Jim Walsh's Big Hairy Weblog Thingy

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm Walken, Yes Indeed...

I've hit the wall creatively today, so enjoy this clip of Kevin Pollack doing Christopher Walken...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Big Ron Remembered

Another of my radio heroes, "Big Ron" O'Brien, died over the weekend.

In addition to being among my all-time favorite Top-40 ravers, Big Ron was one of the good guys. I corresponded with Ron a few years ago for a magazine article I was writing about 70's-era radio. Ron was always open, agreeable and eager to help.

A true talent, and a class act. Big Ron will be missed...

Monday, April 28, 2008

He Jumped That Shark Reeeeeal Good, Didn't He...

(Thanks, Don Watson)

Speaking as someone in the same "racket" as El Rushbo, I'll say what I've said before: when you start to believe your own bullshit, it's time to pack it in...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The...Voice...(drum roll)...Of...The...People...

A version of my letter to my congressman got printed Saturday in my local rag.

Pretty cool, huh? Well, my wife thought so...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Go Speed Racer, Go

All I need to know about succeeding in business I learned from watching Speed Racer (no, this is not a movie plug)…

Every day I’m increasingly convinced we’re heading into a depression. Not recession, depression.

Don’t misunderstand me – this is not about doom and gloom. (You might wanna take a moment here and check the technical definition of “depression.”). Au contraire, even in the worst of economic times (and I don’t believe it’s gonna get that bad), there are fortunes to be made by those who can stay cool-headed and figure out how to sell people what they want.

Steve Jobs is one example of someone who has opted not to participate in the current economic downturn.

In radio, it would be someone like Jerry Lee, owner of the number one station in The Big Scrapple – and a businessman who is not afraid to spend a buck to make a buck.

Look, it’s not my style to be one of those positive-thinking motivational assholes. But there’s too much at stake here. We need more folks to grab the reins – regardless of the economic “situation.”

So…what’s the Speed Racer tie-in?

“Dream big…drive fast…and don’t look back…”

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Studs 'n' Suds

I hope to be back on the air, at least on a fill-in basis, sometime in the near future. Stay tuned for further developments. On second thought, don't - it may be a few weeks before I have anything approaching a major announcement.

In the meantime, here's a beer commercial from Denmark that's almost too-close-to-the-truth to be funny...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We have a couple of noteworthy passings today; curiously enough, both hail from the same town - Meridian Mississippi:

Paul Davis, 70's country-pop vocalist, best known for I Go Crazy...

...and soulman Al Wilson, remembered for Show and Tell and The Snake (a great bluesy number that was even more Freudian than most in its, ah, symbolism).

And so it goes...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Not-Clear-On-The-Concept, Dept.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

One Toke Over The Line?

Dear Congressman Pomeroy:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) today introduced his briefly anticipated marijuana decriminalization bill. Dubbed the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008, it would eliminate federal criminal penalties for possession of up to 100 grams (about three and a half ounces) of marijuana and the nonprofit transfer of up to an ounce. This is similar to the change recommended by the Nixon-appointed National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse (a.k.a. the Shafer Commission) 36 years ago.

Speaking most emphatically as someone who is NOT a marijuana user, I nontheless applaud Rep. Frank for taking this step. As unpopular as it may be to do so, I hope you will seriously consider supporting Rep. Frank and his efforts at ending this most wasteful and pointless aspect of the so-called War on Drugs.

Sincerely yours,

James A. Walsh

(Yeah, yeah, I know...voice in the wilderness, and all that. At least give me brownie points for the effort. If you're inclined to do the same go here...)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Expelled" Gas

Ronald Bailey at Reason has a write-up on the new creationist propaganda movie Expelled (featuring the ever-insufferable Ben Stein). I haven't seen the movie in its entirety, but I did catch this trailer and knew right away we were in serious trouble when Stein posed the question, "but where did life come from in the first place?" (We then see the strawman "Darwinist" professor send poor, opressed Ben to the principal. How intolerant)...

Hello...the theory of evolution is not designed to address that question; it's about how life developed once it got here. How it got here is, pun intended, a whole different kettle of fish.

UPDATE: Scientific American columnist (and former creationist) Michael Shermer, who appears in the movie, gives his review here.

That the producers chose to ignore that inconvenient little fact shows they're either woefully misinformed or intellectually dishonest. You'll understand if I don't grant them the benefit of the doubt...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Declare the pennies on your eyes...

April 15th. Midnight approaches. Let me tell you how it will be...

Phil-ling The Bill

Say hello to Phil DeFranco. Phil is a guy who likes to post his “opinions” on YouTube. He’s funny, original and always interesting. He obviously knows how to communicate with folks of his generation.

So why isn’t the radio industry beating a path to Phil’s door to hire him?

Answer that question and you’ll know all you need to know about why radio is on the skids…

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Night Quickie

Walter For President...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Absolut In(s)anity

When I first caught this item earlier in the week, a coupla things went through my mind. First: Geez…talk about your non-stories…

Second: I must remember to avoid listening to any conservaclone talk radio this week (even more so than usual), lest I get an earful of the usual "Kitty bar the borders" crap.

I must say, thought I’d pretty much heard all the arguments, good and bad, on both sides of this issue. I was wrong.

Today at the Reason Hit & Run message board site, someone who calls him/herself simply “x, y” poses the following:

The immigration restrictionists say theres a secret plot to take back the southwest for Mexico. At the same time, the same people ALSO say theres a plot to unite Mexico, Canada, and the United States under one federal government. Seems like the two are mutually exclusive. Which is it?

Good question, guys; how about it (and no, “obviously you must hate America” is not an acceptable answer)…

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

All The News That Gives You Fits

Appended herewith for your pleasure is a video from YouTube of CKLW, a once-legendary Top 40 station serving Detroit/Windsor with all the hits and the kind of news coverage that's gory, sensationalistic, totally devoid of taste and an absolute blast to listen to. Hopefully, it will also help kick start the discussion among radio folk of how our medium can get back to the kind of compelling theater-of-the-mind stuff that made guys like me want to get in this wacky biz...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

You Damn, Dirty Apes...

I don't really care whether you like Chuck Heston's politics or not; the next person who says, "well, now they can pry the gun from his cold, dead fingers" is getting the Mother of all forearm shivers from your truly. I mean, if it wasn't clever the first hundred-thousand times I heard it...

Monday, April 07, 2008

With the cross of blah-blah...

This is just pathetic...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Why I Am Not A Voter, redux

Well, lessee...we're coming off eight years of the most free-spending, pro-war, anti-civil liberties, big-government administration in decades - while the so-called progressives are falling over each other blaming everything that's wrong with the outgoing administration on "free market worship"...

Meanwhile, the mighty righties want nothing less than the return of Reagan - minus all that creepy "libertarian" stuff...

So tell me again why I should bother...I mean, other than the entertainment value...

Friday, April 04, 2008

To The Mountaintop

Forty years ago this week...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Open Letter To Radio Management

One of the stupidest thing any radio GM can say is, "We don't need to do traffic reports; traffic's not a big deal here."

I don't care where you live...traffic is a big deal.

Or let me put it another way: if it's a big deal where I live (Bismarck, ND), then it's a big deal where you are...

Trust me...if you don't give folks the traffic/weather info they need, they'll find it somewhere else...

(Thanks to my pal Holland Cooke for the heads up on this one...)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Wind Is Rising

CBS News has announced a spate of layoffs at several of its affiliates across the nation.

It’s really shouldn’t be that shocking a story. As TV News continues its slippery slide into irrelevance, it continues to shoot itself in the hoof.

(Don’t misunderstand me. Ms. Couric is not the problem; neither is “political bias,” to the extent that it exists. Those issues are symptoms. Incidentally, note how it's damn near impossible to find any information about news programming on the network's website)

Something similar is happening with talk radio, a medium that should be red-hot right now (it ain’t, despite what the puff piece publications may say). While the entire country simmers with palpable anger at every authority figure from the president on down to the local dogcatcher, “Squawk radio” continues to drop the ball with political wonk crap and totally predictable talking points.

The vultures are circling, folks.

Meanwhile, at out-of-the-way radio stations (like this one) and off-the-beaten-track websites (like this one), you can hear and see the last truly original “star” personalities…

…or the first of their return…?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

On The Border

On the rare occasion that someone in the media has something sensible to say about the immigration question, I just can't resist sharing it with the world...

No Clean Getaways

I rented and watched No Country For Old Men over the weekend. I recommend it highly: Javier Bardem's performance was a tour de force of creepiness, and the ending, while a bit jarring, worked for me. As a friend of mine pointed out it's not your standard Hooray-for-Hollywood action flick, and Bruce Willis ain't gonna ride in at the last minute and tie up all the loose ends with a hearty cry of "Yippie-Ki-Yay, Muthafuckah."

This is (in the words of my friend) a film about evil and death and the futility of thinking that any one person can really make a difference (the moral anchor of the film in this case being the soon-to-retire sheriff, wonderfully underplayed by Tommy Lee Jones). The desolation of West Texas provides an appropriate backdrop for the story, in much the same way that war-ravaged Vienna did for The Third Man.

See it, by all means.