Today on Conservative Chat radio you will hear Host after Host vociferate against Islam, Democrats, “liberals” in general and Obama and Clinton in specific. It’s formulaic and predictable, because corporate Chat Radio believes that anger, like sex, is what sells to older white (mostly) male audiences who (as I was once told) are alone, angry and want to hear that somebody agrees with exactly what they think. Meanwhile Leftist Chat shows will tell us that the attacker was “not a Muslim,” and it was “our own fault” for the war in Afghanistan anyway.
Critical thought? Actual discussion? Disagreement without yelling? No place for that here.
Back in the day, I was ever so proud of what John and I had become with our show. It was closely – at least as closely as I was able to do – modeled after my own favorite radio show, The Steve Czaban Show, which is a Sports Talk Show that (see if this sounds familiar) has a life outside of just sports. John and I were a conservative chat show that had a life that was far more than just news, politics and issues.
There was a day when we talked French Fries. Consultants and PD’s had apoplectic fits, but we had more calls on that show than any other – ever. And in the middle of it, I had a first time caller, a quiet young lady with a family and a quilting businesses who today, I still send a reminder of National French Fries Day every year. So what? You had a caller… Yep. I did. And if you knew what I know, what she has been through in the past five or six years since that call, you would understand why I always believed – as I do about most things – that the show was about our relationship with you. We could scream our political position all day or tell a funny joke or whatever. But if you didn’t understand that we were really who we were from 3-6 the rest of the day as well, we failed. A year ago, that young lady lost her husband.
I care and I knew about it, because of French Fries.
There were, of course, many others. I could recount them but frankly my pain meds are kicking in, but you should know that virtually every friend I have in this area came from the show. And I treasure each of them dearly and the topics and subjects we met over are still in my mind.
I want this show to get back to that. There’s a place for my lectures – I am, after all, a certified Naval Instructor and a former ordained minister, so public speaking is my bag, baby. But I really miss the interplay and the challenge of having a co-host who gets the idea that we are sitting down in your home at your invitation to conduct a salon – a French word that describes an intellectual gathering for learning and entertainment – and that we are only there because you want us to be there.
We had that with John and I, but it didn’t “fit the mold” for what a “conservative” chat show was/is supposed to be and in an almost surreal moment, I was told that it was being stopped because, and this is a quote, we “sounded like two gay guys.” Which, of course, is “not what conservative talk show audiences want to hear.” The rest was history, and while we kept the magic for a while, eventually it was stomped out of me and I was left to try and be something that I just wasn’t, and that really, I didn’t want the frustration of trying to be.
I’ve talked with some of my closets friends in the past days, and they agree. I want this show to be that special. We aren’t going to be driven by the “Topic A” story of the day, even if we talk about the Topic A story. I want to talk about things that require critical thinking, not emotional sloganeering. I want to talk about matters with depth and meaning, and seek real answers, real solutions, not just a political position that defines those with whom I disagree and pits them against those with whom I agree on a given subject.
I want my show to reflect this simple idea: if we agree on everything, one of us isn’t necessary.
We need to have fun. I believe with all my being that laughter is and always has been the best medicine. Political humor is some of the best that there is. I imagine that Gary Trudeau and I probably disagree on 95% of issues. But I never miss a panel of Doonesbury when I can get it. He makes me laugh, and when he hits my ideals below the belt, he makes me think.
Maybe it’s the summer doldrums, maybe it’s this longer than I ever expected grind of getting my knee back working again. I know that there have been times when I just feel like it’s never going to end. And then there are days like yesterday, when a big leap forward is made. Having our adult children and Ben at home all day for the summer is a work hazard which makes it hard to get precious recording time. Who really knows the why of it, but these past few weeks have been very difficult, bordering on… yes… work.
I always said that the day this becomes work is the last day I will do it. So I don’t want to get to that day.
But, Cami and I have a vacation coming up. Every year we try to take a few days around our anniversary and go someplace special. I particularly like Angels Camp, but this year we are going to Reno. Take in some shows, a little (very little) gambling, a couple of giaganormous buffets and lots of swimming and just staring at each other and reminding ourselves of how lucky we are to found that one person in the world who gets me. And know that moments are so precious because at any moment they might come to an end. All we might have left are precious and wonderful memories of things like French Fries and quilts. A giant Sequoia tree or a winning hand at video poker while we sip drinks and hold hands.
So, I am going to take a few weeks off. Yes… again.
But this will be different. During this time off I am going to do three specific things. First, I am going to get this studio cleaned up. It’s an unholy mess because while I have been unable to move well, it has become the repository for all the “stuff” of mine that the rest of my family doesn’t know what to do with. And the shelves got knocked about a bit one day when I stumbled, so there’s a few books and the like on the deck. So that’s the first thing.
Secondly, I am going to work very hard on getting Constitution Thursday up and running again. I also have a secondary project that I will work on, and hopefully I can introduce that to you soon as well.
Lastly, I am going to try and find a co-host. Somebody who can work with me (not the easiest thing in the world to do, just ask Mazzy) and who gets what this is supposed to be all about. Maybe I will find them, maybe I won’t. But I am going to try.
Ben goes back to school the first week in August, and things should settle down a bit then. For the moment, though, I am going to take a little break and try to get things in a better order.
I hope that you understand me and see that I do this not because of some PD or consultants notes. I do it because I love the idea of being a part of your day, of being your friend, and most of all, of you being my friend. I learn best by expressing my ideas. I make mistakes, have logical flaws just like everybody, and I have no fear of exposing them IF I can learn from them. And that’s why I do what I do.
Thanks for listening. And thanks for being my amigo!