Music Banter - View Single Post - A Concise History of Bubblegum
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
Lord Larehip
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 895


In 1968, the Lost In Space episode "The Promised Planet" aired. The Robinsons had finally reach Alpha Centauri, their intended destination and the nearest star to our sun. To their surprise, the land on a planet populated by teenagers. The head teenager is Bart.

Immediately, Penny is drawn into this culture whenever they play a certain music as shown in the clip below:

WFLD Ch. 32 - Lost In Space - "The Promised Planet" Preview, 1980 - YouTube

Yes, it's bubblegum music. In fact, it sounds eerily like 1910 Fruitgum Company's "1 2 3 Redlight." Penny has to dance whenever she hears it. Will tried to prevent it but to no avail. Bubblegum was made for teen girls and they will have Penny no matter what. The race of teens want to keep Penny and she, seduced by bubblegum, wants to stay.

Meanwhile, Dr. Smith is skulking around as he generally does every episode and finds out that Bart is really a bubbleheaded alien (a reference to bubblegum?) and the alien threatens to kill Smith if he tells anyone what he saw. Smith's memory gets erased and he becomes a pathetic, long-haired, aging hippie.

The rest of the oldsters, mainly the other Robinsons, the teen-aliens want gone. They know the Penny will age, something they can't do, and they want to find out why.

The metaphor is obvious. Bart represents the record execs who push bubblegum. He looks like any other kid but he's not a kid, he's an alien (a Jewish entrepreneur?). His music seduces kids and keeps them from growing up and makes them rebel against their "olders."

Smith is the pathetic old square who tries to fit in with the kids because he wants to be seen as with it and cool (a liberal?) or he's just an old perv who wants access to young, hot chicks (me?). He is tolerated by the kids but regarded with contempt.

In the end, the Robinsons take Penny and Smith back and leave the planet in a big hurry. A computer voice, tells Bart that they have failed in their mission. Bart yells, "There'll be others!" The bubblegum starts playing and everybody breaks into a frenzied, feverish dance. In other words, the record execs targeting your children with bubblegum have been seduced by their own music so lost are in their greed that they can never grow up. But, as Bart, points out, there will indeed be others. There always are.

This episode came out at the time that bubblegum was a burning hot commodity.
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