The Tree That Falls Over & Over & Over

I've often told all you listeners that there are things I do not like about appearing on radio.  Radio is ephemeral -- which simply means it is here this second, gone the next.  Or, the only people who hear what I have to say are those who, by chance, are tuned in this very second.  Ninety nine per cent of the people did not hear the tree fall -- so, for them, in their universe, the tree did not fall.

I assume all of you know the old saying: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did the tree fall?  Well what if the tree fell over & over & over?  I recorded a program for Public access TV -- a program on my family's escape from German occupied Belgium -- and the repercussions are immense.

Cable Access TV has only a limited number of programs they run during any given month -- so the show which involved me appears as many as twelve times a month -- some months more.  In other words, the tree falls over & over & over.  I cannot tell you how many people have stopped me in the street, yelled at me when I pass by on my bicycle: Loved your program, Henry.  Very good talk, Henry.

I am beginning to feel ninety per cent of the people in Traverse City have seen that program: some told me they've seen it three times, ten times.  What are these people doing?  Watching TV and zipping & zapping in search of something good -- and when something interests them, they stop, watch, listen, pay attention.

I cannot begin to explain the power of television -- especially television in the can -- or a TV show that can be run over & over.  I always preferred print, a somewhat permanent medium, to radio. Suddenly I see that TV has everything that radio has, and beats print at what print does best.  There is a certain immediacy to radio: my voice penetrates your ear: it is, in its way, an intimate way to communicate.  Well TV doubles that intimacy: you hear me, and you see me.  I preferred print because print can be accessed when the reader is ready, and you could go back & re-read my exact words, if you wished to.

Television invades your house, invades your consciousness.  Or "electronic messages do not make social entrances."  You zip, you zap, you pause, and you are mesmerized.  What an unbelievably powerful medium.  Almost everyone inside the city limits heard what I had to say.  And yes, I intend to use the medium.  Since my aim is to educate myself & educate the viewer I am trying to create a talk show: "Speakers Corner" hosted by Henry.  Why "Speaker's Corner"?  Because in Hyde Park, in London, England, every Sunday morning speakers of all persuasions come down to stand on a soapbox and deliver their varied, interesting, controversial opinions.  I hope to bring on my show various interesting, controversial people & issues.


Copyright 2004   Henry Morgenstein

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