Tragic Legacy

Chaos in Print

Did I ever mention how much I love the Batman and Superman cartoons? I just do. They’ve got compelling storylines, good characters, and a striking retro design to them. They definitely raised the bar on Saturday morning. So, when the local station that carried Superman quit showing it, my instant thought was “How am I going to watch Legacy; the upcoming final episode?” Fortunately, my good buddy Chuck has satellite TV, and still got it. So, I begged my good buddy Chuck to tape it for me.

Chuck did, and I am forever grateful. But then, Chuck took it upon himself to torture me. I don’t know if it’s just that Chuck is forgetful or what, but every time we got together he was all “Oh! I forgot all about it! I left the tape at home.” I didn’t want him to mail it to me, because I’d heard horror stories about tapes getting erased in the mail. So when I spent the weekend with Chuck, I cornered him and said “GIMME THE TAPE!” After some digging, he found it, and I took it home. The next day, I sat down to watch Legacy.

I was spellbound. I was captivated. It was filled with so much iconic imagery. Superman, leading masses of tanks and soldiers against the forces of earth. Lex Luthor, hoisting a Kryptonite missile atop his shoulder and taking out Superman and Supergirl. And Part II! Where do I begin? Superman, powerless thanks to his cell lit by red lights and about to receive a lethal injection of Kryptonite, turns to Lex Luthor and says “Now that you and I are about the same strength, will you grant me one last request?” Luthor nods, and leans in to hear Superman’s last request. Superman winds up, slugs Luthor, and Luthor goes flying across the room. Superman, taking the portal device, and generating a portal to Darkseid’s planet, and silhouette in darkness. Superman emerging from the portal, his face cloaked in darkness except for a red glow from his eyes. He then lets loose with a heat ray blast that vaporizes all of Darkseid’s troops. Darkseid, bruised, battered, and being carried away by his followers turns to Superman and says “I am many things Superman, but here I am god.”

And at the end, when we’re getting the characters comments (thank to a news report) about whether Superman should be given a second chance or not. Lex Luthor, his neck broken from Superman’s punch, mutters “No man should have the much power.” Jimmy Olson saying “He’s saved this planet 10 times over! We owe him a second chance!” And the final scene. Superman, on the roof of the Daily Planet, turns to Lois Lane and asks “How do I earn back the trust of a planet?” Lois then kisses Superman, and says “One person at a time.” It ranks up there with the best of all the episodes of Superman. I daresay it was the best.

Naturally, when you see something this good, you have to watch it again. I hit rewind on my TV/VCR combo unit. Soon, I was met with a horrible grinding sound, and the machine automatically shut down. This had only happened to me once before, and I feared what it meant. I turned the machine back on, and hit eject. I was greeted with more grinding sounds, and my fear was confirmed. My TV/VCR unit had eaten the tape. I peered inside to see that the tape itself was hopelessly entangled in the heads.

If this were a conventional VCR, my course of action would have been clear. I would have pulled out a screwdriver, opened up the VCR, and tried to untangle the tape. But with a TV/VCR combo unit, that would have proved too complicated. I grabbed each end of the tape, and gently tugged back and forth, trying to work it loose. Whatever I did, it just wasn’t coming out. There was only one option left. It was the most drastic thing I could do, but sadly, it had to be done to save my TV/VCR unit.

I pulled out my pocketknife, and cut up the tape. With a gentle tug, the remnants of the tape came out. I ran the head-cleaner tape through right away to clean out any remnants that might have been left.

I was putting the head-cleaner tape back when I heard someone yelling for me from the office. It was my Dad. “MARK!! I wanted to scan this in, so I put it in the scanner, randomly picked this icon that says ‘scan,’ and scanned it in. Now where’s my file?”

“I don’t know, Dad. That’s a stupid program I never figured out how to use. Why didn’t you just hit the big button that says ‘scan’ on the scanner and do it the easy way?” I then pointed to the big button that says “scan” on the scanner. (We have a fairly idiot-proof scanner.) Needless to say, I wasn’t really in a tech-support kind of mood, and I yelled at my Dad a lot more than I should have.

We live in a fairly technology-dependent society. I have embraced technology fully. It has become my religion in a sense. Whenever one of the cashiers at work bangs on the Interac machines and curses those “stupid computers,” I give her a dirty look. Whenever the family car acts up, my mother instantly accuses the onboard computer of “frying.” I instantly offer up a mechanical reason for the problem: “Well, look here, Mom. Looks like the tire went flat because there’s a nail sticking in it, not because of a faulty circuit in the computer.” It seems that I currently live in a world of Luddites, and in this world I have become the great defender of technology. So when my VCR turns on me and eats my tape, I can’t help but feel a little . . . betrayed.

Here, I go and devote my life to defending you to those people and you turn on me. Why is that? Is it that technology isn’t respecting what I do for it? Or perhaps it’s all some giant cosmic tease to prevent me from watching Legacy. First, the fates go and take away my channel from me. Then, they curse Chuck with forgetfulness to keep him from giving me the tape. Then, after I get a brief taste of it, they make me destroy the tape. But I am not completely destroyed. YTV has picked up the rights to Superman, and I’m sure it won’t be long until they broadcast Legacy. And then, I will tape it again. Actually, forget taping it. It’s too…analog. Before I tape it, I’ll wait for DVD-RAM to have become cheap and affordable. Then, I’ll slap it straight on a DVD. Praise technology! What a wonderful legacy it leaves.

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