Saturday, August 22, 2020

Preface To A Giant Show: Hairless Giants

Somebody was reading to me - sorry, I'll get to talking about giants or whatever in a second - the history of toupees.  I'm sorry, I mean toupées.  Mustn't forget the accent aigu!  By the way, I wasn't sure I spelled "aigu" properly - I thought it was "ague" because that's sort of how I pronounce it - & I found typed quickly into a search engine, "accent age" - & I got this response:

Accents are forever."  Subheading: By their first birthday, babies are getting locked into the sounds of the language they hear spoken.

That's more about accents from a foreign language rather than regional accents; I actually worked pretty hard when I was sixteen years old to lose the Southern accent that I once had & that graces the voices of all of my siblings.  Actually, my mother, who is German, speaks English - I've been told - with a Southern accent on top of her German accent!

Anyway, someone was reading me an article about the toupée (with the accent aigu) (which my blogger spellcheck says is incorrectly spelled, & it says the same about toupée but not toupee) in which it was said the oldest example of a toupée was found in an Egyptian tomb dated over five thousand years ago.  It also mentioned the Ovid quote, "Ugly are hornless bulls, a field without grass is an eyesore. So is a tree without leaves, so is a head without hair."  Gosh male people have had to deal with the stigma of baldness for a long time!

Toupée use has doubtless grown as we've begun living longer.  I myself have less hair every day.  I remember when I was looking for some consolation from the wife about my fear of balding, I asked if I might have a bald spot forming, hoping she would realize that I wanted her to say no, my hair was fine.  She did say no - that was momentarily gratifying - but then she said, "But of course your hair is thinning.  So maybe soon."

My hair was thinning!  I wouldn't buy a toupée though.  It just seems silly.  It's like when the dentist asks if I am interested in teeth whitening.  Isn't that something one does to feel - not necessarily to be - more attractive?  I've never really felt attractive, so doing something to make me feel attractive seems improbable & silly.  Still, I thought, it might be fun to read an article or even a short book about the history of toupées & wigs.  If only I wasn't always working on radio shows!

Like this one coming up about giants!  I was never going to be a giant myself but I do believe that I am actually shrinking.  The last time I had my height checked, I was around 5/8ths of an inch shorter than the last time I had my height checked.  That doesn't bode well.  In fact, it bodes ill.  Bald & shrimpy, my future seems bleak.  I wonder if it's possible to suddenly grow a hunchback in one's dotage?  If so, I'm doomed.

The word "toupée" by the way comes from the French & means "tuft of hair," or "forelock."  The word itself admits it's not the entire head of hair.  I like that.

Giants probably don't worry about hair loss.  Who can see the top of their heads, anyway?

Friday, August 21, 2020

Project Spacesuit

There once was a suit who wanted to go into space.  It made a list in which, this is true, it wrote, "Prose & cons."  One might be forgiven for thinking it intended to write a musical comedy that takes place in a prison.

Was there someone looking in your mailbox recently?  Don't just be suspicious - announce it to the world!  Someone may need the extra outrage!

The suit didn't have any idea how it would get to space.  It barely got out at all.  It belonged to a stay-at-home dad who had no real occasion to wear it.  Then the virus happened.

It's too hard to keep the cat indoors!  Why do you want me to keep the cat indoors?  It wants to go out, let's just let it out!  The cat's missing?  Really?  Let's put flyers up!  Let's do everything possible to get it back home!

During a commercial break, the suit slipped out.  This was easier than it had imagined.  With a hat to cover its lack of a head, & with a bold saunter that was generally ignored, it managed even to board a flight to Houston.  NASA here we come!

The man next door - he - he's up to his neck in palm oil.  He's just covered in it.  He's slathering it all over himself & he's laughing.  Why would he take such great joy in this?  Doesn't he know?  Should we mention it?  He should know.

NASA met the suit at the airport, I believe it's called Dead George Bush Airport, as it arrived in Houston.  The suit called ahead.  NASA explained that they don't actually send rockets into space anymore.  That happens in Russia.  But here, they made the suit a passport.

It's been so dry recently.  Also things are on fire.  Did we mean to keep everything on fire for so many months of the year?  We should maybe rethink that.  We can't?  There's simply no way to do anything differently that would mean we wouldn't be on fire for most of the year?  Ah well.

The suit landed in Russia & was whisked away to a platform where a rocket was waiting.  It didn't understand Russian, but it knew the universal language of "go that way & you'll be there."  Forced to sit in-between an American astronaut & some Belgian dude who smelled of chocolate, the suit felt for the first time a slight anxiety.  Maybe it was the chocolate odor.

You know that sort-of overpolite way of saying thank you that goes, "You're too kind"?  It's not true.  There simply isn't anyone too kind.  There hasn't been for a while.  When you hear someone say that, remember: it's said with derision, not with gratitude.

At the International Space Station a scientist from Ohio took the suit & showed it the earth moving below.  Then she said, "Hey, you know what?  You're a space suit now!"  The suit had never felt prouder.  Or happier.  Do suits feel happiness?  Probably not.  But pride, sure.  They're clothes, after all!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

How Very Difficult To Make Very Little Sense

Sir, if I may:
You logged into your journal on this late date the following algorithm:
Sloth, kettle, hypospray, collocation.
You expect us, perchance, to solve this as a riddle?
Nonsense, my lord!
Yet may I ask what rights do you take to have, to sully mine own things with your espy?
My espy?
Your espy.
I guess I'm in charge.  I can look at what I want.
That hardly seems in keeping with principles of privacy & civil liberties.
Why do you think we have privacy & civil liberties?
& thus you have divined the meaning of "sloth"!
What sort of game are you playing here?
Is it a game?  Or is it a gamelan?
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't confuse a game with an Indonesian percussion instrument.
It's not one instrument!  It's several.
& you're thinking it resembles a kettle.
To the untrained eye.
Oh god what a stretch.  Look, I don't want to do this anymore.
We're halfway through!
Please don't.
But I...
Star Trek reference.
Damn it!
I mean, I know what a frickin' hypospray is.
Your conscience shall call you coward!
What are you doing?
Looking up "collocation" on my phone.
What are these "phones" of which you speak?
"The habitual juxtaposition of a particular word with another word or words with a frequency greater than chance."
Ha ha, like magic you find...
So your point is "sloth, kettle, hypospray, & collocation" is not collocation & never will be.
Why were you looking in my journal anyway?
You told me to look into your journal!
You said to look into your journal for an algorithm.
Oh yeah.
Then you said "talk in that fakey voice you talk in when you're at ren fairs."
Speaking of ren fairs - why don't we ever do anything fun anymore?
The pandemic.
This damn pandemic!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Self Help Radio 081720: Nothing Left

(Original image here.)

Well.  There's nothing left of Self Help Radio.  Not after this show.

Please note, Self Help Radio is not comparing itself to devastation as that left after a natural disaster, or a human-made disaster like war, or the disaster of time, like the ruins of once-thriving cities.  No, the show just kinda feels that way.

What is there to do after such a feeling?  If there's nothing left, what can you do?  Unless - could it be?  Has the show been engaging in hyperbole?  What if there is, in fact, something left?  Maybe something was saved after nothing was left.  Or maybe - bear with me here - while we thought that there was nothing left, it turns that nothing left.  Something didn't leave.  Nothing left.  & frankly, nothing was holding Self Help Radio back.

Oh, wait.  That means there'll be another episode next week.  Fuck.

If you enjoy the sensation of experiencing nothing left, you may listen to this week's Self Help Radio now & anytime at the Self Help Radio website.  Please remember a username & a password will be needed - I suggest "SHR" for the former, "selfhelp" for the latter.  The show went a smidge over two hours, what happened on the show is listed below.

& now I have nothing left to write.

Self Help Radio Nothing Left Show
"Nothing Left" Roy Milton _Rock 'n' Rhythm & Blues_
"Nothing Left" Buzzcocks _Love Bites_
"Nothing Left" The Primitives _Lovely_

introduction, definitions, & a moment of crisis

"Nothing Left To Do But Cry" Merry Clayton _On The Soul Side_
"Pretty Soon There'll Be Nothing Left For Everybody" Harry Nilsson _Sandman_
"Nothing Left" Jad Fair & Daniel Johnston _Jad Fair & Daniel Johnston_
"Nothing Left To Talk About (feat. Nicky Wire)" Sarah Cracknell _Red Kite_
"Nothing Left To Be Desired" Johnny "Guitar" Watson _A Real Mother For Ya_

Ned Dry's first guest: a juggler?

"Nothing Left At All" The Cranberries _Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?_
"Nothing Left In My Heart" Babes _Untitled (Five Tears)_
"Nothing Left (To Say)" The Lodger _Life Is Sweet_
"Nothing Left To Give" Kelly Garrett _You Step Into My World_
"(Nothing Left But) Poison In The Rain" Herman Düne _Next Year In Zion_

Ned Dry's second guest: singer/songwriter Mayor McCheese

"Nothing Left To Give" Thelma Houston _Motown Floorshakers_
"There Is Nothing Left" The Drums _Encyclopedia_
"Nothing Left" Allison Weiss _Say What You Mean_
"Nothing Left" Seapony _Falling_
"Nothing Left To Lose" Wipers _Land Of The Lost_

Ned Dry's third guest: Sir Archibald Von Poesy

"There's Nothing Left To Do But Cry" The Baroques _Wyld Sydes Volume Six_
"Nothing Left" The Leaving Trains _The Big Jinx_
"Nothing Left To Say" The Eyeliners _Here Comes Trouble_
"Nothing Left To Say" The Makes Nice _Candy Wrapper & Twelve Other Songs_
"Nothing Left To Lose" Earl Thomas _Blue... Not Blues_

conclusion & goodbye

"Nothing Left Of Me" Rita Hosking _Little Boat_
"Nothing Left" Jake Clemons _Eyes On The Horizon_
"Nothing Left" Nikki Sudden _The Boy From Nowhere Who Fell Out Of The Sky, Vol. 3_
"Nothing Left To Say" Skywave _Synthstatic_

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Whither Nothing Left?

(Beirut.  Image from here.)

Is this it?  Is there nothing left of Self Help Radio but a radio show with the theme "nothing left"?  Is it finally over?  Is our long national nightmare at long last finally over?!?!?

Nah, it's just a bunch of songs which use the phrase "nothing left."  When you listen to music as much as I do, you start noticing recurring words, phrases, themes.  One of them was "nothing left."  This was before Beirut, before that stupid, terrible accident, & in fact in news reports people would say, "There's nothing left there."  So it makes the show seem somewhat timely, although also somewhat opportunistic, & then it's gross, so I say, the idea for the show happened way before the explosion at the port in Beirut!

So. There'll be nothing left on the radio tomorrow from 8-10am on Freeform Portland, that's Monday morning, on 90.3+98.3fm here in Portland, & online everywhere at

But if there's nothing left, what's there to listen to?  Tune in to find out!