Thursday, March 23, 2006

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Don Siegel appreciation... share this eerie story of childhood development.

Though I have no recollection of it, I have been told I was quite a fan of The Electric Company as a child. And recently I learned that my lifelong love of Spider-Man began with his guest appearances on TEC. So when The Best of The Electric Company arrived at The Voice I naturally had to take it home and see just what about it fascinated my 5-year-old mind.

The collection contains two episodes that feature Spidey. What I found in the second one blew my mind. In it, Spider-Man takes a day off from fighting crime and goes (in costume, go figure) to a New York Mets game.

(You may have noticed the various Mets web pages listed amongst the Termite Art links; that's because Sweeney and I are both Mets fans of somewhat obsessive proportions.)

Trying to uncover the roots of one obsession, I seem to have stumbled onto the key to all of them. Take a look for yourself:

I'm pretty sure I've had dreams that looked like this.

Imagine discovering the Rosetta Stone to your own life. Seriously: if Orson Welles was in this thing, you could pretty much seal up the nature vs. nuture debate permanently. But, alas, no Orson. Morgan Freeman does play an angry umpire though.

I began rethinking everything about myself while I watched this TEC: do I like hot dogs because Spidey likes hot dogs?

Do I shove hot dogs in strangers' faces because Spidey shoves hot dogs in strangers' faces?

The story makes absolutely no sense: the villain Spidey fights is called The Wall. He is...he is a man who looks a wall, and he moves into position to make a fly ball look like a home run. The Mets are made to look even more pathetic than they normally did in the late 1970s and The Wall, clearly a Braves fan, sabotages the Web-Crawler's favorite team. Uh oh. Spidey doesn't couch no cheaters, and neither does Morgan Freeman.

After some minor kid-friendly scuffling, the problem is solved (thanks, in part, to hot dogs), and the game can continue and we get our requisite happpy ending. And I'm left wondering: What else about me came from this show??? Until I solve that one true believers — keep reading! Take us out Spidey!



Blogger Ed said...

Amazing! I remember Spidey basically flinging a fishnet onto assorted miscreants, and how he *never talked* (a function, no doubt, of the costume's mouthlessness), instead generating weird boingy sounds not far from Victor Borge's punctuational riffs (another occasional feature on TEC, if I'm not mistaken)...

But I'd forgotten the explicitly framed look, that mixed-media effect (painted backgrounds, live foregrounds) which still feels avant-something-or-other.

Perhaps fodder for another 10W? (And come to that, perhaps Termite readers need to know about the 10W project...?)

9:59 AM  

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