I have been using the internet since well before the advent of web browsers, Google, Facebook or Hulu. I go back to the days when you had to drop your telephone into a special cradle in order to log on to various internet bulletin boards where you could do…not much actually. It was more the idea of being there than what you could do that drove a lot of first generation geeks to dip their toes into the antediluvian mire that was the internet. So you would think I’d be a little jaded by the experience of going online.
But no! I am still blown away by the sheer volume of …STUFF out there.
Case in point. During a slow moment today I casually entered “Stamp Day For Superman” into Google. This little known, little seen, never aired episode of “The Adventures of Superman” was made in 1954 for the US Department of Treasury to promote the sale of US Saving Stamps and was shown to grad school students during assembly (an ancient ritual where young students were herded into a large meeting place to be bored into a comatose like state. This function has since been replaced by Pokemon and Barney as well as the Twilight series).
But I digress!
Stamp Day For Superman is the perfect illustration of how so many things are easily available today. I got 170,000 hits! Including multiple links to this public domain video.
Now strap into your Legion Of Superhero Time Bubbles (US. Pat. Pending) and follow me into the mists of time as we travel back to
(by the way, why does time have to be so…Misty? All that mist leaves a film on the Time Bubble!)
But I digress yet again!
Disco was king! Reggie Bars rotted our teeth! Hair was big! And skirts were (ugh!) long! Farrah was the female ideal and Ali was (still) The Greatest.
In other words perhaps the dullest decade….well…ever.
BUT, we didn’t have the internet as you younguns know it. Stamp Day For Superman had not been seen since the 1950’s and all that Superman fans like myself knew about it was that this was a “lost” episode of our beloved George Reeves portraying the Man of Steel! It became the “holy grail” of Superman episodes. I would track down leads in fanzines that promised grainy super 8 prints. I would go to Comic shows scouring dealers tables for a copy. I KNEW it existed. So did dealers. But no one had ever actually SEEN it! I even contacted schools to see if they had old prints in some janitor’s closet that had not been opened since the Eisenhower administration.
BUPKIS! NADA!! ZIPPO!!! I had an easier time getting DATES than finding that $%#@# superman episode.
And THAT was the fun of it! The hunt! The Quest! I was NOT easy to find and so getting it was an end in itself.
When I FINALLY tracked down a copy two years after my quest begun I was ecstatic! I held it in my hands. A single Super 8 reel of film in a yellowing envelope. It cost me maybe $50. Which was not cheap in 1979. But I didn’t care. Stamp Day for Superman! I don’t believe it!!!
And…it…SUCKED!!! (well not really. It was just this 18 minute commercial for US Saving Stamps and geared to 8 year olds but George was his Super self!)
But it didn’t matter. I had seen my quest to the end and emerged victorious!
Not fast forward to…today. Google search. BOOM. Watching it on my desk top.
Convenient. I would not trade this accessibility for anything…
But sometimes I still miss the hunt.