Back in “The Paleolithic” age of my own elementary school memories…… Well, I’ll tell you.
“Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue”….. I KID YOU NOT.
Imagine having a couple of local t.v. network affiliates and large blocks of syndicated programming along the “bush-league” UHF band and you get to understand the world of video-tape, audio cassettes, and clunky camcorders.
It was basement/bedroom video projects and Nintendo “Game Genie” code books in paperback— as it looked to the school bus set rumbling home unto sun-dappled industrial leather-scent.
Hollywood, here we come!
Or it could be that way “in young imaginations” with vast unknowns.
Life was a lot more “closed-circuit”, our mostly-filtered, curated link to the outside world. With “BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO” as your witness, your only guide to anything exciting was an address in the back of a splashy “junk food” entertainment guide.
Lots of edgy “cyber” covers with 8-bit digitation “wipe-out”— like “surf’s up dudes”—and bad middle American haircuts, mullets mostly.
(– “Write away for contest rules”)
Like, wow. Maybe even a national tie-in with “Pizza Hut”…..
(– “For a limited time, only”)
In 1990 it was earth-shattering. Monolithic messaging, you could say.
In the ultimate cross-over of Saturday morning animation properties—and broadcasting on all channels, simultaneously with industrial-strength emphasis, with a prerecorded message from the very President, himself— it was advertised months in advance, in cooperation with all the networks through a cartoon jamboree extravaganza.
Bringing you this joyless public-service message to “JUST SAY NO”.
Seat-to-seat, back-to-back, admonishing you white little wastrels “to stay off crack”.
Why, “in the name of the very social fabric”—UHF channels of “Praise the Lord”, The Home Shopping Network, and endless rerun commercials for chia pets and “Clap-on, Clap-off” THE CLAPPER for hard-of-hearing senior citizens, if not personal injury attorneys.
Truly, could it survive the era of “The Simpsons” with snarky, smart-ass comments?
The emerging gold standard of humor was the kind of thing starched-shirt parents “tried to steer us from”, a world of corporal punishment and suspendered grandpas singing barbershop quartet.
It was a self-defeating cycle of moral lassitude—thereby using entertainment “to piss off your elders” and the world they tried to shield you from.
Gothic dance clubs where stylish ladies wore leather pants, halter-tops, and sunglasses as they rocked to the thumping beat of laser-light “Batcave” Inferno. THE PEER PRESSURE “could not be beat”.
Wanted excitement? Say his name three times. . . . . REV UP YOR BIKES.