Jim Walsh's Big Hairy Weblog Thingy

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Is Conventional Wisdom An Oxymoron?

I see another major talk radio seminar/convention/whatchamacallit is coming up. I won't be going.

With all due respect to the folks putting it on (who I'm sure will get along just fine without me), I've been to a few of these radio affairs and I can pretty much predict what will happen:

At least one major broadcast executive will explain why the future has never been brighter for our industry...

A host known for taking a hard-line position on moral issues will decry the debasement of the medium. No one will think of doing anything tacky like pointing out the host's own well-known moral shortcomings...

Several old-fart has-beens will gripe about how nobody talks about the really important issues anymore...

A panel of marginally talented syndicated hosts will offer advice on how to succeed with syndication...

A self-described Talent Coach will speak for an hour on how to advance in the biz. A roomful of small-time, one-horse, low-pay market hosts will listen, take copious notes, then go home to follow the speaker's advice diligently. A year later the same talent coach will offer the same advice to a roomful consisting of the same hosts. Some of these hosts however will now be working in different small-time, one-horse, low-pay markets...

A half dozen "opinionated" talk hosts will take part in an "issues" panel during which said hosts will pretty much do what they do on their respective shows: 1) talk and 2) wait to talk...

A handful of true visionaries will tell the truth about the industry. Not what everyone thinks is the truth. Not the truth that everyone wants to hear. The real truth. As none of their names appear anywhere on the agenda, these people will be enthusiastically ignored...

A lot of business cards will exchange hands. Six months from now everybody will pull the cards out of their briefcases and throw them away...

An awful of of people will blow smoke up each others' orifices...

An awful lot of people will believe their own bullshit...

Les Kinsolving, God bless him, will make a total ass of himself...

The food will, at best, not suck...

Who needs it? Frankly, at my age my priority is to stay home and get as much sleep as possible. So that's exactly what I'm-a gonna do.

And besides...if I want to hear some self-important blowhard holding forth of a lot of stuff nobody in the real world really cares about, I'll go here...

Or here...

Or here...

Or maybe even here...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Why I Am Not A Republican, Part XXXVII

A Texas state legislator proposed naming a stretch of highway in Willie Nelson's honor.

Wouldn't ya know, someone opposed it. Two Republican state senators opposed the measure because "they didn't want Nelson's name on the road that crosses their districts, citing the musician's fondness for drinking and smoking..."

I guess they want someone more a model of temperance and moderation - like their former governor...

"...and active campaigning for Democratic candidates."

Fine...let's ban all monuments to anyone who might have had partisan political affiliations.

It's only fair...right?

From The Bully Pulpit

Tonight's Person Of The Week on ABC News was a fifteen year-old girl from Tennessee who had a hand in writing anti-bully legislation.

Leaving aside the question of just how the hell you enforce something like this, I have to say: this girl is one self-important little priss. No wonder she gets picked on - I kinda wanted to smack her across the back of the head myself!

No big surprise, she comes from a whole family of political activist types, so you definitely get that "we've got all the answers" vibe.

Look: I got picked on a lot as a kid; I know first-hand how ugly life can get in that Darwinian jungle known as public education. I also know first-hand that self-righteous posturing does nothing to help matters.

At the end of the report, Dizzy Miss Lizzie Vargas crowed, "...and Caitlin wants to be a lawyer."

Yeah...like that's a good thing...

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Aw, Poor Babies

So a bully is beating you up. Defending yourself, you bloody the agressor's nose. All of a sudden the bully goes crying to his mama that he’s the victim. It's an old story.

I think of that whenever I hear Bible-thumping blowhards whimpering about how they're the ones under seige.

A measure under consideration in Alabama, which may be voted on this week, would prohibit schools from spending public funds on books or other materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an “acceptable lifestyle.”

"This is not about hate," said the sponsor, Rep. Gerald Allen. "This is about our culture being under attack."

Sure, pal. And Hitler was just looking for a little breathing space…

A Mind Is A Terrible Thing...

There is nothing sadder on this planet than to watch a once-great mind descend into something petty and ugly.

When I was starting out in the broadcast biz back in that seventies decade, there was a well-known and highly regarded programmer named John Rook.

From the sixties on, Rook enjoyed a string of successes, programming some of the best radio stations of the era.
His track record of that period is virtually unequalled. If there is such a thing as a programming genius, it is John Rook.

Or I should say was John Rook.

Mr. Rook is no longer active in the radio biz. Instead, he spend much of his time waxing nostalgic over his past glories and editing weblogs like this one.

Now, I don't know John Rook personally. I've never met the man. I'm not saying he's mentally ill, like Bobby Fischer or the guy in the movie A Beautiful Mind. All I can say is at one time I regarded his work - and his mind - very highly. I admire people who know how to use their minds, and Rook used his better than most.

Now it seems this one-time deep thinker and innovator has become nothing more than a raging asshole.

Madness? No. Mediocrity.

It's damn sad.

The Land Of Linkin'

I don't really have anything I wanna talk about right now (that of course is subject to change at any given moment) so for the time being, here are some of my favorite sites:

The Immigration Project
Articles and resources for those of us who still support the American Dream, even for folks who ain't white and Christian...

The Amazing Randi
Join his never-ending battle against all sorts of flim-flammery...

My Pal Sly
One of the most talented radio hosts working today.

Pro-Evolution Debating Points
Put those Darwin-bashers in their place!

Gerald Posner
The best investigative journalist around. His book on JFK's assassination is the definitive treatment on the subject...

Penn & Teller
P&T rock, and that's no bullshit!

Kinky Friedman
They ain't making Jews like Kinky anymore...

I'll add some more when I get good and ready. Enjoy...


Got a note from my doctor yesterday about some recent lab work.

Cholesterol: 188 (Anything less than 200 is good)

LDL (Bad Cholesterol): 104 (Normal being under 130)

HDL (Good Cholesterol): 44 (Normal being over 40)

Triglycerides: 199 (A little high; should be under 150)

So my overall health situation is apparently much better than just a couple of years ago when my cholesterol was near 300.

So how do I feel about all this?


My health is improving but my career is still in the crapper. And what good is having your health without the money to enjoy it?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Conversation With A Neo-Knownothing

(What follows is a hypothetical conversation based on some real conversations I've had with real people. Nothing but a Straw Man, you say? Nobody's really that hypocritical? Yeah, you wish...)

Me: I was just reading a story about illegal immigration...

Them: Don't stories like that make your blood boil? Why can't we, as a nation, see the problem? Why am I paying into the coffer so that these people can come over here and use up court resources, court funding, and even the food to feed them while they sit in jail?

Me: Interesting you would feel that way. Ya know, out on the east end of Long Island, where I used to live and work, they've had a serious influx of illegal immigrants in recent years...

Them: That's an outrage! They're gonna ruin America! Where are they from, anyway?

Me: Ireland.

Them: Ireland?

Me: Yeah, Ireland.

Them: Oh, so they're white...

Me: Well, yes...

Them: ...and Christian...

Me: Presumably...

Them: ...and speak English...

Me: Well, obviously...but that shouldn't make any-

Them: Why are you picking on those poor people? They're just here to make a better life for themselves...

Friday, April 15, 2005

Living Will

Forgive the cut 'n' paste, but the following is making the rounds on the 'net, and it sums up my feelings on the subject very well.

I, _________________________ (fill in the blank), being of sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means. Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of peckerwood ethically challenged politicians who couldn't pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it.
If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to sit up and ask for a cold beer, it should be presumed that I won't ever get better. When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my spouse, children and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes and call it a day.
Under no circumstances shall the hypocritical members of the Legislature(State or Federal) enact a special law to keep me on life-support machinery.It is my wish that these boneheads mind their own damn business, and pay attention instead to the health, education and future of the millions of Americans who aren't in a permanent coma. Under no circumstances shall any politicians butt into this case. I don't care how many fundamentalist votes they're trying to scrounge for their run for the presidency, it is my wish that they play politics with someone else's life and leave me alone to die in peace. I couldn't care less if a hundred religious zealots send e-mails to legislators in which they pretend to care about me. I don't know these people, and I certainly haven't authorized them to preach and crusade on my behalf. They should mind their own business, too.
One more thing: if any of my family goes against my wishes and turns my case into a political cause, I hereby promise to come back from the grave and make his or her existence a living hell.

Signature: ____________________ DATE: __________
Witness: _____________________ DATE: __________

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Take Me Out To The- Aw, The Hell With It...

Another blow for hard-hitting journalism tonight on ABC.

No, not really.

Tonight on Nightline it was a puff piece about the return of baseball to the nation's capital. We got to see George W tossing out the opening pitch along with assorted politicos and media-types flashing manure-eating grins from their season seats and no doubt congratulating each other over the sweet, sweet scam they put over on the local taxpayers.

Oh yeah, what about the working stiffs of the District who paid for this white elephant with their hard-earned tax dollars? How many of them can afford season tickets? Funny, George Streptococcus and Co. never got around to asking.

I did get to enjoy watching Gorgeous George lobbing softballs (sorry, I couldn't resist) at that principled guardian of all things decent, Senator John McCain. My favorite moment was McCain, looking even dorkier than usual in his Diamondbacks hat, insisting "I'm a small-government guy, but..." as a preface to his latest diatribe against the scourge of steroid-fueled athletics.

Oh, and the Nationals won. They're in first place. A Washington baseball team. Winning. Now, that just goes against nature...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Ghost Of Jack Ruby

American terrorist Eric Rudolph has copped a deal. He's going away forever, but the death penalty is off the table. Too bad he's not getting the needle, but I guess half a loaf is better than none.

I've seen a lot of pics of this guy going in and out of courthouses, and the look on his face is beyond creepy. He's got the same kind of smirk that Lee Harvey Oswald had. You know, that inhuman screw-you look that betrays a total lack of any empathy or remorse. The look of something monstrous.

I certainly don't approve of people taking the law into their own hands...but I sure as hell can understand it...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Surrealistic Moment Of The Week

Saw this on TV tonight. “Entertainment Tonight.” Filling in for the perky Mary Hart, the perky but somewhat less polished Paula Abdul.

“Tonight,” says Paula, with a smile you could pour over a pancake, “we’ll show you what’s inside the Pope’s coffin.”

Put it on a tape loop and stick that puppy in the Museum Of Modern Art

Saga Of A Cheap-Shot Artist

Peter Jennings has lung cancer. I'm sure you join me in wishing him well.

Funny thing, though - L. Brent Bozell apparently isn't among the well-wishers.

Bozell, the self-anointed "Media Watchdog," runs something called the Media Research Center, a group that critiques the so-called Mainstream Media from a far-right perspective. He's also the bluenose who along with half a dozen supporters has repeatedly made a national stink about "indecency" on television; he's like the guy radio comedian Gary Burbank once described, who thought the exclamation "golly" was somehow in violation of the Second Commandment (I'm using the Roman Catholic version, since that's what I learned as a boy from my Baltimore Catechism).

So what, you may ask. Well, I just find it funny that for a guy who usually jumps out of the woodwork to scream "liberal bias" everytime some anchorman sneezes, Bozell hasn't had a word to say about Jennings. If he has, I'm damned if I can find it on his site.

You'd think he would join folks like Rush and Neal Boortz (both outspoken media critics) in offering Jennings get-well wishes. It would be the classy thing to do.

But then again Rush and Boortz are class acts. Bozell is a bully, a vile, petty little man who makes his living kicking at the ankles of people who have accomplished far more than he ever will.

And no, I'm not gonna do anything tacky here, like hoping he gets lung cancer himself. That's because I don't believe in kicking someone when they're down. That would be, what's the word, oh yes...indecent...

Monday, April 04, 2005

Terri's Psychic Friend

Well, it had to happen:

"The Terri Schiavo saga crossed the line from media circus into the theater of the absurd recently, when John Edward, a self-proclaimed psychic and former TV show host, addressed the Schiavo controversy on the March 24 edition of 'Fox & Friends' on the FOX News Channel. When asked if he could communicate with Terri Schiavo, Edward responded that "she's clear on what's going - and I can tell you that she's definitely clear on what's happening now around her.'"

Should have figured this asshole would weigh in; it was just a matter of time. And just when I thought nobody could get any lower than, say, Tom DeLay. Funny, though, how Mr. Edward couldn't tell us whether Terri wanted the plug pulled...

Edwards is shit. Fox is shit. The boobous public who buys into this shit is shit.

Just plain shee-it...

Sic Transit

I don't really have much to say about the passing of the Pope. Was he a Man For All Seasons who courageously faced down an evil empire, lived to see its fall, and touched the lives of millions, Catholic or otherwise, with his message of peace and brotherly love? Or was he a terrible anachronism, a reactionary who did more harm than good?

He was both.

He was neither.

He was large - he contained multitudes.

Sic transit gloria mundi...