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New World Notes - Comic Satire for Christmas

12/25/2012 12:00
12/25/2012 12:30

 

This week on New World Notes: radio program #251, December 25, from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m., host Kenneth Dowst takes a comic but critical look at American hypocrisies, religiosity, commercialism, class warfare, and other Christmastime traditions.

I'm especially fond of the pseudo- "big production number": Stan Freberg's 1958 masterpiece, "Green Chri$tma$." The audio fidelity is excellent even by today's standards; the production is rich and sophisticated; the script is witty; and the message (alas) is still relevant.

Even its "dated" references are fun. All those cigarette ads Freberg parodies! One forgets (or one is too young to remember) how ads for cigarettes dominated the media. I have trouble remembering important names and dates, but I can rattle off 50 cigarette advertising slogans and jingles from 1960. Remember how great cigarettes used to taste? Luckies still do. And I never even smoked the damned things!

Not to detract from the seasonal satiric songs by Hugh Blumenfeld, Simon and Garfunkel, Anne Feeney, David Rovics, and Tom Lehrer.

In sum... "Comic Satire for Christmas" sounds good -- like a radio show should. And it is mild!

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "average quality") of WWUH-FM, a community service of the University of Hartford.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both A-Infos Radio Project and (from #90 onwards) the Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chronological listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page; each page has links to the recorded audio; and a handy table of contents will quickly find the installment you want.

Series overview: Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want--and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut dates shown)

January 1 -- Potpourri for the New Year

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):

Tuesdays, Noon to 12:30 PM, WWUH FM 91.3 (West Hartford, CT)

Tuesdays, Noon to 12:30 PM, WAPJ FM 89.9 and 105.1 (Torrington, CT)

Saturdays, 1:00-1:30 PM, KRFP FM 92.5, Radio Free Moscow (Moscow, ID) 

Saturdays, 5:00 to 5:30 PM, WHUS FM 91.7 (Storrs, CT) & http://www.whus.org/

Any time: Listen to or download any installment. Just go to New World Notes and click a link to the audio at the top of the page. (Every installment has a page on the Web site, and every page has links to the audio.)