August 23, 2020

Dear Sue, August 23, 2020

 Dear Sue

Thanks for the letter of the 20th. I really appreciate it and I apologize for not writing back sooner. It's been a hectic coupla days, hasn't it?

It's nice to hear that Ledcat was born the same year as me - 1963. We're both baby boomers! Does that mean you're a "Gen X-er"? And what does that mean, exactly?

The dates themselves are arbitrary, of course. My understanding of the "baby boomer" span is that it's based on the idea it's 1946 (when the GIs returned home from WWII) plus eighteen years (when, presumably, their kids would be adults and having kids of their own). So Ledcat and I are, according to that definition "baby boomers" - just like Farrah Fawcett and Dan Quayle (boomers both).

I actually used to listen to Casey Kasem every now and then in the mid-80s. If memory serves, his American Top 40 was broadcast on one of the local CT radio stations on Sunday mornings and I used to listen to it on the drive to my summer job. As the job was only a mile away, I didn't get to hear that much of each show, but still.

Music is an amazing thing.  I've spent my life studying, practicing and listening to it and I STILL I have no real understanding of it's emotive power, it's ability to move people. Regardless of the type of music or it's cultural setting, it's power is ubiquitous. Different people, of course, value different forms of music in different ways. Someone who swoons at Mahler might find a Gamelan repetitive and frustrating while one who's mesmerized by Gamelan might find Mahler bloated and melodramatic. But to each, their own music is magic beyond compare.

And it's all utterly fascinating to me.

I read about that sports guy. What a stupid idiot. Stupid for at least two reasons; first, for using the slur at all (for thinking it's OK) and second, (and this is far less important) for not knowing what should be Broadcasting 101: always assume every mic is live. What an idiot. Whatever happens to him now, he'll still be that guy who used that word. Fox News money won't ever be able to erase that.

I'm not sure what I'd say if I were to bump into Wendy Bell or Marty Griffin.. On the one hand, their personal space should be respected. For example, Wendy recently broadcast about an incident where someone vandalized a campaign sign she posted on her lawn. As much as I'd agree with the politics of whoever repainted the sign, it's still a BIG no-no to walk onto someone else's property to steal and/or deface...anything. 

Now, scrawling "Wendy Bell: KDKA Radio's The Angel of Death" in chalk on the sidewalk in front of her house is a different story. I have no idea if there even is a sidewalk in front of her house, but you get the idea.

When did GLAAD ask about you going on his show? Is this recent? I'd agree that it would be meaningless if it were just a chance for him to stoke his ratings.

I'm still wrestling with my coverage of that Human Trafficking rally I wrote about recently. I've found  a few more pizza/WWG1WWGA posters. So that makes four. Was the rally a conspiracy theory trap or something real or both? What I'm wrestling with is how to approach it. Obviously there's a very real need to push back against human trafficking, but how to separate the sincere protesters from the QAnon folks?

This is what took up most of my blogging time yesterday. NBC reported that across the nation, QAnon "infiltrated" a number of such rallies. I took a deep dive into some of the references on some of the posters I saw at rallies across the country. The deeper I went the stranger it was. Adrenochrome? Red Shoes? Tom Hanks? (trigger alert: don't go looking to find out what they mean in QAnon-ville. It's all very troubling.)

I have an earworm in my head right now - it's from the middle of the first movement of the Dvorak 9th Symphony (a.k.a. "The New World Symphony"). As earworms go, it's not a bad one, though TBH I'd be much happier if the earworm gods ("Die Ohrwurmgötter" auf Deutsch) planted something from his 7th Symphony rather than the 9th in my cranium. I just like it better. And besides, the New World Symphony is way overplayed!

Dvorak was BBC 3's "Composer of the Week" so that's probably why he's stuck in there.

Everything else in the world is such shit. The possibility of being able to ignore Trump's piss-erosion the foundations of this country, his mismanagement culminating in the deaths of tens of thousands of our fellow citizens and the willful ignorance of his enabling political base is next to zero. On the other hand, the only way to get along IS to look away. Looking into the horrible abyss (and seeing what looks back) paralyzes me.

With great respect,