I’m imagining a time in the not so distant future when I accidentally introduce something I’ve written myself as if Gill wrote it. This is not yet that time, because this is yet another contribution from her.
On this date in 1938 the masses gathered around their radios, for the usual Sunday night after dinner family time. A Latin band began, and most thought of romance and dancing, but in the middle of the interlude came word of a Martian sighting near the tiny town of Grovers Mill New Jersey.
So what followed? An hour of false accounts, frantic individuals, and chaos in cities and towns in not just America but here as well. Finally Orson Wells stepped to the microphone and like Ashton decades later told everyone who had not abandoned home and hearth that it was all an elaborate prank.
What was the other aftermath of this? I heard from a driver I had about fifteen years ago who was just a little boy when that panic inducing broadcast aired that the entire Owens Sound area was on absolute lock down. Orson Wells went on to be one of the most celebrated actors of all times. Radio shows were no longer allowed to broadcast in the format of news broadcasts.
My question to you my dear readers is this. How would you have reacted if placed in the same situation?
Good question. I imagine I’d have probably freaked the hell out. 1930’s me wouldn’t have access to the types of mainstream and citizen internet journalism that 2013 me does, so the radio would be my only source of immediate information. Basically whatever it says in a serious tone I would have to take as the truth in the moment, because there’s no way to prove that it isn’t. I’m not texting my pal in Grovers Mill and saying hey, what’s all this about an alien invasion over there? I’m probably not even land phoning him because not everybody has one and even if we did, there’s no way it has the capacity that it does now and even now it gets jammed during blackouts and Christmas. Oh yeah, and I’m not turning on the TV, because those won’t be coming along for another decade or so. And then there’s space. Relatively speaking we still don’t know a whole lot about it in 2013 because it’s so incomprehensibly huge, but back then none of us would even be going there for another 23 years, so it was even more mysterious.
So yeah. If an authoritative sounding news man of the 30’s is telling me that Martians are here to wipe us out, you’re damn right I’m getting the hell out of dodge.