Saturday, July 20, 2013

Shadow Listening !!

Sixteen - 4/24/38 - The Power of the Mind:

  It’s another cloudy afternoon and sitting in our local library. Most of my work is done for the day… so what better break-time-filler than an episode from the Shadow? Holy cows, there’s a new advertiser on the radio for the Shadow ?!! It’s Goodrich Silvertowns with the new Lifesaver tread design.

  Well, that said, this show starts out with a news flash on radio where Professor John Hardy is kidnapped in broad daylight while exiting a limousine. Professor Hardy is known to have recently developed a new and powerful explosive. He is now being tortured by a group of people into international espionage. Sounds funny to me to hear characters with heavy Russian accents. In the late 1930s, did Americans fear the communists as an evil foe?

  But, we find that the Professor’s mind has snapped before the kidnappers can get the formula from him. Now what will they tell headquarters? Maybe there’s another way… Doctor Waldick, a prominent figure from the psychological field, is also missing after an evening with Lamont Cranston at his club. This is the reason for the Shadow to enter the story . . .

  When a show doesn’t cause ideas to pop into my head worthy of commentary, I tend to focus on the silly commercials from that era. I’m listening to one now where the 'Shadow' asks the audience, “On dark rainy nights how fast can you stop? Will your tires slip or grip?” I have wondered and written before, why do some advertisers blatantly use ‘fear tactics’ to induce a purchase of their products? This is the second advertiser, so far, that has used our fear of death to persuade the people.

  I know using emotions is a technique that works. but why not use love instead of fear? Maybe the producers of the show thought that a positive message would stop the flow of emotions that they had generated with the plot? Which would make it difficult to bring the audience quickly back to the storyline. After all, most of the Shadow shows deal with our base fears and explore how the criminal element uses these emotions to easily prey on the innocent. Does that mean that advertisers are treating the buying public as prey? I would be interested in your comments.

  My thoughts are all wiped clean when the scary organ music starts and the mood is reset as the episode starts again. The Psychiatrist is threatened with his life if he doesn’t try to search the Professor’s mind for the formula. Just as the torturers start to whip him the Shadow enters the scene . . . 

  We all know that the Shadow can cloud men’s minds. But did you know, my faithful three readers, that the Shadow developed his strong and powerful mind so that he can communicate over his personal short-wave radio? He uses this power to contact Margo Lane, who then contacts the authorities when he needs assistance. More on Advertisements and Commercials SOON . . . 

Ever Yours,


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