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The War That Wasn’t

November 5, 2013


I seem to be running a war theme between yesterday and today.

Here’s an article from Slate about they mass hysteria that may or may not have broken out over Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds Broadcast. I’ve always taken this kind of thing with a grain of salt – when people en masse are said to have done something that seems kind of stupid. No one bothered to see if another radio station was reporting the same thing before running out in the street?

The people who are reported to have run, screaming from the theater when the Lumiere Bros “Train Arriving at a Station” because they thought a train was going to hit the theater has always seemed suspect to me- as if they didn’t know that they came to see a moving picture demonstration. Did they get nervous?  Sure. The same way when you go see 3D films, especially when you first saw them, you put your hand up and try to swat the image away because it seems kind of real. But you don’t expect to really hit something, because you know it isn’t real.

Anyway, this article digs into what sounds like the much more plausible history of the broadcast, and it’s reputation.

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