Creepy Children's TV

No Wonder Baby Boomers Have So Many Issues

Most everyone who grew up in the 1960s can tell you about the eerie Outer Limits episode about space bugs with human faces. The Zanti Misfits was the title of that episode. Talk about your flesh-eating bugs!

Of course, that was supposed to scare kids out of their wits. What happens when we're frightened by something that supposed to be innocent and benign?

Last August we took a look at some very scary TV Shows seen by Baby Boomers when they were kids that were actually offered as that generation's version of Sesame Street.

Here are a couple of other examples of kid's shows that suggests what Nickelodeon might be like if Stephen King was the program director.

What the Hell is This?!
How'd you like to have the kids curl up in from of this video right before bedtime?

Mark Twain, reportedly, went into a deep depression shortly before his death. His last work -- which was never completed -- was The Mysterious Stranger, which was adapted for this animated film. The alternate title for the original work? The Chronicles of Young Satan. Lovely.

The Bizarro Wiggles
We think the Wiggles are scary enough in human form but these ghastly finger-puppets are just plain disturbing, don't you think?

What are your examples of supposedly innocent TV that scared the bejeezus out of little ones?

A Dream Ended or a Wish Fulfilled?


You toss and turn in the grip of a sad and distressing dream about being old -- very, very old -- and on your deathbed with only a handful of moments of life and living left.

Cold and alone, you regret a life squandered in unfortunate pursuit of the trivial and the unremarkable. How could you have been so foolish? So many seconds, minutes, days, months and years wasted.

In this dream, tears burn your eyes as you pray to gods above for mercy.

If only you had another chance to take advantage of the long life you took foolishly for granted.

If only you had another opportunity to say the things that you never said, to do the things that you never did, to know the things that you never knew.

How much you would give for just another chance, one more chance...

If only... if only...

And then... in the familiarity of your own room, you wake ... left with only the fading memory of your deathbed nightmare.

Have you awakened from a dream?

Or was your desperate wish fulfilled?

Let Zipcar Put You in the Driver's Seat?


"Let Hertz Put YOU in the Driver's seat...TODAY!"

Yes, the photo above shows a happy couple plummeting to Earth, moments before crashing into a driverless convertible careening down an open highway.

Not to worry, though. The Hertz Rent-a-Car Company, in this early 1960's series of TV ads, was just using prehistoric special effects to drive home the point that they could "put you in the driver's seat."

And these flying people ads got a lot of attention.
TV viewers discussed them over water-coolers and dinner tables. Comedy shows spoofed them, often showing the painful results of renting a hardtop rather than a convertible. Produced some 50 years ago, these commercials were on the primordial edge of viral marketing.

Hertz became so deeply entrenched as the number one car rental company that competitor Avis adopted the tagline -- We're Number 2, We Try Harder.

That Was Then, This is Now
Over the last ten years, Zipcar has reportedly become the world's largest car-sharing service, with a fleet of over 6,000 vehicles and over a quarter of a million zipsters (service members).

For the non-Zipster, Zipcar's tongue-in-cheek very retro -- and very funny -- promo video explains it all.

Where the High-Tech Meets the Road
What sets Zipcar apart from the traditional car-renters is technology. By using tech to put customers more directly in control of the process, Zipcar is to Hertz kind of what Netflix is to Blockbuster.

And Marketing Brillo now reports that a new Zipcar iPhone App will help you sort through available vehicles, reserve one and map your directions to it. This new App will even unlock your zipcar when you find it. Marketing Brillo sees this kind tech integration as the shape of things to come.

Move over Hertz and Avis. Will high-tech make Zipcar the new way to go?

The Apocalypzian Hall of Cool: First Inductees


What is It?
In the 1500's, Italians called it sprezzatura, an expression of self-confidence, disdain and detachment. The Mona Lisa -- famous for her enigmatic smile and relaxed posture -- is thought by many to be the first and most famous artistic expression of it.

William Shakespeare wrote about it when describing the dispassionate demeanors of Hamlet and Othello.

In the 20th Century, it may have been manifest in an unflappable yet laid-back refusal to be sucked into the grinding gears of the Industrial Revolution.

More than just an adjective, it taps into something deep and richly textured. It is a mood, a shared cultural perspective, a zeitgeist that has come to mean everything, nothing and yet still something all at the same time.

We're talking about Cool.

But it's been Missing-In-Action for awhile. AWOL.

Shock and Awe
The 21st Century began with a hellish explosion followed by a burning shower of shock and awe that blazed for nearly a decade. As if that wasn't bad enough, we watched, helplessly, as an overheated economy reached flashover and trillions of dollars went up in smoke. Even the planet itself seemed, for some, to be headed for a global meltdown.

But Cool is on the rebound.

We're not so easily fooled by the con-men pitching the latest get-rich-instantly scheme or fearmongers imagining WMD's behind every bush. We're not home-free yet but we seem to be traveling on a better path.

So as we hopefully move away from the panic-button dystopia of the last ten years, let's take a little time to remember some of the icons of timeless cool. They may have much to teach us.

Humphrey Bogart Arguably Invented Modern Cool


Steve McQueen Wrote the Ultimate Book of Cool
Steve McQueen

Nat King Cole Timeless and Unforgettable
Nat King Cole

Lauren Bacall Yes, We Know How to Whistle...
lauren bacall

Neil Armstrong Moonwalker
neil armstrong

Who's your candidate for Apocalypzian Cool?

The Ballet of Apocalypzian Illusion

The dance begins....

The music is quiet at first. Serene, yet alive with urgency and uncertainty.

It swells, unexpectedly, and we search our repertoire of choreography for resolution between sound and motion.

The music shifts violently. Its structure dissolving into twists and turns.

Are we turning right against a background moving left? Or are we spinning left while the world obeys its own axis?

We dance frantically to keep time with ever-changing signatures. We try to synchronize our movements with an echoing downbeat that belies the fundamental rhythm.

We struggle to find graceful movement against the staccato and pizzicato.

We yearn to yield -- if only for a moment -- to the warmth and comfort of melody and meaning.

We rise upward on the crescendo and hurtle headlong toward an uncertain coda.

And just as the ringing reverberation of the final chord fades into silence...

The dance begins again...

Snapple's Better Stuff

Snapple had a problem.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has been getting a very bad rap lately on the health front but it was one of Snapple's best stuff ingredients.

What to do?

Find better stuff!

That better stuff is good old sugar.

Apocalypzia gives Snapple points for tackling the problem with wit and humor.