puff the magic dragon

I’m a TV addict. Sit me in front of a set, and you’ve lost me. I’m in my own world: just me and whatever is on. Time freezes for me, and easily an entire day can pass without my even noticing, until late in the night when my stomach is growling, and there’s a cold sweat beading on my brow.

This is one of the main reasons I don’t have a TV today. I’d spend all my time in front of it. So instead, I spend all my time in front of the computer. I’ve rationalized this since I feel that the online medium is what McLuhan would call a “cool” medium, one in which the viewer is a participant. So this is better than merely being spoon-fed on a “hot” medium like broadcast television.

Ahem. Every once in a while, I’d catch a “Puff the Magic Dragon” TV special, and I was hooked. Man, the very idea of a dragon being your friend was the coolest thing since preformatted floppies. I also got (and still have) a Puff story book. I think it’s based on the first cartoon. It’s got images and music from the cartoon.

As I’m sure you’ve all heard, the song for which Puff is named has always been under fire for being a “drug song”. Well, apparently, that just isn’t so. Okay, now you might say, “Riiiight!, as if the songwriter is gonna ‘fess up to writing a drug song.” The article points out that Mary, of “Peter, Paul and Mary”, said that if Yarrow had wanted to write a drug song, he would’ve written a drug song. Yarrow’s quote is the best:

When ‘Puff’ was written, I was too innocent to know about drugs. What kind of a meanspirited SOB would write a children’s song with a covert drug message?

I managed to find a few of the cartoons on DVD, but it’s out of stock, or unavailable in many places. Too bad 🙁

Anyone else old enough to remember this, or am I *that* old?