As the Aughties* (see below) draw to a close, let others make those lame lists. Lists are for shopping. Provided you remember to take it with you, and can read your own handwriting. Yeah, listen elitist, you use up your toner, that stuff is expensive.
I’d like to take aim at the best phenomena of the Internet Era – the podcast. Everybody and their mom has a podcast. Except for me and my mother, and she wants the Propaganda software for Christmas. Some of these are professionally produced by broadcast industry professionals and bring with them all the positives and negatives of program content, performance and tech savvy. They are not the target for this diatribe which is genuinely intended to be helpful tools for tyros. Cough cough.
No, the pros be pros. I do download some of those shows. NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me is a personal fave. Nothing like well balanced politico bashing and intelligencia poop jokes. This blahg is pointed at the kids in the basement (not the Kids in the Hall, they are old pros). Not all podcasters are actually amateurs or young, they just share some common flaws. Flaws which are not just me being a bitter old unemployed radio worker, which I am. Real problems in presentation.
I am well aware too, of budget constraints. I’m not about to criticize somebody for not owning state of the art, broadcast quality equipment – that stuff costs almost as much as toner! Since most of the podcasts are essentially non-commercial, they are done out of love. Mostly ego, but self love counts in the show biz, or why bother to continue spouting off your opinion on Jar Jar Binks ten years later. Every week. Sometimes twice a week! Luckily for me I’m too spaz for game playing – those geeks are freaks. Though the podcasters who speak Klingon are in the top spot for doofy.
My grind is with untrained extemporaneous speakers. Working from a script sucks – I ain’t no card reader; I don’t want to have things read to me, no matter how interesting. Ad libbing off your notes and knowledge of a subject works for my ear, a few uhs and pregnant pauses won’t kill me. Good show prep is key though. As sharp as it is to have a good outline of topics, and most of these ‘casts do have loads of excellent content, they need to prep some basics too. The kinds of direction you need before the mic is open.
By far the most egregious problem is people talking simultaneously. Its pandemic. This overlapping dialogue can be organic and fun at a party or in an old Robert Altman flick. But as an audio only listen, it is a cacophony. Mostly ca ca. And they are not doing this because they are arguing or fighting. Or stupid. They are just talking at the same time.
This happens because the host(s) and/or guests are typically in different parts of the world. Tough to get physical cues from the panel when one of you is in LA, one in Hong Kong and another is in a car on the Long Island Expressway, eating a taco. Even if it is a video/cam show, it takes sophisticated equipment and engineers to synchronize audio/video. I’m just talking about the talking. So, I can tell who actually is. That and being able to delineate what they’re saying.
Here’s a helpful tip. Prior to the show (or before their segment), tell your guests you and they, must take an audible beat when you are finished speaking. That’s their cue – a beat is clear and fast, and a bit longer than a natural breath and some practice is required. A host can always cleverly cue a response by saying the person’s name he’d like to speak next. This does control the flow and sometimes is not as natural sounding as we’d all love. But it’s @#%&*! a lot better than the wall of sound effect. Never ever forget what happened to Phil Spector and his hair.
Next point of contention is a technical issue. Not everyone can afford a Gentner, or ClearOne studio phone-in system (a specialized PBX). Voice levels can be adjusted to match the level of the studio program microphones and callers. Well, it can, when its installed properly. Don’t ask. Hey! I know I couldn’t do it. But I am NOT a highly paid radio engineer. It wasn’t my fault. . ..
Even if the podcast is archived from an actual radio broadcast, the levels can be way off. Yeah, sure, I know I’m lucky to get anything at all. I also know they are not paying an engineer twice so he or she can go back and do the audio for a freebie podcast. I can’t pay for them so I wouldn’t know. In fact, I regularly listen to maybe a dozen different, mainly weekly podcasts. But there are probably several thousand to choose from in existence. Severe download speed limitations keep me from many good ones. I have rejected some due to size. The reason I drop many is due to my complaints about their performances.
Oddly, Howard Megdal, one of the more intelligent and witty sports personalities emerging from the Pod Era, just corrected some of the over-talking on his Perpetual Post Radio show (I’m listening to it as I type – I am all about the multitasking), by employing the technique I described. Did I mention he was smart? and yet while the media may indeed be the message still, when its garbled, it’s mess only.
No doubt the strait laced and older listeners might have a problem with the flagrant usage of obscene language in some podcasts. The F bomb gets lots of play in certain genres – that being the drunken young dude’s ranting one. Or the young dudes talking about life i.e. drinking, chicks, sports and more drinking. Think the show Jackass, sans the visuals and stunts. A few of them are entertaining while having true insight into media. I don’t mind those words – I was using them before most podcasters were born and getting in trouble for it too. What I do mind, besides misogyny, is the mother fucking laughing at everything they say shit.
The laughing problem is not genre, age or subject specific. I like movie reviews and commentary on TV series. I tried one podcast. The two 40 something guys laughed so much I had to think they’d smoked a doobie or three. They likely were not under the influence – they were much too articulate and made sense in between the yucks. But holy crap – every remark was punctuated by extended guffaws. OK -this is judgmental, but what they were saying wasn’t funny. I tried a really well produced Science Fiction media ‘cast. Same thing, with the too many laughs.
I’m not against having a good time, or laughter. Does anybody remember laughter (insert Jimmy Page guitar riff here)? I gave them a second try, new episode. They were at it again. Only this time it was a ratio of one comment::two laughs. Sigh. I dropped a few F Bombs. And that podcast. Speaking of which, depending on the bandwidth the podcast uses, it can take me anywhere from three to five minutes of download time to get one minute of program. After not being able to do anything but watch my ISP crank, and possibly disconnect me, for 5 or 6 hours, I gots to have mo show, yo, than ho ho ho (see how I worked Christmas in there? which I can do because I am not PC. I’m a Mac).
Previously, I’ve admitted I’m a know it all, who knows I don’t know it all. Though overall, I know more than most sportscasters. My usual opinion of the majority of those people are, they were the kids who fell asleep in class beginning with 6th grade. If they made it to senior year or astonishingly to college, they cut out the middleman bullshit and stayed home to do their sleeping. Books were for propping up the couch with the missing leg.
Not only do they routinely mispronounce words, in One Hundred Monkeys style, they all say the same ones incorrectly! They also misinform. The most egregious statement I ever heard was a former NFL player at Fox Sports fool(who shares the same name as an older UK actor) say, on the occasion of President’s Day, “Lincoln owned slaves” well, that and the rest of them calling Lindsay, Lo – Han. She’s not Asian, though she is aging. It is Low – un. BTW she’s still relevant in a look at me look at me! kind of way, if a new photo shoot is any gauge.
I’m not against informal speech or playing with language either. I enjoy mixing in some patois with my huge vocabulary – my patois de foie gras is legendary. When I do it, its ironic. When they do it, its moronic. Sure sports ain’t the Algonquin. Yes, it is not. But as Yogi once said – “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him a Man o’War.” You might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can fire his dumb ass and get a smarter dog.
Oh well, do what you will podcasters. I’ll take what I can get. I might just be in a blue mood exacerbated by a seasonal disorder. The first half of December includes the birthdays of five of my former girlfriends, none of whom are in contact with me. Not even a card. You’d think with all those Sagittarians, one of Cupid’s arrows would’ve hit something above the belt. It’s not because I’m a prick – it’s because I am a poor prick.
Ho ho ho
* Or the Naughties if you had lots of fun. I tried to copyright Oties. But it was too esOteric…
Having recently re-subscribed to the “Less is best” school of life grad program, here is my burn out—I mean — burnt offering for the coming holidays. These are the things which can still make me laugh out loud, long and so hard, I risk a ruptured gut. Pretty sure you’ll agree.
My life is finally one with the universe. Well, the universe as I perceive it anyhow. Spike Lee, peanut head film auteur & Knicks fan, spoke out recently—no breaking news there, he does it a lot. That he called the works of Tyler Perry buffoonery, suggesting it was setting the cause of African-Americans back faster than Oprah can load a dish at an all you can eat buffet, is the shocker. Not sure I can live in a world where Spike Lee and I agree, so I’ll add the following—Tyler Perry is setting the entire human race back. Now that’s a race problem!
Perry’s partner in a recent movie release, Winfrey, has announced she’ll be ending her TV show in 2011. This one made me laugh so hard I might have to sue her for the sutures my sides required. 2011?!… Hold on, maybe she knows something! [see below] Regardless, she’ll no doubt pull a Leno and turn up on a night time version. Let’s see, I bet it will be called O! What a Night. I like O! What a Load.
The 2009 Major League baseball season ended the way it always should, so no gloat-fest here. Two things do need addressing. One is the phrase “bought players.” Teams sign players to contracts—- often for huge money. Yes, they all have the option to do so. While the jaded fan may choose to esteem that process as “buying,” they are morons. Abe Lincoln freed the slaves with that old Emancipation Proclamation. Nobody ain’t buyin’ nobody no mo’. To claim the Yankees bought C.C. Sabathia is racist. BTW did I mention THE YANKEES WIN! THE_UHHHHHHHHH YANKEES WIN!!
As for Bud Selig, 80 year old used car salesman/baseball commissioner (@ $20 million per annum). He just noticed the time lag between playoff games is a bit extreme. Wow! 20 mil doesn’t buy the quality brains does it. Of course, LA of A Angels manager of the year Mike Scioscia complained about it. Mainly due to the Angels losing. If Yankees mgr. Joe Girardi had bitched, a fresh round of anti-NYY sentiment would have filled the airwaves in red hot parallel pinstripes to the yowls of “Yankees bought another World Series” bullshit. Those fellas need some new slogans. I have one for them — STFU.
Read some history you a-holes. Sports has always been this way. You can’t sit around smugly saying life ain’t fair – deal with it to people having a rough time of it now- and then cry when your team gets whupped. Mainly because they are cheapskates. Why doesn’t Selig donate 18 or 19 million of his take, to the team with the worst record each year, so they can S I G N a big time free agent. AS if that alone assures anyone of positive results. MLB needs a major league overhaul, with a tier & rewards system for team performance. They won’t do it, because suits like Pud & his cronies like it the way it is-stoopit. Don’t blame the Yankees, blame the owners of all the other teams. But you won’t.
Nobody cries but NYY fans when tyro low payroll teams like the Florida Marlins & Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Yankees on a fluke & their owners bank the cake for trophy wives and ocean front property in Palm Springs. Oh! then it’s David v. Goliath and if it’s like a story in the Bible, it’s good enough for Joe Redass. When did douche baggery start ruling the world?
Which dovetails, in an un-dove like way to a socio-religious aspect of the current flick 2012. Seems they are ecumenical in their destruction of world religious symbols. Oh wait, they forgot to blow up any Islamic sites. Wouldn’t want to offend those clowns. Now I think of it, they do a pretty good job of blowing up the world themselves, literally and figuratively. If somebody told them the truth about the virgins (actually it’s a box of raisins – you could look it up), do you think they’d do that reprehensible shameful Bombing for Allahs trick? Still, all that doesn’t excuse the P.C. pandering of the film makers. Weak. Very.
Continuing on in the weak dept., there is a sports talk host on WFAN, New York City. The guy is a man of the people type, he speaks English natively, but he mangles it grammatically. He can barely speak a sentence without stammering and repeating words. Was this a pity hire? Hey! that’s fine on some small radio station in the sticks, not on the seminal sports powerhouse, in the world’s largest and most influential media market. The worst part is, a typical sports talk show attracts limited intellect callers. This guy’s audience takes it to a new low, the mouth breather boxing fans are the most virulent. He’s on now like 8 nights a week. Can anyone say—video of suits with donkeys?
It’s obvious, I’m thankful for all the laughter this has all brought me. I’m looking forward to all the swell things 2010 will bring. After all, we’re at the 2 year warning—the Mayan Calendar ends in 2012. Anybody else notice it’s “the Calendar?” My @#%&*! calendar ends every year. My only hope is every year would end with-
THE YANKEES WIN! THE_UHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
…and to all a good night.
* its a baseball thing, if you don’t know
“Hey! thatsa pretty fonny. You canta fool me boss. Thosa Transformahs ainta racists, theyah battlebots they donta race!” Chico Marx
Let me get this straight. There are some people upset about racism in the new movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The pervasive destructive disregard for life, property and national treasures, that’s okay? Not to mention the dogged possibility of damage to Megan Fox. And the veritable lake size puddles of oil they leave behind. I’d be an idiot of the same stripe as they are, to read as if I’d ever condone racism. But the superficial, knee jerk reactions of such people do nothing but actually pour some of that bot fluid on the flames.
They learned a big word once—stereotype. But they learned it in the context of an explanation with negative connotations. Am I even allowed to use negative? Stereotypes, as with the verbal equivalent, the cliché, exist for one reason—they are experiential human shorthand. If it waddles like a duck, we then see a duck, not some poor kid in a mascot suit. Unless of course, it is some kid in a mascot suit. Personally, I have seen just about every stereotype in real life, these jerkoffs complain about. It would be fine with them to have a white trash moron, an Italian mob goombah, a Jewish anything, but not a person of color who isn’t in Mensa? Could’ve been worse, they could’ve had Tyler Perry in drag Transformer. . ..
Bullshit. They are the people with the problem. It is so intense of a problem, they see racist in the use of the word people. In the Sixties, I was a second generation Italian, a teenager with long hair, a beard, wore sunglasses & drove a Corvette. If you knew anything about life before you were born or say, Heaven forfend, read a book, you’d know that was a set of characteristics sure to get you special notice by authorities. Luckily, I never did get any harassment. Because I was lucky and behaved myself, and never got caught the few times I power shifted, burnt rubber and wore a hundred miles off my tires. The only time was when a guy on my softball team, a police sergeant, advised me to be careful of the company I kept. He was right too. And I did. However, if you don’t think I got a taste of prejudice back then, you are culturally bereft. Sure, I had the ability and the option to “clean up my act,” a popular phrase of that era. Oddly, even when I did, I was still the same iconoclastic individual. My attitudes and foibles were internal. Have some groups had unfortunate extra attention? the sad answer is yes. As always, I ain’t here to do an exegesis of race relations. Just to point stuff out. Did I look like a small time drug dealer though? you betcha. Was I? Nope and that rhymes with—okay, but just that one time. And I was drunk. . ..
But including a dumbass black character in a movie is anathema? What! there no stupid blacks? how do you explain Martin Lawrence? You obviously don’t listen to WFAN. While possibly not the only choice for a movie character, if it’s an urban scene, what fits more for the point it makes? an African American with GQ cover looks and two doctorates? or some street thug. All y’all are just hater players. BTW why are you even at that movie? oh—Megan Fox! Sexist ahole huh. Or just hetero and enjoying yourself. I’d say lighten up, but I’m no racialist, you get the picture. Maybe. . ..
“Ha hah ha. Shoo, everybody knows they gotta lottsa juice in Florida. They come frommah Noo Yawk for the sunny shine!” Chico Marx
Manny Ramirez, eagerly ( LOL ) awaiting his return to Mannywood and the Dodger lineup, has caught some new attention himself. This because he is a stereotype—of a ballplayer caught using performance enhancing drugs. Apparently someone he’s been associated with has a father who is a doctor. A doctor can write prescriptions for said PED. Voila! This conduit from outside the US, up into Florida and servicing predominantly Latino jocks, is now under scrutiny. Again may I state: Boston, you are hypocrites & phonies. Have a nice day.
Wowie zowie! God didn’t waste anytime with the dead celebrity trifecta. Banging them out like ARod in batting practice. Only God can do it in the actual games too. Yeah sure Alex has had some good at bats the last few days—90 games to go hombre. Sorry, got off track there. So, Farrah Fawcett, Ed MacMahon, and Michael Jackson are at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter sees Farrah, looks at his big book and says—-” Angel! go right in.” Ed steps up. Peter says-” Heyo!—you have all ready won. Go on in.” Then he looks at Michael Jackson, looks at the book. Looks at Michael again, then back at the book,* he asks — ” Moonwalk, eh! you were an astronaut?” Michael squeaks, ” Uh yes. Yes I was. An astronaut.” St. Peter smiles, ” Welcome to Heaven.” St. Paul throws Peter a look. Peter looks at paul and says – “Hey have you ever heard him sing She’s Out of My Life? The way his voice breaks at the end. That’s Heaven.”
*Take 2: St. Peter looks down at his book, looks at Michael Jackson. ” Oh dear, it’s Jackson. Whew–I thought they said Michael JORDAN. . ..”
Now if he can only keep his hands off the cherubs. Good night everybody! drive safely and don’t forget to tip your waitrons.
Chastity Bono is entering manhood. The daughter of the late great Salvatore Sonny Bono and the wax figure Cher, is 40 and an out lesbian. Upon reading this news, all I can think about is, it would’ve really hurt Sonny’s chances to become President.
It’s a bit odd, but the last few U.S. Presidents have only had female offspring. The one guy who had sons, George Walker Bush, had a son who became President ( in case you’d forgotten—yeah sure ). So, maybe it’s a good thing. But why all the X chromosomes* dudes? don’t ask. Don’t tell. Gotcha.
Hey! good for Chas Bono. Whatever happens, she’s got to have more balls than the team from the Bronx who went to Boston and got theirs handed to them on home plate. Again. Baseball — people are fond of saying — is a marathon. It’s a long season & there are a hundred games left to play. Luckily for the Yankees, only eleven are v. the Rat Sox.
Seriously kids—whatever drugs you’re not using—start. I haven’t felt this embarrassed since I tried returning a jacket to a store and the saleswoman pointed out pit stains. At the time I told her, ” I’m a Yankee fan ” it was October 2004. She said poor man, patted me on the shoulder, gave me a refund and the number of a homeopathic healer. Wonder if MLB.com will take back all these @#%&*! Yankee caps!
Could all those Beanotown ‘tards be right? do the Yankees really—suck? Frankly, I don’t give a damn. That’s no excuse. Vacuum cleaners suck, but still get the job done. Same goes for hookers. And high schoolers with self esteem issues. The real problem is every other team gets so amped up when they play the Yankees, the opposition often performs way above their skill set. Yankees routinely make rookie pitchers look like Cy Young candidates, if not Cy himself. Why isn’t a fathead such as Josh Beckett 30 and 0? why—because he doesn’t get 30 starts versus the Yankees. That’s why. I hate that arrogant load.
Sigh. It is a long season. But if you have to say it—you are all ready in trouble. The season ain’t long enough for those Mass-holes to forget how they beat everything in midnight blue pinstripes — home and away to the tune of eight straight unanswered ass whuppings. Will the newly masculated Chas, sorry—make that — Chaz Bono be able to hit a big league curve ball? she or he can’t do worse than those choke ponies. Now where is my Phillies cap. . ..
* that’s XX which = a female as opposed to XXX which would be Vin Diesel or Peter North, whoever comes first. . ..
PS Happy bd Gomer & so long to the cast of REAPER— I’ll miss you kids
LeBron James is a great basketball player in the NBA (National Basketball Association) & a young man, the league uses as one of its premier representatives. Last night he walked off the court after his team the Cleveland Cavaliers was eliminated from the championship chase by the Orlando Magic. Mr. James is now catching heat from all the jock sniffing media for not speaking into the mics these jerkoffs stick in your face win or lose. Awwwwwww too bad for them.
WTF do they think he feels or would have to say? they don’t care–he & and all the players owe them. Sure they do. It’s part of their contract – they routinely spout. Sure it is. But every once in awhile how about some media freak makes the human choice too. The choice to not intrude in the name of a clichéd soundbyte. One thing I always loathed about all of the jockocracy, is their lack of grasping basic human emotions in the now. They’re great at it after the fact, telling the athletes they feed off of, how to act, on and off the basketball court. Where is the true immaturity here?
I am no fan of the NBA—those guys don’t even play basketball the way it was invented by James Naismith in 1891. When LeBron James decided to break free and join the professional ranks straight out of high school, I saw a person ready to cash in, skip the phoney college bs & get the bling. But he has been a phenomenon, not just in his skills on the court, but as a model of good behavior. Trust me, he’s a rare man for his age and role, which is 24. I’m glad he is. The history of the recent NBA is rife with thugs—bad dudes guilty of, well, you name it. LeBron was & is a breath of fresh air.
Now, by not shaking the hand of Orlando opponent Dwight Howard or “facing” the media music, it’s time for the media to rip another of their false idols off a pedestal. The carrion eaters are circling, cawing and nipping at James. Oh what a bad man—he’s angry, tired and beaten. But he needs to be a man. Some real men get pissed off at what other perfect (jerks) consider inappropriate times. For them. Most athletes are not exciting extemporaneous speakers. For all my antipathy toward them, I prefer to hear from the media when it comes to commentary on a sporting event.
Jock sniffers live to suck up to all things jock—to call old fools “coach.” To scream orgasmically over a play, then drool over it until something replaces it. In a what have you done for us lately world, LeBron James has made a fatal error, he didn’t do what is expected of him by the peanut gallery. Because he didn’t kiss their fat asses the way they kiss his. When the quid pro quo goes unbalanced, the media has the tools to lash out. And they are pretty much just that—tools. . ..
Give LeBron a break. You two faced vultures. Wasn’t there enough free food to eat in Disney World? When you can’t shoot the 3 from downtown at the buzzer, you can give a press conference and cheerfully explain how you lost the big one.
For a guy who hasn’t lived in or even near NYC for two decades now (yikes!)—I am still a New York elitist. As much as my minimalist lifestyle allows, I pay attention to my old hometown via whatever media sources I can.
That’s why it pains me to say the New York Yankees & some NY sports hosts are idiots. Nothing says it more than the curious case of one young pitcher, Joba (pronounced Jah-bah, yes, like Jabba the Hutt) Chamberlain. Two seasons ago, Joba joined the Yankees at the major league level. He proceeded to become a cult hero as an emergency reliever, smoking out of the bullpen with a success rate of almost perfect, firing bb sized fastballs past batters & striking them out frequently, bats on their shoulder. However…
Chamberlain had been groomed as a starting pitcher in the Yankee farm system, one with a repertoire of four pitches, a valuable & desirable commodity. A lights out closer is a team’s dream. But strong starting pitching and a young pitcher at that, is rare, not to mention necessary. So, when the man, the myth, the legend Mo Sandman Rivera returned to his rightful place as the Yankees closer, Joba was tasked to begin his evolution into the Yankee starting rotation.
OK enough back story. Fluke injuries, gnats, heat for his fervor on the mound & a DUI/strip club related bust, oh yeah and some really bad first innings have reopened the debate. Joba starter or Joba reliever? But the Yankees have proven in the past (repeatedly), they have no clue how to bring along pitchers. In fact since Mel Stottlemyre was banished, a case could be made the franchise can’t even manage veteran hurlers. Injuries happen so often, Joba to the bully now might be a premature move waiting to happen if Chien-Ming Wang (in no pitcher’s land between rehab & redemption) can’t rebound & Phil Hughes remains a roller coaster of results.
One WFAN radio host— let’s call him Bullwinkle— challenges callers who want Joba in the pen by saying “are 21 starts for Joba enough” to determine his ability as a starting pitcher. Well, no one truly knows that answer. But the greatest closer in history, the aforementioned Mr. Rivera, only had ten — count ’em genius —10. So, why is this radio moron so adamant. Joba has had twice as many and he has proven all ready he can be amazing out of the bullpen. Rivera did not have such proven credentials when he was, at the time, demoted!
So, I love New York. But I lament the hubris of guys who can’t take in actual data and realize they might be barking up the wrong alley. Naturally, at this point no one even knows if Joba can return to his glory status as a reliever. Maybe he misses getting a beer buzz & seeing a few boobs. Because boobs they may be, those deciding his fate are not the same as cornfed mamas for a young man with a high hard one.*
* for non-baseball fans—a high hard one is a good major league fastball–or not…
It is 12:55PM Saturday, on Memorial Day weekend! and both ESPN Radio & Fox Sports Radio are talking football. This is why I hate sports talk radio & why Bud Selig should be fired then executed. Bad bad bad job Bud. Those humps should be talking your sport—baseball. Wow, are you happy taking a back seat to that crap Bud, it’s MLB’s time of year for fuck’s sake. You should be locked in the trunk & a baseball bat should have been applied liberally by Joe Pesci.
Deplorable how those jock sniffers in the media ass kiss the NFL. They are a bunch of [deleted by the Women’s League for Blog Decency—sponsored by the NFL]
Bud Selig & his fellow stooges are Major League A-holes.