Friday, April 11, 2008

3 Shows To Go!

I know, you're all planning your big "end of the show" party, like you did at the end of "M*A*S*H," "Seinfeld" & "The Big Valley." (Where I come from, "Big Valley" parties were fucking awesome!) But can I point out there are three big differences?

1) My show isn't ending. I'll continue with delicious podcasts dispensed at I'm just leaving KOOP. They'll be fine. I'll be fine. Nothing is ending. It's just changing.

2) You can be reminded about the podcasts by reading this blog or by sending me an email to remind you when a new show is posted. Think Hawkeye Motherfucking Pierce would have done that? Or that Kramer guy? Nope. Both of them would've used the n-word, although Alan Alda would make it seem like it was Groucho Marx using it.

3) I am only doing three more Self Help Radio shows, but there will actually be *four* more Self Help Radio shows! That's right, the dashing & handsome Justin who does the House Call before my show, will be subbing for me next week, doing a show about "tools." Ha ha! Can you imagine there being three more "M*A*S*H"s, but someone stepping in & adding a fourth? You can't! That's because we're so damn weird!

4) Did I say there were three differences? I guess I did. I don't know why I've numbered this as "4)" but I suppose it's a difference. Next week, I'll make a podcast. You heard me! So there'll be two Self Help Radio shows, one on the radio, one on the computero. Insert snarky comment about Lee Majors &/or Barbara Stanwyck here.

So tune in to Self Help Radio today at 4:30. Learn about gravity. From someone who has no gravitas at all. & who is famous for falling down all the time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Aren't You Funny

I know, these sorts of things are just someone's opinion (I for one would have had a LOT more Mr. Show & a LOT less Saturday Night Live) but if you want to be amused, do have a look at's 50 greatest comedy sketches of all time. It's an amusing distraction.

What would I have included that's not there? The possibilities are endless, really. For one, the Chicken Lady sketch from Kids In The Hall I would have added is not the one they pick. I like the one - which is the first Chicken Lady sketch I ever saw - with the blind date with Dave Foley. "I'm a chicken lady & I love life!" "I didn't think you meant it literally..." But so much of what they did was so absurd that it's only funny because it's so damn weird. That's awesome.

Which reminds me - League Of Gentlemen, anyone?

As for Mr Show - I have so many of those episodes memorized, it would be hard to say. But I'd leave out a couple of those dull SNL sketches for Thrill World & Druggachusetts because, frankly, they're funnier.

I can't believe they missed the single funniest SCTV sketch ever - Night School Hi-Q. Lugubrious!

& there's nothing from the Ben Stiller show? Really? I think that the "MTV Music News" sketch (I said kill Doug Szathkey!) would have been a great companion piece to the In Living Color Vanilla Ice parody. & what about Die Hard 12? Oliver Stone Land? Woody Allen's Bride of Frankenstein? Cape Munster?

Lists like this are always woefully incomplete, because tastes are different. But maybe you'll find some funny there for yourself.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Whither Gravity?

Here's what a weirdo Isaac Newton was: Read ten strange facts about Newton. Are they that strange? I mean, come on. It was, what, the seventeenth century? Shit was fucked up then. Everyone I've known who was able to see the world a different way than everyone else was completely batshit crazy. It makes sense that, in a world where there are a substantial number of batshit crazy folks, a handful would be brilliant. Sadly, the majority of them become religious or political. Luckily some of them become scientists.

I like that gravity is not completely understood. I like that it's a fundamentally weak force, if only because, when you explain that to astrologers, they get all vexed. (You know, "If gravity's so strong why can this little magnet counteract it so simply?") I like those drawing of gravity lines around massive objects illustrating the "space-time continuum." I love listening to the dreamers who imagine we'll beat the speed limit of light by using gravity to "bend" space. Forget all that nonsense about sin & redemption - that's just about control of your thoughts & your person. Close your eyes & imagine a gravity well dipping into a black hole drawing out incredible energies. Hell, close your eyes & imagine launching yourself into orbit on a small moon. You're a super hero in space!

Most songs about gravity are about gravity as a metaphor - either of "attraction" or of rebellion against physical laws. But there are songs, too, celebrating that batshit crazy Newton dude & what he thought up while the city of London was dying of the plague. Yay! One of the last Self Help Radio shows on the radio will be a science show!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Preface To Gravity: What Comes Up Must Not Be Discussed

Yes, it was a picture of a dog barking at Jesus. The dog is a beagle named George. Jesus is a plastic statue in a graveyard. Please stop writing me poems about it!

That's the thing: I don't really mind poems. I like them. I write them myself, in my skin, with a razor & a bottle of Softsoap. & oftentimes, yes, I write them about pictures of dogs barking at kitschy representations of old-fashioned deities. But I don't send them to anyone. I certainly wouldn't send them to you.

For example, why would anyone send this to anyone, especially me:

   You don't love me Jesus
   Because I am a hound
   So I'll continue peeing
   On your hallowed ground

But Gary, is this so bad? Yes. It's bad for two reasons. First of all, George is himself an accomplished poet (as well as an accomplished urinator), so he can write poems from his own point of view when necessary (although he prefers to write from an "everydog" perspective). He simply doesn't need you to write poems from his vantage point. Secondly, it's not a very good poem. It doesn't really capture the essence of the photograph & it doesn't really explain why the dog thinks Jesus doesn't love him. Frankly, it doesn't scan.

What about the free verse poems I'm getting? As always, the free verse is worse:

   Beagle orphaned on crisp sunny day
   Lack a day! Lackadaisical!
   Alone, alone, but wait! alone,
   with nearer my god to thee
   porcelain plastic messiah!

I know, what the fuck?!? (By the way, "lackadaisical" comes from "lackaday," smart guy. What've you been doing, reading the Word Detective or something? Sheesh.) I would have been more impressed if the writer had rhymed something with "lackadaisical."

Enough! The three or four people who read this blog read it to find out if I have gone completely off the deep end, not to hear your poetry about photographs on blogs. Now please, let me write about the topics I'll cover on my show, & leave your poetry to other radio shows that deserve them. That one about the Lake in Minnesota, for example. Write to them.

Now I've got to go & explain this to George...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Torso Pants

My month of April has gotten off to a grand start, how about yours? I am of course talking about the wildflowers! What did you think I was talking about? A hundred thousand dollar bar? Or maybe a grand piano?

I offer, for your edification, a dog in a cemetery full of wildflowers, barking at Jesus:

Barking at Jesus

I should also mention that Self Help Radio started the month of April off with a show entirely about cheese. Mmm, cheese. Did you miss it? Or would you like seconds? Well, the cheese buffet is open over at Dig in!