It’s an interesting phenomena. Especially when large groups of people experience it collectively and in sync with each other.
Let’s see what the Mighty Interwebs teaches us with a quick search:
And what’s that underneath?
Next to “similar”… persecution complex. Let’s learn about that, too!
Let’s talk about why the show existed. What I was told.
Remember, this is my version of the story. My experience.
Adventures in Odyssey was created in response to the perceived threat that modern entertainment (tv, movies, music) had content that was so unhealthy that modern Fucking Evangelicals couldn’t trust their kids to consume any of it. The Hollywood industry preying upon your children and turning them against god. Or turning them gay. Or making them think sex is a normal human activity. Or insert whatever scary thing parents and churches and religious non-profits can convince you that should be feared and thus is the reason for the White Evangelical Publishing Complex to be necessarily born.
MTV terrified these people.
Remember all the way back at the start of this blog when I was teaching about how the Fucking Pilgrims were the original apocalyptic political cult? And that their signature tactic– their signature methodology whenever they feel that the mainstream culture is abandoning them or oppressing them, they’ll do what?
C’mon class…. who was paying attention? Thought all you homeschoolers were good students.
You mean to tell me that some of you never read the material? JFC. You think I’m doing this for the fun of it? This shit is work. Do your part.
This is a progressive storytelling effort. There is a flow here.
These are not stand alone posts.
Did you even read the READ ME FIRST at the top of every post?!?
*to self under breath so audience can’t hear* Maybe homeschooling isn’t all it’s cracked up to be….
Go back and read the greatest history lesson you’ll ever be told here and the sequel here.
I’m not kidding. Go read that or none of this makes sense.
Where was I?
Paranoia… and then we defined persecution complex… and then… we had that whole little dust up because you slackers refuse to do your homework– Oh, btw, HAVE YOU LISTENED TO ALOHA OY PTS I, II, & III YET?!?
Well while we wait for you to do that, let’s at least continue on with our history lesson being used to show a modern pattern.
The Fucking Pilgrims were paranoid that the government was out to destroy their overly-religious obnoxiousness so they left. They went to another country. When that didn’t work they left the next country too. When they came to this country they replaced the people that had been here.
They begat the Fucking Confederacy who also used the same tactic: leave or replace. Hence Civil War.
And this is what the Fucking Evangelicals did when the school systems started allowing people of color into the all-white god-fearing christian schools. What did they do? They left. Created their own systems they could control and replace.
These are the same people screaming at others who disagree with them, “If you don’t like it you can leave!” The reason they scream this is because it’s their historical tactic. They think they’re being helpful…. It’s also why they’re terrified of being replaced— they know that tactic, too! They perfected it.
What does this have to do with Adventures in Odyssey, Dave? Get back to the fun stories in the studio. What did Hal’s breath smell like?!?
THE POINT… is that Adventures in Odyssey was created as a direct response to the unholy godlessnesssexificationprofanityladensatanworshippingwhorevision being pumped into our kids brains every day.
This is why we need to get rid of our TVs!
And only listen to content produced by this… *checks notes*… radio empire!
Leave and replace.
Now c’mon Daaaaaave. Why you gotta shit on a bunch of folks doing the Lord’s work and trying to make a fun show for kids with bible stories? What’s the harm?
Well, before we get to harm… I want to get back to the original paranoia.
This idea that there’s nothing good for kids in modern media in 1987. or 1997. or 2007. or 2017. or 2027. or 2037.
Because there’s something I’d like to point out, if I may be so bold 35 years after the fact… remember… I was 10.
I consumed media for kids back then. I was the 10 year old the entire Hollywood industry was making content for. This idea that there was nothing good or safe for kids is utterly fucking ludicrous. FUCKING LUDICROUS.
In the 80’s, children of that era had more choices for amazing content than at any other time in human history to that point and it’s only gotten better since. PBS. Sesame street. Mr Rodgers. Electric company. Saturday morning cartoons. NICKAFUCKINLODEON and all the epic shows that existed in that decade. Afternoon cartoons.
I watched and consumed this content and it didn’t harm me nearly as much as Fucking Evangelicals would.
There were whole nights of the week on ABC dedicated to just having clean shows for kids so the parents could go on a date. Like, children were fucking catered to.
One other thing to note…
The entire adult cast of Adventures in Odyssey was earning a living MAKING this content. These are the evil people we have to be worried about harming our children with their art?
The same people you hired to influence… your audience?
Leave. Replace. Interesting. Interesting. Interesting.
And what was it about the content that was so damn alarming?
What is it that Hollywood– BIG SCARY HOLLYWOOD– is doing to our children that demands a whole other system of entertainment be set up?
Well, for one thing, Hollywood is making a bloody fortune off merchandising to our kids and they weren’t. All these cartoons and their toys and dolls and board game tie-ins and video games and water bottles and t-shirts with graphics. STUFF FUCKING EVANGELICALS ARE TOO CHRISTIAN TO DO.
NO WAY WOULD JESUS EVER ALLOW COMMERCE TO BE MIXED WITH THE WORSHIPPING AND STUDY OF THE LORD.
^ that is called sarcasm. get used to it.
Another thing that Hollywood wasn’t doing was making content that was specifically christian.
And I believe this is the real reason.
One of the phenomena that you experience as a Fucking Evangelical is that you’re never allowed to consume anything unless it is about god, for god, near god, god adjacent, made by god, made by god’s proxies, made by god’s bff… in fact, if you don’t mention the word “god” 72,000 times a day in your content or daily conversation– if the sole purpose of the content is not to deliver some moral message that ties in with the daily scripture then you aren’t really trying hard enough.
For Fucking Evangelicals… church never ends. It’s 24/7. All Jesus all the time.
And it’s why they saw an opportunity. That industry didn’t exist. Until these folk built it. How developed it was by the time I came along?… others know that history better than a 10 year old kid.
Do I doubt the sincerity and earnestness of their efforts? I’m not in any position to say, I was just a hired gun with no window into their internal process or decision making.
It’s not that hard for anyone in the entertainment industry to see the billions that were being produced a 30 minute drive away where an entire media empire was built that catered primarily to children: Disney.
Another thing to consider.
And this is a thing that will haunt me all my life as the story unfolds. You’ll learn about one of the great frustrations of my existence: this content is super cheap to produce.
It costs pennies on the dollar to make audio theatrical content compared to animation or tv or cinema. Why? All you need is actors and sound effects and music. 3-5 people can make a whole season by themselves if you pushed everybody hard enough and the crew does half the voices… hmmm.
During my tenure the production staff grew, but it’s always been a pretty tight ship. You don’t need wardrobe and sets and cameras and lights and extras and makeup and hair. The audience is the art director. The audience creates all that in their minds.
And so it would be a pretty normal thought process if you had a budding christian radio empire, to think about making a product for children. Maybe you really are concerned about what kids are consuming. Hey, you’ve got the studios and mics and… hire some writers. Bring in some production folk.
Let’s make that content for all those families that we told to throw their TVs away.
It’s cheap to make, we can crank it out fast… and if it doesn’t work? You didn’t lose too much of an investment.
One OTHER thing about how cheap this entertainment is.
If you’re not union… you don’t really have to pay union wages or give anyone any residuals. What are residuals? It’s a concept that each time an episode airs or is sold anywhere on earth, or earns a station money for ads sales, you have to pay a small bit to the cast and crew who made it. Guess Jesus doesn’t care about residuals or fair wages.
Also. Did you know that non-profits and religious organizations don’t have to pay taxes?
Man that makes all this content SUPER cheap to make.
And they don’t have to pay into pension plans or health care plans? Or hire tutors for the children actors so they don’t fall behind in school?
In fact, you could pretty much fund the show with what you aren’t spending on health care for the employees!
The one problem really was that TV outcompetes for attention. And what TV was doing more than anything was showing kids a life outside of traditional white churchtopia. Here’s an entire show where the family doesn’t go to church and they’re fine. The HORROR.
Also, modern kids really aren’t into radio theater. It’s a very antiquated form of entertainment. So antiquated, that whenever I described it to people over the last 35 years they’ve looked at me in confusion, “audio theater? what’s that?”
How can we get kids to listen to a radio show?
How do we get people to get rid of their TVs?
See… if we just went back to a simpler time where the white christian hetero-normative families gathered round the radio…
Then Hollywood can’t ever hurt our quiverfulls of precious suburban cult anchor babies.
Isn’t history cool?
Oh. Also. I did another episode.
Odyssey USA: Episode 009- Doing Unto Others
I have absolutely no memory whatsoever of playing Johnny Bickle and trying to buy Mr Whitaker a TV and then having him tell me he doesn’t have a TV by choice because TV sucks your soul away or something.
BOY IT SURE IS A GOOD THING CHRISTIANS DON’T GROOM OR MANIPULATE CHILDREN THE WAY HOLLYWOOD DOES.
The only memory I have of this experience was realizing that episodes 5, 6, 7, & 8 I had NOT been cast in. And I guess it was finally dawning on me that I wouldn’t be in every single episode they would ever create.
And while I very much disagreed with that decision from a greedy actor perspective… I guess I would learn to live with it.