Monday, 31 May 2021

afn gasthaus

Via Slashdot we are referred to one dedicated individual and his quest to collect public service announcements and other video artefacts from the Armed Forces Network and its predecessor the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFN / AFRTS) which broadcast US news, programming and sports to American service members and the their families stationed abroad.  Filling the interstitial spaces normally reserved for advertising with spots and pauses for station identification, educational opportunities, legal and tax advice, jobs postings, community calendars produced by local or theatre military, this dead air time made for a strangely nostalgic and niche time-capsule of Cold War anxieties and propaganda especially in Germany where until 2010, the programming was broadcast and could be received on any terrestrial antenna near an army installation. A lot of these are before my time but I do remember Kay’s Kitchen and using your Commissary benefit, the weather spots, exchange rates, country-quizzes and think about the jingle to “Whatcha gonna do about Appropriated Funds?” nearly every day. I think that one has not be added yet, but the below short about the difference between a special and general power-of-attorney is pretty memorable as well. There are thousands of shorts and vintage news reels to explore—an interesting piece of history whether or not one shares that background.