Saturday, July 02, 2011

Preface To America: Those Thirteen Colonies

That's a dumb joke, isn't it. The "preface" to America is the colonies from which it rose. Har har.

A long preface, though. Almost as long as we've been a bona fide country. Like, nearly two hundred years. & we're really only about 222 years old.

I wonder how many people think that the United States, like Yankee Doodle, was born on the fourth of July?

Well, it wasn't. The colonies declared their independence from England & King George The Fatty on that day. We celebrate that.

Though Self Help Radio will be celebrating America, not independence. So maybe I thought it America's birthday.

Oh well.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Self Help Radio Extra June In July

Oops, I forgot to mention yesterday (which was the last day of June) that I actually managed to put together a Self Help Radio Extra mix (which I forgot to do in May) but it's still there even though it's the first day of July.

Also, this month's (last month's) Self Help Radio Extra is kind of a repeat of an actual former Self Help Radio show, which aired on October 5, 2007, & was a tribute to Marc Bolan & T Rex. (You can see the playlist here.) It's basically just T Rex covers with a couple of songs that celebrate Marc Bolan & his work. I've added I think nine new covers &/or songs from the original mix, so it's not entirely a repeat. Let's call it an update.

The show is available on the Self Help Radio Extra page. It's under eighty minutes so it can fit on a compact disc, if you still use them, but it's also an mp3 so you can put it wherever you can put mp3s, which is anywhere. Oh, & it's all music, so you don't have to hear me jabber on about how much I love Marc Bolan.

Although if you do want to know how much I love him, I did do an entire radio show in tribute to him, plus this mix, plus I named my male cat after him. That's him in the picture on this page. Like Marc Bolan, my cat Bolan loves to boogie.

Below is the list of songs you can hear. I hope you enjoy!

Self Help Radio Extra June 2011: T Rexstacy

"Gonna Listen To T. Rex (All Night Long)" Burnt Ones _Black Teeth & Golden Tongues_
"Children Of The Revolution" Neon Indian _Children Of The Revolution_
"The Slider" Gavin Friday from _Shag Tobacco_
"Cosmic Dancer" Idle Hands _The Heart We Broke On The Way To The Show_
"Mambo Sun" Bongos from _Drums Along The Hudson_
"Telegram Sam" Bauhaus from _In The Flat Field_
"Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart" Ty Segall _Ty Rex_
"Marc" Louis XIV _Illegal Tender EP_
"Life's A Gas" Shockabilly _Vietnam/Heaven_
"Hot Love" Elf Power from _Nothing's Going To Happen_
"20th Century Boy" Three Johns from _Live In Chicago_
"Rip Off" Dim Stars _Dim Stars_
"Celebrate Summer" Paybacks from _Harder & Harder_
"Jeepster" Sex Clark Five _Strum & Drum_
"Solid Gold Easy Action" Department S _Is Vic There?_
"Baby Strange" Big Star from _Nobody Can Dance_
"Baby Boomerang" Shins from _House Full Of Friends_
"Let Darkness Fall" Licorice Roots _Licorice Roots Orchestra_
"Get It On" Kramer _Great Jewish Music: Marc Bolan_
"Buick MacKane" Nikki Sudden _Groove_
"Ballrooms Of Mars" Richard Barone _Between Heaven & Cello_
"Mystic Lady" Lloyd Cole _Morning Is Broken_
"By The Light Of A Magical Moon" Mars Arizona _Hello Cruel World_
"Light Of Love" Molotov Combo _Resurrection Of The Warlock_

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Joke A Day A Week, Episode Two

I've written a few times on this blog about the inane "A Joke A Day" email service (I'm sure there's more than one) which I would often subscribe to for email accounts that, back in the day, were free but which I never used. Often those email accounts would expire if you didn't have email coming to them, but because I thought it was (at least initially) funny to have email accounts at & (both sites, & my email addresses, are long defunct), I'd sign up for an account & then subscribe to the A Joke A Day service. One account I use still gets them, & I rarely read them, but am too lazy to unsubscribe. I recently thought, what if I actually saved them, then featured what I consider the best, or funniest, or worst, or most notable, or simply something to talk about once a week? & so I shall.

But I'm not sure how long I'll be able to sustain a "series" like this, since the average A Joke A Day is pretty lame. Moreover, unlike most humor, it tries so desperately hard not to offend.

Here's the A Joke A Day I got yesterday, which is a perfect example of two really dumb aspects of the A Joke A Day joke, one of which is the desire not to offend:

A man with a wooden eye was very sensitive about his eye for fear of people making fun of him. One day this man decides to go out & have some fun. So he goes to a bar & orders a beer. Then, out of the corner of his eye he sees a woman with a flat face. He thinks,” Well, she wouldn't make fun of me because she would understand how I feel." So he finally gathers up the courage to talk to her, he goes over & asks her, “Would you like to have dinner with me sometime?" & the woman answers, “Would I!!!" (Wood Eye) The man, obviously offended, screams, "Flat face!!!" & storms out of the bar.

Have you ever heard anyone described as having a "flat face"? I haven't, & when I googled the term, I got first & foremost, a website for (it says) "all your fingerboard needs," & this definition from the Urban Dictionary: "Racial slur aimed at Asians & Pacific Islanders."

This may undercut my point - it certainly seems offensive - but I don't think it's a common term, & I don't think that the editors of the A Joke A Day mailing list knew it was anything but a euphemism for the word they really should have used, which is the deeply offensive term "ugly."

(By the way, according to this article, humans all have flat faces compared to the apes from which we evolved.)

I don't know why they didn't use the word ugly, but then again I don't know why teachers these days refuse to fail kids. There are surely ugly people, & being one myself, I think it's fine to note such things. I hope I have qualities that balance my lack of physical attractiveness, just as I'm sure some very pretty people are as shallow as a petri dish. The word "ugly" would not offend me, & I don't think it would offend most self-aware ugly people.

(I was just thinking I should send them an email about the "flat face" thing. Do you think they'd issue an apology?)

The other aspect is the incredible condescension they display when telling these jokes. The set-up is utterly ridiculous - who has wooden eyes? Dolls, I suppose, but no one else. But I understand the hoops a joke must go through to get to its pun. However, the average A Joke A Day so distrusts the intelligence of its reader - who, you know, has subscribed to a joke that it needs to make perfectly clear - in the middle of the joke - its painfully obvious pun. I repeat:

“Would you like to have dinner with me sometime?" & the woman answers, “Would I!!!" (Wood Eye)

I confess the A Joke A Day compilers don't always do that - if the pun is a homonym, for example, they'll simply use the appropriate spellings - like if someone in the joke says "right" but the listener hears "write," they'll use the spelling the speaker understands. But in a situation like the one above, they will usually (& literally) spell it out. Because they imagine their average subscriber is dumb as dirt.

Which we may be. Since we might be offended by the term "ugly."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Did You Remember To Listen?

As alcohol & age dull my faulty memory, I take the time to go on the radio to play songs about remembering & also to remind you that your memories are nowhere nearly as accurate as you think they are. I can't even say for certain that I remember doing that this morning on the radio, even with a recording. My brain operates according to rules that I don't remember agreeing to.

In case you forgot to listen, the show (which frankly wasn't all that memorable) is now available for your listening pleasure when & if you remember to listen at the show's website. I remembered to divide it into two parts, & part one is where this link leads you while I think I put part two behind this link. I may forget before I finish writing this, but if I remember, the songs contained in both parts will be listed below.

(part one)

"I Remember, I Remember (Thomas Hood)" Tim Pigott-Smith _Poetry Please: The Anniversary Edition_
"Remember" Durutti Column _Someone Else's Party_

"Remember" Air _Moon Safari_
"Do You Remember?" Doktor Cosmos _Cocktail_
"Remember?" Lali Puna _Our Inventions_
"Remember Me" Rita Pavone _Hey! Look What I Found! Vol. 9_
"Remember (Walking In The Sand)" Shangri-Las _The Shangri-Las & The '60s Girl Group Garage Sound_
"I'll Remember" The Kinks _Face To Face_

"I Forgot To Remember To Forget" Elvis Presley _The Sun Sessions CD_
"Something To Remember You By" The Gentlemen _Chicken Shack Boogie, Vol. 6_
"I've Got Dreams To Remember" Otis Redding _The Otis Redding Story 1962-1967_
"Remember When" The Four Tops _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 8_
"Remember Who You Are" Sly & The Family Stone _Back On The Right Track_

(part two)
"Dates To Remember" Gary Owen _Put Your Head On My Finger_

"Remember" John Lennon _Plastic Ono Band_
"Do You Remember" Tyrannosaurus Rex _The Definitive Tyrannosaurus Rex_
"I Remember You" The Ramones _Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology_
"Remember Me" British Sea Power _The Decline Of British Sea Power_
"Remember (Christina Rossetti)" Diana Quick _Poetry Please: The Anniversary Edition_
"You Must Please Remember" Morrissey _Dagenham Dave_

"Do You Remember" Talulah Gosh _Backwash_
"I Remember" The Visitors _Miss_
"Remember" The Boyfriends _The Boyfriends_
"Remember Me To Her" St. Christopher _Dig Deep, Brother (1984-1990)_
"Sometimes I Remember" Pernice Brothers _Yours Mine & Ours_
"Remember Me, Remember U" Teach Me Tiger _Thirty Forty Fives Vol. 1_

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Whither Remembering?

Memories fade & are usually unreliable. Eyewitness accounts are often widely different. Yet we place a huge importance on the process of remembering, & sharing memories - or doing things that create shared memories - is one thing humans enjoy most.

There's a wonderful word, which is a whole other theme, but I can talk about it here, which is "nostalgia," which illustrates the point I am meandering about above very well - it's a yearning, a longing for days past, which many folks remember as much better. A perfect example, which Bill Maher often points out, is people in the United States who wish for the "better days" of the 1950s or before - all the while forgetting (or maybe not?) that there were a great number of Americans back then who were treated as second-class citizens & not allowed basic rights.

(As I wrote that, I realized I could have meant both African-Americans & women!)

As someone who, when his brain was working perfectly fine, used to worry about losing memories, about not being able to remember my life in all its dreary minute detail, I would now horrify the younger me by not caring very much. I lose words when I talk, I have forgotten whole swaths of time, & it doesn't bother me as much as it should. & I know why - it's because I understand that memory itself is unreliable.

I often say - well, let me illustrate what I was going to say with a story. An old roommate was reminiscing living with me about fifteen or twenty years ago. He said, "What I remember most is that you never threw away shampoo bottles - there were always half a dozen nearly empty shampoo bottles around."

I remember no such thing, but that doesn't mean I remember differently. It could certainly be true. So I said what I often say these days when I don't have memories that align with the memories of other people - I said, "It certainly sounds like something I'd do."

You might not remember, but Self Help Radio's show about remembering is on tomorrow morning (that's Monday the 27th) at 7:30 am on the 88.1 fm frequency in Lexington, & online at wrfl dot fm - but if you do forget to remember, it'll be put on the Self Help Radio website at self help radio dot net. I always remember to do that.