This I believe is a radio program started by the acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow in the 1950’s. This radio show is being revived by NPR. It is a wonderful program. Participants are asked to write a short essay on what they believe and read them on air. It takes people from all walks of life, and I find it most interesting listening to the different values and experiences from the 1950’s as compared to today.
One can listen to George Mardikian talk about his immigration to Ellis Island after escaping imprisonment from the Russians and Turks, and the hope America meant for him at the time, or an essay by Helen Keller, Albert Einstein, or Jackie Robinson. Having the hindsight about their historical experiences makes these essays all the more powerful.
Then one can listen to modern essays from the late conservative Juggernaut William F. Buckley Jr. or the writer Amy Tan. Experiences and justification for their beliefs are very interesting and intertwined.
The world and experiences that the 1950’s talks about is almost alien, but their are parallel beliefs and experiences.
I started listening to the program and really couldn’t stop until I had heard over a dozen. It’s a great idea, and I’m glad NPR has revived the tradition. I highly recommend this show.
My host family loves to listen to the radio. It’s always on, especially at meal times. It’s a very strange relationship they have with it. First, it always has to be on. It’s part of their nutrition. Without it they will shrivel up and fade away. As for the music, they seem to sort of tolerate it. They talk over it and just have it on as background noise and wait anxiously for the half hour news updates.
Talking is forbidden during the news updates. I found this out the hard way. While eating some toast, I tried to contribute to the conversation just as the news came on. All I received in response was a cold stare and silence. I thought I had just said “apple pee” in German. After the news was over though they smiled and answered my question. Very strange.
My relationship with German radio is very different though. I know hate is a strong word, but I have to use it in this case. I hate it. I think Germany is where English speaking bands go to die. I come down in the morning hoping for a nice peaceful breakfast, but instead get to hear such great hits as moonlight shadow, Gotta Be Someday by Nickelback, or Leave Out all the Rest by Linkin Park. There are also many bands and songs which I have never heard before, nor do I want to hear again. The music sounds like a third grade orchestra performance and the rhymes and lyrics are so simple a lobotomy patient could make them better. Here’s an example that plastered itself in my head on repeat for four hours:
“I know you love me. Why can’t this just be? Lets run away together! We’ll be there forever.”
It doesn’t even make sense. I tried looking for the lyrics to see what kind of sick individual made this but apparently the band only exists on German radio.
I was convinced that the Gemans just didn’t understand the lyrics. That was how they could tolerate it. I thought this until I realized that once a day some twisted English speaking guy translates one of the corniest songs he can find from English into German. They then proceed to play the song on repeat for the next twenty-four hours.
The scary part is, is that I’m starting to get used to the music. I caught myself singing a long forgotten 80’s hit in the shower yesterday and stopped in horror.
I must resist.
They’re trying to convert me.
My defenses are weakening.