Observing The Electrical Motion-Image BoxCommentary • ISSUE 35•05 • Feb 10, 1999 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) Late Monday evening, my vision greatly improved thanks to Doc McGillicuddy's lancing of my cataracts, I decided I wanted some visual amusement. I fleetingly considered taking in a puppet-show in the estate's amusement annex, but I quickly recalled my contempt for the churlish impertinence of the little cloth bastards and dismissed the notion. This led me to think of the electrical motion-image box, which was hidden behind a panel in one of my bed-chamber's walls. I had only seen it once and did not know how to work it, so I summoned my man-servant Standish. "Standish, that motion-image box in the wall--does it display amusement demonstrations other than the despised puppet shows?" I queried. Standish replied in the affirmative, explaining that varied frequencies intercepted by the motion-image device can offer various entertainment selections, similar to the wireless-radio. He began to tell me about whirling electrons and orthicon-tubes and other nonsense, but I cut him short with an abrupt wave. Standish ignited the motion-image box with the wondrous electrical-current, and in no time, the bed-chamber was illuminated with an eerie, bluish glow that reminded me of the aurora borealis. At first, I had difficulty interpreting the pictures that flashed in rapid succession upon the box's seeing-lens. Then, I determined that several of the pictures comprised a moving and talking advertisement for medicated powder. When the brand was announced, I recalled how this particular product had once precipitated a terrible break-out of hives on my bottom. Out-raged, I ordered Standish to focus the box upon another frequency. The next image was of two gentle-men trading jests and japes upon a stage. One was dressed properly in a man's walking-suit, and the other was bald-headed and garbed only in his under-drawers. Their esoteric tom-foolery was earning the enthusiastic laughter and applause of an invisible audience, but I remained stone-faced and befuddled at their approach toward humor. For example, at no point was there a black-face routine. Though I failed to be entertained by the electrical motion-image box, I found that, once accustomed to the rapid succession of pictures, I was lulled into a pleasant state of catatonia. It was then I realized it is not necessary to fully comprehend the content of the image-device to enjoy its stuporous effect. Huzzah for the electrical motion-image box!