Thursday, June 10, 2010

Little Miss Smarty Pants

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.


RW said...

Bugs Bunny was an absolutely essential part of growing up, even if my exposure was the original cartoons from the 40's being played on local kid shows in the 50's when I was a squirt.

The dichotomy is Bugs as opposed to Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam. Cool vs. uptight. Ingenious vs. constricted. The lessons were invaluable.

The Gilligan stuff et al I didn't pick up on. Too many strange chemical substances going around in the early 70s.

Heff said...

I watched "The Munsters" constantly.

Need I say more ?

Jim said...

I learned that you can hide all sorts of food products inside a flashlight, if you need to sneak some to a poor hungry Indian kid; that you can make a radio and do all sorts of scientific experiments using bamboo and coconuts; and that if you fall off a cliff, you'll be ok because your body will make a hole in the ground in your exact shape.

Just don't hold an anvil on the way down.


Anonymous said...

Oh man, me too! I have so much useless TV knowledge socked away in my brain there's no more room for a higher IQ.

SkylersDad said...

My sister and I trained our now famous singing voices on TV show theme songs, something this generation doesn't get.

I can't remember what I had to eat yesterday, but I can still sing all the words to the Gilligan's Island theme!

Scott Oglesby said...

Ha! I watched the exact same shows as you did and I’m pretty sure they did nothing for my IQ.

My IQ was always tested at between 162 and 165 but I’m not particularly good at anything. I mean I can answer 20 questions a night on Jeopardy but I can’t seem to make money to save my life. Go figure.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Candy, this rocked! I too am a big Brady/Gilligan/Bugs fan so I caught every single one of those references.

Also to be learned from Looney Toons:

1. If you're ever suspended precariously in mid-air, like off the edge of a cliff or something, don't look down. That's when gravity will kick in.

2. Never trust anyone who has a speech impediment.

3. Never turn right at Albuquerque.

Just to name a few.

Cora said...

*snicker* Me too. I grew up in the loving glow of TV, practically being raised by The Brady Bunch, The Smurfs, Looney Tunes, and The Dukes of Hazzard. And, believe it or not, I'm okay.

No, really.

I'm curious to see how my daughter will turn out, having grown up watching and adoring Blues Clues, The Powerpuff Girls, and Seinfeld reruns. So far so good.


Scope said...

I was raised by TV. And wolves.

And still prefer the second version of the Gilligan's Island theme with the "Professor & Mayy Ann" vs. "And the rest".

SkylersDad said...

I agree Scope, and I think that occurred about the time they switched from black and white to color.

Furtheron said...

I've just realised that sometime great cartoon shows have disappeared from our screens over here. No loony-tunes, Tom and Jerry etc. I used to love them as a kid...

I should start a campaign to get them back on primetime