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1940_02_03--27_How_to_raise_a_child_part_iii

TDffE IDBS'lrUlIllBBNG LIlFE' lr0 DIB1fEOF ORSON WELLES lPJy .I/J/LV.I/J JlOHNSTON <11JIl!JqjJ FlRJEJD SMIl1{}ff Tn E most puzzled I>copio in the United Stales all SUlldtty night, Ootober 30. 1938, woro the trnlli<: Ilolic.;mcil or New .Jersey. T herc wore plcHty of rrightellcd ci tizens in America Itt. t lml. time. but the most confused onos were the motorcycle 001)8 on l he highwn.ys betwoon No\\' Yorli nud Philadelphia. At. ubou~ 8: 15 or 8:20 1' ,)1. most or the trnftic over those ronds suddenly went. wild. Hundreds or automobiles begun to flush :tlong at 81>00<1.8 which normully indicnte gangsters iClwing sconCl!! or uSSft.'l.Sination. But thero were fllmily parties in most of the curs: the women and childrell couldn 't, 1111 be gun molls lind uhild nlCketCf!rs. " 'hen 1\ motorcycle mnn tried to overhaul ono speed. ing aulo, he ""liS passed by two or three others. 'I'he stampede WM in nil directions. Nobody would s101) ror n policeman'S hail. Now und then, 11 trllmo mun " 'ould cntch an incoherent. shout. that. t.here WIUllln '·invu.siO Il" or thnt "the world was coming to nn end." T here were puzzled I>olicemen in stll t ion houses a ll over the COlin try,llS dellULnds Clime over the telephone for gtUl mas ks lIud informnl;OTlIt.S to the surCiit places to hide trom the enemy. The second lllost puz1Jed groU ll were the swilchbollNl operntors. J1S the tel&phones suddenly went. cruzy lUld ~nn to rave d&! iriously. Next. Clu ne the clergy; priest.!! ,,'ere starlled by the rush to get. confessions under the wire, and Protestant. minis ters astonished at the intemlptioll or their sermons by demands for pruyers to a vert the impending doom or the world. f'Ollrth in the order of puzzlement mllY well have been hospital :Humdants who wefC cnlled on to hlmdle the nen'olls wrecks and ralling-<iownstairs cases. The puzzled section or the popUlation was slow in (Uscovering the cnuseof the panic. because the panicstricken people had different. stories to tell. ''hey had tu ned ill at. difTerent. periods during the ColullJbilt network's brondens t of the "iuvllSiou" Ilnd hud mnny different idens nbont. the invllders. Some said they were oetollUslike l\ llIrtiun monsters armed with • I>oison gUll und death rnys. Others t1lOught it " '1lS merely the world cOllling to nn undo liS l>er schedule. Olhers ident iflod tho invnders ns Oermnns; still others. as Jll llnnese. Princeton Hoc iologists. who interviewed victims of the punic in the intcr6l;ui or science. found ono mn.n who hnd thought the iJlvaders were Chineso. Scaring a Nation Tn E: wonder boy hnd broken loose again. Orson Welles. the child wi l'.nrd , had hud IlIlother brnins torm. 'I'his time the bil'.arre bnltling had gone in tor popular science. JUter having I-I arlemized and gUllgsterized Shukespeare. he hud decided to put Orson Welles effects into the IIQlur system. The twentythree year-old earth shnker hud tIlken The War or the Worlds . all old-fnshiolled thriller written by H. G. Wells in and given it u modern trea~ ment. using a combination of lIeWscllSt and newspUI> er st,yles. His success ill l!Cu rillg tbe !lnlion resu1t~ from the capnble hnlldJing of the old fnmiliar earmarks of credibility. lie gave numes. addresses. oeeuputiolls und other minute details; identified each 27 o~ .... W . I I ••,.... ,. ..... ,/ ./ rll. al,. ... a ....... ... 11 .. p .. " le lr." .It. pep .. la",. w ltlt 10'. to,. ... de .. ., ./ r io. M .. ,.fI .... ' ·,"u .... , .. ".·· Cnrm. hnmlet.turnpike. knoll, SWIUIlI) and creek in the terruin which the I, III rtilln monsters swept over; christened every ('011 lind vi lluge lOllfer who got. mixed ull;n the interplunctnry tlupleaslint ness. It. was this change or pllCt'l from the purl icular to the cOfll\lic thnt pnralyzed the rellsonin).:' l)()weNi of his Iistcncrs . The ilCasoning or Ii t tie (lIeul of googml>hy lind pC~IlI.1 identity clIuMlCI the Welles public 10 swnllow his wildest. air I!urd it ies. 'I'he" specificity of deLail" is emplul-sized 1\8 nn iml>ortllut. ruetor ill the punic in 'I'he nvllsiOIl or Mnrtill li S. 1\ book to bo IluhJiahed eurly in 1040 by 1)r. li ndley CU lllril. IIfjSistllnL profesilOr of I)sychology I\t PrincelOTI Ulliversil,y. 'I'his work, in whi('h Doctor Cantril WIIS ussil!ted by Dr. Pllul P. 1..!Ii'Ju·sreld. Dr . • "rllnk N. Stan Ion lind others, WM fhuulC'cd by the Oeneml .. :duclIlion Board ot the Hoekefeller J.~ound atioll. which made t\ gnult ot S3000 tor the study or the epilIOde beenuiIC or iLi rich- 11088 in 1Il11S8 1>sy('hoIOlty. Doctor CRlltril d escribed lhe Welles IIproar us "the first modern ptllllC tlUlt 11M been studied with the ~lIreh tools now nvnilnble to the fIO(!illlsc;entist." The boy wonder Illwnys moves in showers of fi~ works, hut he WIIS du.zzlod by his own success in the Martiun broadclist. lie U(lpn.rently hlld hlld no expootlltion his little H I~lIoweell enlCrtllinment. would cuuse pt)C)ple to tuke to the hills in nutomobiles loaded with cnllned goods. 'I'he I)remier illfl\llt prodigy hnd 110 idea or becoming America'slendulg en/lUll tor£ble. It is 'Welles' custom to hnve the originul script of his radio shows rehenrsed by ot hers lind retorded phonogrnphienUy. IIQ that, lUI he I)\lts it •• , • ('an hear it rresh aloud." Getling it. "fresh aloud." he can grasp the merits und defect.e or a script better thnn by reading it. Arter listening to the recorded version. WeUes revises the script. Betore he hnd hoord the electrictll transcription or the rough draft, of 1'he War or the Worlds. WellCH asked a. technic.illll al the Columbia studio what he thought of it,. "Very dull. Very dull." said the techniciall. to What don't you like nbout. it?" .. I t'll JIll t 'em to sleep." '"\Telles llSked whnt wu.~ wrong. ( c . .. "" ... d ... P .. , . 38)


1940_02_03--27_How_to_raise_a_child_part_iii
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