Sixty-five years ago today I was a month away from turning 2 years old, not that I recall the day. “All I Have to Do Is Dream” by Everly Brothers was the #1 song in the USA on that day, and yes I looked it up.
Do you believe in coincidence? Happenstance? I look at it more as having the inner antennae in reception mode. While looking for something else, I happened upon a full episode of Mike Wallace’s early Interview show, his pre-CBS days at ABC. I never realized he existed before 60 Minutes or Biography, the latter a staple of early morning childhood TV, especially if The Stooges or Dead End Kids weren’t on. This was a complete episode (28 minutes) finding Mr. Wallace chatting with Aldous Huxley. The Brave New World author talks to Wallace about threats to freedom in the United States, overpopulation, bureaucracy, propaganda, drugs, advertising, and television. I double checked the date to make sure this was from ‘58 and not ‘68 but Huxley was already dead for 5 years in 1968. I would learn that he was found with about 1,000 mics of LSD-25 under his tongue in 1963.
I was hooked immediately. The phrase “this is from 1958?” kept circling around my head at 3 minute intervals as Huxley laid out his theories of how our civilization could follow different paths depending upon how certain “forces” played out. Once he uttered the tidbit to America and Europe that we can never again be surprised by our own technology and that was, he felt, the real danger at this particular slice of time. I was on fire and once again checked the date of the broadcast. Huxley was in possession of perhaps the most finely tuned antenna of the day.
The program itself was like looking at another civilization. Absolutely no fluff, not dumbed down a whit, these were intelligent humans having a riveting conversation in black and white, not a graphic or crawl to be found. While longing a bit for this bygone time when facts, statistics and possibilities were bantered so everyone could be better informed. No anger or agenda. No keeping on brand or talking points. Our planet was about to enter a whirlwind of change, but there was no fear mongering or hidden agendas.
Thankful for our current technology, it set me on a path of discovery and that’s how we wind up here with FTB #215. While digging for nuggets, the story about Sam Altman the CEO of OpenAI, the startup behind ChatGPT, talking to a Senate panel regarding the possible use of artificial intelligence to interfere with election integrity among many more things and said it is a "significant area of concern", adding that it needs regulation. I found it quite cool that 65 years apart, the core of these events were definitely linked. But it is sad that after a bunch of modern day coverage, I actually learned more from the primitive 28 B&W minutes with Mike Wallace.
This episode is a bit different but I do hope you enjoy it. Featuring music from: Gil Scott-Heron, Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy, David Bowie, Michael Penn, Spirit, Frank Zappa, Yes, King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix, The Bongos, B.C. Camplight, Lord Huron, The Tubes, Blue Öyster Cult, Be Bop Deluxe, Bruce Cockburn, Leonard Cohen, Anthony Hamilton, Nas/Miles Davis, Lack Of Afro, John Coltrane, Bob Marley, Phil Roy & Julian Coryell, Stevie Wonder, Talk Talk and The The. Plus contributions from George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Carlos Santana and more.
A peak at the PLAYLIST might come in handy. Click here and make it so.
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