Storm's Journal

--| See You on the Radio |--- 

by Charles Osgood, CBS News

See you on the radio ... I say that every week.
 A particular phrase, some people think, for anyone to speak.
 I've got a piece of mail or two, upon my office shelf,
 Complaining that the sentence seems to contradict itself.
 "Dear Mr. Osgood," someone wrote, "That sign off is absurd.
 Radio is for the ear ... the song or spoken word.
 The medium for seeing is, without a doubt, TV.
 We therefore call it 'video.' That's Latin for 'I see.'
 So please don't say that any more. You really should know better.
 That's a gentle paraphrase of what was in this viewer's letter.

"Dear Sir," I then wrote back to him, and this was my reply:
 I do believe that you are wrong, and let me tell you why.
 I've worked some years in radio, and television, too.
 And though it's paradoxical it nonetheless is true
 That radio is visual, much moreso than TV.
 And there's plenty of good reason why that paradox should be.
 You insist that on the radio there are no pictures there.
 You say it's only for the ear ... but I say "au contraire."
 There are fascinating pictures on the radio you see
 That are far more picturesque than any pictures on TV.
 No television set that's made, no screen that you can find,
 Can compare with that of radio: the theatre of the mind.
 Where the pictures are so vivid, so spectacular and real,
 That there isn't any contest, or at least that's how I feel.
 The colours are more colourful, the reds and greens and blues
 Are more vivid yet more subtle than television's hues.
 The dimensions of the radio are truly to be treasured
 Infinite the size of screen diagonally measured.
 With resolution so acute TV cannot compare.
 We can whisper in the listener's ear and take him anywhere.
And you tell me that I cannot see the audience I touch?
 Let me tell you now a secret ... my experience is such

That although the room I work in may be very plain and small ...
 In a way that's quite miraculous, it isn't small at all.
 I am there inside the radio, the one beside the bed.
 And its me you hear when it goes off ... come on now sleepyhead.
 I can see you in the morning ... I can see you coast to coast
 As you sip your glass of orange juice and bite into you toast.
 I am with you as you brush your teeth and as you shave your face.
 You may think you are alone but I am with you everyplace.
 And I see the lines of traffic stretching endlessly for miles.
 Not a hundred or a thousand miles ... A million there must be.
 And I'm riding along with them. This is radio you see.
 For my voice is with them every day, and when it disappears,
 They know it comes right back again, it's been that way for years.
 I've been riding with them every day for such a long, long time.
 They are willing to put up with me when I resort to rhyme.
 And that may be the ultimate and quintessential test
 That proves beyond the slightest doubt that radio is best.
 A friend will always stick with you ... though your poems may not scan.
 I'll see you on the radio ... I can, you see, I can ...


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