(Go ahead, click on the link if you want to watch the six minute cartoon.)
Thank you internet. Thank you, thank you. As my buddy Mick Cochran famously noted several years ago, “Who needs a brain, when I have Google?”
When you have a vague, strange memory of something long ago, there is no better place to wander than the web. I understand those who bemoan the demise of dictionaries, phone books, encyclopedias and newspapers, but honestly the information available to us at a mere whim is extraordinary.
I’m not breaking new ground by expounding on that theory, but let me expand a bit. Among other ridiculous and inane things I’ve had running around inside my head since I was a child was this wispy melody, “something, something Katie, she ain’t no lady …”
I knew it was from my mind’s way-back machine and it was probably pasted into my consciousness back during early mornings while sitting in my jammies watching cartoons. That was all. I found myself humming it just now while folding laundry.
Okay World Wide Web, what can you tell me?
Within moments my answer appeared and a whole flood of memories came back. Why of course, it was a Mighty Mouse cartoon. Created in the 1940s, some 25 years before I saw it on a 60s or 70s Saturday morning, it was a six minute movie about how Mighty Mouse saved Krakatoa.
Yes, it led me to read more about the Indonesian island that exploded, most famously, way back in 1883. And sure, those curvy island mousettes were definitely provocative (so were the palm trees, strangely enough). But I think the real crux of this was the ability to evoke concrete information from the most obscure memories.
I wish I had this tool way back then. There are so many things it would’ve been useful for, even as a child. For example, I surely would’ve argued less vehemently that the lyrics to a song I’d just heard were “For he’s a jolly lack pellow, which nobody can deny.”
But if I had Google as a kid, my parents would’ve been aghast at my search history being filled with pictures of Catwoman, Raquel Welch and yes, Krakatoa Katie.
There’s certainly both good and bad that go hand in hand with this ability to find ridiculous things. But these days I’m in the accentuate the positive mode. My attitude may change, however, if I start getting Gmail suggestions and Google autofills for things like dancing mice, island getaways or Viagra. For now I’ll ignore them, or click on something else. If things become dire, I can always rely on my computer’s mighty mouse to save the day.