Monday, June 18, 2018

Is There A Word...

...for someone who needs their opinion to be accepted in such a way that it's taken as fact?

An English word, I mean, not a German word.  Of course there's a German word for that.

It seems to me this phenomenon is getting worse & worse.  Your reputation will actually lower in someone's estimation if you don't share their opinion.  Indeed, they'll cite other people's opinions - usually by linking to some online opinion piece - as evidence of the unimpeachable nature of their opinion.

Except opinions can't ever be objectively true.  That's the nature of opinion.  At best (I feel like I've said this before, so I probably have) an opinion can be more informed than another, but if you like something, how can I say it's not good?  In the case of art, music, whatever, ratings are a democratic process.  Hell, it's because of the weird sense that people have that the things they like aren't appreciated that we get the term "guilty pleasure."  If you like something, you shouldn't feel guilty for enjoying it.  I for one have reasons why I like all the things I like.

Why am I talking about this today?  Because someone told me that if I didn't like soccer (you know, the World Cup is going on), I didn't like sex.  What the what?

Apparently a common complaint about soccer from people who enjoy other sports is that there's just not enough scoring.  That was the background for the comment.  It was assumed that I didn't like soccer because of low scoring.

When I brought up the fact that it's actually baseball, not soccer, that people use as a sports metaphor for sex (you know, getting to first base, etc.), the person had to concede but said, "They score more in baseball though!"

The point is, why do you need your liking of a sport to be such that anyone who dislikes has to have some issue - not liking sex? - which makes their dislike of it a problem?  I don't pay attention to any sportsball.  Anyone who listens to music as much as I do can't imagine spending three hours watching anyone do any one thing.  (Well, I guess if it's a superhero movie - but, you know, nerds like me don't watch sports as a rule anyway.)

If there's a word for this, I'd love to know it - it's such a crazy thing that humans as a rule desperately need their opinions validated.  It reminds me of a certain podcast host who, every time he has a musician on, he always asks them if they like records or artists he likes.  I guess it's great when someone you admire approves of your taste in music or movies or whatever, but the truth is, it doesn't make your opinion more correct or objectively true.

Like I once tweeted: "You have good taste in music = I like the same music you like."

Friday, June 15, 2018

Self Help Radio 061518: Vibrations

(You do know Suloni Robertson designed this logo, don't you?)

Oh my!  I've been vibrating all week & now I think I can vibrate through anything!  Like walls!  Or time!  Or...  What's something else I can vibrate through?  Think!  Before I stop vibrating & move on to another radio show!

One hopes this show isn't too vibratory for you.  People these days like to be a little calm.  But you know, inside this show, you'll discover how vibrations work, what they do, how they're used (for naughty & not naughty purposes), & you'll get to hear lots of songs about different kinds of "vibes," from good & positive to bad & negative.  You may even enjoy yourself!  Which I know is a tall order.

Listen to the show now at the Self Help Radio website. You can find it directly at if you're impatient.  You'll need a username & a password, that would be SHR & selfhelp.  Want to know what's on the long (120 minute!) show?  It's noted below.

[Insert weird vibration noises here.]

"Vibration" Dorothy Collins _Experiment Songs (From Ballads For The Age Of Science)_
"Vibrations" The Royal Jokers _Swing For A Crime_
"Vibrations" Lancelot Link & The Evolution Revolution _Lancelot Link & The Evolution Revolution_

Introduction, definitions, & the Science-O-Tron 7000

"Good Vibrations" Langley Schools Music Project _Innocence & Despair_
"I'm Sending Vibrations" The Webb People _The Detroit Funk Vaults_
"Sweet Vibrations" Latimore _Hit The Rhodes, Jack_
"Sad Vibrations" The Second Summers _Psychedelic Archaeology, Vol. 6_
"Positive Vibrations" The Soft Boys _Underwater Moonlight_

Interview with vibrator designer Rosco Sunday

"Vibration (featuring Jon Auer)" Drug Boyfriend & Holy Worm _Vibration_
"Negative Vibe" Barnabys _Augustus Loop_
"Yawn Vibes" The Bats _The Law Of Things_
"I Got The Vibes" Jo Armstead _Do The Crossover Baby_
"Killin' The Vibe (Feat. Panda Bear)" Ducktails _Killin' The Vibe EP_

Interview with Sri Dr David Fruchter

"Vibrations" Zap Mama _ReCreation_
"Sweet Vibe" Rasputin Stash _The Devil Made Me Do It_
"Bad Vibes & Evil Thoughts" Sonny & The Sunsets _Tomorrow Is Alright_
"Vibrating Vegetable" The Rip-Off Artist _Open Up & Say...@<%_|^[!]_
"Vibrate On" Augustus Pablo Meets The Upsetter _Lee Scratch Perry: Arkology_

Interview with Mr Vibrato

"Radiation Vibe" Hem _No Word From Tom_
"Love Vibrations" Kim Weston _Kim Kim Kim_
"Smell The Vibe" Beardyman _I Done A Album_
"Vibrate" Mr. Scruff _Trouser Jazz_
"Vibes & Stuff" A Tribe Called Quest _The Low End Theory_

Closing & goodbyes

"New Vibration" Damien Youth _The Man Who Invented God_
"Bad Vibrations" The Crimea _Tragedy Rocks_
"Bad Vibes" Brilliant Colors _Walk Into The World 7"_
"Where's The Vibe" 10 Cents _The Patio Collection, Vol. 2_

Post mortem

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Whither Vibrations?

(Image from here.)

Why in the world is this week's Self Help Radio about vibrations?  Come with me on a journey of despair & inspiration!

You may recall that I also do a show on KNON in Dallas called the Tuesday Morning Blend.  You may also recall how the delightful station it's on must needs raise money on the regular because we don't got no corporate overlords.  You may not recall but you may suspect that I am terrible at raising money.  All of this is true, true, true.

One of the ways I attempted to encourage people to donate during the most recent pledge drive was to try to make themes à la Self Help Radio.  (That didn't go well.)  But one of the themes I thought might resonate in folks was playing a tribute to David Bowie.  Forgetting all about the disastrous pledge drive (which I can't), I was charmed again listening to the Langley Schools Music Project's recording of "Space Oddity."  It prompted me to revisit the entire record.

When I got through it, & was mulling it over, I thought about their version of the song "Good Vibrations" & wondered if there were a lot of good songs about vibrations.  & when I do that, it means I am thinking about a theme for a show.  & then I started actively looking for songs about vibrations.

& here we are!  Or here we'll be - the vibrations program will be available tomorrow at noon central.  Full of mostly good vibes.  I mean, it's me, there will be some bad vibes.  It's why cats love me.

Tomorrow! Noon! Self Help Radio dot net! Watch this space!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Preface To Vibrations: Never Been In An Earthquake

Yeah.  I never been in an earthquake.  No.

& never been in a hurricane neither, nor a tsunami as well.

These days there are volcanoes & there are floods, lotsa floods, never been in neither or either.

Yeah, there was that time, driving through New Mexico, a cop made us pull off the highway & park in some truckstop parking lot & wait out a dust storm.  It was pretty intense.  So.  Been in a dust storm sure.

The car didn't vibrate though.  It got dusty.

& yeah, there was a time I drove through Kansas in the summer when butterflies were everywhere & when we stopped the grill of the car was covered in butterfly carcasses.  Pretty wings flapping gruesomely in the mild breeze.  That was almost biblical in its awfulness.

Never been trapped in cold & almost froze to death.  A blizzard, that's the word I'm looking for.  Never been in a blizzard, nor an avalanche.  Wasn't ever at the foot of the mountain & an avalanche came tumbling down.  Bet that would vibrate!

What have I survived?  If you wanna call it survival.  Heavy rains.  Some hail.  Mild discomfort.

When I was a kid, I am told, I don't remember, we pulled off the side of the road when a tornado was spotted.  I don't remember seeing a tornado.  But I guess I survived.

There'll be a time when I won't survive, that's true.  But it'll probably be as unexciting as my life.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Like many fanciful people, I once imagined I had talent as a writer.  Here's a fun fact: last year someone asked to read something I had written.  I sent this person a short story I wrote like twenty-five years ago & they never spoke to me again.  That's some terrible writing right there!

Boy I sure liked to pretend though.  In ninth grade I had a small group of friends - Scott, Mike, & Robert were their names - I was closest with Scott, I was friendly with Mike, & Robert did not like me & just wanted to hang with Scott - but to make them laugh I wrote a series of stories - chapters, really, in a novel I would never finish - in which we were superspies in a James Bond-like world.  The "novel" was full of inside jokes, & people we knew in school - people who probably had no idea I existed - were cast as foils or villains or such things.  I remember that Mike's older sister was some kind of sinister malefactor I called "Ms Death."

It's crazy I can recall even that - I have the pages, written in pencil so probably illegible, saved somewhere, but I have no idea what it was really about.  I do remember why I stopped writing it: Mike burst my bubble.  He told me it was terrible & it would never be published.

There was certainly a part of me that knew it would never be published, in the same way I knew the silly tapes I made with friends pretending to be doing radio shows would never actually become comic albums or whatever, but part of the thrill was the pretending.  I was trying to write this fantasy where all my friends were something else, I was writing it for them, I was hoping to charm & amuse them.  Mike didn't possess a fanciful bone, however, & when I mused about publication, he didn't mind raining on my parade.  He actually laughed out loud at my folly.

It was at that point that I just lost interest.  & it was fine that he made me realize that actually making a book was hard work, he didn't have to tell me it was terrible.

No worries!  It didn't deter me then from pursuing a writing career.  It would take me, realizing later that in fact my writing was pretty awful, to leave that path.

Still.  Wow, I didn't know until this past year that my writing was so bad it would make someone stop talking to me.  Seriously - that's some fucking terrible writing there!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Might I Recommend?

One of the nice things that happens when you do community radio is that other community radio folk listen to your shows, because, you know, you're part of a community.

As for me, I don't get to listen as often as I wish - I spend a great deal of time listening to music on my own, lots of it for the dumb show I do.  But one of the coolest things is Radio Free America, especially (of course) the KNON portion, where I can hear shows I'm either not awake for or too busy to listen to.

For example, I really like Roulette Radio.  (Here is their Facebook page.)  It's pretty great freeform radio, & they often do "sets" that will please the Self Help Radio listener.  Like, this week's show was all bands whose names were initials, stuff like that.

During these unbearably hot Texas summers, we wake early to walk the dogs, so I can't be up Sunday nights/Monday mornings midnight to four to enjoy a show like Roulette Radio.  But I can put them on during the day thanks to their Radio Free American stream.  So, hooray!

Might I recommend the show to you?

Friday, June 08, 2018

Self Help Radio 060818: Style

(Stylish old Italian dudes originally found here.)

Style! Can you learn it? Can you borrow it? Can you buy it? Can you sell it?

Style! Is it worth it? Does it hurt you? Does it change you? Can it save you?

Style! What is it all about? What does it mean? What is going on? Who the hell are you?

Yes, none of the above questions - & more! - are answered on today's Self Help Radio, a show about style.  There are guests, lots of songs, & probably twelve to fifteen percent more nonsense than usual. & you will agree, that's an almost intolerable amount of nonsense.

Listen now or when the mood strikes at the Self Help Radio website.  Use the password "SHR" & the password "selfhelp" (without the quotation marks) to download.  The show is two hours long but it will probably feel like four.  The songs played - as well as the noted guests - are listed below.

Style! Okay, I'll shut up about it now.

"Style (with Bing Crosby & Dean Martin)" Frank Sinatra _The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings_
"Style (Peter Gunn Theme)" Grandmaster Flash _Style (Peter Gunn Theme)_
"Style" Cameo _Style_

introductions & definitions

"Putting On The Style" Lonnie Donegan _More Than 'Pye In The Sky'_
"Cramping My Own Style" Jacobites _God Save Us Poor Sinners_
"I Dig His Style" Jackie Ross _Jerk & Twine: The Complete Chess Recordings_
"He's Just My Style" Lennon Sisters _Today!!_
"Love American Style" The Cowsills _The Best Of The Cowsills_

interview with designer & "Straight Eye For The Queer Guy" host David Fruchter

"What Are You Wearing" Kahimie Karie _K.K.K.K.K._
"The Wildstyle" Time Zone _Beat Freaks_
"Style It Takes" Lou Reed & John Cale _Songs For Drella_
"No Style" Vic Godard & The Subway Sect _Songs For Sale_
"I'll Change My Style" Jimmy Reed _The Vee-Jay Years (1953-1965)_

a visit from Dr. Idiom!

"Lifestyle" Elektric Music _Esperanto_
"Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous" Momus _Don't Stop The Night_
"Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous" Beatnik Filmstars _In Hospitalable_
"Experimental Lifestyle" Brilliantine _My Life & The Beautiful Game_
"Rock & Roll Lifestyle" Cake _Motorcade Of Generosity_

a moment of reflection about the show

"I Like Your Style Of Making Love" The Cleftones _The Best Of The Cleftones_
"I Like Your Style" Lee Shot Williams _Hot Shot_
"I Like Your Style" The Originals _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 10: 1970_
"Hey Girl (I Like Your Style)" The Temptations _Emperors Of Soul_
"My Own Style Of Loving" Wilson Pickett _Hey Jude_

closing remarks

"Revolt Into Style" Bill Nelson's Red Noise _Sound On Sound_
"Back In Style" Felix _You Are The One I Pick_

post mortem

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Whither Style?

(Ooo, look, cancer of the mouth from cigar smoking is back in style, according to these guys!)

You may be thinking, how can someone like Gary, who basically only has a beard because he's too lazy to shave, how can he do a show about style?  That would be like the Pope doing a show about foreplay.  Or a cat doing a show about compassion.  Or a salt shaker doing a show about berbere spice.  Or a...  You get the idea.

You may be thinking that (or you may be surprised there's still something called "Self Help Radio"), but have you ever heard of research?  Just because a do a show about something doesn't mean I'm an expert in it.  Maybe I just wanted to do a show about style to immerse myself in all meanings of the world.  After all, isn't that the style of Self Help Radio?

Aha!  I gotcha there!  You were all like, "Ha ha, Gary dresses like a beat-up store mannequin after a blackout," & I was like, "Can't a poorly-dressed mannequin still be curious about the better-dressed mannequins in the store?"  & then you were all like, "Oh shit, we just p-owned or pawned or powned whatever that weird thing people say on the internet is but they never pronounce it so when we pronounce it we're at the mercy of people who think they know it's pronounced."  & then I was like, "Damn, you're as insecure as I am, maybe you didn't mean to be so dickish when you insulted my personal look & you were just lashing out in frustration & sadness."  & then you were all like, "Oh go fuck yourself you touchy-feely piece of shit, you still have no style & we're never going to speak to you again."

This is going to be a very complicated show, I can tell.  In any event, the Self Help Radio exploration of style in music & chatter is happening tomorrow at noon at Self Help Radio dot net.  Frankly, I don't care what you wear or how you act while you listen.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Preface To Style: The Style That Is No Style

Anyone who's ever looked at me knows that I don't really have much style.  It might be concluded that I don't care very much about how I look, but it might also be concluded that there's a part of me that wishes I could care about my look but a) that seems like a hell of a lot of work & 2) have you seen how I look?

When I was younger I took a kind of spiteful sort of pride in not giving a shit about how I dressed.  I remember saying something of the sort to my German teacher in college & he said, "What are you talking about?  You have a definite style!  Those ratty tee shirts, the same old pants?  People recognize you right away?"

It was a bit deflating.

Years later, someone at KOOP, totally unsolicited, said to me when I walked into the station, "Oh god you dress like a thirteen year old boy!"  I told her I was uncomfortable with her referring to me as "god."

There have been women in my life who liked to dress me up, but that never lasted too long - again, I never had much patience for it.  Tee shirts are comfortable, you gotta wear pants, I never liked wearing sandals or flip flops so it's basically tennis shoes, & that's pretty much it.  The faithful ensemble.

One thing that I might have discussed before is the liberation from style that leaving high school brought me.  Who knows how I was judged in high school but I remember realizing when I first lived alone that no one gave a shit about what I was wearing.  In college, people would drag their asses into class barely out of pajamas.  I remember in eighth grade these guys I was sitting next to making fun of some kid who wore the same pair of pants every day - they checked because they made chalk marks on his leg or something - & that made me make sure to change pants every day.

In college?  I pretty much owned two pairs of pants for four years.  No one gave a shit!

Or they did, I guess, but I didn't hang around those kinds of people.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

In Dreams

Searching online, I couldn't find a study that tried to figure out how many people remember their dreams versus how many people don't.  My sister Karin, for example, tells me she never remembers her dreams.  My wife rarely does.  The check-out person at Sprouts told me...  Well, I didn't ask him.  He was too busy doing that thing where he pretends he really likes what I bought.  I think that's weird & very off-putting.  It doesn't reinforce my shopping behavior one bit.  Stop that!

As for me, I remember many of my dreams, & usually wake confused that I'm no longer in the dream or disappointed it's ended.  Sometimes I can even return to my dream once I've been awakened.  Here's something interesting: According to this article, "People who remember their dreams more often are more likely to wake up during the night. The processes that store memories are generally 'turned off' during sleep. Waking up after a dream would allow the brain to encode it into memory."

That's interesting to me because I am a pretty light sleeper, if I haven't overindulged in whiskey the night before.  (Though I still remember dreams when I have had a drink or two.)  (In fact, if I've only had a drink or two, enough to get a little buzzed, my dreams are more intense.)  Last night, for example, my dog Winston woke me about two hours after I fell asleep to let him out.  He does this by sitting up & whining.  He knows either me or the wife will wake up, he doesn't care who.  The way my wife sleeps, I know I would've been the one to always get up when the baby cried if we had had kids.  Anyway, maybe because of this, I remember a few of my dreams last night.  They were exciting!

There's a part of me that thinks I've dreamt like this my entire life.  I remember telling friends about a particularly vivid dream I had in twelfth grade.  It affected me then as dreams do now.  & I fucking love to dream.  I hardly ever have nightmares, unless somehow replicating similar frustrations I experience in real life is nightmarish.  But since I've never really believed in supernatural things, I don't dream in supernatural subjects, although sometimes superheroes show up.  Like they do.

Which reminds me: when I used to do acid, many moons ago (it's been two decades now), I never had those religious experiences that people claim to have, whether it's seeing their deity of choice or experiencing a oneness with the universe or really anything supernatural that the experience might confirm for you, like telepathy.  I guess I knew that there was a drug fucking with my brain & nothing I was experiencing was unnatural in any way.

But I was listening to a podcast recently (I'm tying these threads back together now) discussing Michael Pollan's new book & he points out that we remember our acid experiences far better than we do our dreams, & I wondered out loud to the podcast that maybe it's because we have those experiences while awake.  (The podcast did not give a shit about my insight.)

Ha ha, you thought I was going to talk about a particular dream, didn't you?  Nope.  It's no longer allowed on this blog.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Poem Generation

It's true, I shouldn't like this but I kind of do.  It's an online poem generator.  It's basically a Mad Libs-type set up, but I am delighted by it.

Here's the haiku it wrote for me for this week's theme of "style":

Squeamish afternoon
A stylish partner cackles
before the armchair

The only words I didn't provide the generator were "a," "before," & "the."  So basically I wrote it, bitch.

Oh, & I got it to write a sonnet, too.  Appropriate to this week's show, of course:

Ode to Style

My trendy style, you inspire me to write.
I love the way you convince & trap,
Invading my mind day & through the night,
Always dreaming about the ruthless caps.

Let me compare you to a slick buffoon?
You are more caring, fatuous, & glib.
Proud sun heats the daring peaches of June,
& summertime has the glaring ad-lib.

How do I love you? Let me count the ways.
I love your blessed coercion & sadness.
Wanting your conformity fills my days.
My love for you is the staring gladness.

Now I must away with a toothless heart,
Remember my great words whilst we're apart.

But I know I could do better.  Not right now, but I certainly could.

But check out the free verse poem!


Why would you think the beauty is immanent?
The beauty is the most transient visual aspect of all.
Now temporary is just the thing,
To get me wondering if the beauty is passing.

The tone is not lovable!
The tone is exceptionally unlovable.
Never forget the spiteful & unlovable tone.

Pay attention to the elegance,
The elegance is the littlest quality of all.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the elegance,
Gently it goes - the miserly, the wee, the runty.

Flair is brainwashing.
Brainwashing is flair.
"Ahem," said the flair,
& "ahem" then "ahem" again.

Now I quite like that!  Maybe I'll share some of these on my show!

Friday, June 01, 2018

Self Help Radio 060118: Hollywood

(Original image here.)

My gosh!  It's opening night!  & aren't you dressed fancy!  Strange that one should go to such trouble for a silly radio program.  But it's a show about Hollywood!  & everyone knows Hollywood loves a party.

But isn't Hollywood in trouble now?  Sexual harassment, gender inequalities, stars & producers discovered as rapists - who wants to throw a party in that atmosphere?

Self Help Radio is here, not to party, to turn a cold, sober eye on the dream factory known as "tinsel town."  & when it says eye, it means mainly lots of music plus a couple of interviews & maybe one segment which features a Bob Seger song.  Will Hollywood recover from such scrutiny?  Will Hollywood even notice?

Of course not, & you probably won't either.  But if you'd like to descend in the Hollywood Babylon that is this week's Self Help Radio, you can listen whenever you'd like at the Self Help Radio website.  Use the username "SHR" & pass the password "selfhelp" to get the same access celebrities do.  The show's about two hours long - like the length of a movie - & you'll see some credits below.

Believe me, you got the makings of a star!

"Hooray For Hollywood" Johnnie Davis & Frances Langford _American Songbook Series: Johnny Mercer_
"Hollywood Or Bust" Dean Martin _Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis At The Movies_
"Welcome To Hollywood" Asylum Choir _Look Inside The Asylum Choir_


"Green Tennis Visor" Luxuriator _Green Tennis Visor 7"_
"Big Sister In Hollywood" The Lil' Hospital _Heavy Metal_
"The Hollywood Golden Guild Awards" Superego _Superego Season 4, Episode 5_
"Hollywood Squares" Seth Bogart _Seth Bogart_
"Hollywoods Decision" Bitter Springs _Best Bakers On The Island_

interview with Hollywood agent David Fruchter

"Hollywood Swinging" Kool & The Gang _Wild & Peaceful_
"Holly Wants To Go To California" Funkadelic _Uncle Jam Wants You_
"When Hollywood Goes Black & Tan" Cleo Brown _Here Comes Cleo_
"Hollywood Tailswinging" Dr. Octagon _Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation_
"Burn Hollywood Burn" Public Enemy _Fear Of A Black Planet_
"Grouch & Chico, Hollywood Agents" The Marx Brothers _3 Hours 59 Minutes 51 Seconds with The Marx Bros_

classic replay of Mark "High Over Hollywood™" Miller interview

"High Over Hollywood" Idha _Melody Inn_
"Hollywood" Codeine Velvet Club _Codeine Velvet Club_
"Hollywood, We Did It All Wrong" Bleached _Welcome The Worms_
"Tinsel Town Rebellion" Frank Zappa _Have I Offended Someone?_

Dramatic Readings Of Classic Rock Songs: "Hollywood Nights"

"Madame Hollywood (featuring Miss Kitten)" Felix Da Housecat _Lektroluv (Mix'd By Dr Lektroluv)_
"Hollywood" Secret Rooms _Solution Disillusion_
"Theme From Hollywood" Megapuss _Surfing_
"When I Get To Hollywood" The Monochrome Set _Spaces Everywhere_
"Hollywood Affair" The Honest Johns _Meteor 1986-1990_


"Somewhere In Hollywood" 10cc _Sheet Music_

post mortem

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Whither Hollywood?

(Image from Wikipedia.)

Oh crap, I was in my trailer all day - these location shoots are tough - & I didn't get to write about this week's show (which will "drop" {as the kids say} tomorrow) but it's kind of crazy because this week's show is about Hollywood!

& where am I?  I'm in Death Valley, California wrapping up four grueling weeks of shooting for the newest project, which is of course Self Help Radio: The Movie.  Except it's been going through rewrites & now may be entitled Self Help Radio: The Podcast: The Movie.  In any event, it's got everything that you love about Self Help Radio without all that Self Help Radio.

They've hired me on as a script consultant but after I did some consulting they gave me a Co-Associate-Producer title & made me sit in a trailer playing video games all day.  Did I mention the cast?  Clooney! Streep!  Hanks!  Bumstead!  Schicklgruber!  It's amazing.  Not that I've met them.  They put my trailer about two miles from the actual site, & as far as I know, it's not technically about Self Help Radio anymore.  But wow, what an experience!  I hope they can get my air conditioner working again, it gets hot in here.

Anyway, I'll be back in time tomorrow for a show about Hollywood which should be great because I am now a movie veteran.  Noon tomorrow at Self Help Radio dot Net.  I'll have stories!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Preface To Hollywood: Have I Ever Been To Hollywood?

Have I?  I've been to Los Angeles, but have I ever been to Hollywood?

Looking online, I'm pretty sure I have.  I haven't seen the Hollywood Walk Of Fame or other landmarks, but I've driven in the area.  Did I know it was Hollywood?  Nope.  Did I care?  Not really.

At some point in my youth, I thought I wanted to act.  In ninth grade, I auditioned for two of my high school plays & took a semester of "theatre arts."  I felt like if I could memorize stuff - & I could - I would be a good, if not great, actor.

Heck, I even got to go to another high school to do improv!  But I did terribly.

& then, when I got a small part in the second play, I was unable to come to rehearsals because the teacher/director couldn't keep to the schedule.  I probably wrote about this here.  In frustration, I quit the play.

In twelfth grade, my friend Terri encouraged me to audition for a production of The Crucible.  I don't know what I expected - I'm sure many of the best parts went to people who had been involved actively in the Thespian Society for their entire high school careers.  & who were, of course, much better actors than I was!  They did give me a part with a few lines, & I declined.  I was too old to relive my ninth grade experience.

But still I thought I might be good at "acting."  I daydreamed about doing it, but never really followed through - at best, when I discovered radio, I found I could sometimes over-emote or ham it up for comedic effect.  Once I even "emceed" a friend's performance art show, in which I guess I played a role.  But time went by, I never actively pursued any type of performance except on the radio - no stand-up, no improv, no plays.

In my first or second year in Lexington, one of the deejays I knew at WRFL took me aside & said, "Hey, we're making a movie, & we think you'd be great in the role of the main character's father."

Oh yeah, I thought.  I'm old enough to be playing fathers now.

The part had only a few lines, but it took a long time to shoot them.  I had to continually eat slices of tomato & it made me a little ill.  But I thought it was fun.  Until.

Though the movie was never released, the kids making it did show it, & put it online (protected) for us to see.  It was a very long movie & I confess I didn't make it all the way through it.  But I did see my part.  & man, was I bad.

Not adequate, not mediocre.  Downright bad.  & I realized then I had no chance of being a good actor.  Not now, of course, but also not then.  I didn't want it enough, I didn't try.  I let inconvenience deter me.  I thought myself better than small parts.  & I don't even know if I would've enjoyed the life.  But I didn't try.  So I would never know.

But I'm not sad about it!  I never really had much of an interest in being in Hollywood.  Everything's fine.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Should I Share?

There's a story I have to tell but I have to be careful about how I tell it because I don't want to betray confidences & I don't technically have permission to share private emails.  But I think I can be vague enough that it won't be obvious whom I am talking about.

The chance of Self Help Radio airing in Dallas pretty close to zero.  There are simply no outlets & there's not any space opening on KNON any time soon.  So someone I know suggested someplace else.

This would not be "syndication."  The station would operate much like WLXU, I would send prerecorded shows, the same thing.  Why would I do that if I left WLXU, you wonder?  Well, the WLXU decision had to do with the timing of the show in relation to my Tuesday show here in town.  I didn't feel comfortable with the idea that I, as a non-community member of a community station, could demand a different timeslot.  & I think I mentioned that it had been increasingly uncomfortable to me that I didn't live in Lexington anymore.

The station in question is internet-only & had people (a couple of whom I know) who do shows there who live in different parts of the country.  One of these people recommended me, actually.  It was a very kind thing to do.

& yep, I got the response today.  The show was rejected.  Oh I wish I could quote the entire email, it's a magnificent rejection letter, with the compliments at the beginning, & the blade coming down at the end.  The person in charge told me the reason for the rejection was (& this is the key phrase) "too consistently unthrilling [musical] choices."

Wow, I feel like someone just threw a ball at my head & made a big cartoon bump grow comedically!  But I confess I won't take this opinion too much to heart because the person also wrote, "I'm sure you are a well-loved radio person. I can HEAR that you are a well-loved radio person."

For the record, I've barely been a "well-liked" radio person in my many years stinking up the airwaves.  I can't imagine what would make someone think I was "well-loved"!  The person's judgment is therefore faulty & it makes sense that I shouldn't take this rejection too personally.

As if!  I will be unable to sleep tonight because of this!  But I'll be fine.  I hope!

Rejection just isn't any fun.