Today’s Things To Get Upset About

The blogosphere is a voracious marketplace for the latest outrages. Sometimes when kerfuffles are in short supply, we all have to make do.

Did you know today is the first time in 50 years there isn’t a single network airing a block of Saturday morning cartoons? Gizmodo announced the tragic state of affairs:

Yes, The CW, the final holdout in Saturday morning animation, ran its last batch of Vortexx cartoons last weekend. This week, where you once saw shows like Cubix, Sonic X, Dragon Ball Z and Kai, Digimon Fusion, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, you’ll instead find “One Magnificent Morning,” a block of live-action educational programming.

It’s the end of an era, but it’s been a long time coming: NBC ditched Saturday morning cartoons in 1992, CBS followed suit not long after, and ABC lost its animated weekend mornings in 2004. The CW, a lower-tier broadcast network, was the last holdout in a game that the Big 3 left long ago.

Stage 28's last moments.

Stage 28’s last moments.

There may be a bit more reason to be annoyed by the relevation that Universal Studios went ahead and tore down Stage 28 anyway despite the protests. Constructed in 1924 for Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Sr., its wall panels recreating the auditorium of the Paris Opera House had remained in place for 90 years — but no longer.

September 20th 2014: This stage has now been demolished. The Opera House facades have been put into storage, and the rest of the stage has been completely demolished.

We understand this is to make way for an expansion of the theme park. It’s a shame that despite Universal proudly announcing that Stage 28 is historic and one of the first stages built on the lot, containing the iconic opera house sets from the 1925 Phantom of the Opera, the expansion of the theme park has destroyed the chance for future VIP Tour visitors and movie crews the thrill of visiting or working in such an atmospheric location. It was a stage that was in almost constant use, although there are bigger (and more soundproof) stages all over the lot.

Or you may just decide to give your adrenal glands the day off. As Scarlett O’Hara memorably said, “Tomorrow is another day!” On Sunday there might be something really worth getting cranky about.

10 thoughts on “Today’s Things To Get Upset About

  1. Oh, sure — tomorrow (Sun. Oct 5th) will be the last day of this year’s Greek Festival at St. Necarios’ Church in Covina/Charter Oak, and they’ll probably run out of spanakopita, dolmas, and maybe galaktaburiko before I get some to take home. Now _that_ is something I consider worth getting cranky about.

    (I might note that the church building, though a gem of Greek Orthodox church archetecture, is still unifinished — there are quite a few square yards of interior walls not yet covered with icon-style murals.)

  2. Saturday Mornings have been missing for a number of years now. This has now become something akin to the Baby Boomer nostalgia What we took for granted is no more

    On the other hand some of those cartoon series tried too hard: do you recall the one based on Rubick’s Cube?

  3. While I see no reason for outrage, it *is* sad that there are no more Saturday Morning Cartoons available for kids (and adults) to watch on broadcast television. Now, only those households willing and able to spend the money for cable television can watch cartoons. Cartoons have been something that have been part of most children’s lives long enough that the earliest viewers of them are now collecting Social Security.

    I take issue with Mr. Sirignano’s comments. Yes, it’s a nostalgic farewell for Baby Boomers but also Gen Xers and Millennials and Gen Yers and pretty much everyone else currently older than 12 years old. And, yes, not every animated series produced was a classic for the ages, but it isn’t as if there aren’t stinkers amongst science fiction novels, Broadway shows, crime novels, or any other area or genre of creative work that he might have a fondness for. His easy and gratuitous swipes at animation show his own apparent lack of interest in animation and thoughtlessness for the opinions and feelings of others.

  4. Wow! Someone who remembers Bump In the Night can’t be all bad! (I treasure my two videotapes.)

  5. There is a complete run of it on DVD. It has that nice parody NIGHT OF THE LIVING BREAD in it. When Disney took over the network, it killed off anything not connected with Disney, and one of them was this nice show.

  6. Cable t.v. is pretty well saturated in most markets, with streaming services booming as well (some people have been, are considering, or will be giving up on cable for web streaming exclusively), so cartoons are available 24/7 — Cartoon Network, DisneyXD, Boomerang, et al., so getting up early on Saturday morning to see this week’s installment of your favorite cartoons isn’t the point any more, just like the only “show” with a live audience of children is Krusty the Clown — ‘tweens watching don’t understand what that’s supposed to reference.

    I can remember six or seven of them here throughout my childhood (all local, as we didn’t get Bozo The Clown syndicated out of Chicago), but the descendents of Oprah are much more important on the broadcast stations in the casting about for scraps of declining numbers even as they’re being sliced off like thin cheese by fringe channels from the monoblocks the network stations once had.

    Hell, even housewives don’t get a program as honest or serious as Donahue any more, just live versions of “reality” soaps hosted by once-serious journalists gone bad, and barely-able-to-keep-their-licenses professionals, including the egregious “Dr. Phil” McGraw, who I once saw stand toe-to-toe screaming abuse at a fourteen-year-old girl half his height and a third his weight, and calling it “psychology.” (I don’t call it psychology, I call it child abuse.) The last time I was at my physician’s office I asked if they would take that unlicensed quack off the waiting room television, to no avail. Next time I’m there at that hour I may very well ignore the sign which tells patients to not change the channel and change it anyway rather than have him polluting a waiting room for real doctors and nurses.

    Anyway, if you don’t have cable, they consider you too poor to sell to anyway, except for ads for pay-day and car title loan shysters, self-financing used car lots, and the kind of cheap crap Ronco and K-Tel used to palm off on us.

    The 21st Century we were promised has been — and I use this word deliberately — stolen from us.

  7. I don’t have a real TV set up, this has been since 2005. The household has DVDs and choice selectivity of what we watch is cheaper than cable. We still have two or three boxes of VHS tapes with “Saturday Morning” lables. I think we have a run of RUDE DOG and FAMILY DOG on them, somewhere. And EARTHWORM JIM.

  8. I didn’t read the Gizmodo link until after I wrote what I did above. I on my own made all the same points they did.

    Well, they are obvious to anyone who pays attention. It’s just that a lot of people don’t.

  9. I could get in thethe mornings on Satyrday and play nothing but Looney Tunes and Bullwinkle and be in the spirit of things. I just wouldn’t need to sit through a barrage of commercials trying to sell me some variation of Frosted Sugar Bombs.

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