Change the station.

“I’m Pope Benedict XVI. When I get home from a hard day at the Vatican, I like to pour myself a drink, relax and thank God for Springer on the radio.”

Right-wing maroons sling so much b.s. about their ideological opponents that I don’t even keep track anymore, but one that really rankles is the one that says lefties don’t have a sense of humor. When I heard the bumper quoted above on Air America the other day, I laughed out loud. Maybe you had to be there. But it tickled me.

There’s lots of talk radio to choose from in the D. We have WJR, the Rush/Paul J. Smith/Mitch Albom juggernaut; WDTK, B-team conservative talk (Prager, Ingraham, Medved, Blackjack Bill Bennett, etc.); and Air America, the call letters of which I can’t remember. Plus the usual NPR assortment. And you know what? It all sucks.

I used to punch frantically up and down the dial, looking for a decent song to listen to. Now I punch around for something, anything that doesn’t bore me to death or start me pounding the steering wheel. Last week I switched between a discussion on women in combat on NPR, Dennis Prager sounding like the pompous windbag he is, Al Franken droning droning droning and Rush, aka Insta-Change-the-Station.

I gave up and put on Pere Ubu, “Story of my Life.” Not a bad album.

When the best thing on Air America is Jerry Springer, you know you’ve either found an unpolished gem or the outfit’s in trouble.

To-do list: Buy more Pere Ubu albums. Also, the new Beck.

What a day today — sunny, hot, luverly. I spent a chunk of it inside (working! whee!), then a chunk at the Eastern Market, buying vanilla beans for Project Ice Cream. They smelled so good I felt like sticking one up each nostril and seeing what kind of laughs I got, but no. I just snorfed and sniffed and drove home over surface streets. I was looking for a sign I’d seen painted on a building last week, when I was without a camera: “Dentures of the Future.” Didn’t find it, but as usual, I found a gazillion other amazing sights in that wrecked old mansion of a city. Remind me of this giddiness if I’m ever carjacked.

Speaking of wrecked old mansions and the like, that seems a good time to move to the bloggage, where we commend Ashley for sending us to “The Five-Bedroom, Six-Figure Rootless Life” in today’s NYT. Part of their series on class, which has so far been a big ol’ bore (richer people get better health care? Who knew?), this installment was worth the time. It’s about the Links, young, affluent and on their way to…someplace else. For the time being, they’re in Alpharetta, Ga.:

(They) belong to a growing segment of the upper middle class, executive gypsies. The shock troops of companies that continually expand across the country and abroad, they move every few years, from St. Louis to Seattle to Singapore, one satellite suburb to another, hopscotching across islands far from the working class and the urban poor.

As a subgroup, relos are economically homogenous, with midcareer incomes starting at $100,000 a year. Most are white. Some find the salaries and perks compensating; the developments that cater to them come with big houses, schools with top SAT scores, parks for youth sports and upscale shopping strips.

Others complain of stress and anomie. They have traded a home in one place for a job that could be anyplace. Relo children do not know a hometown; their parents do not know where their funerals will be. There is little in the way of small-town ties or big-city amenities – grandparents and cousins, longtime neighbors, vibrant boulevards, homegrown shops – that let roots sink in deep.

“It’s as if they’re being molded by their companies,” said Tina Davis, a top Alpharetta relo agent for the Coldwell Banker real estate firm. “Most of the people will tell you how long they’ll be here. It’s usually two to four years.”

It’s been interesting to watch the reaction on the Deep Throat story. I never spent the time others did, trying to figure out who he or she might be. Ultimately, what’s the point? The story is the point, not the source. And, having seen the first whiffs of crabbiness last night from Pat Buchanan et al, I can’t say I was surprised to hear some are still carrying a torch for Nixon, but really, Ben Stein’s gone right off his rocker:

So, this is the great boast of the enemies of Richard Nixon, including Mark Felt: they made the conditions necessary for the Cambodian genocide. If there is such a thing as kharma, if there is such a thing as justice in this life of the next, Mark Felt has bought himself the worst future of any man on this earth. And Bob Woodward is right behind him, with Ben Bradlee bringing up the rear. Out of their smug arrogance and contempt, they hatched the worst nightmare imaginable: genocide. I hope they are happy now — because their future looks pretty bleak to me.

Got that? Oppose Richard Nixon, accept responsibility for the Khmer Rouge. No wonder these folks have no problem believing Bill Clinton taught millions of middle-schoolers to give one another oral sex.

Satirizing The Corner’s been done before. But the Poor Man does it again. Such an obvious target, and yet…it still works.

Oh, and what happens if you take a random episode of “Deadwood” and cut out all the clean parts? You’re left with seven minutes of filth! Funny, but, you know, not safe for work or children.

And now I must go — got the new Elmore Leonard from the library today, and oh boy, does that promise a toothsome evening of reading. So see you anon.

Posted at 9:19 pm in Uncategorized |

7 responses to “Change the station.”

  1. basset said on June 1, 2005 at 9:31 pm

    “Toothsome,” indeed – I just finished it, and he’s back to his old form after a couple (“Tishomingo Blues” in particular) which read like pale imitations. After you read the part about the cattle rustler, though, pace off four hundred yards… that’s a LONG way.

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  2. ashley said on June 2, 2005 at 9:21 am

    Swearingen would like this edit, in the 7 minutes of deadwood vein, of NWA’s whole Straight Outta Compton album edited down to just the profanity. Thanks to my bud Jim King for the link.

    Reminds me of when I lived in LA during the Rodney King trial. I came home from work and saw the verdict. I cranked up “F*** tha Police” on my stereo, and thought about driving downtown to protest. Then, I thought some more.

    Goofy looking white boy, driving a car with Mississippi plates, and they just turned over a kiosk. Yep, I’d be a dead man.

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  3. danno said on June 2, 2005 at 11:13 am

    The NYT article is right on! A very close high school friend of mine has been living that life for the past 15 years, same ages and everything. She is now at a crossroad where she and her family want to be settled for more than 4 years at a stint. Reading that article was like talking with her about their lives. Momentarily they were back in ‘The Fort’ for 2 years and thought they were finally going to be settled, then came the big promotion and off to Philly they were. She and the kids, after 1 year, are moving back to FW and he is taking a demotion, but will be in Chicago during the weeks. She had had enough of the on-the-move lifestyle and wanted to be back around family and friends. I don’t blame her one bit.

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  4. juan said on June 2, 2005 at 12:11 pm

    Oh, I don’t know Ashley…

    There is something to be said for letting Darwinism do its thing.

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  5. alex said on June 2, 2005 at 12:28 pm

    And what would that be, Juan? Corrupting impressionable young minds?

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  6. juan said on June 2, 2005 at 12:33 pm

    ??? Non-sequitor brain-skip ???

    Ashley, do you walk to work, or pack your lunch?

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  7. juan said on June 2, 2005 at 12:46 pm

    Ah! I was referring to your lemming-like desire to drive through South Central during a riot.

    You were referring to Deadwood and NWA.

    Deadwood rocks. Freakin’ brilliant writing, profanity et al. Pure poetry, and laden with zingers that will endure.

    “When you make plans out loud, don’t be surprised to hear God laugh.” – Swearengen.

    NWA… Funny funny. The group with which you identify loves your money and support, but hates YOU merely for the melanin-challenged count of your skin. And yet you identify with those that hate whitey because they associate whitey with all-things-authority.

    As Yakov would say… “Whadda Country!”

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