The Vintage HORROR of... THE SPECIAL

Hm. Everyone looks a lot happier than they did in the 1966 original. We all did. <img source>

Uh oh. Get out your galoshes. Looks like a cranial NOSTALGIA STORM is brewing...

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is on again, somewhere, sometime soon. So what, right? You already own it, or have seen it a thousand times. But it's actually a big deal. In the old days, back before lichens and ice had broken rocks down into soil, "Great Pumpkin" and "Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" were on only ONCE a year. They were specials. They all started with this (at least in the '70s):

Awesome. Anyway, if you missed these specials, you had to wait another year for them to come back around, for there were no VHS or DVD players. Of course, kids today have all their parent's nostalgic fetish properties on DVD, so they're always available, but they will always be specials to Da-da for many reasons.

Specials like these are still a friendly reminder of a world without smart phones, without people staring at smart phones -- while they drive. Or eat. Or use the restroom. A world without people practicing auto-iPod isolation, without video games devouring hometime, without homework for kindergarteners, without tiresome political tug-o-wars and constant long division mud-slinging and media manipulation. Specials like these represent a Lost World where only three channels existed -- which was nice, because everyone watched the same things and talked about them the next day in a kind of psychoneurasthenic lingua franca; today there are so many things on, so many choices, that fewer and fewer people have anything in common enough to talk about -- and where the weather was so much more predictable.

This was a world where secondary schools were fully funded and stable (imagine that), the teachers happy, the administration not as important or as highly paid, the classrooms rich with educational supplies, films -- FILMS, silly documentaries you could make fun of endlessly, an A/V geek running the projector  -- where every child was NOT left behind, where standardized testing hadn't been invented, and where a college education was not only actually worth something, it was infinitely cheaper.

Sure, there was still fear (Vietnam, The Cold War), but it wasn't as prevalent or as paralyzing as it is today -- or as secret; today the government keeps everything secret, because if everyone knew what was being done with their tax dollars, 100 million people would march on Washington, DC and heads would roll... not that the media would cover it. Back then, the media still provided checks and balances against the military industrial complex. Today, the media is gone, bought and sold and useless except to keep you interested in buying things; it's now all one long commercial. Da-da turned it OFF, pays no attention to it whatsoever. Ok, except for college football. (Even college football back then was about THE SPORT, and not the money.)

One of the nicest things about those olden days (which of course had problems, but were such naive, "open" problems in retrospect) was that people could pretty much walk around their neighborhoods without fear, without being looked at like they were casing the joint, without being runover by drivers trying to keep up with their texts/email. Parents could let their kids go play outside without worry. People communicated more in person, and with letters, ah... letters slowed business to a pace that was human. Less tied to a clock, wWe used to have more time to chat with one another; talking is a better and faster way of communicating... that's why talking was invented. The same pointless (sub)texting "conversations" that you're having all day could easily take place in two minutes face-to-face. Now business requires a 24/7 commitment and everyone is typing at each other endlessly while everyone's trying to keep up with what everyone's typing endlessly and failing miserably, and everyone's so goddamn busy (or pretending to be so people leave them alone). Computers were supposed to make our lives better, but all they do is allow less people to do more work, so the rest of us stand around and think about old TV specials. Or watch Oprah. (Does anyone really watch Oprah?) Or do driftwood sculpting. (Hey, Da-da's driftwood sculpture would make you cry, like an italicized little girl.)

Above all that, the PACE of life was soooooo much slower, the holidays richer, Halloween safer, and the coffee... well, the coffee sucked. The future has much better coffee. Ah, but the past had drive-ins, cheaper food and gas. YES, you say, but the future has... well, it has coffee.

So, Da-da's here to tell you that there is a way back to those halcyon days, part of them, anyway.  If you're tired of the rat race, if you're tired of the insane pace of school, of self-imposed 24/7 international business deadlines, tired of endless email, voicemail, texts, tweets, Da-da posts, tired of eating breakfast/lunch/dinner while driving 90 mph in the fast lane and getting passed... there is something you can try, an ontological speedbump that can be... bumped... a kind of STASIS, if you will, that is available. It's called: PARENTHOOD. Taa-daa! Ah, there's the real Halloween special. Horror and time warps like you've never experienced. Suddenly, it's not 2011. It's not 1966. It's more like 10,066... BC.

"Honey, after we have some sloth tacos, I've got an idea..."

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