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1 May 2000, 01:00

I’m watching an Easter classic, “The Ten Commandments”. The airing of this biblical epic has been a tradition in this city (in this nation) for as long as I can remember. Chuck Heston and his big poofy god hair, dialogue delivery for the deaf, a movie employing more people as extras than populate a lot of cities in Egypt. So very single minded, so very black and white, one can tell the good guys and bad, made in a time where shades of political grey didn’t exist in the mainstream. Heston (and Reagan, for that matter) live in this past world of white hats and black.

Even with my very PC outlook and cynical laughter at the campy, it still stirs and touches something unexplained in me. Like when a familiar smell instantly takes you back to your childhood. But as a member of the TV generation, shows do that for me. The one that is a tradition I would never, ever miss is the “Charlie Brown Christmas Special” – I think it was 74 or 75 when I first remember seeing it and it has been a part of my christmas – even more than visiting relatives or hearing the poem “The Night Before Christmas.” It is funny to me that a big part of my established traditions that I hold to involve the remote. I remember Charlie Brown and the Grinch for christmas, the Simpsons Halloween specials that welcome in the fall, and, lordy, Jerry Lewis is the my herald for the end of summer.

How odd it is, what I remember as hallmarks of my past – that those weekly Disney installments were the last hurrah of the weekends till Monday and school. Even now, I miss “Millennium” on Friday nights. It just doesn’t feel like a Friday without it. And my system is use to having “Voyager” and pizza for the weekend. I barely remember glass pop bottles, but I saw an old pair of Nikes in Forest Gump that caused a wave of nostalgia to wash over me. The other night, I spent two hours going through 80’s music sights, listening to clips of “Safety Dance”, and Duran Duran because of the pull the past had on me. Also bought about 50 dollars worth of CDs.

The “Seventies Show” is set a little too far back to cause any real temporal pangs, but that other show “Freaks and Geeks” almost hits it on the head for me. The series “COSMOS” influenced almost every academic ambition I had, and the first time I saw Tom Hanks, he was in a dress on “Bosom Buddies” – and now he is just so much older – and so am I. As far as I can tell, the “Ten Commandments” is one of the few shows that has survived intact, and has not had original scenes cut – I know. I’ve watched it every year since forever and a day ago. Remember those Chef Boyardee cheese pizza mixes? I LOVE THOSE. My mom use to make those for me on Saturday Nights. Its not even a particularly good pizza, but its got to have that special taste. It taste like childhood. And I hate to admit that when “Roseanne” went off the air, it felt like someone had socked me in the stomach. The last shows of DS9, Roseanne, Millennium hit hard because the beginnings of these shows are still fresh in my mind. It was just yesterday, wasn’t it, when these shows were new. I know, I was there. Things like that can’t have an end, for it would mean that I wasn’t going to live forever like I had thought I was destined to do.

Man, just wait till one of my dogs pass on to that fire hydrant in the sky, that will really floor me and shake me to my core. Just because the markers of time in my life aren’t Rockwellian or particularly spiritual, doesn’t mean they have less significance. Although, if “Baywatch” was a major cornerstone in your tower of character, I would look twice to find something else to shore up a dubious foundation. But I shouldn’t talk, being that Charlies Angels shaped a good part of my outlook on the feminine mystique. I didn’t see it as exploiting women, but an example of how women can be anything, even bikini clad private eyes.

Hell, I gotta dig up that picture from junior high, when I had 80’s big hair. Everybody has one of those. Even Whitney Houston, a diva of chic.

Remember the video, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”…