Per this morning's NPR News, Kellogg's is planning to stop advertising their more egregiously unhealthy cereal to kids, at least until they can rework the recipes to be less awful for you. I'm the kind of person who is filled with despair whenever someone wants to waste precious time talking about a funny commercial, but I confess to a deep-rooted nostalgia for the cereal ads that kept my Saturday morning toons in the air. I'd as soon eat something I found in a parking lot as put froot loops in my mouth, but you show me a picture of Toucan freakin' Sam and I'm a happy camper. It's totally Pavlovian. And those weird New Wave ads for Bubbilicious bubble gum stir fond memories of cute people turning into flying, dancing neon signs. I'm sure these ads would look way less cool to me today; I resist going onto Youtube to check this stuff out. I wonder how today's slicker ads are shaping and warping today's kids?
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When I was in second grade I had a crush on a pretty girl in my class; let's call her Debbie. I didn't know a thing about her except she fit a conventional prettiness template that I hadn't yet thought my way past. A year later she moved away. And although I'd never spoken to her or gotten to know her, I prayed "Dear God, please let me meet Debbie again and have one more chance with her."
A year or two later my family and I went to Pops in the Park, an orchestral Pops music concert they held every year at the foot of an pseudo-medieval tower on a battlefield (why a medieval-style tower on a Civil War Battlefield? Ya got me). So we spread out our picnic blanket, and there on the blanket in front of me was... Debbie. I sat there and quietly stared at the back of her head for the whole evening. She never seemed to notice me, and I never uttered a word to her. I think God just gave up on granting my requests after that. Maybe that's why He didn't burn that comic book I mentioned a while back.
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Speaking of comics, I got a thing called Elvis Road recently. It's in book binding, but open it up and it's a 24-foot long sheet of paper with a big doodled mural on it. It's pricey at twenty-five bucks, but it's richly rewarding. It's basically a picture of a fantastical street with lots of cheerless strip malls and such. Weird cartoon characters run and drive around, getting into wrecks, getting attacked by monsters; it may sound trivial, but the density and variety of it makes it hypnotic. It's a small triumph of world-building; every page is crammed with detail. It's like Richard Scary on an ether binge.