This morning I woke up. Normal day. Went into the oldest boy's room. He was the reason I awoke. I noticed it was 6:30 and I wondered why we forgot to set the alarm. It was late. And then it hit me: It's Saturday. Woohoo!
I have only lived in two cultures and both of them set Saturday aside as a special day. Even the word - Saturday - looks fun. Here Saturday is often a half work day but by noon everyone's off and they go to the market or to a hot spring or a bath house to soak and warm up. They eat out or shop and have birthday parties. It's a good day for laundry or cleaning or taking a day trip. It's Saturday and we like it.
I'm sure there are roots to it, Saturday being the Sabbath, but for me it all starts with cartoons.
When I was a kid, Saturday was the one day of the week where I was allowed to wake up and just watch TV for a few hours. By about 10 the cartoons had thinned out and it was time to go do something else, but those were good days for cartoons.
See, we didn't have cable and there was no cartoon network. We had CBS, NBC and ABC and if you wanted cartoons, that's where you got 'em. Well, PBS was in the ring and they competed heavily with Marty Stouffers Wild America (still a favorite) but mostly it was cartoons.
And they were 80's Cartoons - with a few late 70's thrown in.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Teddy Ruxpin (a brief foray)
Starblazers (my brother just loved this...mainly because it's awesome)
Dungeons and Dragons (and no, I'm not an evil warlock)
The Real Ghostbusters (never discerned the difference)
The Incredible Hulk
M.A.S.K. (short lived, but VERY cool toys)
Voltron (never owned any toys from that - too much like Transformers I guess)
The Super Friends Hour
Of course, separate from all those and standing as a legitimate art form and cultural influence is Looney Tunes. Fritz Freeling and Tex Avery are pure genius. The Rabbit of Seville, Duck Amuck. Chuck Jones, Mel Blanc, Carl Stalling - Leon Schlesinger knew what he was doing. There was no competitor to those guys. Just look at this and tell me what you hear, think, feel, remember:
I mean, you can HEAR the music! It was genius. Cartoon genius. And somewhere my brother has a set of 12 VHS tapes of this. Wow.
So...enjoy your Saturday. If you can catch a cartoon or two (especially from the above list) go for it. A bowl of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs would accompany nicely.