00h UTC; SUNDAY, 20 JANUARY 2013: In the local gazetta the other day, Your Correspondent couldn't help but notice in the "Neighbours" columns thereof where some students at the local Catholic high school were participating in a state high-school "music listening" competition, the which, I understand, involves especially thorough listening and understanding of classical music and its greater context.

Which hath Your Correspondent picturing as a (potentially unlikely) competition which would have as its aim the rekindling and fermentation of a healthy, active imagination among Impressionable Youth in this age of films, TV and Teh Innerwebz--and without having to resort to narcotic/hallucinogenic drugs, alcoholic beverages, sadisto video games and music and Other Potentially Unwholesome Elements. Specifically, think of it as an "Old Time Radio Listening Competition," aimed at keeping alive the spirit of such entertainment that our grandparents and great-grandparents knew before television became all the more widespread while inspiring a healthy imagination in the process.

However, the approach I would prefer would involve a "compare-and-contrast" approach between different approaches to specific programming genres, which can draw upon archived transcriptions of many shows as are widely available (and, in some cases, are now in public domain); some particular approaches as are genre-specific could include:
  • Comedy: Compare and contrast shows of the vaudeville-driven model (e.g., such of Fred Allen, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy) and those of a situation-driven model (e.g., Fibber McGee and Molly, Duffy's Tavern, Alan Young, Phil Harris and Alice Faye, Judy Canova, Burns and Allen, Jack Benny, The Great Gildersleeve, Life With Luigi, Our Miss Brooks, My Friend Irma, My Favourite Husband ...)
    Another approach of "compare-and-contrast" could involve such sitcoms, say, as revolve around the actions of a particular family (e.g., shows like The Aldrich Family, Archie Andrews, Meet the Meeks, A Date with Judy and Father Knows Best).
  • Drama: Compare and contrast various anthology-driven shows and the genres they epitomised (e.g., Suspense, Escape, The Chase, Studio One, Box 13, The Columbia Workshop and Lux Radio Theater, never mind that last one essentially adapting recent movie releases to radio).
  • Westerns: Compare and contrast obviously juvenile-driven series (e.g., The Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers) and those of a more sophsto nature (e.g., Gunsmoke, The Six Shooter, Frontier Town, Frontier Gentleman).
  • Detective/Mystery: Compare and contrast more conventional brands of detective thriller (e.g., Nick Carter, Master Detective; Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons; Ellery Queen, Sherlock Holmes) with such as have a schtick element (e.g., Richard Diamond, Phillip Marlowe, Mr. and Mrs. North, Broadway Is My Beat and Pat Novak for Hire).
  • Police drama: Compare and contrast the obviously hagiographic sort (e.g., Gangbusters) with such as dwelled on more mundane aspects of police work (e.g., Dragnet, Tales of the Texas Rangers, The Lineup).
After all, our grandparents will certainly tell you that radio, back when it was the only means of entertainment around, certainly inspired many an imagination, and then some. Especially so now more than ever, considering the aforementioned contributors to a want of healthy, serious imagination in the young ... and the fact of virtually all the great names of old-time radio having passed on in the last 40 years, explaining where the 2011 convention of the Friends of Old Time Radio (FOTR), held outside Newark (of all places!), was its last (adding, too, that about the only stars of the genre still around are child stars from back in the glory days of the genre, many now in their 80's).

At least it's something as ought be given serious consideration.



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