I was syncopating through YouTube the other day. I tend to enjoy jumping from video to video via the recommendations that come up after each clip. It’s interesting to see how they are connected, a Kevin Bacon game for old television shows.
I started out looking at the old NBC peacock logo from the late sixties (“the following program is brought to you in living color on NBC”). They still played it when I was a kid in the early 1970’s. It was recommended to me by YouTube when I logged in. From there, I bounced from logos to news clips to theme songs from old shows and ended up watching a bunch of old commercials. I saw Milton the Toaster hawking Pop Tarts, Fruit Pie the Magician, and a bunch of far out folk trying to remember what all was in a Big Mac.
This is kind of odd when you think about it. We have a DVR set up for our television downstairs in the family room. While it does allow us to record lots and lots of television shows that we never get around to watching, its most important function is the thirty second skip. Every time I am able to press a button and leap over Billy Mays or the latest from Bowflex, I consider the four dollars a month I pay to Dish Network money well spent.
The commercials when I was a kid weren’t any better. In fact, they were even more annoying because the only way I could avoid them was to go to the bathroom. Bert Weinman Ford used to sponsor the Late Movie on WGN in Chicago. They advertised the same f%^&ing car (“air conditioned, full delivered price”) every nine minutes. I had a clock radio; I used to time it. Annoyance must be the most transient of memories; otherwise nostalgia for the so-called “good old days” would not exist.