Saturday, November 12, 2011

Preface To Outside: Baby, It's Cold Inside

It is getting cold outside here in Kentucky, where the trees have almost dropped all their leaves on my lawn. Soon enough it'll be full-blown winter, which very rarely happened in Texas, & of course when it did, everyone in Texas freaked out. Here in Kentucky, drivers just double-down on their already horrible driving.

But does it follow that if it's cold outside, it should also be cold inside? It does if you live with cheapskates! Yes, my animals, who also pay the rent, take advantage of my lack of fur to keep the home even cooler in the winter than they do in the summer. (In the summer, they're hot, you know, since they're covered in fur.)

There's a lot of taunting - they call me "thumbs," mocking my hands, which they really envy - & one very cold December night they got me drunk & convinced me that I needed to shave all my hair off to make way for my "winter fur." Never never never trust a giggly beagle with a razor.

My animals are assholes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Self Help 101: The Stinky Personality Syndrome

Note: This is a series of awkwardly written articles by the maker of Self Help Radio about popular self-help topics because he's getting all self-help-y after many years of mocking self-help with the title of his radio show. People, it's bad.

You've met the people I'm going to talk about. The geneticists. The people who know who B.F. Skinner is. The people who watched Star Trek & think DNA is magical. They're all the same. They say, "You are who you are." They say, "The environment is at best a mitigating factor because you are born to be the person you were born as to be." They say, "It doesn't matter if your mother locked you in a closet for the first eleven years of your life, you were destined to be a mediocre deejay." (No relation.)

But to this we can say hogwash! We can change, & not just our hair, our jobs, & our opinion about sports teams. We can change our stinky personalities. We can. I swear.

By change I may mean "tweak." But surely something is better than nothing, right?

At the outset we must admit that it's not easy. Despite how delicious antidepressants are, they cannot change your personality. So stop calling your ex. Seriously. No, change is difficult & I will understand right now if you'd prefer to just order a pizza because sometimes a pizza is better than your life. Most of the time. Pizza is just so good.

Here are a few tips I've read about over the years which I am absolutely certain will help change your personality or your money back. Please allow four to six weeks for delivery:

1) Be more positive. Remember, a positive is noted by a "plus" sign. "Plus" signs are good. An A+ is better than an A. A-Positive blood is preferred by vampires over regular old A. The positive side of a C cell battery delivers a more sensual shock to the tongue when licked. Get rid of your electrons & make yourself more positive. & like attracts like!

2) People like passion. Get excited by things, but make sure it's not in a creepy way. If you're excited by something & it seems to other people that's you're drunk, that's creepy. Also, too much passion may be mistaken for religious fervor, & religious fervor costs you ten percent of your income at the door. Just saying.

3) Keep a stiff upper lip. That's an idiom for "be brave." When I was first developing this course, the attendees thought I meant for them to inject botox into their upper lips. I didn't mean that then & I don't mean that now. But they were quite brave in the way they recovered almost twenty percent of the use of their upper lips.

4) Choose the one emotional trait you'd like to improve & stick with it. Take, for example, serenity. Aren't serene people a little annoying? Wouldn't you like to just give them a shove & push them over? Just knock them on their ass. They look really surprised. You won't be able to stop laughing. & when they get back up, knock them over again. It's just as funny the second time. The third time, though, not so much.

Just a quick note: many people have written me letters since I first started writing this that there are some people they've met who don't have a stinky personality. To that I also say hogwash! Those you have met, obviously, are people who have no personality at all.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Joke A Day A Week, Episode Twenty

Wow! Twenty of these! & the hits keep coming.

I have mentioned before how the folks at the A Joke A Day mailing list pride themselves on not being offensive. Humor is, after all, a very safe thing. Just ask Lenny Bruce.

I'm not sure how one who has or has had a loved one stricken with this devastating condition might feel about this particular "joke," from Saturday:

What’s the good part about Alzheimer’s diseased [sic]?
You keep meeting new friends.

This illustrates, to me, the fundamental problem with the A Joke A Day philosophy: "Score big at your next gathering, cocktail or sales appointment with politically-correct jokes. The best & freshest clean jokes in the world! A Joke a Day guarantees to keep all jokes & humor clean." (Emphasis mine.)

Should jokes be "politically correct"? Should they be "clean"? She these things trump editing & spell-checking? (Apparently the last is a "yes.")

Is making fun of a horrible affliction in which people watch their loved ones turn into strangers, people whom they knew as smart & funny & insightful, suddenly forgetting everything, even them, sometimes wandering off, sometimes angry & frightened, is making fun of that "politically correct"?

The dumbshits at the A Joke A Day mailing list have backed themselves into a corner. They want every joke to be as "clean" as a bon mot from Miss Manners, but humor isn't like that. A lot of what is funny is funny because it's outrageous, &/or contains painful truths that people don't usually articulate.

The occasional offensive joke slipped past the A Joke A Day nimrods reveals, I think, the philosophical bankruptcy of the entire enterprise - & it demonstrates in stark relief why most of the A Joke A Day jokes are not, in fact, jokes after all.

Inbox padding, I suppose, but jokes? Nah.

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Show One Wears Like A Shirt

At long last, come to radio, a hard-hitting, potentially insightful, oftentimes pedantic look at those scourges of our upper bodies: shirts! Have you felt oppressed by your shirt? How about your socks? Well, don't think about your socks - this show is about shirts! Is it possible your deejay did not wear a shirt during this show? How about you? Would you be brave enough to listen to a show about shirts shirtlessly? This is your future we are talking about, friend.

This show was made of a cotton/polyester blend, & washing instructions are on the tag. The shirt is on display at the Self Help Radio website. The front of the show can be scrutinized here, & the back of the show can be admired here. The designs of the shirt are listed below.

Only you can decide how you feel about the tyranny of the shirt.


"Shirt" The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band _Tadpoles_
"Shirt Scene" Marc Riley & The Creepers _Shadow Figure 12"_
"Cambric Shirt" Bruce Hutton _Roll Back The Carpet_

"I Love My Shirt" Donovan _Pied Piper_
"Keep Your Shirt On John (with Hal Lone Pine)" Betty Cody _The Successful Hillbilly Era Of Betty Cody_
"Blue Jeans & A Boy's Shirt" Glen Glenn _Glen Rocks_
"Your Shirt Tail's Out" Hot Lips Page _1946-1950_
"The Boy In The Butterfly Shirt" Damien Youth _Strangest Hits Vol. 2_
"Brown Shirt" Yeah Yeah Noh _When I Am A Big Girl_

"T-Shirt Weather" The Lucksmiths _Where Were We?_
"Let's Make T-Shirts" State Broadcasters _The Ship & The Iceberg_
"No One Notices Your Brand New T-Shirt" Raymond & Maria _No One Notices Your Brand New T-Shirt_


"Rubinoos T-Shirt" Hormones In Abundance _Hit Music Only_
"Nurse's T-Shirt, Kid's T-Shirt" Todd Barry _From Heaven_

"The Little Shirt My Mother Made For Me" Marty Robbins _Just Me & My Guitar_
"Green Shirt" Elvis Costello _Armed Forces_
"Blue Shirt" The Colours _Behind The Banana Curtain_
"The Hairshirt" REM _Green_
"Brother Bill (The Last Clean Shirt)" T-Bone Walker _Very Rare_

"The Boy In The Paisley Shirt" Television Personalities _They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles_
"Me & My Paisley Shirt" Me & Dean Martin _The Sound Of Leamington Spa, Volume 3_
"Paisley Shirt" Baby Doll Lounge _Welcome To The Wetherbeat Scene 1988 - 1991_
"Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)" Haircut 100 _Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)_
"Shirt" Menomena _I Am the Fun Blame Monster! B-Sides!_

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Whither Shirts?

I am exhausted. But I can keep my shirt on. We had a housewarming party last night - we bought a new house in August - & when I say "we" I mean my cats & my wife - but it's only recently become cold enough to need a housewarming - & as I write this I'm not even done with this week's show. I know.

There will be lots of songs about shirts & some frank shirt talk tomorrow, from 7:30 to 9am on WRFL Lexington, 88.1 fm. If you're not in town, or you're somehow shirtless, you can listen to the show on wrfl dot fm. & I'll have the short washed & pressed in time to wear it later in the day at self help radio dot net.

I know, why a show about shirts? Well, why not?