Thursday, February 16, 2006


Around 10 this morning it grew incredibly dark outside, like a spring thunderstorm coming on, and then thunder and lightning and cold heavy rain cut loose. Mixed with ice pellets. The lightning was so close that I shut the computer down, twice, to prevent stray rivers of electrons from flowing in uninvited. More moderate rain on and off all day after that it, though not much ice.

At times like this, I think of Korg: 70,000 B.C. Well, not really, but my wandering thoughts take me down labyrinthine paths to some musty old memories sometimes. Today was a perfect day to stay home. A day not fit for those of us whose distant ancestors evolved in the tropics (everyone, that is). Supplying air at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, my heater re-creates for me a cool day in the tropics to take the place of a miserable cold day in a temperate zone.

Which made me wonder how prehistoric peoples of the northern climates got through their winters. Probably by wearing warm clothes and being inured to it from day one, as the Inuit are or used to be. Still, nasty, dull, brutish and short must have also included miserably cold sometimes, fire and animal skins notwithstanding.

Which made me think of Korg. It was a Saturday morning TV show, short-lived and now obscure. (But not too obscure for the Internet.) It aired when I was 13, and I watched it regularly for the few months it was on. I don’t remember a lot about it now, except that it was unusual in a number of ways, most importantly that it was a serious attempt to depict the lives of prehistoric people. I also remember Burgess Meredith, whose voice was just right for the part of omniscient narrator.

I can only remember one episode in any detail, but it was a good one. Korg’s eldest son wanted to mate with a certain girl of a neighboring band, and after initially being receptive, the girl’s father suddenly and unreasonably upped the bride price. A argument then followed between the fathers, with the girl and boy both distraught. Not a happy ending. The girl left unwillingly with her father, and that was that. I’m not sure what I would make of this story now, but I suspect it’s a lot better than most of what passes for drama on TV.


At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed Korg completely. If you were 13 that would mean I was 22 and a first year law student, assuming it was on after the Fall semester started. I don't think I had a television in my apartment the first semester I was in school. In any case, the only thing I can remember seeing was Kung Fu, which I watched a time or two with one of the medical students who lived next door, a real enthusiast. I don't think I watched anything on Saturday morning; I probably wasn't getting up early enough in any case.

As to cavemen on television, I can remember seeing It's About Time a few years earlier. It was about astronauts who inadvertently went back in time to the Paleolithic (or thereabouts) and met up with a clan of cavefolk, as notably protrayed by Joe E. Ross and Imogene Coca. Not even remotely serious, of course. Actually, thinking about it, really pretty awful, but not - thinking of televised time travel - as bad as Time Tunnel. Even Whit Bissell couldn't save that one. ANK


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