December 15th, 2010

krazy koati

And people tend to pass you over

For no obvious reason The Green Hornet has been turning up on my old-time radio Internet radio more than usual. It's also turning up on the podcasts based on my old-time radio Internet stations. For those who saw the show in its 60s incarnation as a minor campy ripoff of Batman, let me assure you, the original radio show was a wholly original ... er ... story of a respectable wealthy man who at night becomes a hunted vigilante in the fight against crime. Nothing like Batman or The Shadow or seven kerspillion other series.

Anyway, it's mostly a series I pay passing attention to since old-time radio drama really doesn't need much more. But this one commanded special attention because in it, Britt Reid as newspaper magnate took on ... ``The Pinball Racket''. Yes, remember, back in 1940 the nation was so innocent it needed pinball to hopelessly corrupt the morals of its youth. To support his charge that pinball simply had to be banned as corrupt gambling, Reed challenged a store owner who insisted it was nothing more than a fun game of skill to actually play it. And, horror of horrors, the store owner discovered that he kept wanting to play again to earn a higher score. Corrupt gambling, proof positive!

Ahem. Well, before we could get into all the ways that's fallacious --- bunny_hugger is making that 25 percent of the into to logic final --- the sort of generic racketeers who are always skulking about murdering supporting cast in these shows gets into work, and Britt Reid as The Green Hornet has to go ... uh ... I think he fakes murdering someone who actually gets murdered by the syndicate so ... well, the important thing is it proves that what with how pinball gives out this highly addictive ``fun'' it's just got to be banished. Also it KILLS. Until people are DEAD.

It's a real treasure of a show. (But is there anything more reliably funny than a previous generation's Moral Panic regarding the games the teens are all playing?)

Trivia: Blue and pink were colors considered and rejected as hornet colors before green was chosen. Source: On The Air: The Encyclopedia Of Old-Time Radio, John Dunning.

Currently Reading: A People's History Of The United States, Howard Zimm.