My College Radio Application

Dear mom and dad,

I went to college from 1999-2003, where I lived, ate, breathed, and smoked college radio (WOBC-FM) all day every day. Then, with a year left, I dropped out to move to CA to work for a magazine. I worked there for the next eight years. Then I fell in love with a beautiful woman and she got a job in town, so I decided to follow her here and finish my B.A. To my intense delight and surprise, this makes me eligible for a show on [yr station]. When I dropped out of college, I cryogenically froze my radio show and now, eight years later, [cue music bed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_tVZFZ5PR4] my beloved show is going into the industrial microwave on MEDIUM for 6-8 minutes and dragging itself through the halls of the academy once again!

My show (TITLE TK: “WEIRD OLD GUY?”) will be freeform radio at its finest, pushing into the red w/r/t innovation and FUN. Fun must never be sacrificed to innovation. And vice versa.

Music is the bedrock of the show, and I plan to make the most of [yr station]’s rock library, in addition to my extensive personal vinyl/CD/MPEG collection. The best rock — from oddities, novelties, classics, forgotten b-sides, to brand-new singles and previews of bands coming through town. But sprinkled throughout the music will be the true jewels of the show, the multiple talk-based segments. Possibilities include:

• “Walking the Line”
Each week, a different writer (from creative writing profs, to visiting poets, to MU poetry/fiction PhDs and even undergrads) brings in one line — a line of their own poetry, or their favorite poet’s, or a sentence from a novel, or from a piece of journalism, anything — just has to be one line of “literature” for us to discuss.

(Each of these segments will have its own musical intro. Maybe Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines” for this first one? Or Johnny Cash, sure)

• “Comics Digest”

A weekly verbal recap of what happened this week in the comics page of the Missourian

ex: “It’s been a tough week for Lois of ‘Hi & Lois’; she’s been home with the measles and her little brother won’t leave her alone!” etc etc

• “Vibin’ with the City Council”

Each week I get a Columbia city councilperson on the phone (pre-recorded, most likely; I have a ZOOM H4N I can produce several of these segs in advance, but I’ll always cue and introduce them live) and ask: what’s the vibe of the city council like this week?

• deranged/brief Self-interviews; fake interviews with pre-recorded interlocutors

• I might try a recurring feature about being a 30 year old dude taking computer science with freshman; I will probably rip lots of samples from my DVD of Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School for this (maybe rent Happy Madison, too…). Find other old undergrads and ask them about their lives, what it’s like here for them

• I have an MU football-related idea that I’ll only tell you if you give me a show with a legit timeslot

• Reviews (with field recordings) of frat party bands (!!!!!)

• as many opportunities for live call-in segments as possible (TBD)

• Guest singles (a guest — anyone from the dean of grad studies to that girl who works at Sparky’s brings in 5 singles and we play them and talk about them)

• tiny, hilarious 5-minute radio dramas

• even tinier, even more hilarious 2-minute radio dramas in foreign languages feat. students in various MU language departments

• Much, much more

• Seriously, so much more you have no idea

• And, as I mentioned above, all of these segs, some of which may happen every week, some once a month or so, will all be sprinkled like cherries and chopped nuts over the wide swath of whipped-creamy dark-chocolate sets of top-shelf weird/funky/great music. Wire, the Fall, Olivia Tremor Control, Pixies b-sides, Unrest, Big Dipper, Deerhoof, Beefheart, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Truman the Tiger’s Drug-Hell Singers, Is That a Real Band?, That Would Be Amazing If So, Go Betweens, Soft Boys, Soft Machine, Soft Cell, Soft Bulletin, Don Cherry, Destroyer, Cluster, Tyvek, Essential Logic, Glasser, Wreckless Eric, Nick Lowe, Sparks, Magazine, Melvins, Cardigans, Acrylics, Pterodactl, Fela Kuti, R. Stevie Moore, et al!!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions. I love you.

Fatty

Hey Cutie! Well, if I’m not blogging, I don’t know who is… Best anagram for great is always Greta. I had to write this thing so I took care of other fake-important business and finally barnstormed my way out the house by maybe 1:15. Stopped at cafe number one, where my internet doesn’t work. Drank a single Americano and wrote the thing. It only had to be like 600 words, I just needed to finish a draft, whatever, right? Pay attention to what, ladies, am I right? If only the sports section were full of field hockey, long-distance running, rock-climber recipes, and so forth. Mountain Bike stats, info-graphics about how commercial horseradish is made. Then I’d read it… Ate a clam-filled Peasant Pie. I try to be vegan, and then I stop trying. While I waited for the pie to heat up, I read 2/3 of a framed Dan Leone column about Peasant Pies on the wall that begins with a non-review of a Mark Richard book. (Mark Richard is a Gordon Lish guy. What does that mean? I heard Dan Leone is a Gordon Lish guy, too. What does that mean? I guess technically L.E. Leone would be a Gordon Lish gal. Maybe it just means they took Lish’s class, or were edited by Lish. Code-name Quoinstone’s love for Dan (now L.E.) Leone made me give her a closer look. Those columns are a boon. Real boons. San Francisco is lucky to have L.E. née Dan Leone writing about food in the pages of its best alternative newsweekly. Future generations may shake their heads in wonder.) Moved on to cafe number two, more coffee, realized the draft was fine, realized they didn’t offer internet — it’s more of a bakery than a coffee shop. Plenty of people on laptops, but no internet. This is a shameful description of my current life between full-time jobs. I have a part-time job that requires me to squeeze out 600 words every week or so. [Glances at Jawbone, smiles, casts +4 wagon spell. Begins whistling The Man from Laramie.]

Barista at coffee shop number one asked older woman I didn’t really turn to look at what she was doing today; woman replied, loudly, “I woke up at one, now I’m going to the Legion of Honor. They’ve got the Magna Carta there.” A pause. “I don’t really know what the Magna Carta is, But I’m going to check it out.” Barista: “It sounds like it has to do with the Founding Fathers.” Onward to the Mission Branch of the SFPL. Sent off my thing. Yelling match, crazy dude, “You stepped on my foot and then took my turn on the computer. I want your name, so I can give it to the spiritual registry of offenders.” Patrons yelled for him to shut up. Elementary schoolkids yelled the same thing at each other an hour earlier on the street. Sent the emails. Went to therapy. If I woke up at one on a Wednesday and didn’t know what the Magna Carta was, I wouldn’t say it so loudly. But this blog entry is essentially the same thing. Confessions. Bought and ate a large container of wasabi-soy almonds. Stopped into a new bookstore called, I think, Press Works on Paper? Can’t tell if there’s more punctuation in there. The store is mightily well-appointed, particularly considering they opened less than a week ago. The table in the center was covered in books lain flat: Andy Fitch’s Ten Walks; amazing-looking Al Columbia book from Fantagraphics; Witz; something old by Blake Butler; something old by Anne Carson; plus I think Nox; a journal called Paul Revere’s Horse whose editor and whose editor’s fiancée I ran into in Whole Foods with my fiancée yesterday. We discussed the price of avocados. I feel like I’m trapped inside a club remix of a Leonard Cohen song; Heather Christle’s The Difficult Farm; Rachel B. Glaser’s Pee on Water; Thin Kimono; the Wave book of James Tate prose poems with Bee in the title; Matthew Zapruder; something by that poet with three names who has a new book I just got an email about. All on this one table. On the shelves were things like The Age of Wire and String and Stories in the Worst Way, a twine-wrapped set of old Penguin Paperbacks, Knopf-published Field Guides to Birds/Sea Creatures/et al. Expensive Japanese and German stationery. Fine-looking art books and prints and bookbinding materials. I told the guy at the laptop/register that I was pretty bowled over by their selection. I think it’s the most fussily — that’s not the word, I don’t mean to be negative, I was impressed by this store. Assiduously? -curated bookstore I’d ever been to. The spectre of Flying Object, or do I mean Walser & Co., I honestly don’t know the difference, and I faltered trying to explain them to the kind dude, suffused the place. Not that I’ve been to either of those places, but I wanted Northhampton to drop-ship a passel of chapbooks to this place. It also could’ve used more from Siglio and Picturebox, but AS I SAY, they’d been open five days.  Nothing from McSweeney’s, either, but apparently that’s because PGW turned up their nose at this store. It also might’ve been nice if they’d had print-outs of Helen DeWitt’s and Bill Knott’s blogs stacked somewhere. I’ve never read a poem in my life. Then I stepped on the foot of an old traveler (angry survivor of the 60s) as I exited, fishing for my almonds. He made an aghastly sound and I said, quickly, “I’m so sorry, I’m nearly blind.” Which is true. I no longer drive during the day. (Haven’t driven at night for a few years.) Tuesday morning around 6 I googled “blind martial arts.” Apparently vision’s not too important once you’re in close contact. Jiu-Jitsu.  I might begin (being is the preferred anagram) Asian grappling (?) once I move to Missouri. I don’t want to buy a gi unless I’m sure. Tonight, packing for tomorrow’s wedding-trip to  Chicago, I am glad I haven’t gotten rid of my leather dress shoes in a fit of vegan indignance. I still feel vegan diffidence even though at this moment my belly is full of pork. Yes, after the coffee and the clams I crashed and caved even deeper. It’s not full of pork, but the pork is in there.

The Sleepiness of the Text

I found this passage from The Pleasure of the Text gratifying:

And yet, it is the very rhythm of what is read and what is not read that creates the pleasure of the great narratives: has anyone ever read Proust, Balzac, War and Peace, word for word? (Proust’s good fortune: from one reading to the next, we never skip the same passages.)

This passage, from David Owen’s NYer profile of the inventor Saul Griffith, was less cheering:

The Internet’s energy and carbon footprints now probably exceed those of air travel… perhaps by as much as a factor of two, and they are growing faster than those of almost all other human activities.

Griffith helped implement the electronic ink technology that the Kindle uses, inspired by the reams of paper he saw glutting Australia’s landfills. Now he’s working on wind power, sponsored by Google, to offset the Internet’s damage to the planet.

The iPad uses way more power than the Kindle. I guess that makes the Kindle, or other e-readers that use e-ink, the greenest (and least-pleasurable?) way to read. I guess people have been thinking about this already. I’m sleepy.

(Did anyone else find the photocollage illustration of Griffith—crazy hair, large/athletic/eccentric genius—along with a few superficial details of his life — child sports prodigy, professor-parents, MacArthur grant…—to be reminiscent of David Foster Wallace? I haven’t finished the piece yet (I hate reading reading diaries that obsess over or even mention how much of a work the writer has or hasn’t read, how sleepy the writer was while reading what he’s writing about, or how sleepy he is while writing, or where he was when he read the thing he’s writing about, or at what hour,what he was eating. In other words…) (Griffith lives in the Mission.)

And he also shares with Wallace the ability to extend his considerable what I think of as “formal” intelligence beyond its normal boundaries—to places of deeper feeling and compassion. In Wallace’s case, this meant applying (or maybe combining) a linguistic and philosophical and deductive/(mathematical?/rigor and) intelligence toward (or with) a sensitivity to suffering, sadness, pain, (art); Owen’s thesis in his profile (not that I’ve finished it) is that Griffith is the rare inventor who considers the social, political, cultural, and environmental obstacles to a problem’s solution, rather than focusing exclusively on technology.

The Crown of Bañals

SCENE ONE:

A stage in a crappy New England theater. A sloppily made bed “stands” (figuratively)  stage left. A lamp, some other furniture. A copy of Bonjour Tristesse and a bottle of buffered analgesic “stand” (figuratively) on the night-stand table. A silent 5-year old squirms weirdly in a  corner. He can be played by an adult if you don’t have convenient access to 5-year-old actors when you’re staging this play. Make sure no one from the theater company comes out and says anything before the play starts, no matter how imperative they make their fundraising/development efforts sound.

Someone named GRASS-FED CRABGRASS struts all sexy-like onstage, sits down at a desk, opens her white Apple laptop. She’s a regular woman in a red bustier, except she’s wearing a giant papîer-mache  frog-person mask. Close on her heels is an ELDERLY GREMLIN, WITH GNARLED WALKING STICK AND TOGA.

GRASS-FED CRABGRASS: I hate your blog.

ELDERLY GREMLIN, WITH GNARLED WALKING STICK AND TOGA: I do, too.

GFCG: Well… it’s different that I hate it. Since I’m the “audience.” [Runs finger absently, erotically across her laptop’s roof]

EG: How you know you’re the audience? Maybe I’m the only audience I care about.

GFCG: Clearly that’s not true. Otherwise there’d be way more nudity and self-involvement. It’s clear from the way you write that you care a lot about whoever your “audience” is. Me. [Heterosexual, North American pornography is projected on the wall behind EG and GFCG]

[A long pause.]

GFCG: I’m bored. With this blog. With this… “demimonde.”

EG [Plaintively, pleadingly]: I am, too! What should we do?

CG: We’re not doing anything. There’s no “we.” I’m just telling you this. You do whatever you want. I’m going to the FastHaus. [The FastHaus is a trendy nightclub where no food or drinks are served, where supersexxy urban dwellers go to not ingest any calories, to dance, to make sex with each other, to lose weight. NO PETS, NO DRUGS, reads a flashing neon sign]

EG: This is depressing. I’m all alone, and you’re right here. You’re so close, but I cannot touch you. [Begins doing fake/funny mime-moves with his hands. “Invisible wall,” “Frozen cowboy,” etc.]

CG: You’re depressing. I’m a skinny fridge filled with low-cal pudding. I’m gorgeous. I’m empty. But for the pudding. The pudding is what I feel. And I almost feel… that you…. You. Are my pudding. My “pud-pud.” [A teensy pause.] This is fucked up.

SCENE TWO

A library. William Flesch, a professor of English Literature at Brandeis University and author of two books, Comeuppance and Generosity and the Limits of Authority, sits at a desk, writing long-hand with great concentration. His legs are crossed, and he wags his ankle.

The elderly gremlin walks in. He watches Flesch write for a few moments, then turns and plaintively addresses the audience.

EG: Is it somehow illegal for me to include the real-life figure of William Flesch, whom I’ve never met, in this fiction? Surely Flesch will find this web-page — perhaps an enterprising toady will forward it to him. A web-savvy loved one will alert him to its presence. Its presence will rear itself, immutably, in the snack bar of a bowling alley on a lightless afternoon. I don’t think I’m breaking any laws. But am I being an asshole? I haven’t read his work. I just wanted to point out that I think it’s “funny” that he wrote this book, Comeuppance, which is about the “biological components of fiction,” and that his name is Flesch. Surely a man of his apparent erudition (based only on his C.V., I guess) has already come up with a multitude of hilarious puns and careful witticisms about his name. He’s probably been getting comments about his name at least since high-school, or even earlier. Anyway, that’s the only reason we’re here: His name is Flesch, and he wrote about the biological components of fiction. Gah.

[Flesch sets down his pen, cocks his head thoughtfully, then rises to exit. He and the Gremlin spar playfully for a moment. Flesch throws a few skilled roundhouse kicks and Muay Thai elbows, before he exits, stage right.]

SCENE THREE

A coffee shop on a college campus. Everyone is naked.

JEAN: I like it best of all of us! Of the three of us, I’m the one who likes it best!

PAULA: Poppycock! I think it’s tops! I regard everything, always, that peers into my purview, and of all that multipicity I swear to Christ it’s I who dig it most!

PRISCILLA: Eff that, bitches! Tis I, tis I, tis I who wants to hug the monolith with maximal, earnest vigor!! Gahh!!!!!!!!!!!

Paraffin Wax

Hey gang,

Just found out this week that a Real Dude and a Mountain to Sound found out about this website, which totally fucking sprayed me in the face with self-consciousness such that now I have to lay another chilling-effected QuiltJammer over the (wh)ole enterprise for a few months until things cool down.

Countdown to infinity:

  1. Open letter to Ian Parker:

    Can you write a 10,000-word-or-so essay about comedy in Zimbabwe, focusing on the sitcom Paraffin?

    (Also, did you know about MyZimTube??)

    Thanks Ian!!!
    Kind regards,
    Andrew L.

    Age 14
    Las Cruces, NM
  2. Has anyone written about all those paintings of girls reading? Or even the subset of those paintings that are titled “Girl Reading”? I could use another couple hours of sleep today
  3. most important was cousin mo
  4. I felt this
  5. I ate two bags of Fritos today [Note: yesterday]
  6. Lloyd Mintern is my spirit animal
  7. Henry Green did not plagiarize J.D. Salinger on YouTube
  8. a “dysthyst cast in amethyst” on twïtter
  9. tbr via jawbone
  10. tbr w/r/t rimps
  11. let’s make “maudlin” a verb: I was just maudlin’ round the taqueria, waiting for 11:33 a.m. to roll around so I could order a non-breakfast burrito in ‘good faith’
  12. I had a dream last night that my “boss” was telling me that he tried to read Being and Nothingness and hated it because of all of the inscrutable phenomenology jargon, and I was like, “Dude, sir, you should check out Being and Time! It’s even worse!!!” We “bonded” about how difficult it is to read Continental philosophy. AND THEN I WOKE UP

Oh, no, no, oh, no, no

  • I’m going out of town this week so I’m just gonna throw up a coupla memo to myself style links to tide over the hungry ghosts who kiss the greasy folds of this blog while I’m gone. I’m not talking about you, you’re a perfect little butter-bean, but I know you read the new york times and don’t need to see an update from this greasy blog every week to feel like the internet is doing its thing. I’m talking about the hungry ghosts. Don’t worry about them. They can’t touch you. They’re like IRC “bots”
  • I enjoyed the Ian Parker NYer piece on Iceland and then JB was like “Oh ho but have you read this Michael Lewis Vanity Fair one? It’s  better.” TBR
  • This blog post deserves some sort of award
  • — not too shabby — steve earle’s kid — does a righteous Replacements cover
  • stumbled across (NOT UPON) this dude’s blog the other day in a real ass-handed backward/-woods way. he’s got good taste and is a fun/fine writer. “whatever”
  • not too sweet, not too british, just right: the coral
  • what does “chips and chops” mean?
  • 4043636
  • when i get back to town on monday i will be a rabbi and a dog-owner