If you've got kids, you end up watching more than your fair share of children's television. Goodbye Sportscenter, hello Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, But, like name trends and spanking standards, the things that were cool 30 years ago, don't necessarily fly today.
While flipping between the usual shows that teach sharing, acceptance of others and the occasional Spansih language vocabulary, my wife and I stumbled across a good old-fashioned cat-and-mouse bloodbath... and, I have to admit, I loved it.
I remember watching "Tom and Jerry" as a kid, and I still knew enough not to feed the family dog M80's. But, there's no denying that those old cartoons are like Tarantino films in primary colors. And, it wasn't just "Tom and Jerry," the whole Warner Bros. portfolio is full of hotheads and sadists. (Fiction writer Steven Millhauser has a great short story in his collection Dangerous Laughter that is written from the Tom and Jerry perspective.)
It's not just the violence that has been removed from the airwaves. The likes of Foghorn Leghorn and Yosemite Sam were not exactly known for their politically correct attitudes on race and gender. Then again, I loved The Dukes of Hazzard, and their car was named The General Lee and had the Confederate "Stars and Bars" painted on the roof.
At the end of the day, it's probably a good thing that more young kids are getting exposed to Dora the Explorer and Bob the Builder than Wile E. Coyote and the rest of the gang. But, there's nothing unnatural about feeling a ping of nostalgia when you see a sizzling stick of dynamite.