I remember watching television

In the spring of 1962, I had only two TV choices

cbs eyeMark Evanier posted the openings to the 42 different television shows that comprised the spring 1962 prime-time TV schedule for CBS. Of the shows, listed at 23:45 of the video, the only shows I never heard of were Ichabod and Me, Window on Main Street, Oh! Those Bells, Frontier Circus, and Father of the Bride.

I’m not sure I ever watched Hennessey, Checkmate, or all of the anthology dramas. But I surely viewed the others, especially the Saturday night lineup of Perry Mason, The Defenders, Have Gun Will Travel, and Gunsmoke.

He also posted the lineups for NBC for Fall 1962 and ABC for Fall 1961 (both at 24:50). I recognize many, though not most of the NBC shows. Maybe it was that WNBF, the CBS affiliate was on VHF, Channel 12, while WINR was on the UHF range, Channel 40.

But I recognized a LOT of ABC shows, even though Binghamton didn’t have an ABC affiliate until November 1962, when WBJA, Channel 34 came on line. That’s likely because WNBF carried a lot of ABC shows.

Unsurprising, I ran the category  Old TV Theme Songs on a recent JEOPARDY! 

Meanwhile, Ken Levine, who has written for prime time network television, recently noted that some recent network shows, one that had been on for four seasons, had been canceled and he had never heard of them. I’m very much in the same boat.

It’s a different time. Netflix and a bunch of platforms followed by a plus sign, from Disney to Paramount. And even shows that others recommend to me I can’t find the time/inclination to watch. As a result, I’ve seen NONE of the programs nominated for this year’s Emmys that weren’t on broadcast TV.

Just a few

So what I DO watch is heavily influenced by what my daughter views. She got into Station 19, which is a spinoff of Grey’s Anatomy. These stories are so intertwined that if you were to see one without the other, it might not make as much sense.

It reminds me of when I was collecting comic books, and you didn’t understand what was going on in the Fantastic Four or the Amazing Spider-Man if you didn’t also check out a particular issue of X-Men or The Avengers.

The other thing odd about the 19/Grey’s series is that the storylines were almost a year behind “real-time” this past season. So the narratives in the spring of 2021 took place in the height of COVID and demonstrations right after the murder of George Floyd. Then in the last episode of Grey’s, but not 19, the story fast-forwarded almost a year.

I have a friend who writes, every time I mention television, that I should not watch it. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. It’s bad for your sleep, your health, your brain, your self-esteem, maybe your eyes.

I take my blood pressure daily in the morning, before breakfast. If my wife’s had the TV on, even if it’s off the ten minutes before the reading, my BP is about 15 points higher systolic and about 10 points higher diastolic.

I’m sure watching far less, and the pandemic did not increase my consumption by one iota.


Steve Derrick; beautiful nurses’ eyes

portraits of healthcare workers

eyes.Steve derrickOn the Road with Steve Hartman introduced me to Steve Derrick, an artist from Clifton Park. He “has produced more than 100 portraits of healthcare workers as they ended their shifts, many of them nurses at Albany Medical Center.”

The artist paints portraits of medical workers and captures their exhaustion treating Covid-19 patients. The subjects are weary, tired, brave, bruised, and raw. “Steve Derrick’s paintings depict the spirit of healthcare heroes on the front lines.”

“To escape the overwhelm of the pandemic, he engaged in painting. He says, ‘there was so much negativity on the news. This gave me something positive to think about while sitting in quarantine.'”

I found the story so touching, so compelling that after seeing it on the CBS Evening News on a Friday, I watched it again on CBS Sunday Morning. “He presents the finished portrait, a moment in time that omits no detail, to each of his subjects, and refuses payment.” Herrick’s actions have become part of a movement.

The eyes have it

Beyond this story, I’ve discovered that I have spent a whole lot more time looking at the eyes of people wearing masks. I find almost all of them are beautiful. Without seeing the whole face, it’s been necessary to discern how another is feeling. I’m required to actually look at people in a new, and arguably, better way.

Googling “eyes,” I came across a poet and short story writer named Avijeet Das. He wrote: “Eyes speak. Eyes say the unsaid words. Eyes express feelings. Eyes convey emotions. Eyes are eloquent. Eyes are tender. Eyes are sensitive. Eyes are captivating. I can’t help looking into eyes. I am always fascinated by eyes. If I were a painter then I would love to paint the eyes of the people I meet and come across.”

CBS’s Steve Hartman asked painter Steve Derrick if he were painting the nurses at their worst. Derrick totally disagreed. It is his belief that he has captured them at their best. I believe he is correct.

N is for watching American network news

If I wanted to know what was trending on Twitter, I’d have gone to that platform.

Network newsI have been watching the network news for a long time, going back to the 1960s, with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley on NBC and Walter Cronkite on CBS. For you not from the US, these were legendary journalists.

Currently, I watch two network news programs. And by “watch”, I mean, record to view afterward. The reason? Commercials, the majority of which are for medicines that must be prescribed by a physician. They’re for all sorts of ailments that I didn’t know I had or that even existed until I saw the ads, diseases generally designated by initials.

First I watch CBS News. They used to have a solid anchor, Scott Pelley, now 61, but he was pushed out after six years for low ratings.

After an interim period, he was replaced by Jeff Glor, a forty-something guy with a boyish face from upstate New York. But the real change is now, at the top of the broadcast, they summarize the news in 60 seconds so you don’t actually have to watch it. And the network is still in third place.

Then I watch the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. He was the weekend guy who replaced Brian Williams when Williams was suspended for six months for “misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003.” I usually zap through the first half of the NBC news unless they’re covering a different story. They tend to differentiate more after the first commercial.

I gave up on ABC News years ago. It was my go-to network when Peter Jennings anchored before he died in 2005. But by the time Diane Sawyer was in the chair, the network was telling me what was trending on Twitter. If I wanted to know what was trending on Twitter, I’d have gone to that platform. I’ve not seen the broadcast since David Muir took over.

I watch other news and read other sources, and here’s why. Some people don’t believe the news at all and don’t watch. I have a healthy suspicion, so I watch/read a LOT of it, including a variety of online versions of the print news. I feel that, as a librarian, I cannot NOT be informed.

Arthur wrote a post which linked to a video, Why obvious lies make great propaganda. Hint: it wasn’t, initially, about DJT. He also cites an article, How Your Brain Tricks You Into Believing Fake News, and it’s totally credible. I’ve recently spent a good amount of time with such people; intelligent, basically kind, and believing things that were demonstratively untrue.

For ABC Wednesday

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial