Saturday, March 27, 2021


This picture was taken (by me) four years ago today.  I called it "possum" although there are two possums in the picture (that we can see).  It's a mother & her child.  It was taken in my backyard in Fort Worth, & I was alerted to the strangeness of a nocturnal animal like a possum awake during the day & wandered across a wire by my dog Pauline, who totally lost her shit & got everyone in the house as excited as she was.

It wasn't the first time a possum showed up in our yard, & the other times Pauline & also Yoko attacked the poor marsupial.  & it surely played possum.  I was able to wrangle the dogs back into the house, & checked back later.  The possum the dogs thought they'd dispatched?  Gone.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Films With Tourists!

(image from the IMDb.)

This week's Self Help Radio not only featured tons of songs about tourism, it also featured another delightful installment of Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner in which our resident cinephile explored some films tagged both "tourists" along with "psychotronic"*.  The segment aired on the show - did ya miss it? - no matter, you can listen again at either at Self Help Radio dot net or at kboo dot fm.  Or both, if you're some kind of oddball & you can get them to synch up at the same time.

If you do listen, Chuck has very kindly prepared some supplemental materials for you:

Here's a list of movies on the IMDb tagged with "tourist" & psychotronic.
Here is Chuck's YouTube playlist of movies he talked about featuring tourists.
Here are his Letterboxd reviews of the tourist films.

We didn't get to it, because time, but Chuck also has a couple of links about spring break films (he's so topical):

List of Spring Break films.
YouTube Spring Break playlist.

Want to know what films Chuck is watching right now?  What he may talk about the next time he's on the show?  Keep an eye on his Twitter feed!  Maybe you can watch right along with him!

Can one be a tourist on Twitter?  Holy smokes I hope not.

*If you need a definition of 'psychotronic,' try this link: toward a definition of psychotronic film. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Self Help Radio 032321: Tourism

(original image here*)

How is tourism doing in the age of Covid-19?  Not well, says this report.  Countries that rely upon tourism as a primary source of revenue (if not the primary source of revenue) say they may never recover from a year in which no one got to be a tourist.  Worry not, Barbados & Seychelles!  Self Help Radio is here to give your nations & others like yours a much needed boost!

Yes, Self Help Radio's show about tourism, which aired last night on the mighty KBOO, & was listened to by at the very least one person (who texted me during the show), has brought much-needed perspective & clarity to everyone's attitudes about tourism.  Yes, if the show did what it meant to do, or even if it didn't, especially since it's not entirely sure what it meant to do, your economies will soon be recovered & you'll be welcoming back those precious tourist dollars.  I mean, the vaccine will help.  But Self Help Radio will push you over the edge!

Hear for yourself: listen to the show at the KBOO website or at the Self Help Radio website.  If you choose the latter, you'll need a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp).  Lots of stuff happened during the show, including tons of songs, they'll noted below.

The next time you go on a packaged tour, tell 'em Self Help Radio sent you!

Self Help Radio Tourism Show
"The Tourist" The Jags _Evening Standards_
"Tourist" Daddy Caddy _Root Song Book Vol. No. 1_
"Tourist" Julian Casablancas _Phrazes For The Young_

introduction & definitions

"Tourist Boys" Rachel Sweet _The Akron Compilation_
"Heikki's Suburbia Bus Tour" Rodriguez _Coming From Reality_
"Travel Agent" Monty Python _Monty Python's Previous Record_
"Tourist Attraction" The Death Army _Tourist Attraction/Storm Troop 7"_
"Misguided Tour" Skelocrats _No Exceptions_

interview with Hollywood tour guide Denver Smith

"Self Guided Tours" Black Marble _It's Immaterial_
"Tourists" The Intelligence _Vintage Future_
"Totally Tourist" Nels Cline _The Patio Collection Volume 2_
"Case Study: Smithsonian Audio Tours I" Superego _Superego, Vol. 3, Episode 2_
"Tourist Trap" White Rabbits _Fort Nightly_

interview with my youngest friends Alyssa & Jason

"Safe European Home" The Clash _Clash On Broadway_
"Tourist Season" Ringo _Woman A Ginal_
"Directions For Tourists" Todd Barry _Super Crazy_
"At Home He's A Tourist" Gang Of Four _Entertainment!_
"The Tourist" Lady June _Lady June's Linguistic Leprosy_

interview with the most famous tourist in America, Colonel Gerard Jeffries

"Tour Of The World" Damon & Naomi _The Wondrous World Of Damon & Naomi_
"The Lowly Tourist" Loudon Wainwright III _Unrequited_
"Strange Tourist" Fairmont _Liminal Spaces_
"Tourist Information" Tours _Album Of The Year... (That Never Was)_
"English Tourists" Ruck Rover _Good People's Highway_

another installment of Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner with Chuck talking about movies featuring tourists

"Dreadlock Holiday" 10cc _Bloody Tourists_
"Tourist Trap" Sam Roberts Band _TerraForm_
"Case Study: The Cobblefax Abbey Bus-Along New England Ghost Tour" Superego _Superego Vol. 3, Episode 5_
"Like A Tourist" Of Montreal _False Priest_
"Tourist Town" Marti Jones _Used Guitars_
"Miss Tourist" Lord Kitchener _Klassic Kitchener Volume Two_

our regular idioms segment

"I Hate Tourists" The Freeze _I Hate Tourists_
"Looking For The Tour Guide" The Aggregation _Mind Odyssey_
"Pastel Tourist" Sixteens _Into The Gold Wave Of Future Non Rip-Off!_
"Tourist UFO" Boston Spaceships _Let It Beard_
"The Tortoise & The Tourist" Modest Mouse _Strangers To Ourselves_
"Sky Tourism" The Academy Of Sun _The Quiet Earth_

conclusion & goodbye

"Case Study: The Gorsock Murder Tour" Superego _Superego, Vol. 4, Episode 2_
"7:30 Guided Tour" The Five Americans _The Best Of The Five Americans_
"Tourists From Timenotyet" The Steppes _Destination: Bomp!_

* "The Tourists" by Phil Roeder is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Monday, March 22, 2021

Whither Tourism?

(image from here)

That delightful image above - I'm sorry there's not a bigger version! - is from an article called "Tourism Is Four Times Worse For The Planet That Previously Believed."  The article is from 2018, so I'm almost certain it does not mean this week's episode of Self Help Radio.

As I mentioned on the blog yesterday, I either never knew or kind of forgot that tourism is considered something negative.  Not that it would have stopped me from doing a show about the subject.  In the early days of my show, there was a caller in Austin who seemed irked my themes weren't more happy.  I think in the summer of 2004 I actually did a show with the theme "happy" but it didn't please her.  She called later & said, "I couldn't shake the feeling you were doing the theme ironically."

Not so tourism!  We're going all in!  It'll happen tonight on 90.7 KBOO - & online at - from midnight to 3am.  I think I have five guests on the show with four interviews!  It's jam packed.  Like one of those tour buses when they've overbooked.  Oh.  I am beginning to see how tourism gets its bad reputation.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Preface To Tourism: Packaged Tours

Just a moment ago I was getting some samples from this odd YouTube video & it made me wonder if, when I traveled, I was a traveler or a tourist.  For example, it says that travelers eat the local cuisine, while tourists seek out stuff that is familiar (I guess, like fast food from an international chain).  It also says that travelers strike out on their own, while tourists go on tours with other tourists.

But what if you're a mixture of the two?  I don't eat fast food in the States, why would I eat it abroad?  But I also don't mind a tour if I think it might be fun - like the ones we took in Edinburgh & in Sydney.  There was no chance of us renting a car in the short amount of time we had so hopping on a tour bus was the best option available to see large parts of the area.  But before & after that, we explored both cities mostly by foot.  I remember looking at my health app on my iPhone at the end of the day in Edinburgh & I had walked like ten miles & had over twenty thousand steps.

One supposes that "tourist" has negative connotations, which I hadn't considered when I thought about doing this show.  I also found myself remembering I had done shows previously about holidays as well as travel, & of course the recent souvenirs*.  They all seem to be of a piece with one another.  I guess they could all be some mega-radio show, over eight hours long.  A workday of radio about travel!

Anyway, the point is, except for a couple of snotty songs, I don't think this week's Self Help Radio will look down upon the tourist.  Not intentionally.  Because I don't think, generally, you're simply one or the other - I think you're often a mixture of both.  At least by the definitions in that odd YouTube video.  At least for me.

* One of my collaborators, Jon, made me feel bad about having a show about tourism so soon after souvenirs, so I delayed the show for three weeks.