When I was a kid, maybe 13 or 14, my dad got it in his head that he wanted me and my brother to see Shaft. No, you would not normally confuse my dad with being a fan of Blaxploitation flix. Nor was he particularly keen to let us kids watch the entire movie.
But he was giddy to share with us one of the prime musical pleasures from his early adulthood, the still-amazing theme song and score by Isaac Hayes. So my dad went to Randall’s, rented the movie (remember VHS?), and let us watch the opening credits. Then he shut it off, figuring correctly that was as much as young teenagers probably needed to see.
Like pay phones and stamped letters, the idea of renting a video cassette just to see a movie clip seems archaic. If YouTube had been around, my dad could have saved $2 and just posted the video to my Facebook. Like so:
I thought about this the other day, when I introduced the wonders of YouTube to my own young son. Patrick LOVES the Spider-Man shirt I bought at Old Navy. He saw it in the closet the other day, and I started singing to him the old 60s theme song. But only the part I could remember from the Simpson’s movie.
So together, we both sat down in front of the computer and looked up the “spiderman theme song”.
First hit was a bingo:
This video has been watched 16 million times. Patrick is now personally responsible for 1 million of those views.
Now when I saw the Shaft clip, I was confused, “I guess that was okay.” Only later in life did I realize how awesome Isaac Hayes could be, and it took a bunch of Quentin Tarantino and South Park to get me there.
Patrick has no such ambivalence about Spider-man. And he doesn’t need a cultural introduction to appreciate a costumed dude who swings around the city fighting crime. He’s in love. Every time we watch it, he simply asks, “Again?” So we watch it four or five times at a sitting. I’ve tried to get him into other YouTube videos, including the campy credits for Batman. But he’s not interested in watching other shows or cartoons or animal videos. He just wants Spider-man.
And since rewinding is painless and instant and free, I don’t mind indulging his newest first love.