Saturday, October 03, 2009


"A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians & satirists." (Says the wikipedia.)


Will Rogers: "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat."
Winston Churchill: “If you are going through hell, keep going.”
Groucho Marx: "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it."
Dorothy Parker: "If all the girls at Vassar were laid end to end, I wouldn't be surprised."
Mitch Hedberg: "I haven't slept for ten days. Because that would be too long."
Jimmy Carr: "When someone close to you dies, move seats."
Vance Chamberlain: "She told me the way to a man's heart was through his stomach. She was the worst cardiologist I ever knew."

Bring your own!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Used To Be? Is!

Yep, the Self Help Radio show that used to have the theme "used to" may no longer exist in the present, as is right & proper, but it does now exist in the past, in archived form, at, where everyone used to go to listen to Self Help Radio shows before they realized that they weren't very good. But no matter! You can get used to the lower quality of the shows because there are so many of them!

A case in point: also in the same place ( you can find the first episode of Huntington's only (as far as can be determined) electronica show, called Dickenbock Electronics. Oh wow! Oh gee! Oh crap, it's only about as good as Self Help Radio. Well, you can't win them all.

But go listen anyway! It's not like you have anything better to do.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You Used To Enjoy Listening To Self Help Radio...

Maybe one day you will again? If you think you can be rehabilitated - if you think you can get used to listening to Self Help Radio again - please remember, it's now on at 7:30 in the a.m. on 88.1 fm, WMUL, in lovely & chilly Huntington, West Virginia. Since WMUL doesn't stream its music programming live, you can listen to a recording of the show probably later in the day over in the usual place,

If you're an early riser, you may also want to listen to the premiere of Dickenbock Electronics, which will begin its biweekly rotation at 6am on 88.1 fm. It'll share the space with Sugar Substitute, which will air on alternate weeks. Six o'clock in the morning is just as good as time for bleeps & bloops as it is for pop pop pop. You know it.

Self Help Radio tomorrow explores that odd linguistic phrase "used to," in both its main senses: talking about things you used to do, & getting used to things. So if you used to enjoy listening to Self Help Radio, now is the time to get used to listening to it again. Please do!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Whither Used To?

Ah, the fertile fluff of sentiment! How it wows us on! Was it perhaps Norman Vincent Perp or was it Vincent Van Gorp who once stuttered, "The past, she or he ain't what we used to think it ought to be!"? At odds, as always, with current thinking in nostalgia, brave souls suffering from a lack of maudlin tendencies challenge their mawkish peers with cold, rational eyeglasses shined on the blurry charts of history. Yet are they doomed to fail? Or shall they instill rigorous & removed standards on the industries that make the most of human rue, regret & recrimination? Irony of ironies! Only time will tell.

Confined as they are to dismissing the human desire to ponder & misconstrue, these scholars perhaps downplay the point of remembrance: a double chance at redemption: first, in the possible misremembering - especially if no one from "those days" is around to gainsay one; & second, in vows & promises, to oneself & others, to have "learned" from the events now embarrassingly etched into one's psyche. Opinion polls strongly suggest the former to be the most successful, as it requires the least amount of work.

Who, then, shall step up to employ & therefore subvert these techniques? Perhaps the mission might begin with the abandonment of the competition paradigm - surely how one views what once was in attempts to recast it as what could never have been is not an either/or proposition. Dr. Lenny Caldicott of the imaginary Flutter Institute has begun such a project, identifying nearly fourteen ways a human can wrangle with wistfulness. But even he admits his meager & tentative forays into this new scholarly wilderness are barely the beginning - "I'm not terribly inventive," he confides. "Also, I'm a little dumb." He urges graduate students & coffee shop baristas to enter the field en masse, to transform it utterly in the same way a previous generations invented such things as "the humanities" & "American studies." "It can't go on the way it used to," he says, "& even that sentence deserves at the very least a write-up in the 'news' box of your average academic journal."

Whatever the future, it shall one day be the past, & how it shall be perceived is being grumbled over by a small but sturdy group of new thinkers. One day, then, we can look back & interpret how they chose to look back & interpret, & even then perhaps we can argue about their perceptions, & therefore shall none in this promising field ever be without work, then or now or in the futures that shall be.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Preface To Used To: I Used To Celebrate Every 100th Post I Created, But Now, Not So Much

It's true. This is the 700th blog entry for the Self Help Radio blog. & here are some factoids about Self Help Radio which you can use at no cost to you the next time you play Obscurity Jeopardy:

Self Help Radio began officially Wednesday, October 9, 2002 at 2pm CST. It lasted sixty minutes. (There had been two or three shows on a different time before the name had gelled, but as soon as it seemed like Wednesday would be the day, the website was built & the clock started.)

The first theme was "The War Show," & the idea was to call all the shows "the [theme] show," but that was abandoned relatively quickly. The show that was scheduled to be on before Self Help Radio was called "The Pilot Show," which was a training hour for new volunteers at the radio station, & that day I subbed it, since no one was scheduled, & that theme was "Hello!" However, no one around here counts that as the first Self Help Radio. Nope.

The show that followed at the time was nice punk rock show which showcased showily bands both local & touring that were in Austin that week. It was called "Live Bait."

I wish I knew what the first archived show was - I recorded the show from the get-go & possess recordings of virtually every Self Help Radio (there are a few gaps, which historians many moons from now will bewail) but I didn't think of making them available on a website till either 2004 or 2005.

& finally, I created this blog almost four years after Self Help Radio began, on September 12, 2006. I generally wrote in it five days a week, although I forgot sometimes, & most often I discussed the themes of the upcoming shows around three days before the show, one post a "preface," the other a "whither [theme]?" It's amazing that I did that from the get-go, although the "whither [theme]?" posts predated the "preface" post by one post. At this point, as well, Self Help Radio was on Friday afternoons.

The 100th post happened on March 7, 2007.

The 200th post happened on August 13, 2007. (158 days later.)

The 300th post happened on January 9, 2008. (149 days after the 200th post.)

The 400th post happened on May 26, 2008. (138 days after the 300th post.) (Also, at this point, Self Help Radio had become a show without a radio station.)

The 500th post happened on October 14, 2008. (141 days after the 400th post.)

The 600th post happened on March 25, 2009. (162 days after the 500th post.)

& now, 186 days since the 600th post, we're at 700. Due to my month off this year, it's slowed down a little - or a lot. But now that SHR is thriving on WMUL I think things will perk up.

In any event, I used to celebrate these things in some way, shape or form. You know, by doing something notable, or noting something I did. I don't do that anymore. & the past laughs in mockery!