Wednesday. 1:55pm. Culver's Restaurant.
I really don't mind telling the three or four of you about My Radio, American Life. But I can't stand the pace of Facebook. It just moves too fast and noisy. Plus, it's addictive and dangerous.
For the three or four of you remotely interested in #myradiolife, plz note that if there's anything that I've learned, it's that all of life is temporary. Even radio. Especially radio.
You talk into a mic and by the time you take a abreath, the moment has died. It's gone.
You can write a book or record a song that can live on until we are all destroyed, or we destroy ourselves. But with radio, especially bumbling talk radio, each moment dies in the same moment in which it is born.
The life surrounding the moment that dies immediately, however, can endure.And by taking a couple of mundane photos a Culver's Restaurant in Dyer, Indiana - after doing nine hours of live radio in the past 30 hours - #myradiolife that surrounds the moment that dies immediately can live forever.
Or at least until radio as we know it dies. Then the three or four of you and me and anyone else w half a brain are all f---ed.
Perhaps I'm not explaining myself that well.
You can write a novel or a book of short stories or a few poems and a half century later your grandkid could be cleaning out your attic and find them. The stories still have life.
And you can record a few rap songs and next thing you know you're signed to a record deal. Good or bad, your music will be recorded and listened to. The same goes with any photographs you take or any movies you make. If they're any good, they'll endure.
Endurability doesn't hold true with radio. We're more like a play that you go see. As soon as it's over, it's over. As soon as the host clicks off his or her mic and goes home, that radio is dead. Sure, you can record a play or record a radio show, but they really don't mean anything later on like a book, a photo or a movie.
So in trying to preserve radio in some minute fashion, I look to preserve #myradiolife as much if not more than the radio itself. And to do that, you gotta turn the radio into something else - a blog. It has parts of a book, a bunch of photos, some videos and podcasts... but not radio, really. Because, as we already determined over the two-piece Atlantic cod dinner at Culver's, the radio itself is born and dead on arrival.
Think about it this way. It's not just in the recording itself of the thing that you created. There has to be an audience involved. Sure, you can have the radio audience for the instant. The same thing goes with a play. But did you ever try to sit down and watch a video of a play? Or listen to the audio from a musical? Those are live performances that die as soon as they are born, just like radio.
That's all I have to say. I am plum burned out on radio right now. This morning I
1. talked with Republican chair Andy Qunell about Trump coming to the Region.
2. had on Al Hamnik, the dean of sportswriters in Indiana.
3. had on Mike Brown - the white Mike Brown - who criticized the Gary precinct organization for charging $80 a head for an endorsement - some $9600 in total.
4. had on Dave Sutkowski, the head of the Chiefs baseball organization, who criticized Hammond mayor Tom McDermott for taking away his baseball field.
5. had on Hammond mayor Tom McDermott, who was driving around and called in to give a rebuttal to Sutkowski - "I'd like to see Hammond kids playing on Hammond fields."
6. had on John Salzeider, whose Cubs rooftop charity fundraiser is in early May. Al Hamnik recently wrote a big piece about the event.
7. had on two people from NIPSCO, Rick Calinski and Jen ....... They talked about you better call 811 before you dig.
8. had on Marissa McDermott, who's the wife of Hammond mayor Tom McDermott. Marisa is embroiled in a bitter primary fight to become judge of Lake Circuit Court.
9. had on producers Ryan Walsh and Sam Michel to talk baseball and explain why the Hawks are down 3-1 in the opening series of the playoffs.
The whole time I'm doing this four and a half hours of live radio... listeners reported that obnoxious robot sound on the air. This happens when our Comcast connection between the new studio and the transmitter site degrades. Usually, this only happens when it rains. So after the show I spent a couple of hours working on our backup system, which doesn't sound as good on the air because it's based on a phone line.
While I was working on the system at the old studio, Ken Schmidt showed up to tell me more about the Chiefs vs. McDermott situation. I listened politely - with a pair of pliers in my right hand - and then told Ken that I had to fix some technical issues, which is true. But in the end as interesting as the riff is between Hammond's mayor and Hammond's Chiefs... the truth is that at some point I just couldn't take anymore.
As soon as I got the backup system up and running - or so I thought - I slipped away from reality to go see a really bad Kevin Costner movie called "Criminal." As soon as the credits finished rolling, Debbie from back at the office called to say that Geno couldn't get on the air for the noontime show. Sitting in the lobby, I let go a couple swear words and then proceeded to walk Debbie through some nice trouble shooting exercises. By the time I got back in the theater, Kevin Costner had a real bad headache. That'll only make sense if you watch the movie.
Afterwards, I stopped at Culver's to eat a fish sandwich. When I got home, the dog, Abbie, had crapped twice on the hardwood floor in the front room. I cleaned it up with paper towels, Swiffered the surface clean, lit a candle, and started to type. That's the extent of My American, Radio Life for today.