Both these readings provided a historical view into movies and the radio. Czitrom’s view was more linear while Boddy explored the various reactions of the time to this new technology. Boddy’s idea of the wireless and the occult was intriguing. I thought the chapter on movies in Czitrom’s reading was interesting as it showed the shift in the idea of what “culture” represented. It traced the history of movies not only to its technological roots but also explored its role in the shift from “high” culture to “pop” culture and its influence on the middle classes.
- The notion of regulation that Czitrom talks about radio was engaging. Was the imposition of regulation on movies so immediate because it occupied a public sphere? There did not seem to be as strong a need to censor the radio.
- Another thought provoking idea was the different reactions to these two media. Why were the reactions so varied? Does making the media more personal always illicit a stronger reaction? Moreover the interplay between the media was more prominent with the radio: i.e. advertising, print immediately caught on to the use of the radio but advertising never seemed to have seeped into the movies. Why were ads so popular on the radio but not in movies?
- With the Boddy readings I was fascinated with the similarities between the radio culture and the internet culture of today. I thought there were many parallels that could be drawn — from the level of amateur activity on it to the concern that it was making young men antisocial.
- Lastly, I also liked the parrallel views that Boddy pointed out: that on one level radio would promote a national unity and American culture and at the same time that it would promote the “aggrandizement of a single powerful individual”. This also brought into mind the question of what is “American culture” ?
and to add on a funny 🙂