“Can you believe that Schoolhouse Rock debuted fifty years ago?” I say.
“Schoolhouse what?” says the Gen-Zer, blithely snapping a Discord to Doja Cat.
“Schoolhouse Rock,” I say. “They were little musical cartoons they used to play on TV.”
“Play on what? You mean like streaming?”
“No. TV. You just had to hope to catch one between Saturday morning cartoons.”
“Whaturday morning whats? Where are you even from?”
“They were cool. They were little videos, you know, like on TikTok, only animated with cool catchy songs that taught you about Congress and grammar and math.”
“…That wasn’t a thing.”
“It was. It was genuinely a thing.”
“And you pretended to like it?”
“We did like it. It was fun. It was how half of my generation learned multiplication. I’m not an outlier. This wasn’t a small thing. It’s not some distant cultural obscurity. Schoolhouse Rock was a major cultural force. They did a whole parody of it on The Simpsons.”
“On the whatsons?”