I play Old Time “Shadow” Radio Shows (staring Orson Welles) and write what pops into my head. It's great fun for me to comment on these shows from long before my time and relate them to our current condition . . . Enjoy ! !
TEN - 2/6/38 - The Phantom Voice:
This episode of the Shadow is about a sensational trial involving a senator who allegedly accepted a bribe and the scene starts in a courtroom. It seems that the senator has given money to charity in excess of ten times the amount of the bribery. Why would he risk a scandal and jail time for such a small amount of money? But, the prosecution claims to have video evidence that the senator did have a meeting with the person with whom the bribe was made.
The meeting did happen but the soundtrack is suspect. The court goes into recess while the defense studies the film. That night the Lamont Cranston (the Shadow) agrees with the defense. He explains to Margo Lane, his friend and confidant, that the senator’s facial muscles didn’t match up with the dialogue heard on the film.
We pause here for a Blue Coal commercial . . .
Big trials like this always produce a media firestorm and the public just eats it up. Can you say, “OJ or Anthony?” Now everyone awaits the trial of George Zimmerman, who shot an killed Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
In this Shadow episode the players are speaking about sending a man to jail that is innocent. We all know that Zimmerman killed Trayvon, but the question will be if it was self-defense. I have to wait for the evidence to be presented at trial (which I will follow but not watch daily) but it seems to your humble Mad Mammal Blogger that George Zimmerman was a man on a mission to clean up his neighborhood.
Mr. Zimmerman is a leader in a neighborhood watch group in his community, and has a record of near one hundred recent nine one one calls. I believe that this frustrated man took the law into his own hands that night. Now it may not have been a racially motivated crime, but it certainly was a hate crime based on a prejudice.
No one enjoys or wants drug dealers, prostitutes, and gang activity where we live. But Zimmerman called the emergency line that night and said that he was following a suspicious looking youth. He was told by the police to back down and let them handle it. What happened that night will come out in the trial, and we don’t want to send an innocent man to prison. I hope the Martin family gets the justice they deserve.
Right or wrong, we must depend on our justice system to find the truth. If there is any doubt we cannot send someone to jail. It is far better to let a murderer go free than to have an innocent person go to prison. We will all be judged someday.
We need heroes that we can look up to and more people with honor and integrity (like the Shadow), something that is severely lacking in our culture today. I’m not saying that there are no honest people in America, but it does seem like many of us believe that they are above the law or that a little cheating won’t matter. Running that yellow/red light won’t hurt anyone. Voting in an important national election under different names in different precincts is OK. Collecting food stamps after winning a million dollar lottery. Look around… you see people taking advantage of each other everywhere you turn.
To me, it seems that our country has already been ‘divided’ in numerous ways (eg: rich vs. poor, skin colors, races, North and South, red state vs. blue state, and the East coast vs. West coast vs. fly-over country), and then the conquering shall soon begin. I also believe that this division is done intentionally to keep the public from dealing with the real important issues that face our nation and the world. We are being conquered and placed into bondage by an elitist power-hungry few that want to tell us how to live. Is the American Dream, the grandest human experiment ever devised, doomed to fail because of a few greedy people? More on this topic I’m sure . . .
The Shadow went unseen into the room of conspirators and overheard the plot to cause an ‘accident’ of the people not willing to play their evil game. After a violent struggle, where the men think they kill the Shadow, he returns to confront the criminals. Later he finds out the truth by a confession of a dying man that the senator was framed. Another case solved by our favorite radio crime fighter.
Proving once again that crime does not pay !! The Shadow Knows . . .
Yours, In Rhythm,
ELEVEN - 2/20/38 - Hounds in the Hills:
This episode starts out with scary howling dogs whose owner is trying to bully a neighborhood boy. Then sheriff rushes into Lamont’s office and reports that Dickie Nelson, the fourth boy in two weeks, has gone missing. On the surface it seems that Dickie has fallen over a thousand-foot cliff up in the hills. It’s time for the Shadow to investigate.
The dogs’ owners, one seriously insane mother and her son, have been kidnapping boys to satisfy her mother-love-mania. We soon learn that two men that just escaped prison show up at their house to get help in their escape. The two criminals try to hunt down the Shadow and in the process shoot all but one of the dogs. This changes the dynamic of the relationships and the dog owner’s son, Jake, helps the Shadow. The sheriff arrives, the criminals are all arrested, and Dickie Nelson goes free.
As I listened to this episode… nothing worthy of writing popped into my gray matter. So, I guess that when it's not so black and white, being in-the-gray matters . . . or your gray matter, matters.
As I sit here listening, I try to imagine the set and how they’re making the sound effects. You gotta love those ‘Old-Time’ Radio Shows ! !