Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Gary Files # 3: Gary Collins

(I found this photo here.)

An explanation: Since the name Gary is going extinct, I thought it incumbent upon me to celebrate more notable Garys than myself.  This is the third of a series!

Gary Collins was, according to the Wikipedia, a "an American film & television actor & award-winning talk show host."  After a long career in television, continues the Wikipedia, Collins "hosted the Group W television talk show Hour Magazine from 1980 to 1988, & co-hosted the ABC television series The Home Show from 1989 to 1994. He was the host of the Miss America Pageant from 1982 to 1990."

When did you first become aware of him?  Saw him on television doing talk show stuff when I was a kid.  I don't remember The Home Show, since those were my college days & I didn't watch a lot of television then, but I must have sat through Hour Magazine more than once when I was flipping channels & nothing else was on.  I vaguely remember the commercials.

Did you like the show?  I have no memory of the show itself, I can't bring to mind a set or any format at all.  Looking at the show's IMDb page, I can see it was a celebrity ass-kiss of the highest order, so perhaps I tuned in when someone I gave a shit about was the guest.

What about his acting career?  Do you remember seeing him on television in dramas in the 1970s?  Not at all.  He has a generic middle-aged man look that would've made it hard for me to tell him apart from half of the other actors in television at the time.  If I watched three different shows that he guest-starred on back-to-back I might not be able to tell he was on all of them, or maybe even what characters he played.

Maybe that's why he became a talk show host?  I guess so.  Sometimes they aren't required to have much of a personality.

Do you remember seeing him in infomercials in the past few years?  Oh yeah, & I remember when the people behind the informercials got in trouble with the FCC.  I always notice when someone named Gary gets in trouble.

Did you know he was an alcoholic?  Aren't all actors alcoholic?

Is his name really Gary?  Yes, Gary Ennis Collins.

Do you know why he was named Gary?  I'll bet it's because of Gary Cooper.  He's responsible for all the Gary names during the time he was a star.  But I can't say for sure.

He's dead now, you know.  Poor bastard.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Self Help Radio 092915: The Holy Show

(I found the clip art halo here.)

Holy smokes, I finished another Self Help Radio.  Hopefully without offending anyone.  (Some people act pretty "holier-than-thou," if you know what I mean.)

What happened on the show, you may ask, before you download it & utterly waste your time?  I'll tell you!  I talked to a college professor who's written about cool Eastern religions.  I chatted about minced oaths.  I spoke with internet sensation Holy Joe!  (He always writes his name with an exclamation mark, & yes, he's always yelling.)  I played a lot of songs about holy things - & yes, in alphabetical order.  Except the last song.  The next deejay ran a little late.

This is important: you don't have to be holy to enjoy this show.  Though it might help to be sanctimonious.  You can listen to the show now & even at church over at self help radio dot net.  Being ultra holy won't help you listen unless you know the password/username combination.  It's available on the page.  All the holiest of songs I played are listed below.

I'll see you in hell!

(part one)

"Holy Holy" David Bowie _The Man Who Sold The World_
"Holy Are You" Electric Prunes _Release Of An Oath_
"Holy Calamity (Bear Witness II)" Handsome Boy Modeling School _So... How's Your Girl?_

"Holy Cow" Lee Dorsey _Working In The Coal Mine_
"Holy Cow" The Aurbisons _The Sound Of Leamington Spa, Vol. 1_
"Holy Dances" Beach House _Devotion_
"Holy Dotage" Magazine _No Thyself_

"Holy Fire" Robert Pollard _Lord Of The Birdcage_
"Holy Fool" Love & Rockets _Lift_
"Holy Forest" Pinkshinyultrablast _Everything Else Matters_
"Holy Ghost" Happy Mondays _Hallelujah_

"Holy Head" The Wake _Make It Loud_
"Holy Honey" The Wreckery _Past Imperfect_

(part two)

"The Holy Hour" The Cure _Faith_
"Holy Joe" Haysi Fantayzee _Battle Hymns for Children Singing_
"Holy Love" Julian Cope _Fried_

"Holy Mackerel" Prentice Moreland _Holy Mackerel! Pretenders To Little Richard's Throne_
"Holy Moly" The Pastels _Sittin' Pretty_
"Holy Mountain" Best Friends _Hot. Reckless. Totally Insane._
"Holy Night Fever" Deerhoof _Reveille_

"Holy Picture" Sebadoh _III_
"Holy River" House Of Love _She Paints Words In Red_
"Holy Roll" Rufus & Ben Quillian (Blue Harmony Boys) _Hokum, Blues & Rags_
"Holy Smoke" Tony Allen _Rhythm & Blues Goes Rock & Roll, Vol. 2_

"Holy Water" The Triffids _Calenture_
"Hole In The Holy" Echo & The Bunnymen _Echo & The Bunnymen_

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Whither The Holy Show?

(I found this cartoon here.)

Can I tell you, I kind of agonized over this show?  I had a recent experience where something I was involved in, which had no hint of offense, had to be changed because it might have been offensive.  I don't know if I've ever worried about that before.

For example, a while ago I did a show about glue.  During one airbreak, I pretended to sniff glue on the air.  Later on, of course, I admitted I hadn't sniffed glue, but the only comment I got (& yeah, I am assuming more than one person was listening, which is perhaps a bad assumption) was someone saying, "This is why I love your show!"

But the climate is weird.  Someone like Kim Davis - who lives & works within about an hour & a half's drive from here - should I put works in quotes? - who lives & "works" close to me - she can refuse to do her job because of her beliefs.  My sensitive brain was saying to me, "What if someone thinks by doing a 'holy show,' I'm somehow making fun of people's beliefs?"

Once upon a time I worked in a building on the campus of the University of Texas.  I ran a computer lab.  I had to be in the lab at 8am every morning, so I'd drag myself into old Batts Hall, take the ancient elevator up to the second floor, & open my lab.  During one semester in the mid-90s, some joker with a sharpie would write, probably twice a week, the phrase "Jesus was gay" on the inside of the elevator door.  I would note it with amusement but would otherwise be unaffected by it.

Around 9:30 or so, I'd have to go downstairs to do something in my department's office.  I'd stumble into the antique elevator, & what would be on the wall?  Desperate scratching, violent crossings-out, crazy wild strokes of pen, pencil, or marker, all over the phrase "Jesus was gay."  I mean, the door probably needed repainting, but this was a strange way to suggest it!

What struck me about this odd little back-&-forth is how insecure the reaction was to a meaningless little phrase.  How in the world does it affect your faith if someone believes or says something about it that you disagree with?  I suspect most people would have shrugged the graffiti off, if they even noticed it - I imagine some eyes don't focus until they've had coffee.  But there are the others - the ones who just cannot allow what they consider insult or even blasphemy to exist.  So they deface public property in such a way that draws more attention to the provocative scribble.

Which is my way of saying, who the hell knows.  I may offend someone today, someone who thinks the word "holy" is, well, "holy."  It's not my intention.  But boy the possibility that it might has affected some of the things I might say on the air.  Expect me to be more self-censoring than is my normal practice.

Hey!  Find out how inoffensive I can be today from 4-6 pm on 88.1 fm in Lexington, & also simultaneously online at wrfl dot fm if you like to listen to the radio & the computer at
the same time.  I'll archive the show tomorrow on the show's website, of course, but it'll be in real time that I might ruffle some feathers.

It does seem to me that the thin-skinned are, in fact, covered in feathers.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Preface To The Holy Show: New Rules

The show this week is called "the holy show."  Will it be a collection of my favorite gospel tunes, especially those of old-time country & blues songs?  Or will it an ironic collection of skeptical/critical songs in the popular music idiom taking aim at religiosity?  Or will it be both?

It will be neither.  Because I am a boring dude, it'll be songs in which people use the word "holy," either in the sense of an oath ("Holy Moly!") or to describe something ("Holy Thursday").  Seriously, I am so boring.  Rereading my first paragraph, I'm like, why couldn't I have played an entire two hours of cool old gospel music?  (It might be because I've kinda already done it, for an hour at least.)  But no, it's a Self Help Radio thing.

& there are a lot of songs in which things are described as holy.  Quite a few.  So I then thought to myself: maybe I should just play songs in which the title is "Holy Blank" (where the word blank indicates another noun or whatever).  Further, what if I try to do it in alphabetical order?!?

Holy spit, I think I lost you there.  Hey, I haven't even finished listening to music for the show, I don't know how the hell it's going to come out.

As a bonus, here's a song I'll probably talk over - but it's an awesome piece of music by David Axelrod, called "Holy Thursday."  (It's based on the William Blake poem.)  Enjoy it!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sometimes It Needs Reminding

This is Yoko.

Self Help Radio has a Tumblr page.  I don't reblog (re-tumbl?) things there, I don't do anything really that's related to the show there.  I just put my dumb photographs, like the one above of my home's newest addition, the yaptastic Yoko, on there, in batches of ten, in no coherent order, with no discernible theme, except "pictures I have taken in the last couple of months that I have gotten around to looking at on my digital camera & that I like enough to share."

Please note: I don't think of myself as a photographer, I don't think of myself as an artist, I'm just taking pictures of things I think are lovely, weird, funny, etc.  Maybe you'll enjoy looking at them too.    Maybe you'd like me to be friends/follow/whatever it is your Tumblr blog.  Follow me, I'll follow you.  Most of the time.  I don't always pay attention.