I think it’s a sign that I’m getting old. After all, I look at what passes for “entertainment” for my kids, and I’m forced to realize what parents always seem to realize. All the best stuff came out years ago.
Parents raised in the 60′s rarely had the same appreciation for Bruce Springstein, Michael Jackson, or Nirvana that my generation does. They hailed Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Loonie Tune gang as the pinnacle of childhood entertainment. They just didn’t get what we found so amusing about the Smurfs.
Today, I understand their plight completely. Most of the cartoons my kids watch – and what happened to Saturday morning cartoons, anyways – are completely idiotic. The sole exception seems to be Phineas and Ferb, which happens to rock! I rejoice at the look of revulsion on my son’s face whenever Justin Bieber hits the radio.
Every generation feels like their music and entertainment was the greatest ever. People who came up in the 70′s often have a nostalgic connection with Fleetwood Mac, rather than Metallica. People of the 50′s prefer Buddy Holly to Avril Lavigne. It’s just how things shake out.
Personally, I was lucky. My mother was open to the music of my generation. To this day, she can probably belt out the words to “Born in the USA”. She watched the Moscow Music Peace Festival with me on Pay-per-View, and thought Ozzie Osbourne was awesome (she was, unlike many other parents in that day, a fan of the song “Suicide Solution”). I hope I can be as cool with the music my kids identify with as teens. With my daughter, there is still a lot of time. With my son, not so much. Just a couple more years, and its here.
The thing is, with the possible exception of music, the entertainment today is just as stupid as the entertainment of our day was. Music is an exception because there have apparently been academic studies that showed just how “bad” music has gotten over the years. I haven’t read it myself, hence the qualifier.
However, when one goes back and re-watches the shows you loved as a kid and watches them objectively, you’ll find that they’re often pretty darn awful.
So try and cut your kids a little slack. What you watches as a kid, and absolutely loved, was probably just as awful as what your kids are watching. Again, except for Phineas and Ferb. That show rocks.