OT Great moments in television
- I have not owned a television for some twenty years. Therefore, mostly I remember the cartoons from my tv watching days. When I was in elementary school, I would get up early, early in the morning and watch cartoons for hours and hours, interspersed with commercials for sugary cereals. By noon I'd be pretty wired!
Among theme songs I remember two. I remember the "Smurfs" theme song which really only consisted of little blue people running around singing "La la la" over and over again until I had to cover my ears.
The other song I remember comes from the "Gummy Bears"- I still remember some of the lyrics:
"They're dashing and daring
Courageous and Caring
They're GUMMY BEARS-
Bouncing here and there
High adventure that's beyond
They are the gummy bears!"
Such inspired lyrics.
I remember a few great moments from a few different series.
I remember one "He-Man" episode where "Skeletor" steals all the books in the kingdom. I don't know how. Then, He-Man calls an emergency conference with his most trusted advisors, which include a knight in a funny tri-corner hat and also, if memory serves, a talking winged horse.
"How will we live without books?" He-Man asks plaintively.
"Very poorly, I'm afraid," opines his trusted horse.
In the end, though, He-Man, through his tremendous muscle-power, wrests the books from the Skeletor and distributes them throughout the land.
Maybe the writers felt guilty that kids were watching their tripe instead of reading "Gulliver's Travels".
I remember a GI Joe episode where "Cobra" lands on the moon and carves his own visage on it, thus plunging the earth into a state of terror at seeing Cobra's face leering down on them every night. GI Joe fights back, though, and drives Cobra off the moon, thank God. The last scene of the show features a mother holding a young infant, both of them smiling and looking up at the moon, from which GI Joe's benevolent face is smiling down on them.
So, the point is that it's wrong for your enemies to use a natural resource for propaganda purposes but it's ok for you to do it? Is this the kind of lesson we want to teach our children, about the exclusive, non-pluralistic nature of truth?
The third show isn't a cartoon. It's ALF, which stands for "alien life form". In ALF, the title character looks like a midget in a hairy, brown hippopotamus outfit. We're supposed to suspend multiple layers of disbelief and just accept that he:
a) survived the cataclysmic fall of his space craft to earth
b) speaks perfect American English.
In one particular episode, the mother of his host family is tabulating the household budget for the coming year. ALF wanders over to the table where all the papers are spread out, and notices one sheet entitled "Miscellaneous".
"My, my!" ALF exclaims, examining the sheet, "You'd better stop buying so many miscellaneouses- they're eating you out of house and home!"
The mother puts down her calculator, and a troubled expression comes over her face.
"ALF," she says, her voice trembling, "miscellaneous means you."
Miscellaneous means you.
Here we have a family that has been entrusted with the care of this being from outer space, and they have the nerve to pointedly tell him how much his upkeep is costing them! Maybe elderly people can identify with ALF's situation. If they aren't able to work anymore and don't have money, they may find themselves, like ALF, to be unwanted long-term house-guests. What a wonderful position to be in!
I'm not sure if the writer had elder-care in mind, necessarily. But, as a "disabled" person, I can understand how awkward it is to depend on other people for care or assistance. I'm just really happy I can work and am mobile. To reference a recent post of mine, I might do well to count my blessings!
Anyway, on hearing that he is the "miscellaneous" cause of the family's financial woe, ALF becomes dreadfully mortified. He announces he wants to leave and go back to his home world. Eventually the family wins him back, though, and everything is smoothed over.
The only cartoon I think I would enjoy as much now as I did when I was a kid is "Our Star Blazers" or "Yamato" in Japanese. The animated series was created in Japan, and dubbed into English for an American audience. Set in a very hypothetical future, it tells the story of a team of soldiers and scientists who have taken a very long inter-galactic voyage to save Earth. A hostile, alien civilization has laid siege to Earth, annihilating virtually all life through nuclear radiation. The few remaining humans have been forced to burrow many miles below the surface of the earth, where they live like moles in underground, ultra- secure bunkers. The space-voyaging team of soldiers and scientists, led by Captain Avatar, are seeking to find, somewhere, an antidote to the radiation. I don't remember too many of the details. I just recall that the series dealt with death, global politics and human relationships in a more mature way than I had encountered in other series. Also it had a really cool and genuinely beautiful theme song. Not la, la, la.
Children aren't necessarily dumb or naïve, and can appreciate shows that actually have carefully thought-out plots, character development and coherent values. "Our Star Blazers" really impressed me.
Well, I started out funny but ended serious. Hope that's OK!