Items of Interest
Here's a few things I've been thinking about today.
1) NPR's The Connection is getting cancelled. Dick Gordon recorded his last show on July 15, and after Friday, the show's going off the air, to be replaced by Tom Ashbrook's "On Point," a show that I'm not familiar with, but which sounds suspiciously like the Connection.
I've been a fan of Dick Gordon for a while. The majority of my drive to work usually takes place during the Connection, and he made a good follow-up to the Tavis Smiley Show--which was also taken off the air after Tavis resigned in protest of a lack of ethnic diversity. He was replaced by News and Notes, which is almost exactly the same as the Tavis Smiley Show, but without Tavis's genial charm.
What impressed me the most about Dick Gordon was that he had a gift for moderating the call-in sessions of the show, which invariably attracted at least one total crackpot per episode. I've got fond memories of a guy calling up during the 2004 Democratic National Convention after Bill Clinton's famous "Send Me" speech, and talking about how Kerry and Bush were both members of the same conspiracy that started in their days as Skull & Bones members at Yale.
Now admittedly, I'm as much an advocate of the Bill Hicks theory as anyone else ("I think the puppet on the left shares my views!" "I think the puppet on the right shares my views!" "Hey, there's one guy behind both puppets!"), but this guy was on the edge of raving. So Dick listens patiently, hears him out, and boils it down to the essential nugget of truth that's in every crackpot theory: "So you're saying that you just don't feel like there's a real difference between two mainstream party candidates."
The man has skills.
Footnote 1: When I was researching the above earlier tonight, I also found out that before Dick Gordon, the Connection was originally hosted by Christopher Lydon, who was either dismissed or resigned rather abruptly when he tried to claim ownership of the program itself (although he later returned to radio with his show "Open Source," which by all accounts is very good). And since no particular reason has been given for Dick Gordon's abrupt end (on the Connection, anyway), it does make one wonder. Specifically, I wonder if Dick Gordon's going to get a song about him by the Dresden Dolls, like they did for Lydon.
Footnote 2: When I tried to find out why the Connection was getting the axe, I checked WBUR's forums. As it turns out, they're oddly similar to the other internet messageboards I've seen in my time, except that everyone was very polite, they could all type well, and they came off as being extremely erudite. Also, nobody threatened to punch me in the face for not liking New Avengers.
2) Liberality for All is fucking terrifying. I saw this one when I did my Previews order and just passed over it, since it didn't look like my kind of thing. Then I had a guy come into the shop Saturday and special order it, and I still didn't even take a good look at the ad when I looked it up. Then today, Tug and Matt P. finally told me what it was.
For those of you who aren't in the know, in Liberality for All (which, rest assured, will be appearing on the ISB again, I'm sure), the year is 2021, and because of a liberal government--led, of course, by President Chelsea Clinton--that's soft on terrorism, the United States has come under the complete control of the evil United Nations. Now, on Sept. 11, they're sending Ambassador Osama Bin Laden to New York, and only the robotically enhanced bodies of G. Gordon Liddy, Sean Hannity, and Oliver North can stop him from blowing it up.
Wow. Any way you look at it, that takes some brass ones.
Now despite the fact that the Previews ad appears to be as serious as a heart attack, and they talk about how they've promoted it on Hannity & Colmes, I'm thoroughly convinced it's a joke. It's just too over the top not to be. I mean, I've read the preview: Sean Hannity has a robot arm and an eyepatch. There's just no way it's serious.
3) Here's a picture of my bookshelf. Not quite sure why I took this. It was originally going to be for a joke about birthday presents, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that it'd be interesting to take some pictures of the bookshelves around my house, so that those of you who don't know me that well could get a good idea of the things I read. This is the one by the door, where I leave my keys and (generally) my wallet.
Click to Book It!
Um, and for the record? I got those Spider-Man novels on the cheap. Just curious is all.