Sunday, May 30, 2010

No Captain Video for me:

I was eight or nine years old when TV came to our neighborhood. A dentist was able to afford one of the early 12” console black and white TVs. He invited everyone in the neighborhood to come by anytime to watch. I remember over twenty people viewing the evening news in his living room, some too far back to see.

I was a good friend of the dentist’s sons, so I spent a lot of time there, watching Howdy Doody (with great embarrassment) into my teens, although it was obviously a program for little kids. But before I set foot in their TV-bedecked house, my father made me take a solemn oath: I was never to watch a program called Captain Video. Peruse that link all you want, I doubt you will guess why.

My father’s political views were such that he found an underlying assumption of the Captain Video program truly revolting: the idea that there were sinister forces in the world so powerful, that only one particular man could prevent them from overwhelming us all. I can almost claim that I kept my oath, because I once watched fifteen seconds of Captain Video, and that was it.

By the way, I was free to watch Superman all I wanted. And Batman. So there.
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