Thursday, October 22, 2009

The balloon goes up

Maybe it's because the 71st anniversary of the Orson Welles War of the Worlds broadcast is coming up, but it's notable how many stories about the kid who was supposedly trapped in a balloon have inspired journalists to cross-reference Welles' infamous drama. It probably helps that the balloon was shaped like a UFO, and of course it all turned out to be a gigantic hoax by the publicity seeking parents - who deserve to have the book thrown at them by the way - but you can't help but admire the way Welles broadcast has worked itself so thoroughly into popular culture that it can be drafted into service like this. Just set up a Google news alert for the term "War of the Worlds" and you'll be astounded at how often it gets used. It was particularly popular during the run on the banks as I recall, but it's in constant use for all manner of subjects.