Events of the Analog Age: The Seat Belt Law

Yes, believe it or not, up until 1984 there were absolutely no laws stating you needed to wear seat belts while riding or driving a car. That’s the year that a law that made it mandatory, I guess they finally thought it was a good idea.

I remember seeing commercials, everyone talking about it, and even seeing public service announcements like this one:

Up to that point, you could play in the back seat, jump over the seats to the back or even lay on the floor while the car was careening down the road. It was quite fun, but super dangerous.

The most ironic thing was, just because they passed the law it didn’t mean that every car even had seat belts! The law was just so new that I guess it took a while to enact.

I do remember riding in my grandparents’ car. They would just put up the arm rest and I would sit in middle fron bench seat with just no restraints. I’m surprised I’m still alive to tell the tale!

San Diego Comic-Con

I’m going to be on the “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness” panel this Friday at 11:45AM in Room 6A at the San Diego Comic-Con.

We’re going to be showing all kinds of amazing stuff from the show including all the voice actors! It’s going to be quite fun!

See ya there!

*fun fact: this con marks my 18th year of going to Comic Conventions, it all started in ’93 at Comic Fest in Philly.

Analog Events: MTV

Living in rural Lancaster County Pennsylvania where a lot of people lived in the woods or next to a farm, they didn’t get very good TV reception, let alone cable. We were one of the lucky ones. Amongst the illustrious 30-some channels, was a channel called MTV. Now I can’t remember when it was launched, but we did get cable around the first few years of MTV.

Back then, MTV was very different then what it is now. It was basically a radio station that would play videos all day long. Back to back, repeating a lot of them. There were no reality shows or weird game shows, just music television. Sometimes there was even a couple seconds of black between videos, because that’s when they were switching video tapes. There were VJs which were video DJs who would come on in between the videos and “host” that section.

The event that was MTV was actually the impact that it had on both the music and entertainment industries. See, up until that point, people really didn’t know what their favorite artists even looked like. It made certain careers and broke others. Music stores had to keep up with the demand for those artists that were played on MTV not the radio. There was also a style of editing called “MTV” editing. It was usually faster and more aggressive then normal editing and it started being used everywhere, other shows, movies, commercials. Music videos were a new “art form” and filled with their own language of imagery and messages. We wouldn’t even have half of our movie directors now if it wasn’t for them cutting their teeth on MTV.

With MTV also came the paranoia of parents and adults that it was corrupting their youth, giving us short attention spans, and rotting our brains, too loud-too noisy. The very things they thought were “dangerous” made it that much cooler. MTV became a youth revolt and fueled kids to try to spread the word of MTV with the message “I want my MTV!”

As a kid, it was the direct line to what was cool and what was going on in the rest of the world. When I would watch MTV, I could hear everyone else around the world was listening to. I could see what everyone was wearing. I could see how rock stars would move and perform. It made me feel like I was actually connected with everyone in a way that radio just couldn’t do.

It makes me sad that there really isn’t one place for kids to experience that today. Sure youtube has anything and everything you can think of, but it’s not presented to you in that way, especially in a way that you can just turn it on and let it play like the radio. MTV was an important event in the Analog Age. An event that’s hard to imagine what the world would have been like without MTV.

Here’s the actual first launch of MTV (brought to you by way of youtube):