Friday, July 14, 2023

Self Help Radio 071323: The Dumb Show

(Original image here)

Dumb show? More like FUNmb show, amirite? Oh that was dumb.

My week of computer hell continued yesterday with my laptop deciding to malfunction a half-hour before the show, so I began the show in a kind of panic. You may recall I was having issues with my web host last week - they appear to have been fixed without any input from me, which validates my original belief that it wasn't anything I was doing wrong - so computer fuckery came home to haunt me. But. No matter how dumb I was, how dumb the things happening to me were, how dumb ultimately everything I do is - the dumb show aired & that's all I could hope for. Gosh I'm dumb.

You can get in on all this dumbness by visiting the Self Help Radio website. Remember, to listen you'll need a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp). The entire show can be downloaded for later, & everything that happened is mentioned below.

Hey! You're not dumb I'm dumb!

Self Help Radio's Dumb Show
"Dumbbell" The Cadillacs _The Complete Josie Sessions_
"Dumb Head" Sharades _Let's Go - Joe Meek's Girls!_
"Young, Dumb" Curtis Blandon _Lost Deep Soul Treasures Volume 1_

introduction & definitions

"Dum Fun" Bonnie Hayes with the Wild Combo _Good Clean Fun_
"I Love You, You Big Dummy" Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band _Lick My Decals Off, Baby_
"Dumbo The Flying Elephant" Joan Gerber _The Story Lady_
"The Dumb Waiters" The Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast _Can't Stop It! Australian Post-Punk 1978-82_
"Dumb" Poprace _Clear EP_

interview with self-described dumb person Wendy Ebersoll

"Dum Dum Girl" Talk Talk _It's My Life_
"Yeah, I'm Dumb" Grover _My Wild Life_
"The Dumb Gay Friend" Patton Oswalt _Finest Hour_
"We Play Dumb" Shampoo _Girl Power_
"Dum Dum" The Vaselines _The Way Of The Vaselines: A Complete History_

interview with Winston Evers, who has a "solution" for dumb people

"Poor Dumb Bird" Ida _Ten Small Paces_
"Big Dumb Man" John Maus _A Collection Of Rarities & Previously Unreleased Material_
"Teenagers Are Dumb" Jen Kirkman _Hail To The Freaks_
"Young & Dumb" The Lucksmiths _Warmer Corners_
"Dumbhead" The Shermans _In Technicolor_

interview with Walter Edwards, who likes dumb people

"Dumb It Down" Pernice Brothers _Discover A Lovelier You_
"Young & Dumb" The Soft City _The Soft City_
"Dumb Things" Doug Benson _Potty Mouth_
"Sticky Dumb Gum" Tada Tátà _Tada Tátà_
"Don't Act Dumb" Sonny & The Sunsets _Hit After Hit_

interview with Webster Engels, who doesn't like the word dumb

"Dum Dum" The High Violets _Heroes & Halos_
"Dumb Baby" The Coathangers _Nosebleed Weekend_
"Hey Dummy" The Exbats _E Is 4 Exbats_
"Dumb Dad?" John Heffron _The Better Half_
"Life Is Hard, But Life Is Hardest When You're Dumb" Austin Lounge Lizards _Small Minds_

conclusion & goodbye

"Dumb All Over (live)" Frank Zappa _Have I Offended Someone?_
"Dummkopf" Parsnip _Health 7"_
"Dumb" The Beautiful South _Quench_

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Whither The Dumb Show?

(image from the Wikipedia)

First of all, I do know what a dumbshow is. Says the Wikipedia,

Dumbshow, also dumb show or dumb-show, is defined by the Oxford Dictionary of English as "gestures used to convey a meaning or message without speech; mime." In the theatre the word refers to a piece of dramatic mime in general, or more particularly a piece of action given in mime within a play "to summarize, supplement, or comment on the main action"

In the Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre & Performance, Michael Dobson writes that the dumbshow was originally "an allegorical survival from the morality play." It came into fashion in 16th-century English drama in interludes featuring "personifications of abstract virtues & vices who contend in ways which foreshadow & moralize the fortunes of the play's characters."

This week's Self Help Radio will not be a dumbshow. It will be a dumb show.

Second of all, that just means lot of song featuring the word "dumb." But not dumb meaning "mute," instead dumb meaning "not very smart." Depending on how mean-spirited you're feeling, you could say a "dumb Self Help Radio episode" is redundant, or to be expected, or the norm. Please insert your favorite insult here. But really I was just digging lots of tunes that featured "dum" or "dumb" or "dummy" & thought wow it would be really dumb to do a dumb show. & so I shall.

When? Today! Noon to 2pm Portland time!
Where? In Portland! On 90.3+98.3fm!
But also! Online at freeform portland dot org!

It's not really for me to say but I think it might be dumb to miss it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Preface To Dumb: Bumper Stickers

Isn't it fascinating what people will put on their cars? Imagine that one thought - Baby Boomers Are Dumb - so resonated with this driver that the sticker was purchased & put in a place where anyone driving near could read it & where it would be particularly hard to remove. I've never removed a bumper sticker before but I assume it's hard to do. It must be a pain.

For the record, I have two bumper stickers on my car. One is a Freeform Portland bumper sticker, one is from a local place & it says "Vegan, I heart you." The vegan one was the first bumper sticker I have put on a car since I had my first car back in the 1980s.

One friend I had put lots of band stickers on his car back in the day. I didn't have a car by then & so I might've done that. Family members put bumper stickers that said things like "Whoever dies with the most toys wins." It's like putting a one-liner by a comedian on your car - "Take my wife, please!"

& I've never made bumper stickers for Self Help Radio. Who would want one of those?

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Learning How To Be Supportive

(Portland is supportive)

Some people are kind. Some people are kind & clear-sighted. Some people are kind & pragmatic. I confess that I think I am kind but I am neither pragmatic nor clear-sighted.

Oh damn I am judgmental. I approach things after the judgment. That can be so harmful. I will do almost anything for a friend (my wife has some stories she finds infuriating) but it doesn't mean I won't think that it's not necessarily the best thing I can do.

This is my way of saying I need to learn how to be supportive without the judgment. I have a friend who is amazing in this manner. I asked that person's advice today. It was so simple & it hadn't occurred to me. It bypassed so much judgmental bullshit.

Once upon a time, I found myself presenting in front of a group of people an orientation for one of the radio stations at which I volunteered. It was entirely by accident. We hadn't planned who would talk first. So I got up & talked & I said what I believed: that community radio is a marvel, a sacred space (in the most secular definition of sacred). Media is depressing & sad, it's anonymous, even public radio sounds the same from show to show, but the idea that you can come to a community radio station & do the show you want to do - that anyone could do that - that's as precious a belief as I can hold.

A person from the station afterwards came up to me & said, "You're so critical of so many shows, it was amazing to hear you talk about how great the station is." & I thought, "It's because I may not like the shows but I love the idea of community radio. I will fight for this station & all community radio stations."

My conversation today suggested I focus less on the subtle general criticism & more on the idea. In that way it might be inspiring. In that way it might be more helpful.

In that way perhaps I am learning how to actually be supportive.

Monday, July 10, 2023


("Story of Golden Locks" by Seymour Joseph Guy from here)

Last week's Self Help Radio - a show about locks - featured a visit from our favorite librarian, Carole, who talked to us about the history of the story of Goldilocks, & also two books exploring the story in different ways.

The evolution of the Goldilocks story discussed was found in large part in this article from the Toronto Public Library.

She talked specifically about two books:
Goldilocks & The Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
& Professor Goose Debunks Goldilocks & The Three Bears by Paulette Bourgeois & Alex G. Griffiths

What? You didn't hear Carole's segment? You can listen to the show at the Self Help Radio website. & after she talks, I play a bunch of Goldilocks songs!