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Private Pyle, What Is Your Major Conjunction?

By Wyatt Earp | July 29, 2007

I’m a little tired from my friend’s wedding last night – yes, Wagonsux, I was there – so before I post about the big event, I figured I’d take y’all back from another quality post from Middie Back!, my first blog. This post was originally written on January 30, 2004. Enjoy!

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As a kid, some of my fondest memories involve Saturday morning cartoons. Yes, I am a card-carrying member of Generation X. I don’t want to sound like a curmudgeon, but today’s cartoons lack a certain style. “Pokemon”, “Recess”, and “Pepper Ann” couldn’t hold “Looney Toons’” anvil. As sure as it is accepted that McDonald’s fries are the best, it is also sure that “Looney Toons” is the king of animation. Although I could sing the praises of Bugs, Daffy, and Porky Pig until I am blue in the face, these legends of cinema are not my focus today. Today I write about mere “filler”. Today I come to praise “Schoolhouse Rock”.

For the two or three of you (ninety percent of my audience, by the way) who are unfamiliar with S.R., allow me to give you a brief synopsis. “Schoolhouse Rock” is a collection of campy 70′s musical cartoons with a message. Their subjects run the gamut from history to grammar, from mathematics to science. They were essential to my academic development, and I would refer to them while taking tests in grade school: “A noun is a person, place, or thing . . .” In the words of Chevy Chase (from “Spies Like Us”): “Got me through high school.”

As I grew older, many of my childhood joys became tired, soulless shadows of their former selves. While cleaning the old homestead, I found my VHS tapes of “The Rock” and decided to give them a once-over. Imagine my surprise when I realized that they were just as enjoyable today as they were when I was ten. To be honest, I always thought many of the lyrics were sung by the immortal Ray Charles, and not Jack Shelton (GENIUS!), even though their voices are similar. I still can’t pick an adverb out of a police lineup, but I can tell you how to “Unpack Your Adjectives”.

The greatest joy of reliving these cartoon classics was watching my three year old son, Kyle, sit in front of the television, mesmerized by “Conjunction Junction” and “Interjections”. Hopefully, it will start him down the road of learning-he already loves visiting the local library-and keep him away from the all-too-common view that school is a chore.

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