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Cover of the DVD boxed set The Best of the Ele...

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When I was a punk kid there wasn’t as much stuff on television as today. Nighttime was when serials like All In The Family were on. Saturday’s were for morning cartoons and the ever-disturbing Sid & Marty Krofft shows with psychedelic humans. Lidsville anybody? The New Zoo Revue? That show could be the equivalent of Barney I suppose. We even had the record (vinyl). I still can’t get a cartoon out of my head where some kids at school walk through a chalkboard with their teacher into another world. I think at some point I learned that Rick Springfield had something to do with that show. Now Rick has had plastic surgery…something unheard of for a man back in the day.

After school was for After School Specials and somewhere in-between were The Monkees, Gunsmoke, Wild Wild West, F-Troop, The Brady Bunch, etc.  KCET was the boring channel that had shows we had to watch for school but they also had creepy educational shows for kids like: Zoom, The Electric Company, Sesame Street, etc. I don’t remember much about television back then, mostly Mike Nesmith and his black cap, William Conrad and his tight cowboy pants, the bitch from Little House On The Prairie, and the occasional bawdy movie (Swept Away) on The Z Channel. Last night I watched Picnic At Hanging Rock and was reminded that I had seen it when I was very young. This was another Z Channel movie that left an indelible mark. (If you haven’t seen this Peter Weir film I strongly recommend it.)

Let’s face it, the 60’s and 70’s on television was a very disturbing time. Reality wasn’t much better but in some ways I preferred it. I know I’m aging myself when I say I can’t believe what is considered entertainment today.

Now that I have mostly limited my television time to The Science Channel (just how many times can I watch Ancient Aliens on History?) I have discovered a new show called Wonders Of The Universe with Brian Cox. Brian is a handsome, ethereal dude that smiles the entire time he is talking about the cosmos and other planetary tidbits. His voice is always full of awe and I spend most of the time wondering what this guys deal is – but like Michio Kaku, he has an infectious vibe about him…or he is a stoner. Anyway, I like the show.

Watching Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, I suddenly realized that dear Morgan was teaching me how to speak in the 1970’s on the Electric Company, through the last 30 years he was entertaining me in movies and now he is teaching me again on television. I find something comforting about it, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s seeing what happened to Ryan O’Neal over the years and how a life can go so horribly wrong? We weren’t allowed to watch television until my dad left the house and then it was used as a tool to check-out emotionally. Morgan Freeman had a soothing voice back then too, like a wormhole in itself.

So I’ve nothing of importance to say really, other than I find certain symmetry to watching a particular actor go back to the roots of his craft. Those annoying kids on Zoom can take their (over) acting chops and shove it.