Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I DIDN'T REALIZE HOW COOL ARK II WAS UNTIL NOW



I can see myself being blitzed with a ton of hateful comments over this post (Of course, I don't have to publish them - Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!), but I think this needs to be said. The 70s Saturday morning sci-fi adventure show Ark II has to be one of the most intelligent and well-written kids shows ever. Maybe one of the best TV shows ever, especially when you look at some of the current TV show. Sadly, clips of the show on You Tube usually get trashed by miscreants (Probably fans of Glenn Beck), but Ark II is kind of like an onion with many layers, which explains why it deserves a special place in a Hall of Fame or a need to be studied by future generation.

To get the full effect of where the concept for this TV program came from, you need to look at these photos on The Atlantic website. President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency after pollution starting becoming a problem. These photos were taken as a project to show the effects of pollution on America. As you can tell from the photos, pollution was a concern to everyone, not just one side of the political spectrum.

Movies like Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, No Blade of Grass, The Bed Sitting Room, A Boy and His Dog and Zardoz with post-apocalyptic themes were popular in theaters. These films frequently shown a future with cities decimated and in ruin. Ark II came along during this time. Executive producer Lou Scheimer once referred to the show as "Star Trek on the ground."

The show first appeared in the fall of 1976, which is probably the reason the main characters wear bicentennial looking red, white and blue uniforms. There was only one season of the show produced, but CBS ran the show until 1978.

According to the opening narration, pollution has destroyed many of the natural resources. A group of "remaining" scientist had created a mobile repository called Ark II. The crew of the Ark II were a group of young scientist made up of the hippie-ish guy named Jonah, a beautiful Asian woman named Ruth, a Hispanic genius teenager named Samuel and a talking chimpanzee named Adam. They travel around helping the people trying to exist in wastelands and encourage them to rebuild society by working together. They had to deal with the scavengers, who bullied the residents of the villages the Ark II encountered.

Notice anything about the character names? They are all Biblical names. That doesn't stop with the main characters as several episodes feature other Biblical names and references. Think about it...the show itself is named Ark II.

Contrary to what the idiots posting comments on You Tube say, the show was not "tree-hugging, socialist, leftist propaganda." The ecology and environment was only a theme, where as the lesson or message of the shows were basic morals about cooperation, prejudice, good citizenship and greed. Of course, these people commenting on You Tube probably rooted for the scavengers.      

I recently acquired a DVD set (out-of-print sadly) of the complete series. I have enjoyed seeing this piece of my childhood that I had almost forgotten. I would love to see Ark II made into a movie. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

WHAT IS YOUR MUSICAL FLASHPOINT?

Click on image to enlarge
Some of the recent passings in the music world got me to thinking about this. KTXR radio personality Wayne Glenn has put forth a theory an his radio show that pretty much holds water. Nothing involving scientific research but just a general observation from talking to listeners and taking request from them. Wayne Glenn has observed that people seem to gravitate toward the music that was popular when they were between the ages of 9 to 12. This is when most people first become interested in music.

I call this the "musical flashpoint." My musical flashpoint would be 1978 since I was nine years old at the time. That summer, the tube on our TV went out and my parents didn't fix it for along time. This may have been responsible for my discovering pop music and radio in general. During that summer, I noticed that the Springfield Leader and Press (Now the News Leader) published the Billboard Top 10 in the Sunday edition. I would flip around the dial to the see if I could find these songs being played on the local radio stations. I even started keeping a chart that tracked how often these songs were played and on what radio station (This is how boring my life was at age nine).

In those days, you could find more "popular hits" on the radio. In those days, most radio stations felt that you had to play what was popular especially if you were the only radio station in town. Many small town radio stations had what was called a split format. Usually, they played country from sign on through the early morning for dairy farmers, easy listening during the midday for housewives and rock/pop from the afternoon until sign off. The horrific plague of "we-can-only-have-country-or-talk-in-the-Ozarks" only came about in the 90s.

I found a chart on ARSA to use as an illustration of that summer's great music. I look down the list and notice many of my favorite songs:  Gerry Rafferty "Baker Street," Eddie Money "Baby Hold On," The Sweet "Love Is Like Oxygen," Rolling Stones "Miss You," Jefferson Starship "Runaway," Patti Smith Group "Because The Night," Foreigner "Hot Blooded," Donna Summer "Last Dance,"   Meat Loaf  "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad," Bob Seger "Still The Same," Styx "Fooling Yourself," Pablo Cruise "Love Will Find A Way" Abba "Take A Chance On Me," and The O'Jays "Use Ta Be My Girl" are there, as well as the guilty pleasures like Andy Gibb's "Shadow Dancing," Chuck Mangione "Feels So Good," Steve Martin "King Tut," The Trammps "Disco Inferno," Bonnie Tyler "It's A Heartache," Yvonne Elliman "If I Can't Have You," Frankie Valli "Grease," England Dan & John Ford Coley "We'll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again," Barry Manilow  "Copacabana"  (the only Barry Manilow song I have ever really liked).

I've also figured out that even if I didn't hear the song or group in 1978, I usually like anything made at that time. An example of this would be a big British hit by Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley called "If I Had Words." Sure it is a sappy bubble gum/reggae song based on a song by Saint-Saens "Symphony No. 3," but I like it, because it has an energy and playful nature like many of the songs of that era. I really didn't hear the Sex Pistols until sometime in the early 80's (although I knew of them back then), but they immediately became one of my all-time favorite bands. I don't think I heard Pousette-Dart Band until college, unless they weren't identified on radio (the late 70s was the beginning of that bad trend in radio).

There, of course, are other singers and bands that were popular in 1978 that were not on that particular radio survey that I cannot live with out. Groups like Kiss, the Eagles, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Van Halen, the Cars, Bruce Springsteen, the Bee Gees, Kenny Rogers,  the Jacksons, Kansas, Earth, Wind and Fire and...I could go on and on.

Now, if you are waiting for me to trash today's popular artist, you can keep on waiting. I like most popular music and enjoy listening to it, as a matter of fact I'm madly in love with Katy Perry (Okay, okay,  I HATE COUNTRY MUSIC, but I admit it). I'm not be one of those old guys who sit around complaining about what younger people do, because I never liked for older people to say disrespectful things about the music I liked. Also, I have more friends who are younger. I wonder what year was their musical flashpoint?  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

BEST OF DESDINOVA: ANDY OF MAYBERRY FANS IN THE OZARKS CELEBRATE THE RETURN OF THE B&W EPISODES



KYTV's Facebook site announced that the black and white episodes of The Andy Griffith Show will return next week. Personally, I don't see what the big deal is, but Ozarkers freak out about the color episodes of The Andy Griffith Show like it is a gang of skunks running through the neighborhood or a flesh-eating pandemic.

This post on the old blog on this very subject is from two years ago. Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

THE STUFF NARRATORS SAY


"March 13th, 1930, Eliot Ness and the Untouchables raided a illegal brewery in an abandoned warehouse in Skokie."


"Will Batman and Robin be escape the path of the steamroller or will they become Flatman and Ribbon? Tune in tomorrow! Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel! One hint: The worst may be yet to come!"


"On that hot summer afternoon, Grandpa taught John Boy and Mary Ellen a valuable lesson."


"Now you see,  Boss Hogg knew that the Duke Boys were the only thing that would keep him from getting elected to Congress, so he sent Roscoe and Enos out to set up a roadblock to stop the Duke Boys, which was a dumb idea. Not only could you not build a roadblock that would stop the Duke Boys, but Roscoe and Enos couldn't create roadblock that would stop my Grandma."


"That day I realized that I wasn't the only one, who had grown up. Winnie Cooper had grown up too. Of course, I also realized that my brother Wayne would always be a butthead."


"In our last episode, Bullwinkle had entered the annual Frostbite Falls Cornbread Pancake and Molasses Eating Contest in hopes of winning a 1,001 giant sized marbles."
"Once again, Richard Kimble resumed his quest to find the one-armed man."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

WHY DID WE WEAR SONG TITLES IN RAINBOW GLITTER ON OUR T-SHIRTS IN THE 70s?





This post is sort of for my own sanity. When I was about seven or eight, I had a yellow t-shirt which bore the words "New Kid in Town" in rainbow, glitter lettering. I also remember that there were several t-shirts like this around this time. They all had one thing in common, instead of baring the name of a popular rock band, they had a popular rock song on the front in rainbow, glitter writing. These said things like "Stayin Alive," "You Light Up My Life," "Undercover Angel," "You Don't Have to Be a Star To Be In My Show," "Calling Dr. Love," "Lonely Boy," "Dancing Queen," "Afternoon Delight" and "Play that Funky Music." You get the picture.

It must have been a short lived phase, because I don't remember these t-shirts being popular much past one or two years. My family doesn't even remember me having this t-shirt. The only photos I could find of these shirts is an ad for other rainbow, glitter t-shirts offering a "Tonight's the Night" t-shirt (I rather have a "Do You Think I'm Sexy" t-shirt myself) and a vintage t-shirt on E-bay that sports the title, "Dancing Machine." I mentioned this to some co-workers and they didn't remember this fad either. However, it has stuck with me since childhood.

I think what strikes me about his now is how goofy this was. It almost makes no sense to wear a song title on your shirt, because if the person isn't familiar with the song it seems like a random, off-the-wall statement. Why would I say this? Because I know from experience. As I mentioned above, the t-shirt I had said "New Kid In Town." I had older people and redneck types in Lebanon say things to me like, "Git that shirt off! You ain't no new kid it town!" Not wanting to open up some typical Ozarker "That-is-what-is-wrong-with-our-country-it-going-to-Hell-in-a-handbag" discussion, but there is a delightful awkwardness about a seven or eight year old girl wearing a t-shirt that says "Afternoon Delight" or "Undercover Angel."

I think I know a little bit of the reasoning behind these t-shirts. Rainbow, glitter graphics on t-shirts was the new hot thing in the late 70s, as mentioned in the above t-shirt ad. I'm guessing the graphics were limited in the way they could be used, so they either had to be a small, simple picture or words.

Why just song title? My guess is that a t-shirt manufacture could get away with just the song title, where as band's names would require permission and probably a hefty licensing fee. Also bands in that era had special logos, which might not work with the rainbow, glitter graphics. Note that in the ads above, the company is selling shirts that say "Eagles" and "Kiss," but it is not there usual logos. I don't believe the "Angel" and "Rainbow" t-shirts have anything to do with the heavy metal bands Angel and Rainbow, it is just coincidence. Matter of fact, if you look closely, it is just the words "Eagles" and "Kiss." Sneaky, huh?
I was beginning to wonder if these t-shirts were just in my imagination. I looked through old magazines and comic books for photos or ads for these t-shirts. I looked on the Internet for photos of them. Sadly, I discoverred some very disgusting racist t-shirts being sold on-line (Klanwear?). Finally, found the pictures I used above. So my reasoning is this trend didn't go over. Maybe everyone was like me and realized it was kind of goofy.

Friday, May 4, 2012

THE NEW BLOGS FIRST BIRTHDAY

May 6th will mark the first anniversary since I started the New Adventures of Desdinova the Super Villain of the Ozarks. While the support has not been overwhelming, I will say I have had only one negative comment, which wasn't published because it wasn't very coherrent. I have also found out something about doing a retro blog. Response to a post can be very slow. I might post something and not receive a comment until a month or two later. I am trying to build a group of readers, both old and new.

Some in the Springfield area say they miss the vicisous satirical humor of the old blog. Part of my reason for changing was my humor may have upset people that could eventually hire me for a job. I've heard a rumor that I may have been blacklisted by some of the local media outlets. I'm not sure if that will hold water since there is so much turn over in the radio industry these days. Of course, since I hold a media degree, I could always work in TV or newspaper (except the News Leader - I think I've hacked them off).

Another good thing about this switch is that I appeal to people outside the Ozarks. I'm always surprised by the places the visitors to this new sight come from.

For awhile I linking the new post to the old blog. That got to hectic. The only thing I have posted on the old blog recently was another failed April Fools gag. I messed it up and it posted too early (March 31st). However, I will place this post on the old blog as well, I hope that I can get some of the old subscribers and readers to come over here.

Looking at stats I'm surprised at what has been popular and what hasn't been popular. It may have been labeling or something. As I said earlier some post may be around for awhile before they take off. One that is not in the Top 10 but always surprises me when it gets hits is an old Campbell's Soup ad featuring a recipe for an easy hollandaise sauce. After the Countdown to Halloween, I thought I would lead up to Thanksgiving with recipes from old magazines and readers. That idea didn't excite folks but over time that one post has had several hits here and there, because people specifically look for it. Apparently, it was something people remember and that was what I wanted this to be.

I want people to remember pop culture from the past, but still try to respect the curent pop culture. I hated when old timers trash and slamed the things I liked when I was a kid. I'll admit I have been kind of hard on The Waltons here and country music, but that has to do with the culture of the Ozarks and my personal experience. Some have laughed that this new blog have become a repository for obituaries of famous people. Usually I link to another sight on those, because of time contraints. However, I feel they are good drawing cards to the blog and some of them are overlooked by the search engine home pages these day.

Here is the TOP 10 MOST POPULAR POST IN THE FIRST YEAR:
  1. HOW TO WRITE ONE OF THE CURRENT CUT & PASTE COUNTRY SONGS
  2. I STILL DON'T LIKE THE WALTONS
  3. CUTTING LOOSE (AN ODD 70s COMPILATION LP)
  4. BORING BACK TO SCHOOL CLOTHES THAT PHOEBE CATES CAN'T EVEN MAKE SEXY
  5. WHO SHOULD REPLACE CHRISTIAN BALE AS BATMAN?
  6. DESDINOVA'S LIST OF TV GREATEST WESTERNS
  7. LOOKING BACK ON FIVE YEARS OF BLOGGING
  8. SHERWOOD SCHWARTZ OBIT
  9. THE FART HEARD AROUND THE WORLD ON TV
  10. WHO REALLY KILLED JAZZ-HORN ROCK? NOT PRESIDENT NIXON
I'll keep blogging and you keep reading.

MCA OF THE BEASTIE BOYS DIES




Here is the obit from All Access. Not only is this one of the greatest rock songs every recorded and one of the greatest rap songs ever recorded, but it has one of the greatest videos ever made.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A BOX OF 8 TRACKS

A man at my church gave me a box of 8 track tapes. I have been wanting to post photos of them since I began this new blog. How many of these did you own? Click on the photo to make them larger.



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