Archive for December, 2006

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

Screw the cynics. I don’t care if Christ was born on December 25th or not. I don’t want to hear the “We know it couldn’t have been in the winter because the shepherds were in the fields with their flocks and so it must have been in the spring…blah, blah, blah.” I’ve got a great looking Christmas tree up; our very old home made star is shining at the top; and the living room smells like Santa’s after shave. So Merry Christmas. And I open presents on Christmas Eve, because ever since Santa brought me a flying toy airplane when I was a kid, I lose control of my eyebrows. They tend to flip up and down under that kind of pressure. They also do that when my Lady Wonder Wench walks into the room wearing something she says is “a little more comfortable.” Cynics say you’ve got to be kidding after you’ve been together all this time. Stupid cynics. Cynics are dumb. Now they’re saying “radio’s dead, and the podcasts did it.” Sounds like the same song they were singing in the fifties when TV turned on. But a couple of guys by the name of Alan Freed and Murray Kauffman introduced rock and roll to “the kids.” TV only showed Elvis from the waist up. But radio “got down.” So far down that the cynics who called themselves “forces for GOOD in the community” had public destructions of rock records. Reminded me of Hitler burning books. Then in the 80s, AM radio was dead, until Rush Limbaugh lit the fuse on political talk. Cynics say he’s a right wing fascist, homophobic psychopath who should be SILENCED ! He’s everything they say he is, just like Sean Hannity, Dr. Laura, and all their imitators. But “Silence them!” ? Why ? They’re better than Saturday Night Live for laughs. Dumb cynics. Get a life.Cynics don’t think. They tell us there’s no way out of the Iraq mess. Sure there is. When all else fails, THINK. Shouldn’t be too hard to out think these guys. They’re a bunch of macho idiots who are ready to commit suicide to “have 74 virgins.” To me that shows a definite lack of thinking things through. Can you imagine 74 women in the same house ? All of them intent on being virginal ? I say bury an 800 gazillion megaton hydrogen bomb under downtown Baghdad, with a triggering device in some safe house in my home town Brooklyn, where people have lots of experience with dangerous weapons. Then bring all our troops home, and tell the entire region, we don’t care what kind of religion you want to follow, or what language you want to speak, or even if you want to let some other Hitler wannabe like Saddam take over your government, but one false move on our oil supply and it’s Lake Iraq. The bad guy’s cynics wouldn’t believe me, and they’d mess with the pipelines. So I’d tell all the civilians they had 24 hours to get out, and I’d push the button. And when the dust settled in a year or so, I’d ask the cynics running the rest of the countries in the world to guess if I’d hidden one of our 800 gazillion megaton hydrogen bombs in their countries too. We wouldn’t have to actually DO it. All we’d have to do is make them THINK.Cynics don’t really think things through. For example: “Boiled milk ??? LOUIE…are you nuts ?” “George Herman Ruth, you put that baseball away right this instant. Come in here and study so you can make something of yourself!” “Those nutty bicycle builders Wilbur and Orville were in here at the bank again looking for a loan. I told them to go fly a kite.” It’s safer being a cynic. They figure, “Why take chances ?” Most new and different ideas fail. So if you’re a cynic you get to say, “Ha…I told you so.” And if it doesn’t fail, you get to point out that it’s not perfect. “Hey… did you hear…there was another plane crash. Those guys should be STOPPED.”

But it’s much easier being a cynic. Most Radio is run by cynics. There are actually “safe song lists.” If you play one of those songs, focus groups have “proven” that people won’t change the station so you won’t lose ratings. That’s why you hear the same songs so often on the radio. Most of the GRR (Guys Running Radio) club would have kicked John Kennedy out of the organization for having the wrong attitude. Remember “We’re going to the moon, not because it’s easy, but because it’s haaaaaaad.”

Cynics are Kool. And they make sure it’s spelled with a K, “because that’s how all the guys spell it.” I hate “Kool.” I’ve got the HOTS for my Lady Wonder Wench, and for amazing music, and for flying my little airplane, and for Stephen Hawking’s books. Cynics are afraid to have the hots for anything, because they don’t want to take the chance that “the GUYS” will laugh at them. That’s where we get that macho crap. “I ain’t holdin’ her hand in public. The guys would think I’m pussy whipped.” Good. Go ahead, Mr. Macho. Walk down the street with your hands stuck in your pockets looking Kool. Won’t take long until some guy who’s got the hots for her is doing the hand holding, and you can keep your hands in your pockets for any dumb reason you want.

Cynicism is not a childhood disease. You have to “Grow Up” to get it. There are no cynical kids. You also have to Give Up to get it. Columbus couldn’t have been a cynic. He said, “I’m going to sail west to get to India which is east of here.” People said, “Go ahead, but I’m not going with you ‘cause you’ll just sail off the edge of the earth.” But he went anyway and eventually landed in San Salvador, thought it was India and claimed it for Spain, and has ever since been given credit for discovering America, although there were lots of people already here who discovered it a Long Long time ago. If Columbus were a cynic, he wouldn’t have gone ‘cause he didn’t want the other guys in puffy hats and pantaloons to laugh at him…and we’d still be speaking Iroquois.

My friend Dick Stadlen runs a bunch of radio stations in the mid-west, but I don’t classify him as one of the GRR, because he’s a long way from being a cynic. He even wraps presents himself. Not well, but he does it. You can’t be a cynic while you wrap pretty paper around a box, just so somebody else can tear it off a little while later. His Lady Diane doesn’t give him a hard time, because she loves him, even though the results of his gift wrapping often look like a green and red spit ball. Dick says, “Wrapping paper is like Santa Claus. It’s not part of the original ritual but I like it anyway. If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said: ‘And lo the Magi’s gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper. And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman. And Joseph was going to throw it away, but Mary sayeth unto him…holdeth it…just a minute…that’s nice paper. Save it for next year. And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs. And the baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than the frankincense.’”

Truth be told, I really don’t care when Christ was born. I don’t even care if Christ was the “Son of God.” He gave us lots of good ideas and lots of love. So of course the cynics crucified Him because cynics are always afraid of new ideas. And there’s not much room for love in a cynic’s life, because love’s hot and cynics are all Kool.

I figure, even if you don’t believe in Christ, you’ve got to admit His birthday celebration is pretty neat. So is Hanukkah, Qwanza, Solstice, and any other holiday that involves candles, good stuff to eat, and some great loving. (I like mine served hot.)

So, screw the cynics. Merry Christmas, and by the way Happy New Year, too.

 

THE NEW PODPROGRAM IS UP TODAY. JUST CLICK HERE AND TURN UP THE SPEAKERS.

This blog and podprogram usually go up on Sunday mornings. No blog next week. Taking the week off. First blog of the new year will explain everything you ever need to know about anything. Happy.

THIS JUST IN…a comment from my friend Paul Berge:

“You have to “Grow Up” to get it.”

“You have to “Grow Up” to get it.”No wonder I still don’t get it, Dick. I refuse to grow up. I still want a BB gun at Christmas and even if I do shoot my eye out, at least I got the BB gun.

“You have to “Grow Up” to get it.”And real Lionel trains under the tree…

“You have to “Grow Up” to get it.”And screw WDM, I still have faith that we’ll eventually find Xray glasses that really work….

And realize that Bosco is far superior to CocoMarsh…

And the ’59 Chevy was the best car ever…

And Sandy Becker would’ve made a better Pope than that German guy…

And Yoohoo in bottles…

And Three Musketeers bars for a nickel…

And nickels…

And singing harmony on a warm summer evening out on the stoop…

And nuthin’ to do…

And no guilt about doin’ it.

Merry All them holidays.

–Paul

Paul Berge
Ahquabi House Publishing, LLC www.ailerona.com
podcast: http://feeds.feedburner.com/rejectionsliptheater
blog: rejectionsliptheater.blogspot.com

The Dick Summer Connection – Chapter 25

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

My first girlfriend’s name was Margaret. She died Wednesday and I was going to cancel this blog, because I never got over loving her, and I’m not thinking very clearly right now. But she expected better things of the men in her life. Her name was Margaret. She was directly responsible for getting me drunk at a very early age. She was a beautiful blue eyed blonde. And a much older woman. She was my aunt. My mom’s kid sister.When I was about five years old, she married one of the world’s nicest guys. His name was Jim. When I was 5, I had just discovered olives. I loved olives. So did my 6-year-old cousin Herb. So Herb and I spent most of Margaret and Jim’s wedding reception sneaking the olives out of those funny glasses all the grownups had by their plates. I don’t remember exactly how the reception ended. But I dimly recall that my dad was laughing a lot as he carried me out to the car.Margaret knew I had a crush on her, and she cruelly fed my childish infatuation with milk, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and stories. Mom and Margaret both loved poetry and music. I told you that my mother read me poems, and my dad would read me stories when they put me to sleep. And when she came to visit, Margaret would always come into my room, give me a kiss, and a smile, and sing a little song. She had a high soft soprano voice.My Lady Wonder Wench and Margaret were good friends. Mom and her sisters and Wonder Wench were the only people in the world who were allowed to call Margaret “Margie.” Margaret had a wicked sense of humor, and she was anything but stuffy. But if you called her “Margie,” she would remind you in her firm but very ladylike way that “My name is Margaret.”

The women in my family are all that way. Strong, smart, self-reliant, accomplished people, who relish being treasured, protected, and loved by the men in their lives. That’s why Wonder Wench fits right in.

Women like that expect their men to be men. They give us plenty of room to be “guys.” But when there’s a job to be done, they expect us to get it done.

The job today was awful. But I’m proud to tell you that we made it. My cousin Hans the hard boiled criminal lawyer with the black belt in Karate, my cousin Andy the U.S. Marine Bird Colonel, and me too, with Wonder Wench by my side. We managed to lay my first girlfriend to rest. But all we really had to do was stand there looking as manly as possible under the circumstances, and pretend those weren’t tears pouring down our cheeks and getting our shirt collars soaking wet. It was up to Father Damian, the priest who officiated at Margaret’s funeral, to set an example of exactly what it is to be a man. He’s my cousin too. And it was his job to say out loud the words that were slamming around in our heads. And he didn’t let her down. He stood there with his head bowed, and just a small shake in his voice, and he said them…right out loud: “Rest in peace forever, Mom…right here next to Dad.”

And that’s why this blog got done. My first girlfriend expected it of me.

Her name was Margaret.

This week’s PodProgram is done too.

It’s about Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dick Summer Connection – Chapter 24

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

This blog got lost. I had it done several days ago and went to upload it on Sunday morning like I always do, and it was GONE. I did what any self respecting guy would do, I panicked. “Oh my God, I’ve got a flight in an hour, and there’s no way I can redo it in that time. I’ve been so busy I don’t remember what it was all about. Oh my God, I’ve got….” “STOP” says my lady Wonder Wench. She’s an accomplished horsewoman, and when she says “Ho,” horses stop for miles around. She has successfully translated that ability to the word “Stop.” Actually, I think she learned to say “Stop” with so much authority when she was a good Catholic girl, and she started dating. Won’t go there right now.So I came to a screeching halt. “All the people who read this blog and are counting on me to get it published on Sunday morning are going to be disappointed,” I said. She smiled that Wonder Wench Wifey smile. “Name two of them,” she said. Wives have a certain ability to put things into perspective. The one thing I remember putting in the original blog is the top five Christmas songs this year as reported by the radio stations. They are:1- Holly Jolly Christmas. – Burl Ives2- Christmas Song – Nat “King” Cole3- Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano

4- The Most Wonderful Time of The Year – Andy Williams

5- Please Come Home For Christmas – Eagles

There’s a lesson here. One of the biggest mouths you will ever encounter in terms of “Christmas is a party…enjoy it, don’t go nuts,” is me. And this past week was an excellent example of completely ignoring my own advice. Consider this:

1- I still haven’t found a present worthy of giving to my lady Wonder Wench. (I started looking last February.)

2- I’ve got to get about a month and a half’s worth of work done for my day job by the end of this week.

3- We have a pile of presents that need to be wrapped that seems to be expanding at the same rate as the overall universe.

4- My body is complaining about not being 21 years old any more. Not even close.

I’ll bet you have some kind of similar list. And I’m going to take a tip from Wonder Wench here, and holler “STOP…HO…STOP.” Because we’re all getting nuts.

In my case, lots of this is ego. “I’ve got to find a better gift for her than anybody else ever could…even better than what I got her last year (whatever that was.)” STOP ! I love showing off to my clients that “Nothing can stop me from getting my work done…early…while everybody else is partying around.” OH PLEASE…THAT’S REALLY STUPID.

“I’ll wrap the damn presents even though I hate doing that because I’m bad at it.” WOW, WHAT A MERRY CHRISTMAS IDEA THAT IS, MR. GRINCH. SLAP A PRETIED BOW ON TOP AND GIVE ‘EM JUST AS THEY ARE. And the honest truth is that my body was 21 years old for far longer than most people’s…so thank you very much. Now get out there and string the lights. TRY not to make an idiot of yourself by falling off the ladder.

Christmas is coming. Whatever else it is, it’s real magic, not the phoney kind. So’s the first day of spring. And baseball season…and Fourth of July fireworks…and if I’m lucky, a good back rub from Wonder Wench tonight.

The few really magic moments in our lives happen. We don’t make them happen. They just… appear. My lady Wonder Wench and I went for a flight in our little airplane today. She’s not just a passenger, she helps with the navigation and the radios. Miracles happen for her. A couple of weeks ago, she saw a rainbow on top of the clouds. Today she saw a lake shaped like a Valentine’s day heart. I looked over at her when she was pointing it out, and the pile of presents on the living room floor, and the pile of stuff for my job, and today’s missing blog just vanished. She smiled at me, and I got this 21 year old feeling again. It’s not the kind of thing you can force, no matter how hard you try. It either happens or it doesn’t. But you’ve got to believe in it. That’s how you tell the difference between real magic and pulling the rabbit of the hat magic. The rabbit in the hat magic you have to see to believe. The real magic you have to believe if you want to see it.

So as Wonder Wench says, I’ve got to STOP. Christmas will happen the way it’s supposed to…in it’s own time…which may not be the way I planned. Gotta stop getting in its way. Let it happen. It’s real magic. Gotta trust it. Gotta believe. Running so fast you misplace a blog is just a waste of a little time and effort. Outrunning Christmas is a waste of magic.

Gotta slow down and let Christmas catch me. You too ?

Dick’s Details (The answers to these questions are all in the current PodProgram.

1- Name a lawyer who’s only song writing effort became America’s number one hit.

2- Who wrote “Happy Birthday To You?”

3- What are the three most often performed songs in the English language?”

4- What did my mom make for my dad for Christmas a long time ago?

Scoring:

4 right – An unexpected Christmas kiss.

3 right- An unexpected Christmas kiss from your dog.

2 right – An unexpected candy Christmas kiss.

1 right – An unexpected Christmas snowball.

0 right – An unexpected Christmas snowball down the back of your neck.

If you’d like to be notified by Email when this blog is updated, please click on the indicated spot in the upper right of this page. Thanks. Merry Christmas.

 

 

The Dick Summer (re) Connection – Chapter 23

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

The Dick Summer Connection – Chapter 23.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting is a national television event. It’s as “New York” as the Empire State Building. What a thrill it was walking under it every night when I worked at WNBC. But Boston Common at Christmas is where you want to be if you catch yourself falling in love. Been there, done that one long, long ago Christmas Eve. My lady Wonder Wench was my secretary then. We were falling in love, but Santa might not have approved. There’s a story about it in the current PodProgram, if you’re interested. I spent a lot of Christmas Eves broadcasting from the Common, so it’s very special to me that Oldies 103.3 FM in Boston is making the PodPrograms available on their website, just in time for this Christmas. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Boston, the Common is a park right in the middle of the city. Every Christmas, they put lights on almost every tree in the park. It’s not spectacular, like Rock Center. It’s quiet, and gentle. It’s a place for lovers, music and Christmas. Every year at Christmas when I was on the air in Boston, I asked people to write to me, and tell me what the season really means. And some of the answers were like…music. Some of the music was sad. Some was funny. And I had to record some of those letters, because I occasionally get choked up when I’m around something so beautiful. If you feel like sending an email to add your comments, my address is dick@dicksummer.com or you can simply add a comment at the bottom of this blog.This blog Connection has put me back in touch with some very old friends. People like Len Segal who was with me on the Common one of those magic Christmas Eve nights. This is what he wrote about it: “You asked listeners to write to you with their personal thoughts on ‘What Christmas Means To Me.’ You were struck by how much your listeners opened up their hearts and souls in those letters, and since you were doing the Christmas Eve broadcast from the remote studio on the Common you decided to read the letters outside the studio with the people who had come to see the broadcast. I thought you might have had one or two of your children with you. (I did. One of them grew up to be the guy who now runs the PodProgram page for me.) Your Producer, a fellow co-op student and (Northeastern University radio station) WNEU staffer had a fit at the thought of you going outside and broadcasting live. You over ruled him and did it any way, although he threatened if there was one swear word spoken he’d cut the mic and send the broadcast back to the studio. So then you and I scouted the area for a suitable burn barrel which we needed because when we went outside with the letters and everyone who was standing around gathered in a large circle holding hands, as you read the letters…one by one…you were going to throw the letters into the fire. That’s all I remember. By the way, I am Jewish, but spent many a Christmas Day with my Christian friends. It’s a spirit of good will that makes Christmas.”

Right, Len. And thanks.

I remember a little more of the story, although I’m not going to swear everything I remember is accurate after all this time. The broadcast was 8pm to Midnight. I planned on reading the letters at about 11:45. I told the listeners what I was going to do, and I invited people to “drop in.” By 9pm there were quite a few folks there. By 10, there were a couple of hundred people there. By 11, there was a traffic problem on Charles Street. (Remember this was a spur of the moment thing. I didn’t have permission from anybody, including the radio station or the police department to do this.) By 11:30, I think there were a thousand or more people standing around the trailer, and the cops had some extra troops out trying to untangle the traffic. I figured I was in TROUBLE. But one of the cops came over, saw what was going on, smiled and just wished me a Merry Christmas. Then some of the artists from the Unicorn Coffee House started showing up. As I recall, Tom Rush was there, and I think Jose Feliciano, and Jaimie Brockett and Mitch Kertzman. At 11:45, I took the mic outside and started reading the letters, and burning them as I went. (I consider burning to be a sign of respect for something you can’t keep but is too precious to be thrown away.) As if on cue, it started to snow…softly. And just before midnight, we all sang Silent Night. Have you ever heard 1,000 people sing Silent Night, standing close enough together to keep warm by a Christmas Eve bonfire in the snow ?

Maybe you were there. If so, thank you. It was a long, long time ago, but I will never forget it. Never.

And thank you to Santa for understanding that there’s all kinds of love in the air at Boston Common on Christmas Eve, including the kind that shows up when you least expect it. Thanks for that, from Wonder Wench and me.

DICK’S DETAILS QUIZ – The answers to these questions are on the current PodProgram:

1- Why did my lady Wonder Wench say women talk twice as much as men ?

2- The military calls them Aerodynamic Personnel Decelerators. What would we call them ?

3- What can’t you do with a sleeping woman in Logan County Colorado?

4- What do Dick’s Details do ?

Scoring:

4 right- Merry Christmas to you.

3 right- A partridge in a pear tree to you.

2 right- A legal download of the Barking Dog’s version of Jingle Bells to you.

1 right – A lump of coal for your stocking to you.

0 right – Bah! Humbug !!

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We had a problem with a new uploading program last week resulting in several notices being sent that a new blog was available. The problem is fixed. It won’t happen again. I think. Anyway, it wasn’t intentional.

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