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Monday, January 02, 2012

Eu sou uma criança da minha epoca - yes, I am a child of my times and, like millions upon millions of you out there, that means that I was born with television. Those broadcast sights and sounds shaped my thinking, os meus sonhos, mon imaginaire.

Much like the show Dream On so brilliantly recreated on any given one of its 120 episodes - my experience and that of millions of others that are a part of this "generation of television" viewers is one of mish-mashing all those images and influences, blending them all into a view of the world that -at least attempted to- make sense of it...!

And the mere task of making sense of any of it is not an easy one for the toddler, the five year-old, the ten year-old, the rebellious teenager, the young optimistic twentysomething...!
(As a toddler, actually, I am told I was paying far greater attention to the commercials than the actual television shows...! They are noisier and livelier - it's understandable...)

Television has been there throughout all of these phases of our lives - and, somehow, it has been for the best. For television is, despite its bad influences through publicity spots that outright lie to you, saturation of violent images, sexually-degrading images too, racist, sexist, socially unacceptable sights and sounds... television still is, for all these sins and more, a valuable teacher, informer and one might even say "friend". It introduces the viewer to the complexities of life (most of which are totally unnecessary for they are man-made to begin with - and they are unnecessary to the human condition exactly because they are man-made too!) that is, modern life of course... It keeps the viewer abreast of any last-minute changes to these complexities, meant only to further alienate or simply frustrate an entire class of denizens out there - but that is another story... And lastly but not least of all, television often added or adds that essential liveliness tot he home: for a home where the television is on is a home where there is "life" - or noise, at the very least. Throughout our very crucial -for they will shape what we are and what we are to be in society- first, roughly-speaking, thirty-or-so years of life, the television will always be ON: for we need it so bad in order to understand and connect with events in our immediate environment; heck, in our city, country, planet...!

Things are still as confusing as ever though, later in life - and, once again, Dream On (we'll keep coming back to that show - for now) acted as some sort of guidance in the early 1990s - the extremely materialistic, fade and bleak 1990s (they were, you must admit, far worse than the 1980s on several key points - but that is another story too.)

Here is at least one sample of that "guidance" - a lesson on how to deal with many of life's pitfalls and other disillusions that come about when one is too aloof to notice things - all the while the lessons learned through the formative years (as well as all the related growing pains and such) are remembered, duly registered and keep coming to the fore, sending little warning signals that we choose to ignore as we are too involved with the 'present' - and then, it is too late.

Here is that little sample - for as long as it can remain available on YouTube before a copyright claim is filed by somebody - a sample episode of Dream On...

Episode 9 of the second season, to be exact, titled "To Have, And Have, And Have, And Have Not" dated September 1st, 1991.

In the end, to have not is perhaps the best thing that could have happened - and so, once again, television somehow carries forth the best possible message to its audience. Despite it being the source of so much negativism, as we've seen before, television almost always drives across "the right message" or the convenient idea through its myriad happy endings, moralistic tales and other assorted lessons dispensers...

My televisions, over the years, have been all of the above - and more.

A living room, or salon, or boudoir, or salle de séjour, or salão (or bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, for that matter!) without a telly was simply missing something, something vital, back in those days...!

The television sets that we have had over the years have met different fates, really: two of the best ones, 36 inch screens and nearly immovable objects being stylish pieces of furniture all on their own, have been the ones who had to be taken away for good, ironically. Another was put out of its misery - but it was simply a 24 inch portable TV thingy - no biggie. Three assorted sets remain - less and less used as time goes by. That is because, as Video allegedly Killed The Radio Star - meaning television took the place of the previous medium that was deemed to be so indispensable to every single home in America (!) - well, truth is now, the computer has killed the television where it once stood, smack dab at the core and center stage of each and every home indeed.

In its latter stages of evolution, television was trying to be more interactive - getting the viewer much more involved than before, when the heights of interaction between the set and its owner was the flickering of channels. That as much as any other indicator signaled the end of an era and the end for the TV as well - because there is nothing more interactive than your laptop! Or desktop, sure...

The television will always remain a fond memory of those years gone by, though - the first thirty years of assimilating, processing and storing up in one's data banks all that would prove to be so useful in any given moment throughout our lives, later on...

Thanks, television!
Overall, you truly have been a friend.


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Born in the Age of Aquarius, destined to seek out truths in many an art form, trained as a historian and a journalist but truly a prose-lover... Luciano is out to dispel any clichés and reinvent them all both to the tune of a little something called the truth as also to his own image - and being old-fashioned, he does not mind that distinction one infinitesimal tiny bit at all...! "There are two ways to spread the light; be the candle... or the mirror that reflects It." I have chosen to be the latter... okay? ~*~ "To be not only a seeker of light... but a dream weaver of light" ~*~ For as surely as the moon reflects the light from the sun, you and I can reflect the Light from Above - and be, indeed, the light of this world! ~*~*~*~

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