So I read somewhere, that children can increase their IQ by one point if they watch Good Morning America. Of course, when I Googled it this morning I couldn't find any evidence of this fact, but I swear I read it and that's not really the point here this morning, anyway...
If this is to be true, I wondered what this says about me and my Intelligence Quotient?
I was raised on Gilligan's Island and by Mike and Carol Brady. If mom says don't play ball in the house, you don't play ball in the house. We were the TV generation, the first to really experience the benefits of syndication. Growing up in the early seventies, we were still innocent enough to experience part of the culture of the sixties as a small child. Wholesome shows like Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch and The Monkees were syndication smash hits, airing during our prime TV viewing time. The hours from after school to the dinner hour.
So how did these shows, including some of my very best friends, Looney Tunes Cartoons, aid in developing my IQ?
Let's take the Brady's shall we? From Mike and Carol I learned about the taboo(at the time) inner workings of blended families, and how a mother and a father can love and parent a child not of their own until the lines between them are gone. Sibling rivalry? I learned that we all don't have to play nice all the time and that sometimes even a black wig wont hide your true identity. Consequences. Yes, we watched the Brady kids stumble through adolescence and be held responsible. Mike and Carol had some seriously therapeutic talks with the kids in Mike's drafting den. All the while being groovy...I also learned that moms could be milf's and dad's could wear the latest fashions and look good.
Then there's Gilligan. The Skipper too. Coconut cream pie never looked so good and the ingenuity of a group of castaways that made their life bearable on the island they called home. From Gilligan's Island I learned that the class system exists within a deserted island. That Thurston and Lovey were catered to mostly because they had a bag stuffed with useless cash with them. I learned that Hollywood beauty can be achieved anywhere and that designer couture fashions can last for years and still look good. I also know that if I ever take a chartered boat anywhere remote, I'm taking an MIT professor with me and not some daft ship hand.
From Looney tunes, I learned that Monster's can be so very interesting and to make sure to excuse myself when moving through a row in a movie theatre. I learned that beach babe's don't like scrawny little men, they like big strong men and to stay away from any package marked ACME. I learned not to mess with any sweet little parakeet's named Tweety and that Bugs will always live to see another day because even though he's constantly being hunted, he's smarter than your average rabbit. Savvy and smart equals survival.
As I look back at these things, I think about the mature content of the messages I received as a child and how I translated them into my intelligence.
Despite it all, I think I still turned out alright.