Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Bard Of Radio Theatre Passes At 101

There's been big news this month. The Occupy Wall Street protests are - well, maybe, as it's too early to tell - showing vague stirrings of genuine grassroots activism.


This blogger sees the protest as most of all, a response to the scandalous, pervasive political corruption and wholesale bribery of our elected representatives in America, as well as the fact that the public - lacking lobbyist slime and billions of ill-gotten gains which successfully buy influence - feels frozen out of the political process.


Could actually activism that is not from the far right happen? We haven't seen or it in the U.S.A. in almost 40 years - sorry, conservative friends, the Koch Industries- bankrolled "Tea Party" does not count. One can only hope the OWS protests stay non-violent, on message and on task - and do not get infiltrated by hooligans out to bash a few heads.


An even bigger story was the passings of Apple founder Steve Jobs and sports world mad genius and Oakland Raiders owner-coach-football wonk Al Davis. Both were giants and innovators in their respective fields. Jobs quite literally changed the world and could be considered the Thomas Edison of the present era. Although Al Davis made lots of enemies along the way, he ranks with Bill Walsh and Paul Brown among the gurus of NFL football.

This week, there was an additional non-untimely but culturally significant passing to call attention to. Norman Corwin, gifted dramatist, brilliant wordsmith, in many respects to radio what Rod Serling was to 1950's and early 1960's television, passed on at the very advanced age of 101.

The documentary A Note Of Triumph The Golden Age Of Norman Corwin offers an overview of his work and especially his moving VE Day broadcast: the eloquent words of Corwin, backed by Bernard Herrmann's outstanding original score, set a very high bar line for radio as an art form. Few could match Corwin's ability to orchestrate language, sound and drama. Fewer can now.



I am too lazy (or too tired from stressful events in my own life), unfortunately, to write an involved piece about the great Norman Corwin for this blog, but will point readers in the direction of some well-written obits

Columbia Journalism Review

Roanoke Times

L.A. Times

Variety

Washington Post

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