Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Play Now!Plunging blindly ahead without due regard is one way to do something. A New Year, though, provides a convenient calendar-triggered pause, where one can look back and make sure goals have not been completely abandoned or forgotten. Hence, Episode 119: My Filter Bubble of Vindication.In this episode, I read from: Eli Pariser's wonderful book, The Filter Bubble:What the Internet Is Hiding From You; A Guardian article on the effects online entities are having on journalism; Now I Know's article on television ads getting sped up even more; a New York Post article on ads in for-hire cars; Chad Hill's comments on a recent episode; and Jerry Mander's also-wonderful book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television.Sound snippet-wise I play: D. L. Myers voicing the Powell Movement stinger; Lili Tomlin's character Ernestine the Operator; and Ronald Reagan's character the Outgoing President. I also snippetize 100% Chevalier's tune "Ghana Ghana" into the segment breaks. A snippet of KMFDM's "Attack" backs a snippet of wisdom from Dmitri Orlov in the opening, and I'm close the show with the final snippet of Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today".I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Play Now!In one part of the world, at least, the phrase "getting good shit for Xmas" is taken more literally than in others. For a fun look at this region, one intended as levity for what December 25th can bring, I offer the gift of Episode 118: ¡Feces Navidad!In this episode, I play: The Vince Guaraldi Trio doing "Skating;" and a tune I yanked from the internets.
Holiday Pooping: It's a Catalonian tradition!I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.With that, I wish you all warm and fecund holiday feelings and memories… freshly pinched, and conically presented in a spiral!
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Play Now!It’s not coincidental that the most irritating advertising arose only after machines increased audiences. Broadcasting and amplification beyond the range of a single voice likewise allowed today’s aural effluent. Hence, Episode 117: Can You Hear Me Now?In this episode, I read from Benjamin Franklin's autobiography, specifically a section I found quoted in Brooke Allen's book, Immoral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers.
What's Missing in This Picture?Sound-bite-wise, I play: William Jennings Bryan's close to his famous 1896 nomination speech; and Alexander Graham Bell saying his name. I revisited both the 1947 movie The Hucksters and the 1950 television production featuring Spike Jones and his City Slickers Orchestra, pulling out of them some classic ads for both now-defunct and wholly-fictional soapy stuff.To break things up just a bit, I played Lee Rosevere's "Ingenuity" (well, at least snippets of it). I opened with Clark Gable's character Vic Norman bitching about ads while backed by KMFDM; I'm closing the show with Mistle Thrush.I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike and non-commercial license.
Monday, December 3, 2018
Play Now!The more I dive into media history, the more I find that surprises. For example, did you know there was at one time a chain of theaters that didn't charge for admission? It's a mulling topic for me on this Episode 116: Gates & Gatekeepers.In this episode, I read once again from Tim Wu's The Attention Merchants: The Epic Struggle To Get Inside Our Heads. As I mentioned, it was a strange, throw-away line from that book, but it got me to thinking, which is a good thing for a book to do.Musically, I played: Podington Bear doing "Senseless" in its entirety; and snippets from Jahzzar's "Breaking Bad" and Podington Bear's "Forces". KMFDM's "Attack" backed Bernie Sanders in the intro, and I'm closing once again with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today.I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Monday, November 19, 2018
Play Now!Just when you get a good thing going, someone comes along and moves to wreck it. Why? Merely because it doesn't make nearly as much money as it could. Like the witches in the Scottish Play, I show one such player in this Episode 115: With This Pin I Stitch Some Dumb.In this episode, I play: Brooke Gladstone, trolling for donors; a couple of the commercials Brooke would rather call something else entirely; and Jaron Lanier, interviewed on Sam Harris' podcast Waking Up. I read from one or two web pages for the podcast streamer Stitcher.Musically, I played: Mudlark, doing "fine ointment"; and Podington Bear, doing "Dimlight." KMFDM backed Chuck Mertz in the intro; and Julie and Rolf sing us out around the campfire and Over the Rainbow.I'm releasing this and all my shows under a Creative Commons 4.0 share-alike, attribution, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Play Now!It's time to once again let my gums flap without a script to guide them. I've done that before; all I need is sufficient anger. In this case the outrage source is the idea that some people are better than others, that because of their circumstances, they prove able to get stuff for "free" that others are denied, even when those others have the cash to pony up for whatever those entitled offerings might be. This is a class-based distinction, and so far too few seem to be sufficiently outraged at the ever-increasing instances of it popping up here and there. I thought I would help spread my outrage in this Episode 114: Coffee and Water Everywhere.I was inspired/enraged by an NPR article from September 29, 2018, titled "No Cash Needed At This Cafe. Students Pay The Tab With Their Personal Data." I know, right!?I also play: a dictionary definition from my computer; Martin Luther King, Jr. opening the show with KMFDM backing; and the primary show closer, Mistle Thrush.I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Monday, October 29, 2018
Play Now!'Nuff said.Addendum: Never mind. It was a fishing attempt. It's amazing what 2 hours of sleep and a really crappy day will do to one's brain, though. Ah, fatigue!That said, I'm going to leave this snippet up just because it jives nicely with a topic I've been mulling about for some time now. Having this snippet will kick-start me into turning that snippet into a full-blown episode.Thanks for your attention. Carry on.—Jim
Monday, October 22, 2018
Play Now!Once again, I focus my attention on an inflection point, a moment in history when a technological improvement allows manufacturers to apply that tech in a new and previously impossible way. Today's technology is the color poster that, when introduced, made Episode 113: Drab Walls Dance With Ads.
More Chéret! More!In this episode, I read extensively once again from Tim Wu's 2016 book The Attention Merchants: The Epic Struggle to Get Inside Our Heads. Musically, I play: Graham Bole's "Sunset at Goat Fell"; Lee Rosevere's "What's Behind The Door"; and Podington Bear's "Submerging Blue-Black". KMFDM backs Clark Gable in the opening. I close the show once again with Mistle Thrush.I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.Special help came today from listener Vincent who gave me much needed assistance with the French language. In the course of editing a show together, I have seldom had as much opportunity to just… giggle. Thank you, Vincent! Your contribution was perfect!
Monday, October 8, 2018
Play Now!Ever wonder why a book was published? Ever since I saddled up and started riding this hobby horse of mine, this podcastic obsession I have with advertising and its deleterious effects, that's a question I can never not ask. I ask it again in Episode 112: Ragged Dick, Right Here, the conclusion to my deep-ish dive into author and cultural dog whistle Horatio Alger.In this episode, I read pretty extensively from the introduction to Horatio Alger's Ragged Dick, at least from a more modern printing of that book (Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick and Mark, The Match Boy: Two Novels by Horatio Alger, The MacMillan Company, 1962). I think Rychard Fink used Ragged Dick to do his bestest to help thwart the leftist tendencies rising in his time. I also read: from Ragged Dick itself; and from a Politico article concerning the real reason behind the Little House books, an article I highly recommend you read yourself.Musically, I play: Turmoil's "The World Is A Toilet"; and Podington Bear's "Ideas." KMFDM backs Bernie in the intro, and I close the show with Mistle Thrush.I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Play Now!People have been describing the ascendence of busy business mucky-mucks from poverty to power for over a century as those that lead a Horatio Alger life. The trouble is, I'm willing to bet that precious few of these people so quick to throw out their easy descriptor have ever actually read a Horatio Alger book. Let's correct that in this Episode 111: I've Got Your Ragged Dick.In this episode, I read from: Horatio Alger's 1867 book Ragged Dick; and from my computer's quickie dictionary. I also gave some plot examples from Upton Sinclair's Lanny Budd series, at least that portion I've read.Musically, I played Jahzzar's "Storyteller." KMFDM opened the show backing Burlington Mayor Bernie Sanders; and I'm closing the show today with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Monday, September 10, 2018
Play Now!Alas, another diversion from the promised path, this one in a new form! Curious about how best the future of podcasting should proceed money-wise, I consult someone far more expert than I in making podcasting pay, if only a little: KMO of the C-Realm Podcast & Radio, and most recently the GEBB.IO web comic. KMO and I put our heads together for a bit of what I'm calling Episode 110: Head Banging.I open the show with Henry Giroux backed by KMFDM; and I close with Mistle Thrush.I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Play Now!Sometimes leftovers happen. Why waste a perfectly good ingredient or two or three or seven just because there isn't enough of any one for a meal? Time to toss with pasta, bake, and serve up these perfectly tasty but two-year-old ingredients in Episode 109: Casserole.
Fun story behind these….In this episode, I read from some old newspapers concerning their opinion of Col. Blethen; D. L. Myers reads the poem "All Is Well" by an Anonymous author from 1912, the poem found in Upton Sinclair's 1923 book The Goose-Step, which reprinted it; and from the depositions of Monica Lewinski. (I don't remember which ones or where I found them online two years ago. I do remember it was a hell of a hunt for the poorly scanned gif images of the deposition papers without a hint of optical character digitization.)Musically, I play tiny, tiny bits of: Lee Rosevere's "Thinking It Over"; Jupiter Makes Me Scream's "Shine, Shine, Shine!"; and Pietnaska's "Noakowski." Podington Bear backs the Blethen Chimes poem with "Feldspar"; KMFDM backs Mark Blyth; and Mistle Thrush backs me in the close.I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Play Now!Well, advertising haters, I think I've finally located the source of the scourge that plagues us: the man who invented the business plan that spawned almost wholly advertising-supported news! I'll tell you all about him in this Episode 108: Day Breaks.In this episode, I read first from Clive Thompson's Smithsonian article, "Tweet All About It: From 'user-generated content' to political screeds, the future of news happens to look a lot like the past" (from the Smithsonian, Volume 47, Number 2, May, 2016, pp. 43-49), and from the book Beyond News: The Future of Journalism by Mitchell Stephens, who was a major source for Thompson's article. Then I had to read from a whole bunch of websites on printing press history to correct Mitchell Stephens and, by extension, Clive Thompson. I also both read from and play Tim Wu talking about his book The Attention Merchants, which was appropriate because he was the one to turn me on to how both Thompson and Stephens were wrong, wrong, wrong.Musically, I play Podington Bear's "Nocturnal", Turmoil's "Intestinal Parasite Contamination", and Jahzzar's "Dip". I open as usual with KMFDM, today backing Jan Wong, and I close with Julie and Rolf.I'm releasing this and all my shows under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Play Now!To understand advertising today, we have to avoid simplifications like who paid for what message, and move into the nuances regarding how those paid messages—and the media that took the message money—attempt to capture our attention. So far, no better books address that nuance than Tim Wu's. Allow me, then, to endorse Wu's work by presenting Episode 107: Pitching Wu.In this episode, I read from two of Tim Wu's books, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires and The Attention Merchants: The Epic Struggle To Get Inside Our Heads. Again, if you like what I present on this podcast, you will find a lot to love in these books. I also play a bit of Wu himself from his publicity tour, recorded here in Seattle back in 2016. Musically, I play: Podington Bear doing "In My Head"; and Lee Rosevere doing "Gimmicks Three". KMFDM backed Clark Gable in the opening; and I close with Mistle Thrush.I'm releasing this and all of my episodes under a Creative Content 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Play Now!For reasons too mundane to explain, I've got a short episode this time, one with three pleas for listener participation. Give a listen. I think at least a few listeners might be interested in the topics, and be willing to contribute. Hence, Episode 106: Summer Vacation Homework.Here's the link to the alternate rules to Elizabeth Maggie's The Landlord's Game. Other than that, I only have one quote from an online article this time, along with the KMFDM intro with Henry Giroux opening the show, and Julie singing and Rolf on the uke for the close. By the time I release this episode, I'll be packing up after camping with both of them around the campfire once again, hopefully with a field recorder filled with new tunes!I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0, share-alike, attribution, and non-commercial license.Important Post Script! I learned the night before posting this episode that Blogger, the folks hosting these show notes, has a malfunction underway since May, a gefuckening that prevents me from getting notice of comments you post the usual way, through my email. This means I have to do something else to even check for the existence of comments, which is more cumbersome, and therefore is something I will do less often. Meaning, if you haven't heard back from me, don't panic. I will get to your comments, that I promise. I can't, though, promise when.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Play Now!A simple question too often sends my brain into overdrive. That's what happened here, when I was forced to confront the ugly realities of how money warps elections, a confrontation that jived with other reading about how similar realities has warped our nation's agricultural system. If you want to know how things will conclude, consider first Episode 105: Show Me The Incentives.In this episode, I read from: John Moe's Conservatize Me; Keith Bradsher's High and Mighty: SUVs- The World's Most Dangerous vehicles and how they got that way ; and Charles C. Mann's The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World. I also paraphrased from a podcast episode of Peak Prosperity. Sound-wise, I couldn't resist playing a tiny bit of both Monty Python and The Wizard of Oz.
Speaking of Oz, Julie and Rolf with the Campfire Gang play us out. Earlier, you hear KMFDM backing Tim Bousquet to open the show. I also play two from Jahzzar: first "Dirt"; and then "Octopus".I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0, attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Play Now!It turns out there are entertainments out there—books and movies mostly, but other entertainments as well—that cast a critical eye on advertising. It also turns out that these entertainments are seldom if ever seen or heard of today anywhere that relies on advertising dollars to keep the lights on. For that reason, you Dear Listeners have probably never heard of The Hucksters, either the 1946 novel or the 1947 movie adaptation of that novel. The movie version is the subject of this Episode 104: Rave Review: The Hucksters.In this episode, I play copious excerpts from that movie, and quote once more Victor Pickard's 2013 book America's Battle for Media Democracy (NB: Link to a PDF preview of the book), the book that clued me in on the existence of this movie.I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Play Now!Ever wonder where the term "soap opera" comes from? After all, there are a variety of products sponsoring today's daytime serial dramas, not just soaps. It turns out that that wasn't always the case. In the past, only one sponsor dominated individual programs, as I'll demonstrate in Episode 103: The Boob's Halo & Halo's Boob.In this episode, I read from: a footnote in Thomas Picketty's Capital in the Twentieth Century; from my computer's quickie dictionary; and from Victor Pickard's book, America's Battle for Media Democracy (NB: Link to a PDF preview of the book. Also, I neglected to mention Mr. Pickard's book in the show's concluding credits. I regret the omission.) I exerted quite a bit from a toothpaste company comedy hour featuring Spike Jones and the City Slickers Orchestra that aired February 11, 1950.I also play: Lee Rosevere's "Last Call"; and Podington Bear's "Ideas" and "Crafty". I open with KMFDM backing Bruce Livesey's observations about the power of business interests; and I close with Spike Jones.I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Play Now!Dualistic language is a problem for me, especially in this overly-polarized media where opinions are not held lightly but with as much force as can be mustered into the opinion blusterscape. By actively seeking less Good-Versus-Evil language, less dichotomous and divisive terms of description, we take the first step into embracing gradualism and nuance into whatever topic might be under discussion. Hence, Episode 102: The Mundane and The Sublime.In this almost wankish look at descriptors: I read from my computer's quickie dictionary; and I paraphrase what I found to be a fascinating set of cognate word origin from Kevin Stroud's History of English Podcast. I also play the first "great" from longest-time listener L33t Minion into my theme stinger. Thank you, L33t.Musically, I wove Podington Bear's "Fantasy" and Lee Rosevere's "As I Was Saying" into the show. KMFDM backs Henry Giroux's observation on the importance of civic literacy in the opening, and I close the show to Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Play Now!While I'm wading through written material that will provide future grist for the yakking mill, what else to discuss? How about a brief recap of material already covered, along with asking how I'm doing? Hence, Episode 101: So Good, So Far, Maybe, I Guess.In this episode, I read from: a New York Times article concerning Nix-ian psychographics; and from quotes and a "reference" found in Tim Wu's most recent book, The Attention Merchants: The Epic Struggle To Get Inside Our Heads. Doesn't the title say it all? I also play: Alexander Nix, giving a speech I'm willing to bet he now very seriously regrets ever making; and a now-banned online video ranter. (If anybody has any idea who this is, please, drop me a line in the comments.)Oh, and another goof: I forgot to mention D. L. Myers doing my Powell Movement stinger in the show and its notes. I regret the oversight.For musical bumpers, I play three song intros from Lee Rosevere. In order, they are: "Things We Mean To Say;" then "Curiousity;" and finally "Content." KMFDM's "Attack/Reload" backed the original Dmitri Orlov intro; and I'm closing once again with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."As usual, I'm releasing this episode under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Play Now!Ah, the celebratory nature of stuff that divides cleanly by ten! Time to reminisce, to look back, and to do new stuff as well, such as to make Episode 100: Mai FrootiToons Daybew.In this episode, I play Tim Wu talking right here in Seattle about his newest book, The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads. That talk was backed by Podington Bear doing "Jettisoned." I also play Raphae doing "Opening," close the main body of the show with someone singing "Poop in a Bucket," a song my sister sent me from a video advertising, no kidding, a product you use to, well, collect your own feces for garden fertilizer use. (I'll keep looking for the link; I've misplaced it.) I opened with KMFDM's "Attak/Reload" backing Bernie Sanders, and am now closing the show with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."I also play snippets of the John McKenna song "20 Observations About Poo." I thought of playing the whole hilarious song, but I forgot it ran 9 minutes. By the way, John is a friend of a friend. He did this album of freaking hilarious tunes a few years ago; I played another of his songs on Episode 8, in case you're curious to hear more. If you want more than that, just leave your feedback here, and I'll contact him and get permission to play another.I'm releasing this and all my shows under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Play Now!When commercialism dominates our reference materials, what else can we expect other than the inability to discover facts, especially those hostile or critical of commercialism? I explore that theme (in a somewhat snarky way) in this Episode 99: The Headwaters of Bullshit River.In this episode, I read: a few times from my computer's quickie dictionary; and from Upton Sinclair's 1934 book I, Candidate for Governor, and How I Got Licked. I also referenced the findings of a blogger.Musically, I slipped Podington Bear's tune "Climbing the Mountain" behind my recollections of Orwellian readings past; and let Full Load of King's "Envelope Infrared Part I" back my closing remarks. KMFDM backed Bernie Sanders in the opening; and Rolf and Julie shred it in "Over the Rainbow" in the close.I'm releasing this and all of my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Play Now!Sadly, in my last episode, I had to gloss over many details involving Mark Zuckerberg's company that I would have loved to launch and rhetorically blast out of the sky. Consider this Episode 98: So Many Layers of Fail a follow-through on the last, giving a far-from-final blast of rhetoric toward Mark and his minions the Effin' Bees.
Just a taste of what's to come.In this episode, I play: the voice of Sara Wachter-Boettcher, from an interview she gave to Chuck Mertz over at This is Hell. I quoted extensively from her book Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech. I also read from: George Monbiot's book Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis; a Guardian article titled "Facebook’s war on free will: How technology is making our minds redundant"; from Nir Eyal's book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products; and a ProPublica article entitled "Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach 'Jew Haters'".Musically, I opened once again with KMFDM's "Attack", this time backing Brian Kaller's observation about glowing rectangles and the fascination they bear; Lee Rosevere doing "We're Almost There"; and, woven into the end and playing now in the close, Visciera doing "Ceasing".I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Play Now!Back in my youth, my friends and I would occasionally gather to share ideas for projects. More often than not, though, we would pretend to first load shotguns before we asked someone to share by saying "Pull!" Into the conversation the idea would go; again, more often than not, it would be tracked by the listeners, who would follow with their imaginary shotguns and, when the time was right, pretend to fire. I thought I would give Mark Zuckerberg, head of the Effin' Bees, a taste of that experience in this Episode 97: Pull!In this episode, I played audio from: Mark Zuckerberg's post election damage control video; and Alexander Nix very specifically describing why Mark's "solutions" simply won't work. I also read from Cathy O'Neill's Weapons of Math Destruction.Musically, I played: Podington Bear doing "Operatives;" and Jahzzar doing "First Contact." I opened with Brian Kaller's observation of the screen-bound chasing their viral anger McNuggetts, that from Kaller's C-Realm interview with KMO (Episode 434: Ferguson Rorshach), backed by KMFDM; and I'm closing with Mistle Thrush.I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Play Now!People are entitled to their opinions. They are not, though, entitled to spouting their opinions unchallenged when those opinions perhaps deliberately ignore crucial bits of history that, if better known, might greatly undermine the importance of those opinions. To issue just such a challenge is my aim in this Episode 96: Cranky Jack Hammers.
In this episode, I excerpt Clive Desmond's selective history of commercial radio titled "A 700 Foot Mountain of Whipped Cream" (aired in edited form on 99% Invisible). I also play: Podington Bear doing "Bad Cut;" and Jahzzar doing "Reflections. To close out Black History Month, I produced a brand-new KMFDM opening that backed Martin Luther King, Jr. As usual, I close the show with Mistle Thrush.
From this wonderful site.
My source for the MLK audio.I read from: Henry Giroux's book, The Violence of Organized Forgetting; Tim Wu's The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires (the source of the Herbert Hoover quote); J.C. McQuiston's article in the August, 1922 issue of Radio News (something I also discovered thanks to Wu's book); testimony from the 1935 Federal Communications Commission hearings on radio policy; and a sentence from a letter written in 1934 to the magazine The New Republic. [I goofed when I finished up the episode by forgetting to list in the credits the quoted sources. Oops. I regret the error, but hadn't the time to correct it.] Zappa's album cover mentioned in the episode.
I'm releasing this and all of my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 share-alike, attribution, and non-commercial license.
From this wonderful site.