The problem is, the media is not built for relationships because our industry was born in a time of factories, not services. We rarely know who our readers are (and we still call them just readers or at best commenters, not creators or collaborators). We do not have the means to gather, analyse and act on data about their activities and interests at an individual level. Thus we cannot serve them as individuals.
These days, I don’t often have cause to encounter the Metro newspaper that clutters the entirety of the London public transport system of a morning. For something that used to play a vaguely significant role in my morning routine, I feel I should miss it.
The truth of the matter is that I don’t. In fact, I’m rather glad that I don’t encounter it, as it saves me from the temptation to read it. The paper is a muddle of articles partly recycled from the previous day’s Evening Standard, awkwardly-written “light interest” items, and a crossword.
The finest radio drama of the 1930’s was The Mercury Theatre on the Air, a show featuring the acclaimed New York drama company founded by Orson Welles and John Houseman. In its brief run, it featured an impressive array of talents, including Agnes Moorehead, Bernard Herrmann, and George Coulouris. The show is famous for its notorious War of the Worlds broadcast, but the other shows in the series are relatively unknown. This site has many of the surviving shows, and will eventually have all of them.
At Christmas, my mother sent us both some money to be used, she insisted, to buy something we could enjoy rather than putting it towards boring things like phone bills. After some consideration, we decided to put it together and buy ourselves a cute little DVD player, which now sits proudly atop our television. In choosing the player, I put quite a lot of effort into ensuring that it would be able to play a variety of formats from recordable media.
The question, then, is what to burn. We could, for example, download and burn episodes of our favourite American animated sitcoms in an effort to relieve some of the arguments over control of the cable remote, but that would be naughty and illegal and stuff. Hmm. Anyway, the answer must be found in movies with more open licences, and where better to begin than with the Prelinger Archives of ephemeral films.