When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be one of the Monkees. A lot of kids wanted to be Beatles. But that seemed out of reach. I mean, nobody could be a Beatle. But anybody could be a Beatles-wannabe. And the Monkees were the best of the Beatles-wannabes.
It seemed really cool the way that the Monkees all lived together in a house that was kind of like a zany clubhouse. And they were all funny and friendly, and they got to do creative stuff like play in a band and make hit records. And they always had all these hot chicks chasing after them. Even the dorky Peter occasionally scored with the chicks.
Being a Monkee seemed pretty darn cool. I mean, it seemed cooler than growing up to be a farmer or an accountant or something.
I was of that first generation that was completely weaned on television. That generation that can’t remember a world without television. My very first childhood memory — age 2, 1958 — involved television.
Nowadays, I’ll hear kids say they want to grow up to be a basketball player, or a rock star, or a Hollywood movie actor, or a talk show host, or a cartoonist . . . and I’ll sort of cringe. I just wonder how much of my mental problems are directly related to all those years of my youth that I spent immersed in the completely unrealistic fantasy world of television.
Not that I wouldn’t have had mental problems without television. I just would have had a different kind of mental problems.