Friday, August 22, 2008

Bob's Your Uncle's Best Friend

There are little labels sitting on the table. Next to a girl called Mabel - she's the subject of this fable - & she receives a cable from The House Of The Seven Gables about the Tower of Babel. Mabel isn't able to decipher the labels - she's wearing her Aunt Grable's sable. Over her head. Dreaming of Fee Waybill.

If she had only read the labels, she would see censure, condemnation, denunciation. For the labels are not for record albums or mason jars filled with dried herbs, they're not for notebooks or Christmas gifts, no, they're for Self Help Radio. In particular, the Blog Writing Department.

It's no secret that fed-up employees quitting, retaliatory firings, chemical castration, & sudden infant death syndrome have haunted the Blog Writing Department of the Self Help Radio Corporation since its inception. But the reader - readers if Mom is near a computer - is used to at least five days of derivative, unfunny, unhelpful blog entries. But this week! Well! All that the Blog Writing Department could manage since Wednesday was that asinine Dr. Seussian thing up there. Mabel at a table with labels! What are we, magpies?

& Monday. What happened to Monday. "Busy at work"? They work in a Blog Writing Department!

The Management wishes to extend an apology to the fine reader of this blog-type device & wants to reassure you that, thanks to a well-placed call to the dying Robert Novak & extraordinary rendition, those Blog Writing Department "creatives" won't be disappointing you any more.

There may be a slight delay in tomorrow's "Panic" show - no more than a day - but that's not the Blog Writing Department's fault. Self Help Radio host Gary Dickerson will be in Motorcycle class. Don't ask.

Just don't ask.

Our apologies for this week! Our promises for the next! Our kingdom for horse!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Whither Panic?

For the rough & tumble, ready-to-wear man or woman on the street, panic is not an attractive proposition. It sullies the mind & wrinkles the closely-knit boundaries of circumspection & polite conversation. Furthermore, panic rarely if always delivers the goods as highly placed as "shouting fire in a cramped theater" (to quote the Supreme Court with a flourish). Mostly, the panic that one (or two) may feel is personal & inconvenient & has only slightly a lot of inherent comedic possibility than the average public display of hemorrhage.

Take, for example, the tale of Paula Piperview, a criminal defense attorney obsessed with defending strippers, hookers & gay-porn actors (not necessarily in that order, although wow! what a trial that would be!). Ms Piperview was possessed of what her parents called "a genetic predisposition" toward panic attacks whenever she heard a description, however censored, of sexual practices. Though her partners at the not really all that prestigious law firm of Barback & Hooptie urged her to go for safer fare, like arson, perhaps, or driving while intoxicated, Ms Piperview insisted (on the advice of a radio self-help host, actually) of "confronting her fears head-on." Interestingly, the nervous sweats she often got in the court room were interpreted by the simpletons in the jury as tears, & the chest pain & shortness of breath garnered lots of sympathy, so Ms Piperview won more cases than not & became sought after by the very clients who caused her attacks. Psychologists call this "a feedback loop," because of the official announcement that "irony is dead" at the year-end conference in 2003.

Another fine example is James "Jamie" Leggings, a short order cook who was forever searching for the proper medication to handle his chronic ennui. Panic attacks were often when first adjusting to a new prescription, & yet Leggings would not stay on the pills long enough to acclimatize his body to the drug. Fearing (understandably) that he might be a "panic junkie," Leggings started a chapter of Panickers Anonymous in the Duluth area & had a massive panic attack on the first meeting night in anticipation of a large turnout. Luckily three people on their way home from an unsurprisingly awful Blue Man Group show found him before he gnawed his tongue off.

These cases, though typical, are not typical of the panic-sufferer's experience except as anecdotal, & later, when there are enough of them, statistical evidence. Indeed, as Dr Corn Matherson of Lower Arikaree River College (Kansas) has opined, "While it's easy to make light of people, because they're all so damned foolish & self-important & just plain sick in the head - sick, I tell you! truly fucked-up beyond salvage, surely - the fact that so many people panic indicates that human beings will continue to be tedious for decades more."

Later in the series (concluding here) we'll discuss probable causes of panic & we'll panic a little ourselves, as deadlines approach & the sad surfers return home from the hurricane season, hungover & lonesome until Christmas, or their suicide - whichever comes first.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Preface To Panic: Nerves & Apologies

Weaselschnitzel! That's what you should call me! I got too caught up at work & stuff & didn't write in this blog yesterday. I am a weaselschnitzel! You should color my hair red & call me candy corn! Dilapidation would be too good for me!

Truth is, I've been a little panicky about the end of August, for, when August goes, so too do all my dreams. Or so I sometimes imagine. I am stuper-stitious about August, because August the month was named after the William Faulkner book Light In August which was named a hell of a long time after the disappeared month left a hole not only in my calendar, but in my heart.

Still, we continue with the Self Help Radio shows though the tide has turned & then turned away. I struggle to keep up, but no one, nay, not any one, nay I say! nor hears my cries for closeness & recommendation. That said, a mildly entertaining show about chairs exists now & for a while at Perhaps you would enjoy it, in exactly the same way you have never enjoyed the sound of a falling tree.

Also, the power of the Self Help Radio does often confuse & contort, so folks who imagine a show about panic will cause panic (when just the opposite is intended) are the same who imagine a show about chairs will hurt all chairs. Some chairs were naturally harmed during the making of the show. This cannot be avoided. But the show is NOT anti-chair. Self Help Radio must needs always be a celebration. Or a chance for a diversion. Either way.

I am sorry I missed yesterday. Please accept this lovely inedible gift basket from The Imaginary Shop as a token of my affectation.