Doing a radio show
and eating chile quiles
are two of my favorite
things to do on a Tuesday
morning when there isn’t
any truth left in the world.
Lies rule. Truth does not.
I have told a lot of lies
in my life.
A lotta lies.
You could even have called
me, at some points in my
life, a “liar.”
Liar, liar, pants on fire
Hanging from the telephone wire.
Get your groove, get your baseball glove,
but don’t get your dress caught
in the car door.
Truth will eventually set in.
It’s inevitable that we will
all calm down and notice
that the leaves turning colors
came and went and next
thing you know you’re
scraping ice off of your
Please bring me the potato salad.
I’m feeling like a bit of saur
Leave out the prune coffee cake
and the chernina,
I want to fell not Polish for a while.
You can lay down on your
bedroom floor these days
and feel the torrent of
lies flow over you. After
a while, you get used to the
temperature so you wake
up to take out the recyclables.
Tomorrow it’s garbage day.
Not only will truth return one
day, but purpose also. For now,
I just want to eat chocolate
and write a blog.
Anyways, I just did a radio show with Verlie. For a while, there was this boycott of calling in from some people while Verlie was on with me. I don’t remember why. Verlie is black. That might have something to do with it. I’m either losing parts of my memory or I’m just not paying attention to the parts of my memory that I don’t care about anymore.
Here is the anatomy of a morning radio show. I say this because part of the discussion today was about media. Net neutrality came up and so did the Koch brothers buying Time magazine. Media is a big part of people’s lives. They all have assh---s…. I mean, opinions about the media.
One of the things that I shared with people in the midst of all of this discussion is how much I wonder at how we are able to do what we do on WJOB. In a word, we do old-time radio, relatively free from an agenda. Our listeners and callers and Facebook Live viewers come from all walks of life. There’s poor people and rich people. Black people and brown people and white people and a few Asians. Lots of different religions. Ultraconservatives and ultra liberals.
And somehow, we all swim around in the same fishbowl. It’s really a beautiful thing. But it’s not a normal thing. What we do on the radio is what WJOB did in 1985 when I worked here. I’m doing what Larry Peterson and John Baranowski did. They let people talk, make a few comments, and then let a few more people talk.
And those people then and my beeples now come with way different backgrounds and opinions. We move the ball forward.
This is not normal in American society today. It’s just not. I want the students at the small liberal arts college on the East coast that come across my blog in 50 years, if we’re still a planet, to understand that we are divided. We are a divided country.
It’s not just conservatives vs. liberals, Republicans vs. Liberals, blacks vs. whites, Christians vs. Muslims. It’s everything. And it comes out on my radio show… but somehow everybody hangs around long enough to hear other opinions and to contribute themselves.
Radio is good and pure and beautiful. You’re not gonna make much money doing it – at least not if you do it in the tradition of Larry Peterson and Jean Shepherd – but you can make enough to scrape along and have a hell of a time doing it.
The show started innocently enough with me traipsing along Indianpolis Boulevard yelling “Big Truck” at big trucks. There are a lot of big trucks these days. Tons of them. You can watch the Facebook Live video of today’s show and it looks like the big trucks are running right through the studio. Like radio, trucks can be good and pure and beautiful.
I talked about the 24-year-old woman from Lake Central who was charged with a felony for snorting cocaine in her classroom. She was a teacher. She’s on paid administrative leave. That started out a discussion on if drug addiction should be treated as a crime or an illness. If it’s an illness, the woman could get treatment and be back in the classroom.
“Would you want your kid to be taught by her?” one of the callers asked. Good point.
Verlie tried to draw a parallel between crack addiction in the 80s and opiod addiction now. Her point seemed to be that crack was mostly a black thing and that meant that it got no attention. She posited that since opiod is a mostly white thing, it’s getting attention.
I don’t agree with that. We have as a country been very slow in coming to grips with the opioid crisis. I had moms of heroin addicts and heroin addicts themselves tell me five years ago – “why isn’t this crisis getting more attention?” Maybe there’s a racial issue here. I’ll have to think about it.
Then we got into a discussion about all of the accidents on the Borman Expressway. With the construction, what is already one of the most dangerous treks of expressway in America has gotten more so. Big trucks don’t make it any easier.
We talked about the woman who was trapped in her car upside down underwater on Saturday. They had to leave her there until the jaws of life came. Rescuers didn’t want to break her window for fear that the car would fill up with water and she’d drown in there. It looks like they had to cut into the car from the floorboards and pull her out. What a rescue operation.
Discussion drifted to how to break a car window. Caller Paul from Hasse, who has a bunch of trucks on the roads, said he puts one of the little pens that can break a window in all of the trucks. Along with a razor blade to cut the seatbelt. Lefty called in with other suggestions about how to break a window. My cousin Phylliss called in and said that five years ago someone blamed her for breaking a window in an act of vandalism.
I know what she’s referring to on that one. It’s a juicy, nasty family story.
Big Rich called in to say that he almost got killed on the expressway by a guy who cut him off and then gave him a one-finger salute.
Fernando called in to ask how Sam Michel, my sometimes fill-in host, could like Donald Trump. Ron called in and deemed our president “Donald Duck.”
Nancy started a firestorm when she called in to tell about her fears if net neutrality goes away. Others called in to be pissed about Donald Trump using “Pocahontas” during a ceremony to honor Navajo codetalkers during WW II. Arturo called from a treadmill at a local gym. He can’t tell himself if he’s a liberal or a conservative, but he keeps in shape and fears what will happen if internet service providers can throttle the internet. Ramon’s worried about gay marriage and Carl wonders if we’re evolving as a society.
Now that’s old school radio. Dozens of callers. Some laughs. And then move on. I don’t know why it works for us in the Calumet Region, but it does. I don’t care who you are – the most conservative Trump supporter or the most ardent Liberal – you can find something in all of this. That’s all I have to say about it.
I do want to say something about a new art form. The three or four of you who read my blog know that I developed an app that no one is using but me. I spent a good deal of money and a ton of time to put together Hey JED. Since nobody’s using it, I started to use it myself.
What you can do on the app is to send me whatever you want to say up to 22 seconds of it. So I decided to do a HeyJED every so often on my trip to Columbus, Ohio, to see my brother and his wife Laura and to attend a Grateful Dead concert with Lane Paradis, who does a Dead podcast with me. It was pretty simple, really. I just whipped out my phone, clicked a button, talked, hit send, and then put my phone away. The whole process takes less than a minute.
When I got home, I didn’t know what to do with all of these Hey JEDs that I had sent… to myself. So I tacked them together back to back and in a weird way it sounds kind of cool. Each individual message doesn’t mean all that much. But if you listen to them as a whole, it kind of works. I don’t know why.
So listen to the Hey JED Grateful Dead story above. When whatever this is becomes a new art form, you’ll be able to tell your grandkids that you were one of four people who read JED’s blog the day it was invented. You might have even been the first to listen to it. History is being made as we spend this time together. That’s enough for