"Movies/music/cartoons/etc. were so much better when I was I growing up."
No. Just no, I have always hated this phrase even since I was younger. I can't believe that it's such a hard thing for people to wrap their minds around. Do you have any idea what I mean.
Let's talk about cartoons for a moment as that's what is currently on my mind and what brought upon this little thought. As a 90's to early 2000's kid, nothing irritates me more than hearing people my age or older complain about how terrible new cartoons are compared to the cartoons that we grew up on. (and I'm just talking about the people complaining about how their western cartoons were better in the past. Don't even get me started on the people who complain about how much better Japanese anime is compared to Western animation even though we've got devoted fans for our animation from Japan...)
There are so many comments I'll read of people defending this idea.
"The cartoons we grew up on were edgier and were able to challenge us more"
"Oh okay so there are a few good cartoons on right now, but there were so much more growing up."
And many many more. My friends, you're looking through rose tinted glasses.
Of course there SEEMS to have been more good cartoons in our childhood when you think of our ENTIRE childhood. You can't compare the entire childhood of good shows to just two or three years of currently good ones.
Of course it seems like the cartoons we grew up on were creepier or edgier when we remember those particular episodes from a show that had something ingrained in our psyche as a child (that episode the star creating alien squids from Courage really stand out for me in the feelings they could get).
That doesn't mean anything when it comes to newer cartoons right now.
Just like in the 80s and 90s, we have cartoons highs and we have lows. Just like how Disney will go through a golden age of animation before falling by the wayside for a few years and then finally picking itself back up to making a masterpiece, so too do our cartoons currently airing.
Keep in mind that there are some god awful cartoons on the air right now. Uncle Grandpa, Breadwinners, Teen Titans Go and Sanjay and Craig just to name a few. Seriously, just looking at posters for Sanjay and Craig just makes my stomach feel like it's full of bile. Something about the colors just physically disgusts me.
Yet for each of these shows we're presented with one just even recently that does right what these shows do wrong. Steven Universe, Adventure Time (I can think it's a bit overrated sometimes, but I do enjoy it and I definitely see why it's so beloved), Gravity Falls, Over the Garden Wall, Amazing World of Gumball (I know a lot of people instantly think of Chowder when they see that cartoon, but it has such fantastic quick humor and some fine styles of animation blended in perfectly), Young Justice, and many many more definitely come to mind.
And that's just in the past couple of years. We've had Avatar and Korra, Ben 10, and many other fantastic cartoons between say 2005 to presently airing.
And let's please NOT forget all the terrible shows that came out during the 80s and 90s and early 2000s. See, again we look at things through rose tinted glasses. We remember all the good cartoons, which there were many of, while forgetting the not so good ones or the outright terrible ones! Need I remind you of:
Almost every Sonic cartoon other than Sonic Sat AM
Captain Planet (some people have a nostalgic affection for this cartoon, but you cannot deny that it's a pretty bad cartoon)
Rocket Power (again one of those cartoons that my generation sometimes looks fondly on, but it was just a giant marketing cartoon filled with "the chart says" people to made a cartoon that will cater to the "hip" and "with it" kids)
I R Baboon (Trust me, it was terrible)
As was Cow and Chicken. Sorry, I hated both of those.
And again, so many more. There are even more that I remember but can't put a name to like a cartoon involving an armadillo and nachos, a cartoon with some stupid people on an island that used to play right before adult swim, and other god awful shit that my brain has wanted to remain buried and locked away.