Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Week of Setbacks, but the Portland Freelancer Goes On

Do you ever have a little stretch where the wheels seem to come off? That's what these last few days have seemed like to me. First, my wife did something weird to her new Apple computer. Actually, let me rephrase that in general terms: If you are at your new Apple computer and you get a long auto update thing combined with trying to listen to a song from Apple, and the download starts taking over a half hour, and something else goes wrong, do not, I repeat do not hit Force Quit. Otherwise when you turn on your computer you will get just a gray screen with an Apple and a spinning little wheel. It will be so frozen it will not even get to the blue screen.

Now for the good news: My wife talked with Apple 3 times and reinstalled her operating system from scratch, and her computer is now back. Whew.... There is something involving holding down the power button on the back while pressing the C key, then letting go of the power button while keeping the C key down, that breaks through a freeze like this. Of course! It's so obvious now.

Second, I found out my friend Lisa is no longer touring with the Decemberists. My sister had gone to see them in Alabama and since I had seen Lisa that morning in a coffee shop here in Portland, I began to wonder what was up. It turns out there was a different direction taken and she's not with them anymore. That really bummed me out as these gigs do not fall from the sky like rain.

Third, my site meter froze so it looked like I had zero hits for most of yesterday despite being linked from Jack's site. I look at things like that as a sign to get out.

Fourth, I got hurt on the Imus deal. Not as badly as the Rutgers women's basketball team, but my routine included staying up past Leno, switching VCR tapes and taping Imus on MSNBC. Then I'd play through the tape during other parts of the day, often switching to it during the timeouts of other shows. Let me finish this post with this subject:

Racism sucks. Imus's comments were racist and indefensible, even if I wanted to defend him on this, which I don't. But there was a lot of good stuff on that show, and I will have to listen on WFAN on the computer which is a pain because you can't fast forward through the commercials. Imus did a lot of good politically with his grouchy act and we're living in a time of Today Show fluff where basically the media is a lapdog of the corporations that own it. Sorry, but I loved the way Imus challenged the powers that be.

One person who must be thrilled Imus isn't on MSNBC anymore is Dick Cheney. Nobody went further than Imus in calling out the VP for his horrendous mismanagement of our foreign policy. Perhaps the most scathing Imus comment about Cheney's courage was after Saddam had been hanged. Imus noted Saddam's strength in facing what has to be the ultimate scary scenario. He also speculated that Rumsfeld would probably face it with similar tough guy courage. Cheney though? Imus said Cheney would fold up like the trembling little punk that he is. Cheney would act like a crying little kid. I think Imus was right, and I think it was a valuable insight, but let's face it: This is not a discussion you would get on the Today Show.

Tell me where else you can repeatedly hear the Vice President of the United States called a war criminal? Mike Malloy's show on Air America? Well, Imus got farther inside the beast than Mike Malloy ever will, and Imus did it with a lot of laughs, plus he was on TV. How much power did Imus have? After hammering Cheney for years on Iraq, Cheney still showed up one time to do the Imus show. That's the type of clout we need our media types to have.

So it's been a rocky week, but screw it. I was made for these times. I eat setbacks for breakfast. Every change is an opportunity and moping is for losers. In the words of our beloved President, "Bring it on."


At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Man Go

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a longtime Imus listener myself, but I have to disagree with you regarding his inclination to speak truth to power.

In the example you cite a few posts below -- the discussion of substandard care at Walter Reed -- let's note that he's beating up on a Democratic senator, Charles Schumer. I stopped listening to the show when the political segments seemed to be little more than front-running sycophancy.

Or, to put it in I-Man terms: After the 2000 election, he went from deploring White House blow jobs to delivering them himself.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I thought he played the red state-blue state thing pretty well. I know it was calculated to an extent but he played to more than just one side of the spectrum, compared to say Jon Stewart.
My main issue is the Iraq War and Imus and Bernard gave the White House a different sort of tongue lashing on that.

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Ruben Bailey said...

Now you can't even hear him on the FAN as they have yanked him as of...right now!! Just listening to Mike and the Mad Dog and they are bithing about it.

Check out this board as specualtion has already begun (began?) on where he might pop up next..

At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, the way I see it, from some floating meta-view point high overhead, where I've been stuck ever since some '60s acid trip exception to the rule saying, 'what goes up must come down,' ain't the way you see it at all.

First, in the establishing scene, I fell in love with on-air Imus in 1970 in NYC. THAT was what a deejay was supPOSed to sound like. He even beat Larry Lujack in Chicago.

And then came the day the music died, bye-bye Miss American Pie, and bye-bye AM radio music, and hello? hate words took over the dial, and filled the mushbrains of young folks who had never been anywhere or known any better. Whatever the radio said, that was the young crowd's politics. And that crowd's idea of music was, like, grungey grotesqueness.

You say, "Imus did a lot of good politically ... [while] in a time of Today Show fluff where basically the media is a lapdog."

And I say Imus was the progenitor of that fluff and the lapdoggedness. In my meta-view, he caused it. Because I saw him morph into it.

You say, you "loved the way Imus challenged the powers that be."

I say, no, he didn't challenge them, he made them that selfish, greedy, cynical, corrupt, whatever you think of TPTB as. I see it as elitism, you're-a-piss-ant'ism, faux-royalty, like 'they' are privileged characters annointed by the divine microphonic decree -- because they say so.

You say, "Nobody went further than Imus in calling out the VP ... (and) not a discussion you would get on the Today Show."

I say, it wasn't a discussion in Imus's programming, either. It was shtick. He never laid a glove on creepy VP -- he played off him. Besides, being more astute than a Today Show potted palm, includes mollusks, snakes, and the entire animal kingdom.

You say, "Cheney still showed up one time to do the Imus show. That's the type of clout we need our media types to have."

I say, what clout is that? The target is still standing. (Imus is not.) By damn, Cheney is a mass murderer, (Imus never called him that, eh?), Cheney directed Nine Eleven Op, (Imus never told that truth, either, eh?), and if you got the clout and air and influence and you're gonna 'take him out,' then by gawd take. him. out. , don't bring him on for a 'guest' appearance, and pay him union scale.

That's just good-celebrity, bad-celebrity jabjabfilljabairjabbullshit People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.

"Fools" said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls."
And whisper'd in the sounds of silence.

It was the best acid, too. (Hey, next time your wife's Apple de-cores, don't worry, be happy, I give you my number, call me, I make you happy. Probably can get the machine rebooted, too.)

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

You bring up the early Imus DJ days that I wish I had heard, and it reminds me: One of my favorite parts was when he'd introduce a record. It was legendary radio even last week. Hall of Fame DJ stuff. Wolfman Jack is lone gone but Imus was still here. Imus says Wolfman Jack had the best radio voice ever - I say it was the I-Man.
He was a Monster radio talent.
It might not be over yet. This thing has satellite radio written all over it.

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imus had a way of introducing a record that made you want to hear it, even though you knew it was going to suck. He play records from some of his pet acts, and many were terrible, but he didn't give a damn. He'd keep playing them anyway - not just for bumpers, but whole songs at a time. Then he'd have them into the studio to perform live where they sounded even worse. Yeah, I know they were talented musicians. What I mean by "suck" is that there is no way they would appeal to his main demographic (although they often appealed to me). Probably a killer for ratings, but the important thing is that Imus didn't give a damn. A legend is (hopefully temporarily) off the airwaves. I can't imagine he will not be back in some capacity. I think you're probably right about satelite being the venue. I wish not, since I won't pay for radio.

At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only is Imus toast -- gone. faggedaboudit. move along, move along -- but the whole damn talk radio FORMAT is going down the drain behind him. Don't need it. Don't want it. History.

The planets say.

Imus opened my ears to Delbert McClinton. Now THAT's some good music making.

Wolfman, I listened to as a kid, here, up and down the Pacific time zone. I got a mimic patter of him I try to do in the back of my throat, and always start coughing. Here's the copy: Send FIVE ninety FIVE, CASH ... CHECK ... or Money ORDER ... to EX EE ARE BE, CHUla VISTa CALiFORNia ... the MIGHTY Ten NINETY ovverrr loss ANnnGELesss ...

Or something like that. I guess the XERB transmitter was in Tijuana. My childhood? Two words: American Graffiti.

Anyway, I just dropped by to say, Bill, you think you had a bad day, check this ... 'breaking,' as they say:
N.J. Governor Injured in Car Crash
16 minutes ago (at 22:16 PDT)
CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- Gov. Jon S. Corzine was critically injured Thursday when his motorcade crashed en route to a meeting between radio personality Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team, a doctor said.

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corzine had a broken sternum, a broken collarbone, a slight fracture of his lower vertebrae, a broken left leg, six broken ribs on each side and a laceration on his head, said Dr. Steven Ross, head of trauma for the hospital.

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