MARTIAL Law sucks.

It sucked 37 years ago because it pulled the plug on television, making me miss episodes of The Electric Company and Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine. It made me miss Ernie's snicker, Spidey, and L. Dullo.

And this is why Martial Law is also something to be afraid of. Imagine Sesame Street or -horror of all horrors!- Spongebob Squarepants getting yanked out of the boob tube.

I remember feeling spiteful when I opened our RCA TV set one fine day and I got what Michael Keaton mistook for a medium to communicate with the dead.

While young that time, I recall seeing only a white blur instead of a masked Mighty Mightor brandishing his triangular club.

Missing out on those cartoon series may have sparked the rebellious spirit in me because I felt depraved.

Getting depraved is how a cigarette factory worker may feel after going cold turkey. Getting depraved is how a kid may feel if an adult stops giving him the lollipop the child didn't ask to receive everyday in the first place.

But then-President Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies tried to explain why they did what they did, saying they turned the whole country into a military zone because they commies are coming.

What they didn't think of was that children of middle class families would see them as the bullies, not some Che Guevarra-looking guys hiding in the boondocks.

The Marcos government may have failed to see this because it banned the airing of Voltes V.

As Anime News Network writes: "During its initial run in the late 1970s, Voltes V -along with other Super Robot titles- was banned by then-president Ferdinand Marcos, supposedly because the station airing it was beating two government-run stations in the ratings game."

Interestingly, the website ( followed a view that Marcos banned the Voltes V cartoon TV series because its storyline "involving an aristocratic empire and its oppressed masses reflected his dictatorship in the country."

Rubbish. That time, I just wanted to know the alphabet from Ernie and the "ch" sound from the Cosby twins. I remember getting motivated to stay at home rather than being forced by a curfew not taken seriously by kids playing hide and seek when the moon was full.

Recently, a Cabinet official drummed up again the possibility of declaring Martial Law, adding it's nothing to fear.

Either the offiial thinks he's being taken seriously by fellow-military men or he's confident the fear would push people to continue wallowing in the illusion offered by television.

Would children feel depraved if military rulers yank out TV shows that may teach them how to think for themselves?

Nah, I don't think so. There's a lot of sources of information these days and there are a few good TV programs to censor anyway.

What would be interesting is when a Martial Law regime pull the plug on game shows with young girls gyrating in baby clothes.

Won't Martial Law suck for the military rulers if that happened.

[Photo by Ani Laya M. Estopace, 5]

1 comment:

  1. get over it dennis, that was 37 years ago - missing sesame street- you can always buy the DVD and watch what you missed. Ps where did you get the picture? c AL ba yon?