Friday, November 25, 2011

For Your Viewing Pleasure?

Her name was Mrs. Lauderback, and she lived directly behind & across the alley from us.  That's when they still had allies.  She was a widow - and an old lady (no doubt AT LEAST 50 then).  I didn't know her at all until that fateful day when she invited we neighborhood children over to watch her new television set.

T.V. was new & novel then; very few people even had one.  So, with our parent's permission some 8 of us curled up on the floor in front of the magical device.  To our great delight, Disneyland was about to air - no doubt it's Maiden Voyage.  Mrs. Lauderback was prepared for us, having slathered fresh bread with Peter Pan Peanut Butter for her wide-eyed guests.  16 eyeballs were riveted and we were, at once, hooked on all things televisiony (a new word).

Today that memory takes me to the long ago; a long ago which epicenter circa 1954.  It - and Disneyland - has become the hallmark of & synonymous to simpler times.

Last evening, following a grand day of giving thanks, I roamed my viewing options by way of some 50 channels.  I was disheartened to find nary a Variety program; and oh how I missed Perry Como.  I was perplexed that not one - nada - Shirley Temple movie was offered.  For the life of me I couldn't even find Snoopy & Charlie Brown. 

It occurred to me then (and many times previous) that you can tell a good deal about a culture by it's viewing preferences.    

From Father's Knows Best & Blondie, to Mr. Peepers & You Bet Your Life; from Our Miss Brooks and the Cisco Kid to Hawkeye & the Mohicans during the pinnacle of good, clean viewing until today (a span of some 60 years), evidence of our decline in taste is baffling.   Or can we consider it taste at all?

Light has come into the world,
but people loved darkness instead of light ... 
John 3:19

Right here I could launch into a rant that would, most likely, culminate some 50 pages hence.  I'll spare myself & you.  Suffice it to say, the line-up for programming offers pretty slim pickins' for one who longs for an invitation from Mrs. Lauderback. 

When one bases his life on principle,
99 percent of his decisions are already made. 
~ Author Unknown


skoots1mom said...

so much 'yuck' on tv these days...Hallmark Channel is a blessing as is 'TVLand--kinda'...I LOVE old movies, especially circa 1940's...and our cable company decided they needed to be digital (and that I would have to pay an additional $5/month), nope. I'm already paying too much.
Blessings for a post-Holiday weekend.

Miss Janet @ HOME said...

Funny, we were just talking about this same thing yesterday. I have to say, I've had to turn many black and white shows OFF of the TV for sexual undertones. I was shocked!

We record shows and avoid commercials!

:) Janet

Denise said...

Amen, I totally agree.

RCUBEs said...

My friend doesn't believe me when I say I hardly watch TV. There's just nothing good to see and no great lessons to learn. Simple fun means different now. Actually, might be scary... Sad...

Peggy said...

It's not bad enough that the movies today are dark and evil but all the tv programs are becoming like that too. I remember and yearn for times that were lighter and simpler.