bars that dominated the screen before the station went back on the air. Man, that was a long time ago when stations didn't have 24/7 programming.) To be fair, I acknowledged that this show was shit. However, I did not want to miss risking "Gummy Bears," which I think was on at 7:00, followed by "Snorks," "Smurfs" (totally the best, although the presence of only one girl Smurf puzzled my burgeoning feminist mind), "Foofur," and god only knows what else. Whatever live action shows came on interested me not a whit.
Through the November Blog Exchange, my friends Alex and Amy Jo are having a civil debate about whether or not kids should watch TV. While I turned out fine (sort of, anyway), I think I embody the downsides of both of their arguments. I am so proud.