I grew up listening to the radio.
We’d take long car drives constantly. Me and my 3 sisters and parents, dad yelling for us all to get our stuff around and get in the car. We'd scramble around and pack for the trip down to Florida or out West to Denver. Everything would be set and when finally we'd all get into the car, all 3 of us ready, then to find and our parents still in the house. Dad taking a shower and Mom ensuring everything was ready for our pets to be taken care of for the week.
Then we'd be 6 or 7 hours in, droning along through some mid-west city with nothing around but corn, driving straight for hours, and as the day drifted into night and you got used to the rhythm of the car we’d turn the dial.
Mostly it was Garrison Keiler, NPR, or muted and fuzzed country. And something just feels so right about it. I have trouble feeling home but when a radio turns on I’m instantly attuned and centered. Like I’m in rapture of a long story and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. It was the backdrop of the road trip.
Radio is the power of the spoken word. An age old technology sustained in the modern wold. And the power of imagination that allows us to fill in the blanks instead of see them all. Action movies of today want you to see it all, they want to thrill you with explosions and graphic imagery.
But what horror writers know is that it’s not about what you put in, it’s about what you leave out.
We imagine every trap that a character could fall in. When they narrowly escape, somewhere in our minds we see them fall to their doom.
And so the radio will remain a classic. And podcasts are picking up in importance, it’s a resurgence.
Still, listens are low, but the transition is happening.
I came across: http://magictransistor.com/radio and it reminded me of back when.
It’s made by "an exploratory collective of DJs, artists, and musicians based in New York, San Francisco, and London. We seek to shed light on exceptional artifacts of cultural significance, and are primarily focused on organizing and disseminating interesting and compelling music."
Note the name, magic transistor.
They want you to feel. It’s magic when you turn back to the past and are reminded by a note or a song or a voice.
And radios themselves are magic. THE media channel of the past! The Direct Marketers dream. Everyone tuning into the same channels. People discussing what happened and gathering to listen.
The site chooses to use Skeuomporhism - which I believe to be an appropriate addition.
"Skeuomorphism is where an object in software mimics its real world counterpart.
The “trash can” is, perhaps, the most recognizable skeuomorphic object. Though the good old “save” icon was once skeuomorphic but following the demise of the floppy disc – it no longer bears resemblance to the world of today.”
Everything that’s happening feels new and the past seems like it’s in the rearview mirror. But we bring these elements back to remind us and hit us with nostalgia. And there will always remain a subculture of collectors, of organizers, tending to our past to preserve it because every so often we do want to look back. If only briefly.
A group of techno-farmers, cultivators, preservers who late behind and take care for the things in the past as others trample forward.
It made me pause.