Friday, September 7, 2007
Ghosts in the Machine
Horatio writes: New Jersey, it appears, was a pioneering state in the 1980's. Scott Bracey we thank you for this testimony.
Unlike some of the other losers on this site, I was no stranger to a pair of breasts by the time I was thirteen. Indeed, I had seen lots of couples actually doing it. This is my story. The story of early cable.
The cable boxes we received in New Jersey featured thirty-five buttons on the front panel, set out in neat rows of fifteen which you had to push in combinations while manipulating a switch on the right hand side to dial up your channel of choice. Push the 30 button and the 6, and up would pop Channel 36 showing Bosom Buddies over and over. 20 and 2 bought you the news. For most families, the design was simple enough to serve up hours of mediated fun. But for many of the amateur John Forbes Nash types across the state, the box was a platform for mathematical experimentation . How else can you explain the fact that someone, somewhere, discovered that if you pushed the buttons 3, 5 and 7 with one hand whilst positioning the switch to the down position with the other, you could crack the code to the local porn channel and watch Electric Blue. Before you become overcome with excitement dear reader, know that reception was not too good. Actually it was completely fuzzy -- like watching two people fucking in a snow globe. Forget about developing a penchant for blondes or brunettes, you could not actually tell who was a man and who was a woman. You could just see vague shapes pumping away in rhythm, backwards and forwards, over and over. There was no sound apart from the white noise crackle of bad reception. I would sit there watching mesmerized, with the television on mute, aware that my parents would find it odd that I was watching television without the volume and could come to find out why at any second. And this is how I spent my youth. Beating off to the idea of porn.