Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chris 'School House' Rock!

Saturday morning cartoons were a treat many of us looked forward to back in the 60's and 70's. After a long week in school, Saturdays provided all of us kids an opportunity to sit in front of the television and veg out. We didn't have tablets, iPhones, Kindles, PCs or other sources of Internet entertainment to divert our attention from the real world during the week. Cartoons during the school week were far and few between and many times very lame.

We also did not have many stations to choose from to watch cartoons. Channels 2, 4, 7, 9, and 50 in the Detroit area were the slim pickings in those days, and the cartoons were hard to find at any time. My favorite cartoon during the school day, however, was a cartoon out of Canada on channel 9 called Clutch Cargo. Clutch Cargo was famous for the lack of movement in the characters. The only thing that moved in the cartoon was their mouth or their body when they walked. It appeared as if the character was on a pop sickle stick when the entire body was moved. The story line was always the same - some sort of problem would occur and Clutch Cargo would come to the rescue.

Saturday mornings were different because of the large selection of cartoon that were available in the morning. Each station carried its own syndicated cartoons, and a parent could enjoy a couple of uninterrupted hours of peace and quiet from their kids when the toons were on.

As the 70's wore on, Saturday mornings were taken over by "educational programming" aimed at educating children instead of allowing them some mindless entertainment for a couple of hours. Shows such as Sesame Street, The Brady Kids, and The Big Blue Marble were all produced to "educate" kids on how to properly behave or some other supposedly important life lesson. Most kids couldn't stand them and instead watched shows like Johnny Quest, The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour or Fred Ramsey's favorite - Hong Kong Phooey!  When the television studios realized that kids were not into "educational television" on a Saturday morning, they shifted their strategy and began producing "educational" commercials. These studios figured that kids needed to be "edumacated" and were not going to be denied their goals. With this in mind, these stations were going to ram "educational" cartoons/commercials down kids throats whether they wanted them or not!

This movement lead to a very popular "educational" commercial called School House Rock! School House Rock produced "educational" commercials such as I'm just a Bill, Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla, Interjections and Naughty Number 9. My personal favorite was Conjunction Junction, which featured Jack Sheldon singing Conjunction Junction what's your function!

It was amazing how such simple cartoons and songs left such lasting impressions on that generation. Most of us who grew up in that generation could sing the jingle verbatim or recite the lesson that was being taught. The cartoon and catchy songs embedded the "important" lessons deep into our thick skulls. While thinking about these simple cartoons and the educational lessons they had taught, I came across a video by Chris Rock which have some "educational" lessons for a generation that needs some simple rules to definitely live by. With everything that has been happening in Ferguson Missouri or New York, New York, Chris Rock's admonition and simple rules to us all can save lives and improve community relations between police and the communities in which they serve and leave a lasting impression upon us just like the School House Rock commercials.

***(Please be advised that the language in these videos is VERY course and should only be watched  with the understanding that they are trying to make a couple of very important points.) *** 

How often we can avoid unnecessary trouble if we would only use some common sense and remember some simple civil rules. The Bible tells us in Romans chapter 13:1-4:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

Christmas season is supposedly a time for peace on earth and goodwill toward all men (and women). When we treat each other like we would want to be treated (I think I read that somewhere!) peace and joy are often the result. If we are contentious, law-breaking, and defiant toward each other (especially the police and those in authority), there is no telling what the end results may be. During this special time of the year, let us bring the "Interjection" of the message of peace to a world falling to pieces and not be like "Naughty Number Nine". May we continue to seek the kingdom of the Prince of Peace because it's "Elementary, My Dear!"

Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don

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