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Schwa Love

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The S From Hell [Jan. 26th, 2010|11:10 am]
Schwa Love
I may have spoken to you about scary production logos in the past (I've certainly linked to them enough times), and perhaps you thought me insane. "It's just something at the end of the show! Who cares?" When you're six, loud synthesizer tones mixed with an animated synthetic creation can seem like a demon from the pits of hell. And you know what? I am not alone! This informative video shows how just one has burned its mark on the psyches of many children, who as adults are still dealing with the emotional toll:



(via Deus Ex Malcontent)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: urbeatle
2010-01-26 06:39 pm (UTC)
By coincidence, yesterday I posted a link to clips of the Screen Gems S and the Screen Gems dancing sticks tags in thread about obscure audio/visual elements of the past stuck in my branes. I was never frightened by the Screen Gems thing; I just can't forget it.

Incidentally, there was another moving lines tag that may or may not have been Screen Gems. I haven't been able to track it down. I remember the lines in that being more horizontal than the dancing sticks, and bongos were involved, I believe.
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[User Picture]From: schwa242
2010-01-26 07:21 pm (UTC)
It's not ringing a bell, even though wiggly lines and bongos are certainly common elements.
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[User Picture]From: weirdlovemaker
2010-01-26 06:44 pm (UTC)
Um. What.
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[User Picture]From: schwa242
2010-01-26 07:20 pm (UTC)
Don't make fun. There are dozens of us! DOZENS!
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[User Picture]From: urbeatle
2010-01-26 07:47 pm (UTC)
Is it sad that I recognize that as an Arrested Development quote?
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[User Picture]From: schwa242
2010-01-26 10:33 pm (UTC)
Nah. Is it sad that I couldn't remember where I stole the line from as I wrote it, even though I knew it came from something? Especially considering, y'know.
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[User Picture]From: weirdlovemaker
2010-01-26 11:50 pm (UTC)
Is this serious? Are you? I'm not trying to offend you here, but I watched that whole movie waiting for a punchline...
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[User Picture]From: schwa242
2010-01-28 07:02 pm (UTC)
I doubt it. I'm only semi-serious. Some production logos did leave me with a feeling of unease as a kid, but it's not like I really think it was a traumatic experience. Just one of those stupid things that creep you out as a kid, like Mummenschanz on Sesame Street.
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[User Picture]From: mmcirvin
2010-01-26 09:57 pm (UTC)
The Screen Gems logo never particularly affected me, but I was terrified of all "Please Stand By -- We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties" cards.

I used to think there was something metaphysical going on here, that I took them as a reminder of mortality or an indication that reality was breaking down. In hindsight, I think it was really just my powerful childhood startle reflex, and my anticipation of being startled (the same thing that had me terrified of the possibility of popping balloons). When you saw that card, usually the sound would be out entirely for some long, entirely unpredictable period, after which the voice of an announcer would suddenly come on at slightly-too-loud volume imploring the viewer to sit tight. I dreaded being startled by the announcer's voice.

And, like the kid in the film, once I had a nightmare that I had woken up in my bedroom to find one entire wall of the room glowing with WETA-26's Please Stand By card.
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[User Picture]From: mmcirvin
2010-01-26 10:14 pm (UTC)
...And at the other extreme, in those pre-VCR, pre-cable days, seeing this was kind of like Christmas morning in miniature.
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[User Picture]From: schwa242
2010-01-26 10:20 pm (UTC)
Oh hell yes. I still want one of these.
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[User Picture]From: mmcirvin
2010-01-26 11:14 pm (UTC)
I bet you knew what it was before clicking on the link.
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[User Picture]From: schwa242
2010-01-26 11:16 pm (UTC)
I had a hunch.
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[User Picture]From: ariadne
2010-01-27 04:55 am (UTC)
Not to interject, but I was with ya 100% before even clicking (and yeah, I'm guessing Schwa was too). It still makes me feel like a kid. :)
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[User Picture]From: mmcirvin
2010-01-27 06:04 pm (UTC)
Kids today have such a different experience of video. Jorie, who is 3, takes for granted that she can watch any show she likes as many times as her parents will let her, at any time her parents will let her, and she has no concept of missing a show. At the moment, this probably leads to her watching too much TV, but it also removes the anxiety we used to have about not being allowed to watch when our favorite shows were on; and it makes it easier to tear her away from the TV, since she knows we can pause and resume the show.

When we recently upgraded to HDTV, our old TiVo couldn't handle it, and we would occasionally watch shows live off the cable just to get the pretty picture. When we did this, Jorie would be baffled that it was impossible for us to pause the image or go back in time and watch it again.
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[User Picture]From: mmcirvin
2010-01-27 06:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes, and: the new TiVo can stream YouTube. We made a fatal mistake when we let Jorie know that it was possible to see that stupid dancing gummi bear on the big TV.
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[User Picture]From: schwa242
2010-01-28 06:56 pm (UTC)
Ha ha. It's got to be a hard balance between wanting to show your child something fun, and dealing with the possibility that you may be subjected to that "something fun" over and over again.
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[User Picture]From: schwa242
2010-01-28 06:55 pm (UTC)
In my day, I had to do this the hard way, by learning how to program a VCR so I didn't miss Transformers, Robotech, and later on The Simpsons. With the morning cartoon fare, it didn't make it easier for me to get away from the TV and go be active so much as allow me to sleep in on weekends and not miss mah stories.

I wonder how the expectation of instant replay in media subconsciously affects expectation in the meat world, if at all. I've long believed that video games can give you pseudo-instincts for skills that one doesn't possess, after a friend kept pointing out excellent places to skate after playing a Tony Hawk Pro Skater game and then realizing he didn't even know how to skate.
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[User Picture]From: urbeatle
2010-01-26 10:53 pm (UTC)
When my friends and I watched the Venture Bros. Christmas special, and it began with a clone of that, we were practically on the floor, laughing.
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[User Picture]From: asienieizi
2010-02-01 02:40 am (UTC)
"When you saw that card, usually the sound would be out entirely for some long, entirely unpredictable period, after which the voice of an announcer would suddenly come on at slightly-too-loud volume imploring the viewer to sit tight. I dreaded being startled by the announcer's voice."

Interestingly, if you magnify this you've got the makings of some of what goes on daily in most autistic kid's minds when the normal routine is broken or altered in any way. Right now I'm trying to get one of my kids to alter his route to class to include toast for breakfast first.
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[User Picture]From: mmcirvin
2010-01-26 10:03 pm (UTC)
Also, I have to say that the moment that film won me over was when it went into the "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" bit.

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[User Picture]From: mmcirvin
2010-01-26 11:59 pm (UTC)
Similarly to my story about startle reflex and PLEASE STAND BY, my best guess as to what was going on with the Screen Gems logo has to do with the bit about the acoustics of the little synthesized fanfare. Has anyone looked at the spectrum of that last note to see if there are some strong high-frequency components there, say way up somewhere near 20 kHz, that would grate on the ears of little kids?
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[User Picture]From: schwa242
2010-01-28 07:01 pm (UTC)
It wouldn't surprise me, since the logos probably wouldn't be nearly so disturbing without the synthesizers going with them. But I think part of it has to do with animated nonsense that has no bearing in the real world. These logos create a temporary five second reality repeated over and over with long intervals in between. And now I am reading too much into this.

As for balloons popping, I had the anticipation fear of sound in "The Muppet Movie", when Animal grew to a giant size and smashed through a second story roof. On two viewings, I would plug my ears off and on through damn near the whole movie (after the first time I saw it) waiting for giant animal to finally show up.
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[User Picture]From: ariadne
2010-01-27 04:56 am (UTC)
Aaaahhhh! The trauma is reawakened!
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