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The significance of the beard

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By Ned Cantwell

Bill Richardson’s beard is much more significant than you might imagine. But, first, let me reminisce.It started like this. The late 1940s. The first television signal had been broadcast from New York two decades earlier, but the first signal this 10-year-old saw was a picture of flamboyant Gorgeous George prancing around a wrestling ring.We lived in a government project, which is noteworthy only to explain this was not a neighborhood where the latest technology would be on display. So there may have been more advanced television reception than that Ronnie’s dad proudly displayed, a 12-inch screen with an ugly magnifying glass showing a grainy, fuzzy, black-and-white picture.Our first TV showed up in the living room sometime in the mid ‘50s, and programming memories are skimpy with the exception of “Twilight Zone.”These are more than the pitiful ramblings of an old man. They are thoughts coming sharply into focus with the realization there are now something like 250 channels, maybe more for all I know, and most gobble up programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Fake wrestling has survived – indeed, thrived – as a programming staple, and perhaps paved the way for fake journalism.


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