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Showing posts from September, 2013

The Killing Fields

The subject of the war in Syria leaves me feeling fairly awful. No doubt, dear reader, your reaction is much the same. The reasons for this are myriad, from seeing the U.S. engage in yet another conflict -- seeing our troops deployed and stretched even further -- to the cynical cry of why it is almost always the Middle East countries that draw our indignation and justifications for war, when civilian slaughter and genocide occurs all over the world (unfortunately). It's just a bad situation all round.
One of the battle cries we've heard regarding Syria is how its government has (allegedly, but very likely) used chemical weapons against its people. This, of course, is horrendous. It is evil (an over-used word, but one that is appropriate in this context). The emotional, even rational, portion of myself would like to rain down a fury of righteously indignant hurt upon Bashar al-Assad and his cronies. But then, I stop and remember what the reality of military intervention almost…

Classic Radio Better Than Classic Cinema?

It's Alfred Hitchcock day on TCM, a special Sundays With Hitch programming feature during September. One of the films airing today is the classic Spellbound, starring Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. Alas, it's not a very enjoyable experience. Allow me to explain why that is.
As mentioned before on this blog, I grew up listening to the radio at bedtime. At first it consisted of Larry King (back when he did overnights), and then switched to old-time radio shows from the '30s, '40s and '50s. I would purchase the programs on cassette, and drift to sleep with the sounds of Arch Oboler, Suspense!, The Shadow and others in my ears.
One of the shows I listened to most was Screen Directors Playhouse. It aired on NBC Radio from 1949-51, and consisted of dramatizations of popular movies. Indeed, this is where I was introduced to such cinema classics as Call Northside 777, The Killers, The Spiral Staircase, Lifeboat, Shadow of a Doubt, The Uninvited and, finally, Spellbound