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  1. The lead story on the BBC News Magazine today is all about "The great 1980s Dungeons & Dragons panic". It’s a nice little summary of a situation which I wish we could all scoff at and say would never happen again with anything. Fat fucking chance.

"In 1982, high school student Irving Lee Pulling died after shooting himself in the chest. Despite an article in the Washington Post at the time commenting "how [Pulling] had trouble ‘fitting in’", mother Patricia Pulling believed her son’s suicide was caused by him playing D&D.
Again, it was clear that more complex psychological factors were at play. Victoria Rockecharlie, a classmate of Irving Pulling, commented that “he had a lot of problems anyway that weren’t associated with the game”.
At first, Patricia Pulling attempted to sue her son’s high school principal, claiming the curse placed upon her son’s character during a game run by the principal was real. She also sued TSR Inc, the publishers of D&D. Despite the court dismissing these cases, Pulling continued her campaign by forming Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons (BADD) in 1983.”

Whilst I knew about the general situation, I’d never investigated BADD before. So I did a bit of rooting around, and found this: a scan of one of BADD’s propaganda booklets, with commentary. PRIMARY SOURCES ARE THE BEST SOURCES.
If you’re even vaguely interested in the subject, I highly recommend you give this a read. It’s ludicrously fascinating… and a reminder of just how much effort people will put into crusades that are so fundamentally warped.

    The lead story on the BBC News Magazine today is all about "The great 1980s Dungeons & Dragons panic". It’s a nice little summary of a situation which I wish we could all scoff at and say would never happen again with anything. Fat fucking chance.

    "In 1982, high school student Irving Lee Pulling died after shooting himself in the chest. Despite an article in the Washington Post at the time commenting "how [Pulling] had trouble ‘fitting in’", mother Patricia Pulling believed her son’s suicide was caused by him playing D&D.

    Again, it was clear that more complex psychological factors were at play. Victoria Rockecharlie, a classmate of Irving Pulling, commented that “he had a lot of problems anyway that weren’t associated with the game”.

    At first, Patricia Pulling attempted to sue her son’s high school principal, claiming the curse placed upon her son’s character during a game run by the principal was real. She also sued TSR Inc, the publishers of D&D. Despite the court dismissing these cases, Pulling continued her campaign by forming Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons (BADD) in 1983.”

    Whilst I knew about the general situation, I’d never investigated BADD before. So I did a bit of rooting around, and found this: a scan of one of BADD’s propaganda booklets, with commentary. PRIMARY SOURCES ARE THE BEST SOURCES.

    If you’re even vaguely interested in the subject, I highly recommend you give this a read. It’s ludicrously fascinating… and a reminder of just how much effort people will put into crusades that are so fundamentally warped.

    Tags: dungeons and dragons d&d roleplaying moral panic

  2. I always loved the original theme to The Really Wild Show. Until recently though, I didn’t realise it was an existing song - Ellovee-Ee by Tony Sherman (1982).

    THERE ARE VOCALS, EVERYONE. THERE ARE VOCALS.

    Tags: tony sherman the really wild show bbc

  3. The theme for radio station Sunset 102 from 1989… sung by Lisa Stansfield.

    These were by a company called LBS; for more examples of their work, see this thread on JingleMad. Lisa Stansfield also sang some jingles for a company called Alfasound - this anecdote (courtesy of Bigdave on JingleMad) is amusing:

    "Those who were present at the NW Radio Night will remember Steve England telling the anecdote about a session singer from Rochdale coming in, doing some cuts for GMR, and telling both him and Alan Fawkes: "I’ve signed a record contract, me record company feel I could have a number one, and it might be me first and last session for you…" 

    At the time, both Messrs England and Fawkes thought “oh, yeah, I think I’ve heard this before - she’ll be back to do more sessions in a month’s time…” and heard nothing else from her. Six months later, Steve was at JAM supervising a package for Beacon and took a quick look at a copy of Radio & Records. On the page he turned to was a picture of the session vocalist he’d hired to do the GMR cuts and an article saying that her debut single was at the top of the US charts. 

    You don’t need to be brain of Britain to work out who the picture was of…”

    WHY WASN’T ALL THIS ON HER GREATEST HITS DAMMIT

    Tags: radio jingles lisa stansfield

  4. bohaynowell:

    Because myself and my boyfriend (who runs Dirty Feed) both work in television presentation (we’re the people who make sure TV gets to you as the channel intended, and minimise the impact of any technical problems) we love to relax by watching YouTube videos about TV presentation of times past, as that was the sort of thing which made us want to get into the industry in the first place. It’s a bit like talking about the old days with colleagues, but with actual video to back it up.

    I shouldn’t have been surprised, then, when I experienced a blast from the past when watching the last in-vision presentation link from BBC Manchester in 1980; regional in-vision links were a casualty of BBC cuts imposed by the new Tory government, rather like BBC Three going online only soon, due to the current government freezing the licence fee.

    At 4.04 in, John Mundy talks about his co-presenter, Christine Byrne, and a slide of her appears. My mouth dropped open as I recognised her as the producer I did work experience under at BBC GMR (Greater Manchester Radio) in 1998. She’d talked about her presenting days to me, but in regards to her radio presenting, rather than local television links. Mind you, given that the in-vision links had ended 18 years ago at that point, I can understand those days not being uppermost in her memory. I remember her being extremely professional and organised, qualities which no doubt resulted in her long and successful career at BBC Manchester. I imagine she’s retired now, although one side-effect of short-term contracts in the media industry means that people with such deep local experience are becoming rare, so perhaps she’s still working. This was something that was becoming noteworthy even when I was at New Broadcasting House (these links came from the building BBC Manchester had before), and is probably even more obvious at the new MediaCity home of BBC Manchester. I feel very lucky that I’m able to work with people who have had long careers in transmission, including one colleague who started at my home ITV region of Westward in the late 1970s, and was probably around to transmit my TV debut on Westward News, when I was a baby. His experience is invaluable, as are his stories.

    Although I’m sure Dirty Feed will give another perspective on this gem, for me, it underlines how small our industry is, and how old I am that I have work anecdotes from 16 years ago (even if I wasn’t paid).

    One of the best videos I’ve ever seen. Well worth sitting down properly and watching all of it if you’re a TV pres fan.

    Tags: bbc bbc1 television presentation

  5. BBC Radio 2 marks the frequency changes in 1978, with jingles from JAM Creative Productions.

    Beautiful.

    Tags: radio jingles radio 2 1978 bbc

  6. Taken from these beautiful NBC Nightly News end credits from 1995.
I kinda like the fact most of their engineers were women. Pathetically, that seems progressive even for 1995.

    Taken from these beautiful NBC Nightly News end credits from 1995.

    I kinda like the fact most of their engineers were women. Pathetically, that seems progressive even for 1995.

    Tags: nbc nbc nightly news feminism

  7. Do you know what’s hilarious? That a blockbuster game like GTA V delivers a worse implementation of tennis in 2013 than Wii Sports did seven years ago, in 2006.
And when I say “worse”, I mean they’re not even in the same, erm, ballpark. GTA is fucking diabolical in comparison.

    Do you know what’s hilarious? That a blockbuster game like GTA V delivers a worse implementation of tennis in 2013 than Wii Sports did seven years ago, in 2006.

    And when I say “worse”, I mean they’re not even in the same, erm, ballpark. GTA is fucking diabolical in comparison.

    Tags: gta v grand theft auto video games wii

  8. Manufacturers’ own scanning and print software. Why is it nearly always absolutely vile?
I mean, when your user interface hasn’t even got the correct font, you’ve got a problem.

    Manufacturers’ own scanning and print software. Why is it nearly always absolutely vile?

    I mean, when your user interface hasn’t even got the correct font, you’ve got a problem.

    Tags: epson scanners printers user interface

  9. From the Red Dwarf episode D.N.A.
I love it when genuine studio readouts make it into programmes.

    From the Red Dwarf episode D.N.A.

    I love it when genuine studio readouts make it into programmes.

    Tags: red dwarf comedy sitcom bbc

  10. Front and back of my audience ticket to see an episode of the second series of TMWRNJ. (I was at episodes 5 and 10; can’t remember which one this is from. Fairly certain the section with those details was torn off as we went in.)
I do miss they days when you got proper tickets for audience recordings, rather than just having to print out a scrappy piece of paper…

    Front and back of my audience ticket to see an episode of the second series of TMWRNJ. (I was at episodes 5 and 10; can’t remember which one this is from. Fairly certain the section with those details was torn off as we went in.)

    I do miss they days when you got proper tickets for audience recordings, rather than just having to print out a scrappy piece of paper…

    Tags: this morning with richard not judy tmwrnj bbc comedy richard herring stewart lee