Monday, November 21, 2016

3 Shots Rang Out

(4:44) Comments on the JFK murder.  Primarily, the over-use of the phrase "rang out," like it was a manufactured story from one source, and the Washington DC phone lines going down at the same time.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Furtwangler and the Magic Brain Guy

Been thinking more about that Magic Brain that Putnam was describing.  I wonder if anyone noticed this at the time...

The "Magic Brain" was an RCA Victor ad concept, a platform touting an exciting new technology that allowed you to listen, hands-free, to over two hours of phonograph music.  (A 78 rpm side maxes out at about 12 minutes.)  Their symbol was this little conductor guy.

(The invention of the airbrush really revolutionized commercial art, didn't it?  This is from 1942.  Look at that impervious plexiglass dome protecting your records, and his expression of stoic confidence, bathed in the honest, unforgiving light of the future.)

Wilhelm Furtwangler was a celebrity conductor back then-- toured the world putting on musical extravaganzas, kind of like a 1930's rock star, very prominent.  Especially in regard to his cranium.  Lots of room for music to bounce around up there.  He started out with a shock of red, bushy hair but after it burned off, he became increasingly gaunt, his great celestial brow a symbol of his look, like Lennie Bernstein's sneakers.

So when RCA's ad agency designed their futuristic jukebox head, this is what I see:
Furtwangler-in-a-box?  Sounds great!  That gaggle of Park Avenue swells seem to think so, too.  Even though they can't quite tell why.  (It's subliminal Madison Avenue mojo, circa 1940's.)  

Sunday, November 13, 2016

MacArthur vs the Flying Saucers

(4.44)  What if General Douglas MacArthur used the occasion of his 1962 farewell speech to warn us of an impending war with an intergalactic civilization?  It might have gone something like this here link...

(Version 2-- added music and picked up his speaking pace quite a bit.)

A True Story About Perspective

I was sitting on my front porch with the breeze kicking up.  Way down below me on the pavement, a little slug, maybe just about an inch long, was pressing forward through a small scale windstorm-- keeping its face turned into the wind, braving all the small pieces of smoosh (besides having to fight the headwind)-- when this twig, a teeny piece of straw, blew up and hit him right square between the eyes.  For you and me, like a two-foot-long hunk of wood.  Pow!

I've never seen a slug pass out before.  He verryy sloowwwly teetered over.  And stopped.  And sat there.  Eventually he roused himself and slowly rose to his foot, and carried on.  Because what else was there to do.

And indeed.  So while there might be things dropped here on the site from time to time, there's a few twigs in the wind today.  We'll just do what we can.

George Putnam

(1:57) While it's true that voices and pictures through the air were old news by the time I was a kid in the 60's, announcers in suits and with glistening hair were still expected to appear and make sense of things: let us know what to expect at 9 pm, 8 Central Time.  Preserve us from Dead Air.

George Putnam was born to announce.

While he lacked the euphonious pipes of, say, a Fenneman or a Frees--


"A Fenneman or a Frees.")

-- he embodied State-of-the-Art professionalism in an age of Magic-Brain record changers.

...of course, 20 years later, by the time I was growing up, it was our parent's world, and serious men were appearing over the CRT in the living room, saying, "You don't have all your marbles!"  (Buy some now!)  The announcer's edge had progressed to self parody--

--so when, it was said, Mary Tyler Moore's own Ted Baxter
was based on George, he attained something of an apotheosis.  And a well-deserved one.

Today's selection is the young scout himself, at a small, 5,000 watt station in Fresno WEAF on the night on Pearl Harbor, holding down the home fires...