Traditions

Casey Kasem Was Not a Beloved Figure


There have been a lot of tributes to Casey Kasem in the wake of his death, but, really, they ignore the fact that he was not a beloved figure within his own radio community.

This outtake was leaked specifically because it was hilarious and showed the real man. He goes ballistic in the studio, yelling at his staffers, and they leaked it because he was a dick, plain and simple.

What will endure for Kasem is the voice work he did for animated shows. He will forever be the voice of Shaggy from the Scooby Doo cartoons, but no one will remember the various Top 40 programs in any substantive way. He was responsible for killing the franchise he created by leaving the program over money and then creating a rival show with the same format.

It was formula broadcasting--the host would record intros and bumpers and filler and then engineers would use the full three hour block to inject songs into the program wherever there weren't commercials. Radio stations were issued this program on vinyl records for decades, and I remember spinning them. The manner in which it airs now is irrelevant largely because it is in the hands of Ryan Seacrest and, because of that, it's all but dead in terms of cultural significance.

It was filler, and nothing more. Radio hosts like Kasem have gone the way of Arthur Godfrey.

I know. Who?

Lost Films


How do we really know if we've lost something we didn't care about in the first place?

The vast majority of the silent films that have, apparently, been lost or allowed to decay may be interesting as artifacts or as history, but they were not going to entertain anyone or end up being monetized in any way. Their lack of commercial value is what doomed them. Nobody in Hollywood passes on a buck that can be made from a piece of content.

Apathy is what cost us this material. How do you preserve everything anyway?

What Did Your Badger Find?

Is there anywhere in Germany where there aren't buried treasures and interesting pieces of history?

I always wanted to go digging, but discretion got the better part of me. Walking around with a metal detector in Germany is like going for a walk in a minefield--you never know which piece of what war you're going to end up having to run away from. There are laws, of course, and there are people who go looking for artifacts all the time, but still. Someone once said that every forest in Germany was once a battlefield; I would tend to believe it. And everywhere you look, there are graves.

Where Are You Going With This?


I'm not sure where she's going with this; the story seems to be about chocolate eggs and less about the marketing aspect of creating something that will deliver for the various companies that have a vested interest in profiting from the Easter bunny phenomenon.

There aren't many side stories as to the day-to-day operations of the Easter bunny. Things happen. People fall into production machinery. There are labor unions to deal with. There was one time that the Easter bunny had to deal with a trucking union strike and his solution was to hire scabs and have the striking truckers driven out of town by hired goons, also known as Pinkertons, and then charge the government a surcharge on several contracts in order to make up the difference. It was a pretty rough situation, and, when all was said and done, a couple of the guys from the union ended up wearing a wire so that the Feds could indict someone--anyone--on a racketeering charge that ended up being thrown out on appeal.

He's a rough bastard, and he doesn't mind telling you that.