Bring back the golden age of radio
THERE’S not a day goes by that is not dedicated to something or other.
Some are obviously frivolous and not meant to be taken seriously, such as Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (the first Saturday in February); also, at least in South Africa, International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December).
Ironically, that one will be ‘celebrated’ while a number of interesting Commissions of Enquiry are also sitting… the content of which could easily be confused with World Toilet Day.
For the most part, these special commemorative days (and months) serve a useful purpose in that they remind us of important issues that might escape our attention.
The matter of toilets is a prime example, as any person without access to proper sanitation will testify.
World Cancer Day, World Diabetes Day, World Oceans Day and others sensitise us to massive global problems that humans have the capacity to overcome, given the resources and commitment.
Some of the special days are used as fund-raisers for a host of worthy causes, while others are just there for the ‘feel good’ effect, like the International Day of Living Together in Peace (16 May – a throwback from the hippie era?) or National Hugging Day, which could however also be called the day of spreading communicable diseases.
I’m a bit confused as to why 21 November should be designated World Television Day. After all, there are already 365 days which serve that purpose. I’m still waiting to hear when World Online Day will be announced: another superfluous calendar date.
All of which via a long route brings me to my favourite: World Radio Day (13 February).
Ah, the good old days of radio! Remember when families sat huddled around the wireless set listening to the Bok-biased rugby commentary of Gerhard Viviers, or Charles Fortune discussing everything except the cricket Test he was covering?
Often, the former was in the cold, early hours of the morning when the coffee tasted even sweeter with victory for the green and gold.
And what about waiting in great anticipation for the next episode of Squad Cars, as the cops prowled the empty streets at night; or listening, gripped with fear, to The Creaking Door; or working out whodunit in Consider Your Verdict?
Don’t forget the funnies: Pip Friedman, Taxi and The Men From The Ministry kept us rolling with good, clean humour.
The three wise men from Test The Team impressed us with their knowledge, while Bob Courtney’s Pick-A-Box show kept us entertained.
If you were lucky, your little shortwave radio could pick up Lourenco Marques so you could listen to the decadent rock ‘n roll songs that were banned on Springbok Radio’s top ten.
Yes, I know us ballies do go on about the good old days, but who would argue that today’s advertising-dominated radio stations are for the most part little more than a combination of tuneless music you would never buy and phone-in talk shows that reveal the superficial mentality of society?