spectrums/

©2021 Michael Raven

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splinter head finger prick
blue movies flicker tv top
box          bar           scroll
snake writhe roll  up   the
black and white static set
ghost glow   the      night

In the 80s, there was a scrambled broadcast network — channel 23, locally — which required a “black box” to unscramble. “After Hours” was adult movies, which you could look at and squint and maybe use a toe on the rabbit ears to improve the image, but it was basically watching dirty movies with no sound through folded vinyl sheets. Most of the boys I knew considered it a personal challenge to get the best picture possible. It was the 80s equivalent of the sites kids sneak onto today — except with decidedly worse quality than anyone has to deal with now. The station was “Spectrum Entertainment” or something along those lines. That is the basis for this piece. Mostly.

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