Saturday, January 18, 2014

"If You Can't Trust Santa Claus, Whom Can You Trust?"

Before you start reading, take a moment and click here, to get into the mood for tonight's post.

Last night, I told you that the 1966 "Batman" TV series is going to, finally, be released on DVD.

I made a passing remark that the legal kerfluffle that kept the series from home video release for something like three decades was "complicated and interesting," and The Blog should try to explain it all for you in a future post.

The future is here.

But, as luck would have it, the U.K newspaper and web site, "The Guardian," beat me to it and did as good a job as I could have done, breaking it all down.

Go read the story, here.

And while you are there, take 12 minutes and click on the YouTube™ link for the complete compilation of the show's "Wall climbing, window cameos."

Weird and wonderful stuff!

I'll be here when you get back.

You are back, and, as promised, I am still here.

Truth be told, I have a love/hate relationship with the TV version of Batman.

The show was cartoon, candy colored, over the top, kitsch.

I prefer the term "kitsch" when talking about the "Batman" series. The press, and everyone else since, have, called it "camp, campy, or camp show."

IMHO, the term is not accurate.

"Camp," cartoonish and over the top as the style is, has a specific defining root in gay culture.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

If you need a perfect example of "camp," check out the Frank Oz directed remake of "The Stepford Wives."

One could also argue that the Joel Schumacher "Batman" movies fit the actual definition of "camp."

                                                   Because, Bat Nipples and codpieces.

The TV series actually went out of it's way to avoid the "camp" (in a homosexual way) label, by adding a new,  mother figure character, Aunt Harriet Cooper, to the all male household of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson and Alfred Pennyworth.

Call it "kitsch." Call it "camp."


What the TV show was was "silly."

And it probably set the American public perception of the literary value of comic books back by a decade,

But the show was the young Blogling's first exposure to The Caped Crusader.


The TV show avoided the tragic story of Bruce Wayne's youth and Batman's origin.

When the young Blogling was about eight-years-old, a fan of the show, but unaware of any of Batman's other stories...

I took a tumble out of my bed and my chin met the hardwood floor of my bedroom with some force.

Why I fell out of bed at eight-years old, I have no clue.

Maybe I was drunk.

Rushed to the E.R., my chin bleeding profusely, a towel with a hole in it was put over my face, and a local anesthetic was administered.

**digression within a digression**

I can't remember what I had for lunch, yesterday. But I can recall this scene in high definition.

A mind is a weird thing to waste.

**back to the original digression**

The nurse asked me, "Do you like Batman?"

"Oh, yes!" I replied.

"Do you know how he became the Batman?" She asked.

I shook my head "no."

For the next 15/ 20 minutes, while the doctor sewed me up, the nurse regaled me with the tragic and gruesome origin story of The Batman.

Which, to an outside observer, may seem sickly twisted and sadistic.

But, this story about my hero, that I had never heard before, served to distract me from my present situation.

I wish I knew that nurse's name and where she is, today.

I would hug her and thank her.

God bless nurses.


Back to the story...

Not long after the above *DIGRESSION,* a family friend, who happened to be a librarian, gave me a box of comic books from her own collection.

You read that right, comic book haters...

It was a librarian who turned me on to comic books.

Issues of Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Lois Lane...

The Lois Lane comic book featured an obscure character who, probably, first sparked my fascination for dual personality disorder stories...

                                                                      This very issue!

                                                               "Rose and The Thorn."

And, of course, Batman.

And those Batman comics blew my mind.

They weren't the silly stories that the TV show portrayed.

I barely recognized the comic book Bruce Wayne.

The comics Batman was so different from the TV version.

But, I liked what I was seeing.

It's getting late, and your PC has to get up in the morning and take the Christmas lights down from the house, before going to a show in the evening.

So, I'm going to stop here, for now.

Or, to put it in the parlance of the Batman TV series...

" Does The Blog have anything more to say about Batman?

Will he tell you what he expects from Ben Affleck?

And, what's the deal with the "Lego Movie" and Will Arnett?

Or, will he leave you hanging with promises of future posts, like he has with "Once Upon a Time" and "Sleepy Hollow?"

Tune in next time.

Same Bat time.

Same Bat channel. "

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