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A bit of escapism is always a good thing. Unfortunately, some people tend to overdo it, soaking up all the niglitly network shootem-ups and whiz-bangs. So as we start a new season of Neilsen ratings, bionic cockroaches and Mary Burnout, Mary Burnout, a reminder is in order not to forget what's available on the other channels. Channel 56 lias become quite well-known, actually, and the new 7 pm MacNeil-Lehrer Report is a good insight into news stories. Channel 9, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. station, often comes up with some fascinating programming. With Detroit's other UHF stations, the oíd boob tube can really be worthwhile. And Monday Night Football is back. So if Kojak seems to have lost some of that bald-headed shine, spin the dial and do some exploring . . . Speaking of football, Cosell's team just doesn't seem as together as past years. The producers have been fumbling their screen plays, and even Humble Howard seems to have lost his fascination with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Too bad . . . My comment about Bob Talbert two weeks ago produced nods of agreement from people I never thought would be Talbert readers. I said I hadn't heard anyone say a nice word about his columns in quite a while; nobody stepped forward with a nice word"but everybody who agreed seems to continue reading while they complain. So if people are willing to stick with something they think stinks, who am I to knock it? Go ahead, Bob, but the next time you take a week off, don't teil us it was to clean out your basement . . . How did it get to be that all young reporter-types wearcorduroy jackets? . . . And our medium-well-done awards this week go to Tom Opre of the Free Press for being the first one to explain that the Upper Península fire wasn't as big a loss as everyone else led us to believe . . . And to Captain Kangaroo, who recently passed his 6,000th program, just for having done it . . . Harpers Weekly, which had resumed publishing in November, 1974, has folded again, to the surprise of no one . . . KCKC radio in San Bernardino, Cal., recently got a request from a florist to play an hour of soft music for an upcoming funeral. It seems that a late listener willed that he be buried with the radio tuned to KCKC. And the florist had been instructed to get a portable radio with the flowers for the service. "I'm speechless," said the station owner. "What can be said about a listener's loyalty like that?" . . . Maybe you're wondering how things are going with the Bilalian News, the tabloid formerly known as Muhammad Speaks that's "hawked on streetcorners by polite guys wearing suits. Not so good, we're told. The paper was renamed last November on order of Wallace Muhammad, new chief minister of the Nation of Islam, who said that henceforth all blacks would be called Bilalians. Bilal was the first black convert to the prophet Muhammad. The paper's circulation, according to the Chicago Reader, has dropped by as much as half since the name was changed. The figure was termed "entirely possible" by a Bilalian News editor. Rules requiring all Nation members to sell a certain number of papers have been relaxed. The last copy I bought had a big headline "Capitalistic Communism"- sounded good, but the story was a weak religious rap . . . And a fellow in Nebraska placed a newspaper ad offering "absolutely nothing" for a dollar. John Fackler, owner of a commercial art company, says he's gotten hundreds of calis. He's raised over $230, enough to pay fpr the ad and for bumper stickers saying, yep, "absolutely nothing" ... o