Saturday, 16 February 2008

higitus figitus

I had records.

LPs. Big things with lovely covers that worked with a record player - a machine that had an arm you'd have to place on the grooves of the record carefully (moving slowly so your hand didn't bounce and the blaattt of speaker noise didn't startle everyone) and attempt to put the little head down directly in the right spot so you didn't miss any of the song.

My parents bought me Disney records.
I loved them. I could recite huge stretches, sing the songs, and (much to my parents chagrin, I suppose) did. Mad Madam Mim scared the pants off me. I can remember cowering under the covers, listening to her cackle and the soft shlip! of the record, drifting off to sleep to Wart's victory and eventual crowning as King of England. I imagined Mim as huge, with glowing red eyes and palsied skeletal hands, eager to win and get her way and turn everyone into germs.
She was my boogeyman. But I loved her anyway.

Years later, I saw the film. And was shocked. Mim wasn't scary! She wasn't room-filling and horrible to see! Where was her cane? And her all-seeing wicked eye? Instead, she'd been Disney-fied into someone that looked more like my second grade teacher than a angry cackling witch. Short and plump with purple hair? I was more bothered by Grimace.*

MTV affected me much the same way. The pictures in my head when it came to the music were so much better than the imaginings of other people. And less confusing, too.

I miss records. Or some sort of media that doesn't include a picture. I think the sounds of things mean more than the pictures while you're growing up and your imagination is growing and developing. I've started looking into books on tape for C's MP3 player. I really want him to experience being swept away into a world of his own imaginings, guided by a lone voice, making the characters come alive in his mind. Drawing his own pictures.

Something that I think DVD/VCR/cinema/cable channels don't do.

*You know, Grimace. The purple thing.


Stomper Girl said...

This is why my child has to listen to the harry potter books before seeing the movies11

That is exactly the noise the needle made if you dropped it badly, and you made me smile remembering it!

Suzanne said...

Grimace is in the little packets of McDonaldland cookies that the kids got in their (rare) happy meals today. I bit his head off.

When my kids started enjoying the first couple of Harry Potter movies, my husband began reading from them every night. They're about to start on the Hobbit series...

Anonymous said...

You are so right. About all of it. I used to get so frustrated with trying to drop the needle in the right place or if the record started to skip. But I still miss it. My parents bought me The Cabbage Patch Kids record (and also their Christmas one) and it was true - they were like books on tape and my imagination really took off with them. I think I'll steal your idea and look at getting some stories on CD for my kiddos as well. Thanks for nudging me in the right direction, hon!!

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

I loved those Disney records when I was growing up!

Loth said...

Never had Disney records but the first LP I ever bought was of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I wore the grooves off listening to it constantly. I had forgotten that till now. Thank you for reminding me.

Major Bedhead said...

I never had Disney records, but I did have a much loved Sesame Street record.

Whatever happened to Grimace?

imaginary binky said...

Ah, records. Records and the days before MTV are the reason why less-than-attractive but really talented singers could have a career. It's too bad we are stuck in beauty first, talent second.