Another Challenge – No Argument

Another Challenge

#16 – 3 things you are proud of about your personality
Only three??!  They all blend together.  I like to think that I have (almost) no ego, and yet I have a blog-site where I claim to be opinionated.  With the ego comes humility and tact.  I can claim that I’m right, without ever insisting that you are wrong.

A man I worked with suddenly, out of the blue one day, said, “If I don’t like someone, I tell them.” Without much thought, I said, “I do too.”  “No you don’t.” he replied.  “If someone asks you, you’ll admit it.  If someone else is badmouthing them, you’ll agree.  I’ll walk right up to them and tell them I don’t like them.”

And therein, ladies and gentlemen, lies the difference between truth and tact. Truth without tact – honesty without compassion – is just cruelty.  There is little to be gained by actively making enemies.  There are too many of them to go around as it is.

The humility helps me accept and deal with reality. Unlike Fundamentalists, I don’t insist that I’m ‘right’, when there is proof that I’m not, or at least reasonable doubt.  I have changed my thinking and opinions on a number of issues, as more evidence becomes available.

#20 – The last argument you had

Here’s another place where the list compiler’s mental problems/viewpoint become apparent. This question shows that he believes that Everybody argues to resolve differences, and they do it on such a regular, continued basis that we each have a mental list of arguments, with the ‘last’ one at the top.  Sadly, that happens all too often –Just Not With Me!

A soft answer turneth away wrath.
Mr. Myagi say, way to avoid punch argument, not be there.
Never argue with an idiot.  People might have trouble telling which one’s which.

I learned very early that arguing wasn’t a good idea, that it didn’t really solve anything, and just caused more problems.

When I was 8, and the neighborhood smart(ass) kid was 9, we got into a real argument about what Tarzan’s victory yell from the movies sounded like. I thought that it was like this – he thought it was like that.  Here were the two of us, nose to nose, noise polluting the neighborhood….when I suddenly realized that we were at odds over a fictitious movie sound, from a fictional character.  The noise level quickly abated.

In my early teens, during the “Beach Boys, Jan and Dean” period of surf and hot-rod music, I came home from high school one day. Since I usually had an hour to myself, I put on a recently purchased 45 RPM record about a ‘Bucket T’, a 1923 T-model Ford hot-rod.  I cranked the volume and played it 5 or 6 times, trying to get the lyrics and musical pacing.

Suddenly my Mother came scowling out of her bedroom. She had felt ill, and came home from work early.  How dare I keep blasting this song about ‘bucket seat, bucket seat, bucket seat?’  I opened my mouth to argue that it was a ‘Bucket-T,’ when I realized that it was not about what it was about.  What it was about, was that my Mother needed quiet and rest.  She got it – no argument.

Where profanity is the last resort of a person with no language skills, so too, arguments are the last resort of those with no tact, communication abilities, or anger management skills. If a discussion/disagreement has deteriorated to the point of arguments, both parties have already lost.  It is often no longer about who is right, or what is best, but rather, WHO WILL WIN.

Even if you prove the other person wrong, especially in public, you have not won the fight, or a follower, but rather, someone who will bear a grudge and backstab and bad-mouth you forever.  I will clearly state my case, but I stay out of arguments.  Too often, they involve third parties – (soon-to-be-ex)bosses, police, attorneys and ambulances.

There’s no argument that I would like to see you all here again in a couple of days, for some more of Archon’s nuggets of wisdom.

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One TV Town

People in New York City could watch “network” television shortly after W. W. II, in 1947.  TV came to my little town at the edge of the universe in 1955.  Back then, television signals were taken from the air by metal aerials, and relied on line-of-sight and broadcaster strength, generally not much more than 35 or 40 miles.  Living back of beyond, we were well over 100 miles from Detroit, Buffalo or Toronto.

A foresighted businessman in Wingham, Ontario, about 40 miles south, wanted to get out ahead of the rest of the pack.  He already owned and ran a little AM radio station, and could see the coming profits from television.  He applied for the rights to channel 8, which was supposed to go to Buffalo.  He had to get on the air before the Americans were ready.  Normally a year or more job, he swung some deals, and started broadcasting at 6 PM, November 18, 1955, just over three months from his original application.

Wingham wasn’t much bigger than my stagecoach-stop town.  They bragged that they were the world’s tiniest town to have a TV station.  Like our down-the-road neighbor, they were a farm-based town.  The stock report on the new station didn’t include any NYSE, or NASDAQ info, rather, how many hogs were sold, how many cows were slaughtered, and the cost of hay and straw for cattle feed.

Early programming included an hour daily show for women, titled M’Lady, two Country and Western weekly shows, one called Circle 8 Ranch, playing off the channel number, and two half-hour religious shows Sunday mornings.  Initial scheduling had only 30 hours of broadcast per week.

My family joined the TV-watching elite in August, 1957.  By then, the bank manager, several of the local merchants, and the guy who made a small fortune in mining, had TVs.  Dad’s wages from one of the factories was the same as everyone else’s, but, he also received a small government check for wartime disability, he got a small honorarium for organizing the weekly party at the Legion, and Mom had just begun a part-time job.

We all, but especially my brother and I, were mesmerized by this new piece of entertainment.  We watched all kinds of things that we would describe as crap today, simply because they were the only things on.  We’d have watched the test pattern; in fact I did several times, talking to the Indian Chief with the feathered head-dress, and trying to hypnotise myself with the “telescopic sight” graphic.

By 1957, the schedule had expanded a little, but there was still a lot of that test pattern time.  In a way, I was exposed to some of the best entertainment, simply because the station was desperate to put something, anything, on the air.  No Saturday morning cartoons, so then, and after school, they showed all the 1930s’ movie serials.  I was able to watch Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Johnny Weissmuller Tarzans, as well as The Three Stooges, and The Marx Brothers.

All of these were shown in black and white.  Movies had graduated to color, but TV’s color days were still in the future.  All these old serials and movies had been shot in black and white, and suited the B&W format perfectly.  I got to see Laurel and Hardy make fools of each other, a house fall on and a train run away with Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd dangle from a tower clock hand.  I watched The Dead End Kids on TV, who had become The Bowery Boys, when I went to the theater.

Censorship was not a problem.  If it had been shown in theaters, it showed on my TV.  W. C. Fields said I was “My little chickadee”, although he also said, “I love kids.  I had two for breakfast,” and Mae West issued an invitation to “Come on up and see me some time.”  “Goodness had nothing to do with it!”

The ‘40s and ‘50s were the heyday of the western, the oater.  I saw Roy Rogers, and The Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry, who went on to own several radio stations and a TV station in California, as well as the Anaheim Angels baseball team from 1961 to 1997.  I also got to see dozens (hundreds?) of episodes of The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid, Wild Bill Hickock and Hopalong Cassidy.  And you guys wonder why I’m odd!

My little one-horse television station broadcast at about one candle-power for years.  Their broadcast tower got situated at the top of the only local hill, and our aerial perched on top of a steel pipe which poked above our roof, and had to be “aimed” at Wingham.

They operated as an independent station for a while, and later became a CBC affiliate, but their operating budget didn’t allow for the importation of improving, expanding American network shows.  One of the things I won in my Rewards Of Radio post, was because I could name the first female police TV detective.

Several other callers got through to the station before I did, and every one of them guessed Angie Dickinson as Policewoman.  I knew that it was Anne Francis, as Honey West, ten years earlier. The DJ congratulated me, and said that I must have watched the show as a youngster.  Not in my One-TV town, I got my knowledge about that, from my other major source of information, MAD Magazine.

I wish that my kids could have got to see some of the stuff I watched as I was growing up.  It was a bit less brittle and stressful, and more idyllic and innocent.  Writing up one of these “remember when” posts is always like waving a double-edged sword.  On the one side, I get a lovely wave of nostalgia, especially if I can share it with you, my friends and readers.  On the other, I end up feeling old, about seven different ways.  Now, let’s discuss some of the shit that you watched as a kid.

By the time even the earliest of you get to read this, the son and I will be on our way to Detroit for the weekend.  Please comment anyway, and I will reply Sunday night/Monday, as well as relate all the gory details.    🙂