Saturday, March 05, 2011

One Hit Wanderer

This week's Self Help Radio will be the last one for a couple of weeks - a fortnight - as I take a brief weeklong break to travel to Dallas to see my mom & family, & then to Austin to see a few friends & maybe see a couple of bands, as we'll be there for the first couple of days of South By South West.

The comedian Jeff Sawyer wrote: "Middle Age defined: at a deli yesterday, I found myself trying to see around two gorgeous women to get a look at the food they were blocking." When I think about Austin - while I do want to see certain friends - I do think a lot about the food there. There are some places I'd like to see, but it's really more about the places I want to eat.

Austin keeps growing & changing & when I was there last May (I was also there last September, but only for a short stay) I was amazed at how much was different in one year - two years will probably have obliterated all of my memories. One of the great things about Huntington was that nothing much changed, & the main sort of change you could see was things simply rotting away from neglect & age.

(Of course, things change in a more dramatic way in this part of the world, mainly because of actually having seasons. Though it's still cold in Lexington, the trees have started to bud & soon spring will explode. I look forward to that. Although they do say there's a chance of snow tonight. That's just the way it goes.)

I don't think anyone will miss Self Help Radio if it takes a week off, but it is unusual for me to miss so many shows - I missed two or three weeks in December thanks to the Australia trip, & now this. It just seems rude. Though I could use a good road trip & of course some authentic Tex-Mex. Mmmmm.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

All The Answers In Ninety Minutes

You are of course familiar with "the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, & Everything," from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, yes? If not, that answer was 42. The trouble was, (& this is why that answers is so funny) they hadn't really asked the question. They just wanted the answer. (If you haven't read the great Douglas Adams, you can read a discussion about this over on the Wikipedia.)

That's a long-winded way of saying that that's sort of what Self Help Radio was like this week. A lot of answers, not so many questions. In fact, the questions were often assumed in the songs. So, if the song said (as four of the songs I played did) "Love is the answer," you're left to wonder if the question is "What is the meaning of life?" or "What is an intense feeling of affection & care towards another person?" The Four Tops weren't about to tell us!

You can find as many answers as I could find over at self help radio dot net. There's also a new episode of Sugar Substitute which, at the very end, guest stars the young lady whose show follows mine. She brought a ukulele to a bar fight - & won!

Please enjoy this week's show full of answers. Next week, we'll have a show about bags, & you can use them to carry the answers away.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Plenty Of Answers - Tonight!

Plenty of answers! Or at least one! What answer? The answer to this question: "How many songs about answers can you fit into a ninety-minute radio show?" People of the world have been guessing that answer for a while, sort of like trying to figure out the number of jelly beans in a jar - but after tonight they will have to guess no more! The answer is forthcoming. & it may well be definitive.

As for other answers, well, it depends on the questions, right?

That's tonight, at midnight, on the radio dial at 88.1 fm in Lexington & the surrounding villas, & available most everywhere on the internets at http colon slash slash www dot wrfl dot fm. I would be happiest if you listened!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Whither Answers?

Q: Whom are you imitating now?
A: Why do you always assume I am imitating someone?
Q: Because you don't really have a style of your own.
A: Is that so.
Q: Yes, & usually you're paying some kind of "homage" or otherwise emulating, if not outright ripping off, some writer or comedian or something like that you've seen.
A: That's not fair!
Q: Didn't you once want to be a writer?
A: I did.
Q: & didn't you find it hard, after every book or short story you read, not to write exactly like the author?
A: ...
Q: Didn't you?
A: ...all right, sometimes.
Q: Didn't you once say that you could never be a musician because all of your songs would sound like your favorite band of the moment?
A: I never said that!
Q: Really?
A: I never did!
Q: I feel certain you're the one I heard say that.
A: It wasn't me!
Q: Sorry about that. It certainly seems like something you'd say.
A: Not at all. I am nowhere near being a musician, so I'd never idly speculate on what kind of music I'd make if I were a musician.
Q: Hmm.
A: Unless it was the catchall "crappy music."
Q: Now you're just being self-deprecating.
A: Does deprecating mean "honest"?
Q: I'm still not convinced this blog entry is entirely original.
A: Of course it's not original! Everything's been done before!
Q: Right, but this particular style, a dialog framed as a "question/answer" session, which really isn't one, but which is rather just a conversation between two people, therefore subverting the format of the "question/answer" kind. I really think someone else has done it before.
A: I'm just surprised you don't know who.
Q: Ah, so you admit it?
A: As long as you don't know who it is, I'm admitting nothing. It's like if I were on a desert island or in some isolated place that had never heard of, say, the Beatles, I would totally sing their songs & pretend they were mine if they got me some prestige.
Q: This is prestigious, mocking me?
A: It has its charms.
Q: You're a fool. I knew all along.
A: You did?
Q: Of course. Donald Barthelme.
A: Damn.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Preface To Answers: There Are No Answers Here

If there are no answers, are there only questions?

What if I wrote an entire blog entry about questions? Wouldn't that be ironic, while talking about a radio show purporting to be about answers? Who uses the word "purporting" anyway? Doesn't it sound a little pretentious?

Who wants to listen to a radio show with all the answers anyway? Aren't the questions what make life exciting? But aren't all these questions here the most simplistic form of questioning, which are yes/no questions? Do you even like yes/no questions? Aren't they the same as true/false questions? Don't you find them too simplistic & irksome?

Do you prefer multiple choice questions? Do you like it when a question is followed by the please, "if yes, why" & "if no, why not"? Or do you dread those kinds of questions? Why or why not?

Is this what people mean when they say "you're just arguing about semantics"? Or am I again just trying to be funny with something too obvious to be amusing? Wouldn't you naturally think of that, making a joke about "answers" by referring to "questions"? Have I taken it too far? Why do I always do this?

Do you know? Do you think I know? Do you think I'm going to surprise you by ending this series of questions with one declarative sentence? Would you find that hilarious?

Why or why not?