Thursday, November 03, 2011

Coast To Coast AM

My daily schedules have always been screwy. Somehow I never could fit into society's "normal" wake in the morning , spend all day doing whatever and go to bed in the evening kind of cycle. For one thing it's an unnatural existence imposed on people to correspond to a manufactured work schedule. For another it's a brutal daily regimen that most of the world never followed until recently. Most tropical societies broke their schedules up with siestas during the heat of the day. Change of seasons meant restructuring activities accordingly. Nordic countries traditionally had what they called their second sleep when they went to bed early because in winter the sun went down early, and then they'd get up in the middle of the night and socialized, then went back to bed until the sun rose later.

So I've always been most comfortable breaking my hours up into smaller segments. I always tried to take naps during the day. Night shifts were never any problem with a few hours sleep in the morning and then an afternoon nap. It was easy for me to take up backyard astronomy when I needed to be active at all hours of the night and early morning to catch occultations and eclipses. For decades I worked at a brutally hard job that needed to be started before the sun rose so we could quit when the day got too hot to work around noon. And so on.

In the late 80s I happened to be flipping around on a radio catching the late night AM skip, where those particular frequencies bounce off the ionosphere and can be picked up thousands of miles away. I remember the first Coast to Coast with Art Bell program that I heard - he transmitted from a casino in Las Vegas at the time and it was an interview with John Lear. I could hear that small station all the way up in Oregon. I got hooked on the program's material.

Art Bell was always a strange duck and over the years the quality of his programming varied wildly. For instance in the late 90s he heavily got into conspiracy topics but abruptly stopped that and began a stretch of the same boring guests, as if someone laid down the law not to do shows like those anymore. His personal life constantly influenced his nightly progam. He bounced back and forth from his home outside of Las Vegas to the Philippines where he has a predilection for Asian women. He quit the show numerous times and returned spottily But you have to give him credit for starting up the most successful late night alternative oriented AM program that has more than 550 affiliates nationwide. From what I know nobody even comes close during that time of the day.

When Bell retired in 2000 the regular hosting task of this gargantuan enterprise was given to George Noory. I have very little regard for this barely competent putz who I think of as a human billboard for pimping everything under the sun. His interview skills are minimal at best and most of the time he sounds as if he's just phoning it in with a lot of wows and gees type responses to guests. He reminds me of Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football. That guy had a true mastery of the obvious. He hardly contributed a penny's worth of insight but still got paid the big bucks to tell you what you just saw on the sports field.. Noory's value seems to be his ability to manage program time well and his propensity to sell shit at the drop of a dime which pleases the show's advertisers. He occasionally has very interesting guests on but apparently is more comfortable bouncing off of open line callers where he doesn't have to try to pretend he has any idea of what they're talking about. Tonight he even got the name of his guest wrong. Really, a putz.

Slightly better on his best days is Ian Punnet, but far better better at the microphone is John B. Wells and especially George Knapp. All these guys take over on the weekends and on other impromptu occasions. I like most everything the latter two are a part of because of their preperation and competence but pick and choose what shows Noory presents. All in all I'm glad the show exists, and for twenty something years it's been fun to listen to when I'm out in the boonies taking pictures of star trails.


Anonymous Nz said...

Hey Nolo,

I'm in complete agreement with everything you said about human societies sleeping habits especially about how the "norm" was imposed upon people "to correspond to a manufactured work schedule". I've never been comfortable with that "9 to 5" routine; I've suffered from insomnia most of my life and had a hard time staying awake in the middle of the day. The general effect has been negative for my working routine and I've done so poorly that I have lost jobs because of it. The worst part is I was born into poverty and been stuck below the poverty-line all my life and poor people get no breaks with problems like mine. There are no excuses unless you have the wealth to back it up. I have none.

I failed in the USAF basic training in Lackland, Tx because of my insomnia. I simply could not go to sleep at 9 pm and wake up at 4:30 am every morning like a goddam robot and so after 3 weeks of about 1 hour of sleep every night (just before revely) and a few cat-naps in classes, I began to "freak out" with delusions and hallucinations in the middle of the night. The CO considered me a risk so he had me discharged.

I was saved by SSI in the latter 90s otherwise I might not be alive to post this. I've been homeless 3 times and i know how hard that is. I've found that working at home with a computer is about all I can do because I can make my own hours. But I reside in a small apartment in a low rent project with very close neighbors so I can't play the radio, computer, or dvd-player loud enough to appreciate late at night. I have found that taking cat-naps in the middle of the day is helpful and becoming more and more unavoidable, so long as i suffer from insomnia at night, as i so often do.

True freedom does not exist in the USA so long as people are slaves and servants to a cold machine that does not compensate for individual differences. We had a chance to become something closer to what the original forefathers intended after the Vietnam War but the right-wing fascists started another war at home called the "war on drugs", which was really just a war on the liberal-left in disguise, and for the past 30 years they have been destroying the left, propping up phony left-wingers to maintain the facade of a "balance", and building their empire on lies.

Goddam those stinking miserable fascists to hell for all eternity for what they have done to us all!


4/11/11 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Shirlene's boy Earl said...

"Goddam those stinking miserable fascists to hell for all eternity for what they have done to us all!"

Pretty phuckin' heavy.

The disdain and contempt for these Millennial protestors flies in the face of the facts about this generation. They use drugs at a lower rate than their parents did at the same age. Teen crime rates and teen pregnancies have declined. They will have the highest level of college education in U.S. history. They were protected during their youth as organized sports taught them teamwork. They are the most technologically savvy generation in history. They volunteer at a higher level than previous generations. They have been more upbeat and engaged than their predecessors (Gen X). And they are much closer to their parents than Boomers were at the same age. They reject the negativism and cynicism of their parents and believe positive change is possible in our society. They have shown respect for authority up until the last six weeks. They were primed to be led by Boomers that could articulate a positive vision of the future based on reality and a better tomorrow. They were ready to make sacrifices in order to create a brighter future. But a funny thing happened. The Boomer generation failed to deliver on their part of the bargain.

4/11/11 10:17 AM  
Blogger patootie said...

Indeed Nz - people are all different and should be able to sleep when they need to, not when they have to for top down societal dictates.
Really, what is freedom anyway?
The ability to choose what soap to buy? Oh fuck that.
We're here in this physical plane life to do and learn what we want and fuck the manipulating scum that tells us we can't.

Interesting stuff there Earl.

4/11/11 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Nina said...

hey, i'm a huge fan of naps. never did get into the 9-5 m-f robotic way of life - though i tried. only way i got through those periods was to eat lunch at my desk and sleep during breaks out in my car. one of the wonderful things of having a child is naps. we have a little napper so whenever she sleeps, so do i! although i don't like the 8am rising. never will. in time though she'll grow to love sleeping 'til 10am. and we will then celebrate. :)

4/11/11 10:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
To see more details, click here.