This link will take you to the archived radio broadcast of Orson Well's translation of H.G. Well's War of the Worlds.
For inforamtion on the panic that this infamous radio broadcast caused in 1938, refer to this website: http://history1900s.about.com/od/1930s/a/warofworlds.htm
Also, more interesting information on how hundreds of thousands Americans could be decived found at: http://www.waroftheworldsfilm.com/radio_broadcast.shtml
More discussion, and a site with lots of links on WotWs: http://www.greatnorthernaudio.com/sf_radio/wow.html
The Proper Choice: Which Fantasy will you Choose?
It's interesting how easily people want (need) to believe in fantasy. The imaginative desire to disillusion ones self into the dogmatic belief's of others. In an empire where everything is perfect and safe, what happens when someone shakes up that concept, that notion of belief? This radio broadcast of the 1930's is a wonderful example of how thousands of people can be duped by fantasy -or even one man's fantasy. If you give people only enough information, and make it sound authentic, they will willingly believe anything. Another great example can be seen in the recent political/fantasy films of Michael Moore, and the reaction of the American public to such.
It's not odd that this same occurrence is happening all around the world today, let alone in this very country. Just think if Fox news reported something different. What if they contrived an artificial space invasion by Martians? Because they have an assumed "authority" we credit them with an authority, or duty, to report the facts. What scares me is that so much television news reports an agenda and not the facts. What is more, they report this agenda from the stand point of the Nation. We are told this is "our" agenda, and many believe it because these networks and filmakers have this assumed authority. We go as far as to empower them, as seen with Michael Moore and his films. Some people say Michael Moore is enlightening us. This is frightening, because when you step back and look at the full picture, he is not enlightening us any more than the national news which preaches its nightly agenda of "fair and balanced". He is merely the other side of the spectrum, but is occupying this same realm of power. They want us to make the choice, and through denying each other they set up an opposition so craftilly that we will make their choice and so deny the other also. Each wants us to question the other one, but not for truth or enlightenment, but rather, because they have the power to control us and make us think like them. Michael Moore is skeptical of the government and its leaders, the news wants you to see that Michael Moore is a fanatic filmmaker, and Michael Moore wants you to see that the news is only a pawn of an empire's government. The news denies this, and so others question Moore's authenticity. This continues in circles until everyone unwittingly takes a side.
My proposition is that we, not so unlike the folks of 1938, do believe fantasy which is fed to us as fact so readily, and this is that which scares me. When Fox news reported that Bush won the 2000 Presidential election, all of the other news networks that reported that Gore had won-retracted the statements and gave live broadcast apologies to American's nation wide. Later CBS is accused of doctoring and fictionalizing reports. This is just the obvious, but what is withheld, much like Orson Wells radio broadcast, is the acknowledgement that it is all crafted to -contrary to the statement of 'fair and balanced' -in fact is anything but. International news isn't dictated by America, but the news networks would have you think so. Their isn't conspiracy and anti-American sentiment on the fanatical level that Michael Moore preaches, but he found the two people on the planet that do think that way, and he's fully willing to show it to you. And I'm afraid the commercial breaks don't lift the curtain on such staged shows, but rather add a realism which aids in the illusion of authenticity.
If the power of "choice" is being dictated by certain external forces, i.e. Fox News (and national news in general) and extremists like Michael Moore -both opposite ends of the same spectrum of illusion- then we need to step back and like Northrop Frye talks about- look at the entire painting, and see the full picture.
Stop letting the News tell you exactly what to think, and stop believing the hyped up fantasies of people like Michael Moore. Once you take the time to see what the true agenda may be, you can all start making the educated choice for yourself. Take back your ability to choose!
For an in depth look at how to apply skills of critical thinking and analysis, please look at my essay: Literary Criticism and the Well-Lived Life.http://theblackforeststudios.blogspot.com/2004/12/literary-criticism-and-well-lived-life.html
If you want to read H.G. Well's classic sci-fi thriller, you can find an online text version of his novel War of the Worlds at: http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/warworlds/warw.html