Your Aardvark has not abandoned you. He has been busy in the non-E-world. When having downtime, he reads. The current book is My Saber is Bent by Jack Paar. Yes, that Jack Paar; the one what got the whole late-night TV talk show rolling. Real talk, with intelligent people saying interesting things to one another: authors, playwrights, politicos like Kennedy & Nixon, raconteurs, up-and-coming comics who, having to follow Broadcast Standards and Practices, had to work at their craft, rather than playing to the sniggering twelve-year-old cultural mind that has been so ably trained since by Johnny Carson and his chat progeny.
The copyright of the book is 1961, the era of FCC head Newton Minow referring to television as a "vast wasteland". Plus ça change.... The difference in TV from the mid-Fifties to the Sixties is Grand Canyonesque.
Serling's "Twilight Zone" gave way to "Land of the Giants". Paar's "The Tonight Show" gave way to Carson's. The televised plays were replaced by yuk yuk sitcoms and Westerns churned out by the numbers on the Warner back lots. "Did you learn your lesson, Beav?". Morality plays replaced by the moralizing irreligious. Here is an example of Paar's thought:
The talents of Sid Caesar and Paddy Chayefsky and Jackie Gleason have departed the home screens because the public didn't care.Apparently people would just as soon watch Hawaiian Eye and Lawrence Welk. The "Golden Age of Television" turned to dross when the fine original dramas of the mid 1950's gave way to the assembly-line, machine-tooled series ground out by the Hollywood film factories. Why should television lavish a vast amount of money on bringing Oedipus Rex or the Moiseyev Dancers to the public when it is just as happy watching something like The Price is Right or Candid Camera? The majority of viewers seem happy with TV as it is - and that's what keeps it the way it is.
Old-time radio, anyone?