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Tom Brokaw Is An Old Fart

4 Oct

October 4, 2017

Tom Brokaw, though semi-retired, is still one of America’s most respected journalists. He anchored the NBC news for 22 years from 1982 to 2004. He’s covered every major story and worked on every major newscast spanning three decades. He’s written books and produced documentaries. He is very well-respected.

He’s also a cranky old man. 

How else to explain the following “you kids stay off my lawn-style rant”? Brokaw has a short commentary series that airs on certain radio stations across the country. It is known as both An American Story and The Brokaw Report. The segments are less than a minute long and the topics are whatever is rattling around in his dusty head. In the segment below, Tom registers his disgust and offense at the apparently brand new to him trend of people wearing ripped jeans. Listen to this and try not to laugh at his righteous, moral outrage.

Click here to listen to Premium Prices for Torn Jeans Are an Insult to the Impoverished.  Go ahead, it is only 39 seconds. 

“It is poverty chic mocking the poor.”

It really seems as though poor Tom has just begun seeing this brand new fad of “mostly women” wearing ripped jeans. I can’t wait for him to discover crocs. But he really believes that wearing torn jeans is, somehow, an affront, an insult, a spit right in the face of poor people. He really is out of touch. He seriously sees it as people playing dress up as poor people. He thinks poverty cosplay is a thing.

Plus he still says “trousers.” The last person I remember casually using the word “trousers” in normal conversation was Mr. Armour, my third-grade teacher, but he gets a pass since he was in his 70’s. In the 1970’s.

Poor Tom Brokaw, worried about all the sad, offended poor folks with their broken hearts and hurt feelings at the sight of a hipster in torn jeans. 

Notice his perfectly unwrinkled trousers, even when slumming with the poor folk.

Lest you think this is just an isolated incident and I’m blowing Tom’s old man cred out of proportion, here are the titles of some of his other rants.

  • The Miracle of Flight Might Not Seem That to People Who Fly Everyday
  • There’s Nothing I Enjoy More Than Spoiling My Grandkids
  • Prediction: Department Stores Will Downsize to Kiosks
  • Email Is A Wonder, But Is Too Often Abused

I’m sure you think I made up the spoiling grandkids one but I didn’t. 

And also, congrats to Fancy Ol’ Me! This was the first time I used the word “lest” in a blog post. Probably the last too, unless I turn into my own version of Tom Brokaw.

Does this look like a man who is out of touch with the poor?

 

 

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Recorded History

30 Aug

August 30, 2016

I grew up in the days before VCR’s were common. And that really dates me since a lot of my younger readers who have TiVo or any kind of digital recorders may never have had a VCR. But at one point it just wasn’t common to have any kind of home television recording device. They existed in the 70’s but they weren’t cheap or in every home.

As a kid, I had a black + white TV in my bedroom, and that dates me too. Even then B+W TV’s were on the way out and color sets were soon all you’d find. It was an old set.

This was around 1979 or so. I was young and I was just becoming a Star Trek fan. (How did that happen? Read here.) Problem was, the show aired on WPIX channel 11 late at night. I’m not sure, but it aired at 11:00 or even later, and for a kid like me, that was past my bedtime. Even though there was a  TV right near my bed, I knew Mom or Dad would see the light under my door or hear the sound so watching the show wasn’t an option. But I came up with a work around.

Dad had a portable cassette recorder and I put it next to the TV speaker, turned down the sound, and adjusted the picture so the screen was all black. That way I recorded the Trek audio and eventually I had three or four shows in my meager collection, audio only. I’d listen to them late at night.

See how old it is? It has a leather case and a carry strap!

See how old it is? It has a leather case and a carry strap!

Flash forward to today. DVD, Netflix, Hulu, and more. If you want to see (let alone hear) an episode of Star Trek it is at your fingertips. And the other night I put on Netflix and found a particular episode of Star Trek, one I haven’t seen in a few years, at least.

Kirk, Spock and Co. beam down to a planet where Spock gets infected by alien spores and his emotions are released. He falls in love and refuses to leave the planet. It’s not a bad episode but certainly not one of the best. Middle of the road, I’d say. It’s memorable for Spock falling in love but also for McCoy speaking in a slow Southern drawl.

1x25_This_Side_of_Paradise_title_card

But it is very special to me since it was one of the shows I taped on that old recorder of Dad’s. Both the recorder and the tape are long, long gone. So just for the heck of it, to relive some of my youth, late at night I after I got into bed the other night I took out my tablet and played This Side of Paradise. Without the picture. Just the audio. The same way I listened to this episode back in the late 70’s.

It isn’t a great line, and not a memorable piece of dialogue, but I would be lying if I didn’t get a thrill hearing the head of the planet’s lost colony introduce himself to Jim Kirk.

this side of paradise new caption

I have a clear and distinct memory of lying in my childhood bed in my family’s old apartment listening to that scene. And for the next 50 minutes or so, while I may have been lying in my 2016 bed, I was also lying in my 1979 bed, in my 1979 home, and I felt every bit the kid I was then.

I suppose there’s a point here about technology, or childhood, or whatever you may have read into this. For me, the only point is that it’s a damn shame I had to grow up.

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