Thursday, July 3, 2008

Every Road Goes There

You are here to become more...
You are here to act!
You are here to find God...
Not to give up and surrender,
But to discover and rejoice!
You are on the right road...Don't forget that...
All you really need to know, and this is vital, is where you're headed...
Then be at Peace knowing,
That every road goes there.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Damned Sputnik!

I've lived in a few states...visited most...
People remark at times: "haven't you ever thought of living elsewhere...biggertown...larger radio market...?" The answer: Yes...of course.
Yes...20 or so years ago this would not have been my choice for settling down. Two decades ago I would have said things like, "...are you kidding??...West Virginia??...and give up'mon, really! ?

I've been here 15 years. I wouldn't change a thing about Charleston, or any of the West Virginia I have come to know...well at least not outside of "inside" company. You know...I can talk smack on my can't!

I came here by choice...but not entirely. I wanted to work in a radio market closer to Pittsburgh without actually stepping into the snake pit of radio that has...and is ...losing touch with it's "live and local" flavor. I wanted to work in the radio I'd grown up I joined a company that had a similar vision...and the resources to keep it that way.

Radio, on the large scale, is seeking it's will find it. It won't be satellite alltogether...sorry to all you "I hate commercial radio" junkies out simply won't. There is a place for satellite...and it occupies it nicely...but make no mistake, people still like "Live and Local". They especially love the right to hate it...and without some miandering, rambling jock to irritate them, satellite really loses it's charm.... Choices? ...oh yeah...tons of 'em....more than you really want, or have time to explore in your car...(the average commute in America is under 20 minutes...that's 4.2 songs)...lot's of generic vital information that pertains not a nano to your day, time and space....but, by can listen to that alternativejazzcountryclassicalmiddleoftheroadrythmandblueshiphop...and without any commercial interruption...hardly...(not that much...)....okay some, yeah....but the choices! Commercials are going to be there, albeit, nicely disguised as "support arms of the radio sytem of choice" and not nearly as time consuming as that other "local" radio broadcast stuff. In satellite radio, we basically split the cost with advertisers. You pay about half...they kick in about half. You feel like you've won the war...Sirrus giggles around the board table. But,'s consumer driven, right? We buy it. Well...we take it more than buy it...soon to be standard in most vehicles so you can say in your next at-the-water-cooler it! it!...(and pay for it)...but I don't listen to all those commercial spots!!!!! I don't mind paying to lose those...! (really?)

Anyway...I'm a hypocrit. I'd do satellite radio in a "New York minute"....if asked...paid...and it seemed like radio. But the thing is...I found radio. It was tucked along the interstates, easily overlooked by tower-eating conglomerates and still operating largely as small market radio. Largely...very largely.

No accident really. The owner and President of this company have some notion that radio hasn't breathed it's last...that markets still like their own air personalities...even if it's to be vocal about their distaste for that morning show girl...or that afternoon drive idiot! Their idots are their idiots...their radio kin....and their personal connection to local and world events.

In a crisis...and we've seen a few in the past 10 years...
-when a chemical company spews unknown vapors...
-when a whole community is under a boil water alert...
-when an amber alert is sounded...
-when the weather is going from ugly to death threatening...
-when the only road home is a mass of debris for hours...
-when a shelter in place alarm is sounded...
-when, and I hate that we had to deal with this one...when mother nature swallows our miners...or....
-when we all felt so alone...and vulnerable after terror struck on 911...

We wanted news...
we wanted it now..
.we wanted it accurate...
we wanted it national....and (think about it) we wanted it local.
That's right. We wanted a familiar voice in our crisis. We wanted one of the family to break the news...and we wanted the comfort of our own trusted personalities.
You listen to that satellite feed...but I tell you...first sign of a concern...a crisis that in any manner affects you... you're going local...and you're staying there. Me too.'s I thought and hoped it would be...right here in Charleston, West Virginia. I am probably "that idiot" afternoon guy to some...that rambling, talks-too-much guy to others...but...(and this is why I'm in it)...that voice of reason, humor, intrigue, ...that fun guy who takes the edge off the day...that afternoon jock who is dead-on with traffic and weather...seems to care that I stay informed...wants to lighten my load and...and maybe best of my neighbor, friend and community advocate. If I get to be those guys...Then I'm in the best job for the best darn radio market I've been asked to join...and I can sleep better at night than I have in the 25 years before when the work ended with a pill to bring on sleep and I connected with no one unless there was a deal to seal.

I may be a "dinasaur" going to fossil...and radio may be going in different is changing for certain. If it wasn't, I'd be more concerned for it's future....but radio is not going's getting better...and it's getting more "local" all the time.

I found radio...and guess's right next door....not in L.A.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Name it and frame it!

...and what about "art" definite a edged and crispy a little word..."art".

Lately, I think of art as I think of the word: God....too small a word for an endless, borderless, unimaginable process and not a "thing". God is is active, organic...blah, blah, get the point.
This is why I dislike frames in big museum galleries. They strangle the process...the movement...the living flavor of the expression begun by a creator...they announce endings...and references. You've seen them. ..great masterpieces wrapped up in some horribly, ornately sculpted, golden frame, endlessly matted and shouting HERE! Who sat around thinking this is the way to show off the workings of prolific creators?! The very people that you'd think would MOST appreciate the importance of never minimalizing the artist...stamp it done and cap it's flow.

I am fully aware that some works are rather "sketchy" on canvas...and don't finish out so neatly...okay...but to tell you the truth, I'd still be FAR more fascinated viewing the frazled canvas edges as the artist left them (in motion) rather than visually challenging my perspective with a fortress of here's-where-you-should-be-looking frames!

I favor creating...not creation.

I prefer flow, not damming.

I want a sense of the cinema...not a dead movie poster.

Why do we think like this?? Does an artist even spend a nano second considering how a work might be matted...let alone framed? I think the answer is "artist" doesn't.

People who want to "own"..."capture"..."exploit" and even just "relate" tend toward boundaries. Hmmmmm...reminds me of some religions... boundaries...confining dogma...creeds....exclusiveness...well, (another day).

Okay....clearly not realistic, but.....

I want to visit a gallery of "frameless heads on nameless walls", to quote a poignant songster. And I want to know artists who have never imagined a mat or a frame around their creation. And above all....I want to be appaled at my own thinking that in any way celebrates definitions.... the confining of a creation...yours...or your creator's. Don't name it...don't frame it!

Friday, June 20, 2008

That's Life!!!!

...was having a flashback that landed me in a 66 olds with 2 of my best buds...we were too young to love Sinatra...yet...we had this 8-track tape...we'd be coming from Pen's games in Pittsburgh...fresh out of a ripping nite of pitiful losing (Pens in the 60's)...but filled to the brim with pent up frustration, and on the edge of having yelled a solid 2 hours at refs!

We'd move like a solid mass of "burgers" out of The "Igloo"(seems like it was always 2 degrees) and hunt down that Olds, as far back in the upper lot as you could be and still pay money to park! It'd take 10 long, agonizing minutes to warm that frosty, crispy seated car. We'd be reshouting the "Pen's Suck" chant and ripping on Ron Stackhouse, as I recollect...


We'd pop that Frank cart into the under-dash tape player(pretty hot for the day) and click to "That's Life"...damn...we'd sing that thing till we had no voices...none...raw...through the South Hills of Pittsburgh on the way for Pinchera's Pizza. Man...we'd sing...smacking that dashboard on the bridge.."I been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king..."

...a car of young guys who, not having a date to round out the nights, needed their hockey games...and Frank...and Pizza.

What a memory........
where are those guys...Gary....Tom...?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gotta be a spoof!!!
If not...hideous failure.
My son Nic and I saw this today. We are movie addicts and rarely are disappointed with any movie that comes with a heavily buttered bag and goobers. So "Happening" was going to be okay even if it bombed.
It didn't bomb. It is strangely (Coenesquely) twisted...and artsy.
I laughed so many times through this latest Shyamalan flick because I honestly felt he was poking fun at horror history. shyamalan takes his ususal fine cinematography and blends it with a "toxic" dose of cliche'-horror and sends you on horticulture terror trip!
I wanted the sense that I was "getting it" know, the "inside" that's how I received it...a big joke. An artistically, gentle slap at horror history.......otherwise I couldn't have stood 20 minutes of this goofiness.
Nic is a big fan of Shyamalan...He was giving the flick every benefit...and little doubt. He is pretty astute in this arena, so I generally try to give consideration based on his response.
Soooooooo.....Basically: Good flick if it's a joke...Hideous if it's serious.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tim Russert

I'm a TV/Radio News junkie. I'll be "Jonesing" for Tim Russert for a long time. So will the world.

There is NO...(I don't say this recklessly) there is not one commentator in all of the "news" media out there that can come close to the all-natural authenticity of a Tim Russert interview or report.

Here's a guy with whom I would truly liked to have had a beer...more than any of our recent presidents...more than any celebrities I can bring to mind...not even the hottest babe on the planet who say's she just can't face the morrow if not wrapped in my manness!!! That's the way Tim Russert appeals to so many.........(nix the "babe" thing...Tim would understand).

Tim was your neighbor, co-worker, that guy who played on the highschool football team...he'd be "one" of the guys..."one" of the friends...not the spotlight guy.

Tim would have been "Timmy" to'd like him so much, even though your parents did too!...

Tim was a guy we needed...not just liked, and admired...we needed him in this time. We needed a voice for you and me...for Buffalo and Pittsburgh, for Newark and Cleveland, for Detorit and Wheeling...we needed a regular guy who leads with his smarts and his tenacity...but doesn't intimidate or condescend with them...Tim.

I was blown away, just like you were...who will step up now...not "dress" up...not"act" up...jump up...or claw up........who will simply "step" in and be the real thing...with the real picture...with the tough questions...and the persistence to get to the truth.

Tim? ...We didn't get to say how important you are to us. We just didn't think you'd up and leave just like the work...I mean, had you spent a little time in the hospital...out of the know, a little heads up...but nOOOOOoooooooo....not Timmy...

..and who'd expect different?...The tireless media warrior...goes down on the field...lest we would be able to decorate him in life.

We love you Tim Russert. You are a candle in the wind. We take heart in the fact that your media associates admire you too , and will strive harder to win our trust and faith in a world that desperately needs both.