Sunday, April 25, 2010


I use the word Comatose as an exaggeration to make a point concerning a matter which I will call, the "Sky King state of mind." In the mid 1950's most American children from the middle class were glued to the television on Saturday mornings. No one questioned whether children watching endless hours of TV was good for them... Americans still thought that TV was "educational" and certainly no harm, even though children were exposed to hours of commercials dedicated to the sale of sugary cereals. It was a one-two punch, a double whammy, limiting outdoor playtime and putting on pounds.

Those of us at a certain age watched a whole series of programs culminating with Fury about a horse and Sky King about a cowboy pilot and his airplane, "Songbird". If I made it as far as Sky King before getting up, off the couch and off to play, I noticed a particular curious mental state, fuzzy, disoriented, impatient, agitated as a symptom of my extended TV watching. It was a physiological effect that I could feel in my head.

I am curious whether others feel or have felt the same thing. It is like being drugged, and I begin to sense it these days if I am in a long meeting. It is a clear change of physiological mental condition.

We have become a society of enforced lethargy. Is it any surprise that some might feel agitated, fuzzy, disoriented, impatient. I wonder if the Sky King Effect has now become the current norm, indistinguishable because we no longer have the balancing effect of physical play and productive activity to establish the normative mental state.

Now, back to action. None of us should ever spend more screen time than is absolutely required.

1 comment:

  1. "Oh, I wish I had a pencil thin mustache,
    The Boston Blackie kind.
    A two-tone Ricky Ricardo jacket,
    And an autographed picture of Andy Devine.
    I remember bein' buck-toothed and skinny,
    Writin' fan letters to Sky King's Penny.
    Oh, I wish i had a pencil thin mustache,
    Then I could solve some mysteries too..."
    Thanks Jimmy Buffet and thanks Doug, you both make excellent points!