Thursday, September 07, 2017

Self Help Radio 090617: Guards

(Seriously, these guys are all anyone on the internet thinks about when you type in the word "guards."  Original image here.)

Please enjoy this great, unaired episode of Self Help Radio.  Well, at the very least it was unaired.  & even that seems too generous.

A radio show about guards would be derelict in its duty if it didn't talk about security guards (there's an interview with the dean of the Security Guard School Of America), about art guards (there's an interview with one of them), & about guardian angels (a topic the show's spiritual advisor discusses & expands upon).  In addition, there's a summery set of songs about lifeguards, & something weird happens to me as I am visited by an FBI agent dressed like some kind of guard.  & so many songs.  Why so many songs?  I have a guarded opinion about that.

The show is on guard at the Self Help Radio website.  Please note that, much like being stopped at a guard post before being allowed to enter, you'll need a username & a password.  I wish the password was "swordfish":

But no, the username is "SHR" & the password is "selfhelp."  The shows are divided in two, & what's in the two parts, including the interviews, is listed below.

(part one)

"Border Guards" The Rosebuds _Life Like_
"Changing Of The Guard" The Marquis Of Kensington _The London Look_
"Invisible Ones Guard the Gate" Orenda Fink _Invisible Ones_

"Coast Guard (feat. Holy Worm)" Drug Boyfriend _Coast Guard_
"Coastguard" The Young Knives _Junky Music Make My Heart Beat Faster_
"The Unguarded Moment" The Church _The Church_
"Mon Ange Gardien" April March _All Is Fair In Love & Chickfactor: CF Mixtape 1_

interview with art guard David Fruchter

"Art Guard" Fishboy _Art Guards_
"Standing Guard" Wastrels _Jenner Affair_
"Knocking Down Guardrails" Tina Peel _Pajama Party!_
"River Guard" Smog _Knock Knock_

a discussion about guardian spirits with the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently

"Please Don't Talk To The Lifeguard" Andrea Carroll _Meet The Carroll "Family" Girls_
"What Does A Lifeguard Do In The Fall" June August _Surf Bunnies & Hot Rod Honeys_

(part two)

"Mr Lifeguard (Come & Rescue Me)" Brenda Holloway _The Artistry Of Brenda Holloway_
"I Wanna Be A Lifeguard" Blotto _Hello! My Name Is Blotto. What's Yours?_
"Lifeguard On Duty" Morrissey _Bona Drag_

interview with Security Guard School Of American Dean CJ Buchanan

"Lonely Security Guard" Hayden _In Field & Town_
"Honor Guard" Tobin Sprout _The Universe & Me_
"Traffic Guards" Ronnie Willhoite _The Doorkeepers: A Church Leadership Development Program For Ushers_
"Hopes Up, Guard Down" The Safes _Record Heat_
"Blue Our Old Cell Block Guard" Dale Watson & His Lone Stars _People I've Known, Places I've Been_

surprise visit with FBI Agent Allen Shariaty

"Guardian Angel" Donnie & The Del Chords _Donnie & The Del Chords_
"Guardian Angel" The Children _Every Single Day_
"Guardian Angel" Smack Dab _Majestic Root_
"Guardian Angel" Human Sexual Response _Fig. 15_
"Guardian Angels" Wyldlife _The Time Has Come To Rock & Roll_

"Changing Of The Guards" Patti Smith _Twelve_

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Whither Guards?

(A security guard in Santa Rosa, California, outside a Whole Foods.)

Can I tell you, I feel like I've been a little off.  Been a little depressed, been sleeping poorly, been managing my time unwisely.  I think this has been reflected in the last couple of shows, in both of which I make some pretty dumb mistakes.  I corrected those mistakes on the files which are on the show's website, but for those who were listening, it must've been a case of "it's usually not very good but this week it's worse!"

Not that I'm promising this week will be any better.  Maybe just the opposite: I'm warning you that my slump continues.  But things seemed to go more smoothly for me this week.  The proof is in the radio pudding, of course.  I could very well be writing about this again next week.

So, why guards?  I think the idea for this show came about because of an interesting juxtaposition of experiences.  On a Sunday afternoon a few months ago, I was at the Modern Art Museum Of Fort Worth to see a movie.  They have a theater, you see.  My wife had gone to get the tickets & I was wandering around, looking at gift shop stuff.  I noticed that a security guard nearby seemed to be watching me closely.  I looked at him, he looked away.  I looked away, he turned back to me.  That was weird.  I don't think I look like the kind of guy who would grab a bunch of art postcards & make a run for it.  I looked again, he looked away.  The wife called to me & we went to see the movie.

Later that day I was listening to the new album by Fishboy which is called Art Guards & which has a song on it called "Art Guards."  It occurred to me that museums might be a good theme.  But then I thought, thinking about the furtive security guard earlier, that guards might be a good theme.  The idea was planted, & it was time to harvest this week.  You'll hear the results tonight!

Yes, tonight, from 9-11pm eastern on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington & online as always at Lexington Community Radio Online.  The station has a cool new website, by the way.  I dig it.

Anyway, listen.  Tell me if it sounds like I'm worser than usual.  I can take the criticism.  I'm not at all guarded.  Even tonight!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Preface To Guards: My Own Small Experience In Guarding

No, I have never worked as a security guard.  I've never been employed in any type of security or guarding at all.  Except.  Let me think.

You know, I was thinking about this.  In the Peanuts comic, if I am remembering correctly, there were times when some of the characters got to be crossing guards.  Which means, the people who walked into the road to stop the automobiles from coming through an intersection when children were passing.  If that were something that happened in the past, it did not happen when I was a kid.  Crossing guards were almost always slightly loopy retirees who probably had nothing else to do that day.  Allowing kids to do it would have been crazy.

But perhaps we had hall monitors.  These fucking quislings were students who told on other students who might be trying to cut class or otherwise sneak around, perhaps to go to the bathroom.  I don't remember if my school had hall monitors, but I suppose I would've been glad to be one, anything to relieve the boredom of schooling.  Although standing in the halls pretending to have authority would have been just as boring.  I would not have felt that a sash or a title would have allowed me to tell anyone to do anything.

Probably the one time I ever guarded - or the two times, or whatever - would be whenever I worked the door at some radio station benefit.  In effect, I was a bouncer, which, you must admit, is a kind of guard.  Many times have I checked IDs, looked up will-call names, put wristbands on or stamped hands, all at benefits for whatever radio station I was currently deejaying at.

& if those are experience as guards, then I have virtually no experience at all.  I've never turned anyone away, or tried to cow a disgruntled customer, or thrown my weight around at some difficult situation.  Would I be good at such a thing?  I doubt it!

As for the official guards - the National Guard, the Coast Guard, the Guardians Of The Galaxy - I of course don't qualify for those.  Too old, flat feet, a coward - too many reasons why not.

Anyway, if I were a security guard, it would end up like this poor bastard in The Wire:

Monday, September 04, 2017

Twin Peaks

Back in the day, the late 80s, early 90s, I wasn't what you would call a David Lynch fan.  I suffered through Eraserhead, I was massively bored by Dune, I enjoyed (if that's the right word) Blue Velvet, & I liked Wild At Heart enough, especially because I felt like it encapsulated the themes Lynch was interested in & would return to in his later works.  But nothing knocked me out as much as Twin Peaks*.  It was funny, it was weird, it was terrifying.  There was nothing like it on television, & even in my twenties I knew that meant it was doomed.

My friend Kevin at work turned me on to it - I didn't watch much television in those, my college days.  But I devoured it.  I have the first six episodes memorized.

Of course, the show lost its audience (I remember even some members of my family watched the first few episodes) & the cliffhanger at the end of season two was infuriating.  I was amazed & excited when a revival - a "return" - was announced.

& gosh, was it great!  The past few Sundays have been a joy because of that magical show.  & then last night, the final episode.  Well.  Here's what I said on Facebook:

There are very few television shows that end as strong as they begin.  One of the failings of the first version of Twin Peaks was that it wanted to be a regular weekly television show, which meant it had to add uninteresting plot points to pad episodes.  If American television had the same tradition British television has, we could have had three or four satisfying "series" of Twin Peaks in the nineties, some twenty-four episodes, all strong.  But that's not how it works here.

Some television shows end weakly because they lose popularity.  Some end because they run out of ideas.  & some of them end in such a way they completely invalidate what made them great or captivating in the first place (I'm looking at you, Dexter & Sons Of Anarchy).  None of these really apply to Twin Peaks.

It's been utterly extraordinary how much of a singular (or dual, if you count Mark Front, the series' co-creator) vision this season of Twin Peaks has been.  That's why I can't hate how the show ended.  But I can feel a little betrayed, &, like I said above, resentful.  & this is what I said on Twitter:

That actually doesn't make any sense, but I think I was trying to make the point that no one is really going to understand the series' ending as well as those who made it, although there's a lotta discussion today on the interwebs about that.  Which is fine, discuss away.  I just wish there had been some resolution, instead of an open-ended, open-to-interpretation fade to black.  I am very unhappy about it, although I again stress it hasn't affected the overall experience enough for me to change my love to disgust.

What I am going to do is pretend it ended somewhere in the middle of the 17th episode & the rest doesn't really count.  It's kind of like the comic book Daredevil at the end of the "Born Again" storyline, or the comic Swamp Thing after Alan Moore left.  The endings of those were so satisfying that the comics should've stopped there, or at least been allowed to rest for a few years.  But nope.  Lesser writers & artists took over, & I left.  I'm just going to say I left when Cooper returned to save the day & imagine that the rest of the journey was something some fanboy told me he read about on the internet & I said, "Gee, that's interesting, but also, you must admit, kinda dumb."

Also, David Lynch & I share a birthday.  Just thought I should mention that.

* For the record, my favorite David Lynch film is The Straight Story.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Meet My Pets (Again) # 4: Winston

My favorite puppy is Winston.  It's true.  I admitted it five years ago & I'll say it again now.  He's the beagle that made me fall in love with beagles.  The other two beagles we had previously are my wife's dogs.  George was my wife's before she & I met.  Ringo is still more attached to her, to the point that, sure, he's happy to see me when I come home, but he still runs to the door to wait for her, & he cries out when she's not here.

But Winston, though he still loves his mom more than me, he touched my heart in a way that surprised me.  Before him, I thought I was a cat person, or at least leaned toward cats.  Winston made the balance equal in my heart.  He was so small, he had an affliction (described in the previously linked post), he needed more love & attention, & also he demanded that.

As he's gotten older, he's grayed more than his brothers, but he's still as scrappy as ever, despite back problem, gut problems, teeth problems, & weakened back legs.  He's nigh unstoppable.

The other night he was in bed between me & the wife, & he got up, as he does, to go find somewhere else to sleep.  It always breaks my heart when any of the animals do that, but instead of tumbling off the bed, he came up next to me, turned a couple of times, & made a huffing noise, & plopped under my arm.  You cannot imagine how happy that made me.

The next night, of course, he slept in the living room.