We have mated with non-white people. That has given the gene pool a darker tinge. The darker-tinged relatives, like the lilly whites, are good people.
Oh, and don’t fall in love with the Russians. They’re not your friends. Even though they’re white.
I used to be in speech in debate in high school. I bring this up out of order in this blog to the three or four of you because one of the first speeches I gave was how communism is like a weed. You have to cut it at its base or it will come back even stronger. Capitalism is good. Communism is bad. I gave a speech like that when I was 16 years old and I would give the same speech today.
But we don’t think in those terms as much anymore. We don’t think about the long-term ramifications of autocracy, which I equate with Russian communism. We don’t’ think about the differences in how they run things and how we run things. We think in terms of skin color. It’s a lot easier to comprehend. None of us like reading anymore, so how are we gonna know that Lord of the Flies could happen even on Mars, if we wind up colonizing there.
What I’m trying to say is that Russians look way more like me than black or brown people. It’s true. As a matter of fact, my brother did a DNA test and it turns out a good part of us may be from the Ukraine, not Germany or Poland like we thought. The Ukraine to Russia is like Indiana to Illinois. What’s the difference?
I ramble on to the three or four of you like this because I’m confused. This confusion is part of the reason that I started doing “JED in America” every morning outside the Strack & Van Til studios on the campus of Purdue Northwest. I don’t know what’s going on in America. I really don’t. This troubles me as much as it fascinates me. Something big (and possibly terrible) is happening, and I don’t know what it is at all. A related fear is that nothing will happen and I’ll be stuck with my shvinia in my hand on Indianapolis Boulevard with nothing to talk about.
Our president is a little bit nutzo. We all know that. But we elected him and that must mean we’re a little nutzo. I know I am. And I’m guessing that the three or four of you who stop what you’re doing to read my blog are a little nutzo too. President Trump appeals to the part in all of us that is a little nutzo.
But where is that going? Is president Trump shaking things up enough that by the time he’s gone we’re better off because we had to re-examine who we are? Or does he help break down American institutions so that an autocracy can take hold made up – you guessed it – of mostly white people?
Now one of the things that we do here in My Radio Life is write this blog for broadcasting students 50 years from now. There probably won’t be any local radio then, at least not how we know it. I write to them so that they’ll know what it was like for one man to live a life of local radio. You come along for the ride and I thank you for that.
So maybe you can tell me what the hell’s happening in America so that I can tell broadcasting students 50 years from now. It’s way more than there’s so much hate going around. I saw the hate, masquerading as a love fest, when Barry Obama came to Wicker Park a couple days before he got elected president of the United States. The people who fell at the Obama altar hated something. I just couldn’t tell what it was. I still can’t.
The hate nowadays is just as strong, if not stronger. And I still can’t tell what the hate is. The people who fall at the altar of Donald Trump hate something – the swamp, the border, abortion, etc.. But what do they really hate? For the life of me, I can’t figure it out. I am in a constant state of hate confusion.
I don’t know what the liberals hate
I don’t know what the conservatives hate.
And I hate that. I’m the kind of person who just likes to figure out how things work. Every once in a while, I’ll watch a bunch of videos about an obscure software program that we may or may not use just because I want to know how the software is organized. I’ll take apart the pressure washer. I’m going to graduate business school right now, for crissake. When people ask me why, I don’t really have a good answer.
“I’ve always wanted to get my MBA. That’s all.”
But it’s way more than that, or less. If I had to answer truthfully in a sentence, it would be –
“I just want to understand what bad business decisions I’ve made over the years.” It all comes back to me for me. I am most confused about myself. The confusion brought on by the actions of the masses doesn’t begin to compare to the confusion brought on by my own thoughts and actions. I am in a constant state of confusion about life.
I hope this begins to explain why I stand outside on Indianapolis Boulevard and yell at big trucks going by. There’s a lot of big trucks that go by, by the way. We live in perhaps the most industrialized area of America. We breathe industry, exude heavy industry, make love like we’re heavy industry. Sometimes in a tender moment, I reach out to caress my wife’s shoulder and I wind up screwing a pipe wrench the wrong way. That doesn’t make any sense unless you grew up around 55-gallon barrels to keep your hands warm.
So for one half of an hour every weekday, I strap on a wireless microphone and stand out on the road. Jimmy Mullaney follows me with a camera. And I just talk. I don’t take any phone calls. I just talk about what I see as what’s going on in America. It is not definitive truth. That, truth, seems to be a movable thing these days. It rolls around in the trunk every time you turn. The best I can do is aim at something that is true right here, right now, before the light turns green and all hell breaks loose again.
In the end, it’s about Russia. White people America. White people Russia. Melting pot America. Not melting pot Russia. I know that it is true that a lot of white people don’t like black and brown people just because they’re black or brown. Just as I know that a lot of black and brown people don’t like white people just because they’re white. It’s an interesting time in radio history. Just as guys like me are dying off, we are needed more than ever. Where did the people go who don’t give a shit who wins the war? They went to radio wasteland. They went to Wampum.
I look at Vladimir Putin and he could be my cousin. I look at our past president and he couldn’t be anything remotely related to me. Do a lot of white people recognize this?
Vladimir = white = like me.
Barry = black = not like me.
This is not a pleasant topic. It gets to the core of who we are in America. It also begs a painful question. What is the priority: to be white or to be communist? It’s all becoming clear. It’s time to go to bed. I’ll fall asleep, dream about chicks at Berkeley who didn’t shave their armpits, and then I’ll wake up just as confused as before.
I’ll talk and talk and talk along Indianapolis Boulevard and it will pretty much go nowhere. That’s because I literally don’t know what I’m talking about. I try to talk about America, but the more I do, the more confused I become.
I used to write pages and pages of journal every night. I have done this for 39 years. I write the stuff and then throw it out or just lose it. Millions of my words are floating around garbage dumps from California to New York, northern Wisconsin to southern Florida. I do not discriminate on the basis of the quality of the local garbage dump. I just write the shit then throw it out. Writing this stuff to you is really the only stuff I’ve ever kept for posterity. And I don’t even know why we do it.
Except for this one reason. Maybe you’ve sensed it. The more I ramble, the more confused I seem to be. And then something happens. Some clarity sets in. Sometimes, literally, I would write my shit out for a month, thousands of words a day, trying to get to a point where what I was doing in my life made sense. That way I could make a reasonable decision going forward. It might be a decision on what school to go to or what job to pursue. Or how to best feed and protect my family. Instead of laying in bed and looking at the ceiling, I would write it out on a train or sitting at the kitchen table. Or sitting on a towel at the beach or laying in bed next to my wife.
The key is the search for clarity. I am on a search for this right now. One day, I just told Ryan and Jimmy –
“Follow me outside with the camera. I want to say something to America.”
And then I just started talking. JED in America. You might think it is to provide good radio or to gather more listeners and viewers for our growing list of advertisers. This may be part of it. But really I just want to know what’s happening in America. Just as I did on the rooftop of Barrington Hall in Berkeley, California, or on the balcony of an apartment on Melrose Place in Chicago. Or at the pool at Tanglewood apartments in Hammond, Indiana, or in front of the TV at 1544 Fisher Street in Munster, Indiana.
I talk on the boulevard just as I would write in all of these places. I talk, I write, to understand. And, believe me, I am completely befuddled when it comes to what is happening in America. The only thing I sense is that whatever is happening, it is big. I get a feeling, a lot less vibrant, that whatever it is that is about to happen is also terrible. It is possible that whatever happens could just be big and very good. Or big and, as Mexicans would say it, “asi asi.” It’s just okay.
Or it could be very bad. Some broadcasting student 50 years from now could run across this blog with the three or four of you. He or she could read and think –
“Oh my god, this guy is writing this just before the _________ happened. He doesn’t know what is about to happen to America.”
Tell me, communications student of the future. Tell me what’s about to happen. I could talk until I’m blue in face outside on Indianapolis Boulevard. I’m not gonna figure it out until it happens. That’s the sad mystery of it all.