Any new craze turns out individuals at both ends of the scale, those who just take it as a new addition to their lives and those who immerse themselves fully in the whole experience, often changing their entire lifestyle in the process.
Never afraid to ride on the coat tails of a good thing, the media can inflame a situation by giving it a theatrical twist. The release of TV shows and movies to those new found fans (just at the right time), only goes to reinforce the more extreme stereotypes associated with a current fade.
With the global attraction of CB radio during the heady days, its no surprise that its use not only found its way into television media but was also sometimes essential to the main story lines.
Reinforcing The CB Radio Stereotype Through Movies
Big budget movies including the likes of Smokey And The Bandit, Convey, Gumball Rally and Cannonball Run brought supposed CB lingo and usage to the masses.
While anything to promote CB is generally a good move, how much these movies changed the way you used CB depended on how much experience you already had with CB. For some these films were mildly amusing and full of technical errors, while others saw them as a blueprint for how they moved forward with the use of 27 MHz.
Most obvious technical F.U.B.A.R : Omnipotent CB Transmissions….
No matter what the distance or terrain, two CB operators never had any problems reaching each other.
These omissions had to be made if only to preserve the pace of the film. I imagine someone spending half a day agonizing over their SWR/antenna height/location wouldn’t have done much for any films box office returns 🙂
More Factual CB Radio Movies
While these films were aimed at the mass market there existed many lesser releases like the ideally named Citizens Band (1977), which is surprisingly hard to get hold of if your looking for a physical copy instead of a digital version.
Of course most of this media was country specific and at a time when American media was starting to be exported to the rest of the world in huge quantities, you’ve got to wonder how much a non native understood or believed was real about what they were seeing.
Did the over the top characters bought to life in these movies actually exist?
Sure I remember a few individuals who really jumped into the CB radio culture feet first and eyes closed but nowhere near as obsessed as some of the roles played out. By the law of averages coupled with general human nature means its a good chance they were about and never having run across any myself doesn’t mean they were a myth.
The other side of this is if the only look a non CB user had at the culture was through these movies/T.V shows, did they just assume that’s how we all behaved (all the time) 🙂