Friday, March 13, 2015

Self Help Radio 031315: Faith

(Original image here.)

I have come in good faith to present to you this week's show, which was about faith.  Indeed, I have faithfully preserved it as it was broadcast & in high fidelity sound made it available for your listening pleasure.  Truly, it is allegedly enjoyable to people of all faiths, or of no faith, or both, or neither.  Have I made every possible reference to faith in this silly paragraph?  Good!

The show is now available for listening, faithful one, at the Self Help Radio website.  Please pay attention to username/password (SHR/selfhelp) combination required to access the shows.  The songs I played are listed below.

As always, thanks for listening!  Oh man, I should've said, "Thanks for keeping the faith!"  But my delete button doesn't work.  I can never go back.

(part one)

"Faith" Dion _The Complete Laurie Singles_
"Faith" The Charade _A Real Life Drama_
"Faith" Kristin Hersh _Sky Motel_

"Faith, Hope, & Trust" Faye Ross _Romark Records: Kent Harrris' Soul Sides_
"Faith, Hope & Charity" Fun Boy Three _Fame_
"(Do You Ever Get Tired Of) Keeping The Faith?" Jail Weddings _Meltdown: A Declaration Of Unpopular Emotion_
"I Keep Faith" Billy Bragg _Mr. Love & Justice_

"Faith" Sex Clark Five _Strum & Drum_
"Don't Lose The Faith" The Dears _No Cities Left_
"Don't Lose Faith In Me Lord" Eric Mercury _The Complete Stax-Volt Soul Singles: 1972-1975_
"Have Faith In Me" Eula Cooper _Eccentric Soul: The Tragar & Note Labels_
"Have A Little Faith In People" The Lodger _Flashbacks_

"Blind Faith" The Monroes _The Monroes_
"No Faith" David J _Urban Urbane_

(part two)

"True Faith" New Order _True Faith_
"Faith" The Boy Least Likely To _The Best B Sides Ever_

"Faith" Shack _Zilch_
"Ever Had A Little Faith?" Belle & Sebastian _Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance_
"Growing Faith" White Fence _Is Growing Faith_
"Ye Of Little Faith" Folk Family Revival _Unfolding_

"Leap Of Faith" The Individuals _Fields/Aquamarine_
"Losing Faith" The Shining Hour _Postcards From Home_
"Losing Faith" Love Dance _Result_
"Keep Your Faith Baby" Chuck Bridges _SuperFunk: Rare Funk From Deep In The Crates_

"Faith" The Cure _Faith_

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Whither Faith?

My mother always tells me, "There are three things you should never talk about, & that's religion, politics, or sports."

My response is always, "Oh, three things people care deeply about!"

It might not surprise you that I never follow her advice.  Certainly not here!

There's something, therefore, it might be important to ask, "Why would someone who really doesn't have any faith do a radio show about faith?"

Because - spoiler alert - I don't really have any faith at all.  I have no real religion or religious beliefs, & when asked by believers I tell them I don't believe in anything supernatural.  When I hear people talking about "god," I usually ask them which one they're talking about.  Because it seems to me weird that even people who claim not to believe usually talk about a god assuming it's the one their culture has agreed upon, even though there have been many, many gods in human history.  & I'd hate to disrespect someone who's waxing eloquent about their god & make some sort of faux pas because I didn't clarify whether they're talking about Yahweh or Jupiter.

That doesn't explain why I'm doing a show about faith.  I'm pretending to be having an argument here, so I'll list two defenses of my show I don't really need.

1) It's in my nature to explore things that I don't necessarily agree with/believe in.  I'm a vegan, & haven't eaten meat since I was 18, but I've done a show about butchers before.  I'm sure there were other shows about things that I don't endorse, condone, care for, care about, or have ambivalent feelings around.  Some of my shows, in case you haven't noticed, are about dumb things.  It's true!

2) It turns out most people don't write songs that resemble theological discussions.  Most songs about faith, actually, are about having faith in someone, or not having faith in someone, rather than the sort of faith we associate with a religious belief.

I will talk about religious faith.  Some of my "guests" (you must know they're just friends pretending to be experts, right?) will talk about religious faith.  But mostly the show will be about fidelity to someone rather than to a deity.

Do I need to have faith in anything to have a show like that?  Nah.  In the same way I can do a show about soldiers & never have served.  What a marvelous world this can be.

The show is on tomorrow morning from 7-9 am on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington & online simultaneously at the station's website.  It will find its way some time later in the day to the show's website.  Either way, you'll have an opportunity to hear it if you want.  You don't need faith to believe that!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Preface To Faith: Faith-Based

I'm not going to get to play this on my show this week, because it's only got a section of it that deals with faith, this week's theme.  But I like it a lot, & it's by the great George Carlin, from his book When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?.  It's part of the audio book, the section called "Activist Language."

Let's see if I can embed it on the blog properly...

Yes? Good? Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Awful Catty In Here

I don't mean to complain, but boy do I have a lot of cats.  Someone told the wife that all our cats look the same.  They don't.  There's a picture of them below.  Four of them are still with us.  One thing they do all have in common is names that begin with the letter B.

I don't know why that is.  It's just something that happened.

A million years ago, I was dating a girl named Lauren.  She had taken to feeding this obese gray cat with a broken tail outside her apartment.  She called her "Owl" or "Owl Baby" most of the time.  But we never officially named her.  We didn't know if she were a boy or girl, actually, until Lauren managed to capture her & take her to the vet to be spayed.  At some point in time - it seemed like years because we were both young but was probably just a few weeks - a beautiful young cat showed up, & he must've been more domesticated, because Lauren was able to catch him quite easily & took him to get neutered.

There, she found out he had feline leukemia.  So she decided to keep him indoors, since he could spread the disease to other cats & also his health would worsen in the cruel outdoor world.  I named him Blue Boy because I was reading a book by Jean Giono at the time with that as the title; its original title was Jean le Bleu.

My wife Magda lets me name all our pets, too, which I find weird.  Why did Lauren let me name her cat?  She did, though.  All the cats in this story got named by me.

Lauren moved from her apartment to a duplex some time thereafter, & took both cats with her.  Her roommate had two big dogs, golden retrievers if I recall correctly.  The cats effectively lived in her room with her.  We broke up, sort of, soon after she moved to that duplex, which was weird, because she now lived just two blocks away from me.  She decided to travel for the Christmas vacation, & asked if I could feed her cats.  She said she didn't know her roommate too well, & felt weird about asking her.  She never thought that it might be weird for me to enter a stranger's house regularly to clean a litter box & feed cats.  But I did it, because I loved the cats, & was still very much in love with Lauren.

Owl Girl (as we had started calling her) would eat readily when I came, but Blue Boy needed lots of love.  While I petted him, the big girl ate all his food.  Since I lived two blocks away, & since Blue Boy was amazingly sweet, I just carried him home & fed him there.  When Lauren returned, she didn't ask for him back.  So he became my first cat.

A few years & a couple of girlfriends, later, I went to Dallas to visit my mother with a beautiful woman named Susan.  One of my sisters had a boy tabby kitten she wanted me to take home, & my other sister had a cute tortoise-shell girl cat she wanted me to adopt, so I impetuously decided to adopt both of them, & Susan got to ride back from Dallas with two tiny kittens sleeping in her lap.  The girl was given to my friends Joe & Suloni.  I kept the boy, whom I named after one of my idols, Buster Keaton.  Buster Kitten.  Get it?

Blue Boy died a year after I got Buster.  He eventually was unable to eat anything, & just wasted away.  I am still wracked with guilt about his last days.  It's very hard to write about because for a long period there, Blue Boy was my best friend.  I thought Buster would be good for him but he probably wasn't.  Maybe one day I'll write about how I did just about everything wrong with Blue Boy's condition.

After Blue Boy died, I had Buster tested for feline leukemia.  I was so grateful when he tested negative.  Blue Boy & Buster did play a lot - Blue Boy was around five years old, & Buster was a kitten.

Buster & I lived together for maybe a year when I adopted Beatrice.  I named her that because she was so beautiful & I felt that I would travel through hell to find her.  She was pretty much raised by Buster, & she has really only loved the two of us her entire life.  When she was a kitten, she would make these mad runs up the curtain in the duplex I lived in.  When I would close the curtains on a sunny day, little beams of light would shine through from her claw-holes.  When I moved out of the place, I made sure I
left the curtains open when my landlord came by.  I wanted to get some of my deposit back.

Buster & Beatrice got to be the only two cats I had for a very long time, although I had met a girl with a dog by this point, & another dog appeared four years after I got Beatrice.  Two years after that, the girl with the dogs who was now living with me called me from her veterinarian's office & asked if she could bring another cat home.  This would be a black monster whom I called Bolan, because he seemed to be born to boogie.

Buster died too young of something called FIP.  I wrote about it on this blog at the time.  It was, in many ways, harder than Blue Boy's death, since it came on so quickly.  I was just looking at pictures of him.  I miss his drooly face so much.

We had adopted another beagle by then, & when the family moved to West Virginia, we were two humans, two cats, & three dogs.  In West Virginia, a colleague of the woman who was now my wife brought a completely fuzzy thing to our house.  They called her Elizabeth, & wanted us to adopt her, because she was living outside in a barn in Ohio, & the wife begged me to let her in.  I changed her name to Bronte because she has a strange elegance & didn't seem to be from our time.  By this point, of course, I was actively looking for names that started with the letter B.

She, it turned out, has asthma, & that story will have to wait for a different post.  But she did turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to Bolan.  The two of them spend a great deal of time together.  Their affection for one another is downright shameless.

& I guess it's been almost a year - or it will be, in April - that we adopted the most recent of the cats in this place.  Did I tell the story here?  Yes, I did.  He was a Kentucky adventurer, & so he earned the name of Boone.  He & Bolan get along very well, & the wife adores him.

I have to say again: it's rather catty in this place - Beatrice, at nearly 15, is the oldest; Bolan, at almost nine, is the the male patriarch; Bronte, at seven & a half, is the little sister; & Boone, at maybe three? two? is the baby of the house, but only just - a vet told us he was between one & two when we got him, & I gave him the real Daniel Boone's birthday.

Seriously, though.  Awful catty in here.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Twin Obsessions

In-between the listening & searching that is required for my dumb radio show, as well as my daily listen to new stuff I've acquired, I've spent the past couple or three days returning to two particular artists.  In no particular order.

I've been listening to the Mountain Goats a lot recently.  It started last week when, tasked with shoveling snow, I grabbed my iPod & it was the first band, on random, that I heard.  I stopped the random nonsense & listened to The Sunset Tree & Transcendental Youth in their entirety.  (There was a lot of damn snow.)  Today I prepared dinner while listening to Get Lonely, which is sparse, unsparing record, not as bleak as The Sunset Tree, but still dark.  Dark.

The other is Momus' new album, Turpsycore.  Well, a third of Momus' new album.  It's three discs, one of Momus originals, one of covers of Howard DeVoto/Magazine covers, & one of Bowie covers.  I have found I can't yet get beyond the Bowie covers.  They're so brilliant.  They feel right.

Marc Bolan, in a T.Rex song, once sang, "Deep in my heart, there's a room that can hold just about all of you."  Sometimes I'm amazed at how much music I hold in my heart.  I'm a hoarder in that sense.