PAEAN TO DONALD FESER

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sun, 04/22/2007 - 19:24.

I studied Latin in High School.   Mr. Feser was our teacher.  I remember Gallia Est Omnis Divisa in Partes Tres, but I remember even better Mr. Feser’s warnings about TV. 

 

These were the days of the “Red Scare”  - someone in our government had figured out that the Chinese were red (communist) and that they were after the USA.   The Korean war was a not so distant decade back and the US was building nuclear warheads about as prolifically as automobiles. 

 

Mr. Feser had the solution:  send every one of the television sets in the US to China.  A sort of Trojan Horse.  If the Chinese then watched as much television as the school kids in the US were watching, this would put the Chinese so far behind academically they could never catch up with us again.  There would be no war.  I don’t think Mr. Feser was really serious about wanting to hurt the Chinese by exposing them to hours of wasted time in front of our television sets, but Mr. Feser was serious about the damage that he believed TV was bringing to the US.  The average TV watching time per day was 7 hours. 

 

Mr. Feser also told his classes about his summer work at Fort Laramie, Wyoming.  He worked for the National Park Service and took his family (as I recall he had a few daughters) along.  Mr. Feser was an expert on the Sante Fe Trail, knowing every detail.  He had pictures of the rock buttes with famous pioneer’s names carved in the stone.

 

My family never had a TV, so I didn’t have to exercise much over Mr. Feser’s advice. 

 

It wasn’t until my kids were in the Waldorf School that I heard teachers with the anti-TV mantra again.  There are those that believe that television can permanently damage a person’s creativity.  That the flickering buzz and flashing phosphors can reduce a child’s head to pabulum by actually shutting down certain responsive sections of the brain.  I’m one.

 

For sure, the time spent watching TV is time not spent on something else.  

 

Then the other day when I was riding my bike to the library - and going over the Rail Road tracks on an old bridge that was closed to cars - I saw this big TV laying smashed face up on the ground.  Immediately I thought of Mr. Feser.  Here was a television “set” after his own heart.  Bashed with a rock  and used as an ashtray.  The broken glass was almost an inch thick at the edges (so the screen could be flatter).  No wonder TV’s are so heavy. How had it gotten onto the bridge? Had it been stolen and dumped?   I wish I had been able to take a movie of whoever brought the TV to it’s ignominious demise on the foot bridge.  Then I could’ve flashed back and used it as graphic video content for my old Latin class at our Toga Party. 

 

I must say,  year’s later, do I think Mr. Feser was a bit eccentric?  Yeah. That’s one reason I remember him.  Good teachers are eccentric. And a little bit of it rubs off on each student. 

 

I believe Don had his priorities straight – the Chinese didn’t nuke us.  They’ll do it the old fashioned way.  With their balance of trade, they’ll just buy US.

 

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Television & Advertising

Seeing as we are headed for the time of year for the "Super Bowl Advertising Program", (and I know people who watch the football game for the commercials), I thought I would post this bit of my past...

JABBERWOCKY

(or Jabber-Whacky)

This parody of Jabberwocky appeared in MAD Magazine "Good and MAD " 1963
'Twas Brillo, and the G.E. Stoves,
Did Procter-Gamble in the Glade;
All Pillsbury were the Taystee loaves
And in a Minute Maid.
"Beware the Station-Break, my son,
The voice that lulls, the ads that vex!
Beware the Doctors Claim, and shun
That horror called Brand-X!"
He took his Q-Tip'd swab in hand;
Long time the Tension Headache fought--
So Dristan he by a Mercury,
And Bayer-break'd in thought.
And as in Bufferin Gulf he stood
The Station-Break, with Rise of Tame,
Came Wisking through the Pride-hazed wood,
And Creme-Rinsed as it came!
Buy one! Buy two! We're almost through!
The Q-Tip'd Dash went Spic and Span!
He Tide Air-Wick, and with Bisquick
Went Aero-Waxing Ban.
"And hast thou Dreft the Station-Break?
Ajax the Breck, Excedrin boy!
Oh, Fab wash day, Cashmere Bouquet!"
He Handi-Wrapped in Joy.
'Twas Brillo, and the G.E. Stoves
Did Procter-Gamble in the Glade;
All Pillsbury were the Taystee loaves,
And in a Minute Maid.
MAD Magazine paperback Good and MAD .

1963, 1969 by E.C. Publications, Inc.

From: http://thejabberwock.org/jwockp.htm 

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The original reads like this...

 

JABBERWOCKY

Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

 

From: http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/jabber/jabberwocky.html 

 

They knew, in 1963

It is interesting to see that as the media-consumer stupiditiy of today was being created, smarter people were disgusted... look at the Peanuts Christmas. It is not like there were not smart messengers all along the way, the folks at Mad being some of the best....

Disrupt IT

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

A green parable?? I will be able to tell you more soon.  I've always gravitated to the cadences of Olde English.  Lewis Carroll seemed to tap that vein, too.  In any case, so far, I am enjoying the tale.  Thank you Simon Armitage!!!