I have a friend with whom I have been watching old movies for 30 years. We are close to having seen the entire catalog of Humphrey Bogart movies. This week we had our latest session of Bogie fandom and settled down to watch 2 from 1936 and 1937.
This story centres around the power of the big technology of the era: Radio. One of the stars of the movie is a huge radiogram with a drinks cabinet built in. Amazing device from the era. It is almost the hight of the Helen MacKeller playing the daughter in the movie. I did laugh however at the technical liberty they took of having the radio fire up immediately. They artistically forgot about warm up time for the tubes but we can forgive that.
The story is built around a few elements - as all good stories are:
- Struggling radio station that prides itself as “the voice of the people”
- The station manager who wants to keep the highbrow approach of the station
- Unscrupulous management who want to bring in the big dollars
- A woman acquitted of a murder 20 years ago
- The wedding of her daughter to the son of a wealthy industrialist
- Uncaring use of the medium (radio) to victimise an innocent person
- Traumatic results of the mix
( yeh I know wrong movie - do you know the right movie?)
for the feelings of the little people of the world. They are only interested in the money. The boss of the radio station actually states this to the sad daughter of the victim. He tells her, “you must understand I have a radio station to run….”
So the techie in me hears the kinds of lines leveled at Facebook and media barons of the 21 century. They do not care about the damage they do they are only interested in the money they make.
I was left considering bullying. The users of this radio station are obviously bullies and ought to pay the price. You will need to find the movie to see if they do pay the price ultimately. Just as the users of Facebook may and can be bullies. There is a story in almost everyday’s media about Facebook bullies.
I am on the record as vigorously fighting the term cyber-bullying. I do not like the term and do not think it is helpful at all in our battle against bullying. We did not call it pencil bullying when kids wrote bad notes in class 50 years ago. We called it bullying. We need to address bullying wherever it appears. I do not want to give it special status. I know using electronic media means more people have access to see the bullying, but it is still bullying.
Seeing Two Against the World reminded me that bullying has gone on for ever. Bullies use whatever tool they have at their fingertips be it pencil and paper, email, Facebook, Tumblir or entire Radio stations.
Two Against the World is not a perfect match for the negative comments about Facebook that I encounter daily, but it sure did remind me of my day to day debates about bullying in the electronic world.
PS. The image at the top of this story comes from Wikipedia. I think I have read correctly that since it is used to illustrate my article. It is fascinating to read the article in Wikipedia about their use of the the poster image. It is wonderful to see the lengths they go to to ensure that they do not breach any owners copyright.