Saturday, March 21, 2020

Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting

Someone told me today was the first day of Spring but Googly says it was Thursday.  Here's a question: does time even matter anymore?  Here's a follow-up: what the actual fuck?

Yesterday I said I'd try to get stuff done but I finished the night staying up really late & binging coronavirus websites & then watching two Cinemasins episodes about two movies I'll never watch.

That's no excuse but a good night's sleep would be nice.  I wonder what that would feel like in this day & age.

One thing I keep finding myself doing is hearing old classic rock songs from my youth in my head & revisiting them on Youtube.  Mostly it's a disappointment - I will for example like a section of the song but find most of it quite silly - especially noodly guitar solos - but mostly I'm surprised how many of them have lyrics I simply never quite knew.  Like the Elton John song after which this post is named.  Here's a little background:

The first album I ever owned, the first record that was exclusively mine, was Elton John's Greatest Hits.  I loved it mainly for the song "Rocket Man" (though I had yet to see William Shatner's definitive version) & possibly "Daniel," a song that always freaked me out for some reason.  Anyway, the song "Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting" - & yeah, I know it's "Alright," I just can't bring myself to use the incorrect grammatical word, I'm sorry - that song never really grabbed me, & part of the reason why that I heard the lyrics wrong.

"Saturday's night all right for fighting, get a little action in," is how it goes.  For some reason - might it be because I got the record in 1976? - I thought the song said, "even in an election year."  There was a part of my eight-year-old mind that somehow accepted the premise that you shouldn't fight in election years, but Elton John was arguing that that indeed was fine.  Wanna scuffle on a Saturday in 1968?  Totally cool.  Bash some brains between Friday & Sunday in 1972?  Go for it.  Beat up some drunkards on a weekend in 1980?  You can do it dude!  Eight year old me appreciated the specificity but found it a tad unrelatable.

How many lyrics have I heard wrong my entire life?  You could narrow it down to Elvis Costello lyrics & it would be a troubling number.

Not as troubling as the world is right now, & who knows, maybe my mind is attempting to comfort me with soothing sounds from my childhood.  They might have been soothing then, but of course old Gary does find a lot of them, as I said, a little silly.  Still, keep 'em coming.  It's a welcome respite from the news which has no hope for any of us in sight.

Wait, I shouldn't speak for everyone.  The very rich will come through this all right.  They always do.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Panic & Depression

People text me - some email me - it's really been just a couple of people - a couple of people have either texted or emailed me - they ask me how I'm doing.  I say I spend a lot of time feeling panicked & a lot of time feeling depressed.  My wife isn't a terribly empathetic person & she doesn't really know how to deal with me in times like this.  Of course, I've known her for almost twenty years, I don't expect her to.

There's Twitter, there's the news, there's online reading, there's Next Door dot com.  There's walking the dogs in glorious spring weather - it's supposed to rain in a few days, maybe that fix something with my mood - there's so many people at home, outside, they're walking their dogs, they're taking their kids to the park.  Some are truly foolish - my wife noticed people playing volleyball - at least ten people touching the same ball & batting it to one another - & she said, "The winner of that game is COVID-19."  We've stopped letting people pet our dogs - & the smarter people don't try.

Tonight I went to get some food at a vegan Chinese place & they basically made us pay over the phone & put the food out on a table in the foyer.  They texted us when it was ready.  That seems completely crazy.  But welcome to this world.

& everyone's saying it'll get worse before it gets better.  My god, look at Italy.

But as far as I know I'm healthy (probably not, but for now...) & I have stuff to do.  I finished my third Freeform prerecord, that was fun, maybe I'll share them on the website.  I will spend the weekend working on the Dickenbock Report.  Last week at this time - last week! - I had decided to stop doing Sugar Substitute because I was too exhausted.  Now I could have three episodes of that in the can.  But it's best to do it for Freeform - right now people are making cool mixes for rotation.  It's adventurous to listen now.

Okay, I'm going to try to forge ahead.  Try to get shit done.  Try not to be overwhelmed by this strange world we're going to have to live in for some time.  It's been a week!  Five days ago I waited in line at Costco for toilet paper.  I don't even want to repeat what I've read online today.  Although this article was a true fucking delight: Texas Antivaxxers Fear Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines More Than The Virus Itself.  Really?  Holy shit.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Can I Tell You Something?

This might be weird.  I did it for so long.  But I don't really like prerecording my shows.

This is something I admit as I am actively prerecording shows for Freeform Portland, & as I plan to prerecord one or more Dickenbock Reports for KBOO.

Here's the thing: I don't want to do it for Self Help Radio.  I feel the need to apologize.  But I spent so long doing the show prerecorded, I simply prefer to do it live.

But I know I won't be able to do it live for a while.  So maybe - not do it?

Things are changing fast, my mind might change in a week.  But there won't be a new Self Help Radio - even as a podcast - next week.

That's what I wanted to tell you.  I hope that's okay.

Monday, March 16, 2020

It Felt Weird

Not doing a show today.  I'll podcast next week.  I'm making some freeform shows for random play on Freeform, maybe I'll share them on my web site.

Fuck, it's just generally weird out here.  I waited in line at Costco for toilet paper today.  & I suspect it will just get stranger.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Whither Virus Cancels Self Help Radio?

(Original image here.)

In case you haven't heard - or you haven't read this blog - both KBOO & Freeform Portland have closed their studios for the time being in response to the coronavirus.  This means I won't be able to do Self Help Radio this week or perhaps for several weeks.  (But you know me - I'll probably make a podcast next week.  The reason I didn't do it this week is because I was waiting to hear what the plan was for prerecords or other broadcast options, & I just got the news this morning.  Not enough time, alas, to make a podcast.)  Okay, most of this post is parenthetical.  That's bad writing, right there.

Yes, this is disappointing but I am 100% behind the decision at Freeform.  The news we get from the rest of the world is a horror story, & everyone is advising us to act as if we're already infected & that means not infecting anyone else.  That's a good idea & I am proud of the decisive action taken at both stations.  (I will have a prerecord of the Dickenbock Report for the week after next, although I'm not sure if it will air at its regular time at this point.)

This is a bummer but eventually this virus will be contained & we can go back to whatever semblance of normal is left.  I myself have been a bit depressed about it all but will do what I can to help.  I'll keep you apprised of any radio appearances I may have & most probably (like I said) will make a Self Help Radio podcast in a week.

Please take care of yourselves.