I planned out my weekly routine and it revolved around the television programs. After school, complete the homework, finish the chores (chores are another story), bath, have dinner and be ready by 6.20 pm.

Every day at 6.30 pm the television programs, Monday to Friday, were respectively, Bugs Bunny; Mighty Mouse; Huckleberry Hound, Donald Duck and Tom and Jerry. (Strangely, Mickey Mouse was not that popular in Singapore). On Saturday, we had Sea Hunt and on Sunday, Have Gun Will Travel.

As the years rolled by other blockbusters appeared: Maverick, Big Valley, Voyage to the Under of the Bottom of the Sea, Everglades, Champion the Wonder House, Lassie and many more.

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*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2011 ***

15 comments

  1. Yes, I think I understand what you mean about defending your country, your home. Who does not instinctively want to protect his family and friends? What gives me pause is that the people I knew who fought in Vietnam went over there convinced that was exactly what they were doing. Now I know people in Iraq and in Afghanistan who are convinced of the same thing, that they are defending their own home. It clouds the mind.

    1. The Chinese and many Asian countries lost billions in foreign exchange reserves due to the Wall Street crooks in 2008 > what if they decided to ‘come’ to America to defend that which is theirs?

      Incidentally, the crooks in Wall Street and their patrons in the White House/Capitol Hill/US Academia caused many Americans to lose their homes > not Iraq/Afghanistan. For all those who believe they are defending their homes in Iraq/Afghanistan – who is the enemy?

      I use a simple rule of thumb: When I am expected to fight, who is the immediate beneficiary? The oil barons/military-industrial establishment/banks – count me out. I’m prepared to go to jail if I have to.

      If my family and friends are the immediate beneficiaries – I’m in! I make that conclusion > not politicians (who are invariably funded by big business). I know it is a grey and difficult terrain to navigate > but war is not/never should be a frivolous undertaking.

      As for ‘forward defence’ – securing the peace, that is the reponsibility of the politicians and their policies > NOT the military. The military is/should be the last line of defence!

      1. I really agree with all you say, particularly about Wall Street. I do not understand how the American people could have been deceived so completely as to think Wall Street tycoons were “on their side”. It is a mass delusion that I cannot explain. I had hoped President Obama would make some progress toward preventing the entire domination of our country by Wall Street, but truly I think he has had limited effectiveness.
        The same delusion works on the people who thought they were defending their homes in Vietnam and in Iraq. It is almost impossible to discuss the issue with them. I sometimes despair for the future. But “where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more”. I don’t know what that looks like in practical terms, but it is hope. As far as my defending my own family by violence, I have come to believe that I dare not; God is the only one I trust to use violence, including myself. I know I would react out of all proportion if I let myself react at all. That is, of course, only me and I certainly do not presume to speak for you.

  2. I remember all those shows you mentioned. Maverick was a big favorite. We kids were allowed to watch the shows our parents preferred; only on Saturday mornings did we get to watch cartoons. My parents like Petticoat Junction, so I saw a good amount of that. They also watched The Beverly Hillbillies, The Andy Griffith Show, and Rawhide (a western); did you see any of those in Singapore?
    I think you are right to be sarcastic and cynical about war and what has been done in the name of freedom. Sometimes those old tv shows fed our willingness to turn a blind eye on what we were doing. We actually believed that it was glory and honor to kill people we were told were enemies, even if they had done nothing to us. I remember so clearly how I felt then, how ashamed I am of it all now.
    But Peyton Place? No, my parents would never have allowed that.
    We are much more willing to let our children watch tv shows that are questionable in content. We do discuss the shows with them, what we find foolish or immoral about them, or else what we find wise and admirable.

    1. Yes, we had all the shows you mention > PJ, BH, AGS and RH.

      There are many people who believe in all that glory and honour stuff that drives them to kill…it has got worse with many ‘professional’ armies. Previously, due to the draft, ranks were filled by ordinary folks – the vast majority with a conscience. Now, I fear we attract mostly macho shit-heads – goons and thugs given uniform and gun – Awwwrrrgh!

      Hawks purvey ‘forward defence’ as a strategy – open to abuse, as we have seen. What if China embarks on ‘foward defence’ – how would we view it, I wonder

      1. True, it always seems evil when the shoe is on the other foot.
        My father was drafted into the army in world war ii, stationed on an airfield in England. He would never talk about the war, though I don’t think he was in any combat. Twice I was called up by the draft to fight in Vietnam but I failed the physical both times. I often wonder what I would have done if I had passed the physical. I do not think I would have gone willingly. It was the only time in our history in which young men were thankful to be unhealthy. Some went so far as to damage themselves. Those were dark times, but there could be darker ones.

      2. Glad that you did not make it to Vietnam – as McNamara finally admitted, it was all a mistake > trying to redeem his soul? Not much good for the 60,000 American families and million plus Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Korean, Thai, Filipino, Australian, New Zealand, etc families who lost their loved ones in ‘Nam…

        Make no mistakes. Singapore maintains an armed forced founded on the draft. I hold a captain’s rank in the reserves and my son is in the active reserves. We will fight to defend our homeland > but not on some foreign adventure to feed oil barons, the industrial-military establishment or the crooks in banking/finance.

        I hate to say this but reckon you are right > there could be darker days ahead.

    1. Thank you Bob.

      I see that you’re hooked 🙂 I’ve kept the episodes so it takes no more than 3 minutes reading time. Hopefully, you detact how Mechanic Leigh grows – his language, assertiveness, etc.

      Thank you for your support,
      Eric

      1. Wait, what, you’re writing a story? Where’s the index? First page?

        Meanwhile, back to the plot: I remember well a childhood in which television-watching was a privilege, not a right. At the risk of sounding like an old fuddy-duddy who believes that the olden days were golden, I do think that many of our faults can be laid at the feet of a society that has grown up spoilt.

        On a lighter note: did you ever seen Atom Ant?

      2. Oh dear no index, no first page – someone forgot to inform Christopher Columbas that the world was flat and he risked tipping over the edge.

        Spoilt society? Hmmmm….yes, there is a sliver of truth to what you say. And all in the name of ‘freedom’ we shall invade nations, send our young people to kill and be killed and lose our morality in the process. But not to worry – we have freedom…sort of, I think…I hope.

        But guess what, we did win the freedom to rob and rape nations and at least some of us got rich in the process, right?

        P/s I’ve watched Atom Ant – but Mighty Mouse was my favourite back then. Now, if I want to watch something funny and stupid > politics 🙂 If I want to watch wolves in action > religion 🙂

  3. Yes, I certainly recall. A bevy of teenage girls with plaits and in a hill-billy setting. Opening credit of a smoke belching train…

  4. Will watch Mighty Mouse but not particularly a favorite. Actually prefers Speedy Gonzales. But Leigh was so right – you have to keep mum sweet in order to get your ‘okay’. That was tough !

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