Jack Anderson's 1970s-era Ham vs CB Editorial

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K4KYV, Oct 10, 2018.

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  1. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    This appeared in Jack Anderson's newspaper column during the CB boom, sometime in the 1970s. I ran across the photocopy while digging through some old papers I had saved, but couldn't find an exact date. Despite his many good works during a long history of journalistic muckraking, my respect for Anderson dropped several notches after the publication of that article.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
    KA4DPO likes this.
  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX Subscriber QRZ Page

    He must have been a CBer.
     
  3. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    All that's totally moot now, seeing as how CB is virtually dead, at least in my neck of the woods. I believe it was killed off by cell phones and the internet.
     
    KD8ZMN likes this.
  4. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Don......I remember this. I lost all respect for him after that.
     
    KA4DPO and WD4IGX like this.
  5. W4ZD

    W4ZD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Probably the same disease that will eventually take our hobby. No known vaccine, no known cure. :(
     
    N2NH, KA4DPO, K4PIH and 2 others like this.
  6. WA5VGO

    WA5VGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I remember when this came out. I caused me to call into question all of his previous work.
     
  7. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nope. Completely different thing.

    Here's why:

    For most of American history, more than 99% of Americans' interaction with "the media" was as an audience. Americans went to church, read newspapers, magazines and books, watched live performances, went to the movies, listened to radio, watched TV. Almost always on the receiving end.

    Sure, anyone could write a letter to a newspaper or magazine, call into a radio or TV station, etc. But the chances that would amount to anything were tiny, because the whole thing was run by editors and such, who screened out most of what they received, and maintained tight control of what they allowed through their venues. (Try standing up in church and disagreeing with the preacher's interpretation of the Bible.....)

    While anyone could start their own newspaper or magazine, or write a book, but such things were expensive, hard work, and in very competitive fields. Getting a broadcast radio or TV license was even more expensive and difficult, and came with all sorts of restrictions and requirements.

    Starting in the early 20th century, there was amateur radio, of course, but it required passing all sorts of tests, used expensive, complex equipment, big antennas, etc. There were all sorts of rules that had to be followed, and no anonymity at all - every licensee's name and address was published in a Callbook from the very earliest days. There was very little tolerance for rule-breakers, either. And the audience was very limited - usually, only other hams.

    Then came 11 meter cb. For a relatively low price, anybody could buy a simple setup and TALK TO THE WORLD. And it could be done anonymously, using whatever persona one chose to adopt, saying almost anything one wanted to say. It could be done from one's car, truck or home, too - in an era when being in the car usually meant isolation.

    This meshed perfectly with the oil crises of the 1970s. Americans had been used to driving huge cars as fast as they wanted, as far as they wanted, powered by abundant cheap gasoline, without a care - and then it all fell apart. Lines for gasoline, cars getting smaller, 55 mph speed limits, odd-even rationing and more. CB was the ideal way to vent the rage and frustration, to avoid Law Enforcement - and to be someone else for a while.

    And then....the boom ended. The oil crises ended, fuel prices and supply stabilized, new car technology improved.

    (Gasoline around here is $3 a gallon. That deflates to 99 cents in 1980 - but back then, gasoline was about $1.50)

    And then came cell phones, the internet, social media, blogs, personal websites, etc. All sorts of ways to be seen and heard.

    The average American doesn't need cb radio to be heard or seen any more.

    For most folks, it never was about "radio" at all.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  8. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Actually it was killed off by the neck of the woods.

    CB never worked very well in that kind of environment. It's virtually dead there and you even said so yourself. :p
     
    KA4DPO likes this.
  9. W4ZD

    W4ZD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I remember when a gallon of gas was about $0.25. That was "real" money, not "inflated"money. Times change, eh? I remember many other things that I thought better than now. But that is my remembrance, and I like it. I'll stick to it. Is it right? Doubtfully. Ask me if I care. :)
     
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  10. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I remember when gas was under 25 cents a gallon. And if you bought $2 worth, you got a free glass or dish.

    I also remember how much work it took to earn that quarter, and how fast a car would burn up that gallon of gas.

    The good old days weren't always good.

    Tomorrow's not as bad as it seems.
     
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