DEC. 20, 2018 16MM AUDIO
Neither the video nor the audio was as sharp as that produced by our live studio cameras and microphones. In particular, the film's audio came from a lower-quality optical sound track, the squiggly white bar on the right edge of the picture above. But I suppose it was good enough.
Six years earlier, the NBC network also played commercials from 16mm film or at least that's what it sounds like to me in the audio transcription linked on this web page.
But aside from my technical observations, what about the content of this episode of That Was the Week that Was? It's interesting to us today, though most of the material is humorous only because of its irreverent topicality. Some of it is simply rather odd, such as Tom Bosley's misgivings about deserving Heaven.
(Here's a link to the audio from the previous week's show.)
DEC. 17, 2018 HOLIDAY SHOPPING
I finally bought a new package of gum bands. That's what some Pittsburghers call rubber bands. Gum rubber is the old-fashioned non-synthetic natural kind.
Over the decades, most of the bands had decayed into uselessness, so I decided to clean out the organizer. The pushpins and safety pins and buttons and Canadian coins and spare keys each went into their own little compartments, and two bigger compartments were filled with my collection of paper clips and my brand-new supply of rubber bands. The drawer looks much neater now.
DEC. 14, 2018 YOU TOO CAN BE A DJ
Ah, but things were somewhat different half a century ago when I was among those posting the important instructions.
Check out the second half of my detailed look back at the Sixties! It's called Programs, Part 2.
Those who are against gay marriage have been reduced to making arguments that sound more and more far-fetched when they're stated in universal terms.
Last night on The Daily Show, Mike Huckabee objected to redefining the term "marriage." For 5,000 years, he said, marriage has been the union of one man and one woman.
Jon Stewart's response: First, you're wrong. The men in the Old Testament did not limit themselves to one woman each; they took as many wives as they could afford. Only relatively recently has marriage been redefined to "just one wife at a time." Second, so what? Words change their meanings all the time.
Then today the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a letter to the editor headlined "Gay couples cannot provide for the survival of civilization." Dolores S. Jarrell wrote, "The state of marriage carries within itself the potential to engender children. That is a benefit without which society cannot continue to exist. ...It is the reason the right of marriage has been granted to a man and a woman who have the promise of giving civilization the gift it most needs survival."
First, this is irrelevant. It's true that if a gay couple marries, they won't engender any children, but they're not engendering any children now as an unmarried gay couple. Their legal status makes no difference to the size of the next generation.
Second, society will continue to exist even though gays don't contribute any offspring. There are plenty of us heterosexuals taking up the slack. In fact, the danger is not that no babies will be born. It's just the opposite: too many babies are being born, and there will soon be so many humans competing for the planet's limited resources of food, water, and other necessities that civilization may eventually fall victim to anarchy.
I suspect that these nonsensical attempts to make large-scale, universal arguments against gay marriage are actually a disguised form of small-scale, personal entreaties.
A parent says, "Please don't legitimize gay marriage. When my daughter grows up and it's time for her to get married, I want her to find a good man. I don't want her to think she has the right to marry some lesbian. If she did decide to marry another woman, I'd be mortified in front of everybody. What would I say at the wedding? To our family, marriage has always meant husband and wife. Not only that, there wouldn't be a next generation. I'd never have any grandchildren."
DEC. 7, 2018 YOUR WEEKLY GUIDE TO GOOD LISTENING
I collected more than a hundred weekly Program Guides from the Oberlin College radio station during my four years on campus, from 1965 to 1969. Now, as I approach my 50-year reunion, I've been going back through the stack of listings. I've compiled a lengthy two-part article entitled, appropriately enough, Programs.
I've rediscovered tidbits about many long-ago WOBC shows including PURPOSE, BOSS BEAT, SERENADE TO A SOUL SISTER, and WEDNESDAY'S WILD WOMEN. As shown below, one weekly hour hosted by Wayne Alpern in early 1966 was as yet unnamed. By the next week, Wayne had decided to borrow the title of a two-year-old BBC production, TOP OF THE POPS.
The main topic of my article's first half: music! Music of all kinds. We had an extremely eclectic playlist. Actually, we didn't use a playlist; we just spun whatever records struck our fancy. Click for all the details.
DEC. 1, 2018 THE YEAR DRAWS TO A CLOSE