When I first started this blog, I expected to write brilliant essays about the intellectual conundrums of motherhood and womanhood and other “issues” in my life…and in the lives of thousands (if not millions) of other women across this glorious green and blue planet of ours.
Today, however, I’m forced to admit that most of my essays are more in the tradition of Erma Bombeck than Jacques Derrida. Let’s lift our lighters to the memory of Erma. You all know who she was, and you know how much she totally rocked. She’s my inspiration, and not just because she wrote that piece about moms of disabled children.
Do any of you, my kind and tolerant readers, even know who Derrida was? Unless you’re weird like me and have studied literary theory, probably not. You’re not missing anything. Truly. Derrida sounded smart, but like Picasso in his later years, he was really just pulling everyone’s leg. He was a pretentious intellectual snot, and not just because I disagree with his literary theory.
Today, however, intellectual conundrums hold no interest for me at all…I’m ready for summer break, just like my boys. So this week, we’re taking a little trip down memory lane, thanks to YouTube, and will visit some of my favorite television shows from childhood.
Television today is remarkably void of intellectual content. A few exceptions nobly fight the current, like Public Television for adults and a few random children’s shows like Pinky Dinky Doo (how I WISH my children would watch this show!). Unfortunately, the River of Television flows into the Ocean of Insipid. Therein dwell such sea monsters as Bakugan and Pokemon and Ben 10, banes of my existence. If I hear “Bakugan, brawl!” or “Pikachu, I choose you!” or “Go, Wildmutt!” one more time, I’ll “Go crazy!”
Way back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, when I was a wee lass with long, long hair and a love of colorful embroidery, children’s programming was awesomely cool, without any of this Japanese anime weirdness. These were good, old-fashioned Anglo-Canadian-American shows that came out of hippy pot parties and colorful LSD trips full of peace, love, and long, long hair. Actually, Sid and Marty Krofft denied the involvement of LSD or other drugs in the birth of their shows. Sid once said, “We’re bizarre. That’s all.” No one really believed him.
Speaking of sea monsters, the first show that pops to mind is Sigmund the Sea Monster. I loved that friendly sea monster with the single pointy buck tooth, and I wanted to be Johnny so I could play with Sigmund all day long on the beach, hiding out in sea caves while wearing tight shorts.
Then there was the somewhat obscure Bugaloos. Flying high, indeed. Of all the main characters—I.Q., Joy, Harmony, and Courage, and Benita Bizarre—I most wanted to be Joy. Seeds sown in childhood bear fruit in middle age.
I’m not middle aged, am I?
The better-known H.R. Pufnstuf had those cool white go-go boots—a bit of gender-bending that prepared me for my first sighting of a cross-dresser when I worked in the Bridal Department at Belk’s years later. And Jimmy blowing the flute…let’s not go there. Sometimes a flute is just a flute. Or not.
Irrelevant aside: Doesn’t the opening scene of Jimmy in the mountains remind you of this fabulous flower child anthem? If that clip doesn’t give you hope for the future and make you want to go green, have a few drinks and watch it again. You’ll love the world. I promise.
I adored Land of the Lost. The adventures of Marshall, Will, and Holly were must-see TV. What incredible special effects! I mean, that T. Rex looks like real Play-Do, doesn’t it? The Sleestaks were scary, though, to a six-year-old.
I can’t wait to see Will Farrell’s new movie. Don’t tell Jacques Derrida this, but I loved Farrell in Blades of Glory (“As if figure skating wasn’t already gay enough.”) and Talladega Nights (“Thank you, Little Baby Jesus, for my smokin’ hot wife Carla.”). Land of the Lost spoofed by him has to be funny.
Or maybe both.
There are so many more shows I could share, but if you’ve checked out these links, you should be ready to stop shaving your pits and legs; put on your peasant blouse and beaded headband and sandals; and join a bunch of international strangers on a mountainside to drink a Coke.
My job is done.