"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Saturday, December 1, 2007

12/01/07: FIRED!


November 30, 2007 Friday

Fired! Cut loose! The Santa Fe experiment came to an abrupt end today. What a week! Also, found out for sure that we'll have to put our new kitten down due to FIP, something I'd never heard of. Such a sweet cat too.

Overall, things are pretty positive. Shalain was prepared in some sense, because I told her about the dreams I had been having about getting fired. I wish I could figure them out; these dreams were dead-on. I've had several over the past 10-years that ended up manifesting in reality. Part of me wonders if it is simply self-fulfilling visions, or if they really are premonitions. One way or another, I knew this was coming. Shalain was pretty shocked yesterday when I [told] her. Combined with Pip, not a great week for either of us. It's going to get worse today if we decide to put him down.

12/1/07: I suppose I should recap my feelings from yesterday. First, then try to reconcile where I am today and where I may be going. When Skippy said, "I don't have good news for you." I said, "I know." And when he said, "Today will be your last day with us" I felt a sense of relief! Just like the dreams. As Moonglow [my landlord/friend/future litigant] pointed out: "liberation!" All of a sudden... I saw possibilities. The first of which was K***, and the program Moonglow came up with, "Generations." Also, I felt as though a chain had been removed. The analogy I used yesterday was...like throwing a drowning man a life preserver. All of the accumulated stress just evaporated, and my energy level skyrocketed. After I laughed...Shalain saw how positive I was and I think that helped.

That initial euphoria: What does that say!? I was neither crushed, devastated, nor even shocked; just relieved! I wish I had been writing constantly throughout because it would all be here, but it's obvious now that I failed myself, but NOT by my actions here. I stood by what I believed and was willing to "go down" for it. No, where I've failed was in the weeks and months leading up to the move. I saw, heard, and ignored the warning signs from Isaac and Skippy. Isaac's inconsistencies should have been more disturbing. I love the guy, but he's checked out, and the inability to show how I was going to be working with him should have been a huge red flag. I never planned, nor had aspirations to be Production Director, although I didn't mind that in the end. I wanted to work with, and learn from Isaac on K***. Remember? The other huge warning flag came from Skippy at the [restaurant] just before the move. When he went into his diatribe about "getting the men, getting the women," he sounded like every other despicable salespig I've worked with. I didn't bother to speak out or press on what specifically he was going to "provide to the community."

As time one on, it became clear that he was dragging the same steaming pile of corporate media into town; just simply calling it something else. We all bought into it, and with few exceptions, sensed the same sinking feeling about the same time. All the talk about forgetting Arbitron? Bullshit. That's all Skippy talked about in the last month whenever I tried to chat with him. Chasing a ghost fluttering through a flawed system. Then the offering of renamed "Stock Options"; all the while touting yourself as non-corporate! And, the classic "we're not going to be sales whores" line. HA! I should have known better, and to a degree I did. After the interview, I never bought completely into it, but the phrase remained in my head and bubbled to the resentful surface whenever the foreclosure-profiteering spots [commercials] came up.

Then, Pip. I know that [Skippy] had no way of knowing, but I got him from the Humane Society when they brought him in to the station. They were trying to put a sick cat into a listener's home! Perhaps technically they..aren't required to act on that, but the machine never paused. It was all about the appearance of community service, regardless of the actual level or quality of service. Why am I so surprised and/or disillusioned by this? I should have expected it, but it goes back to the sales pitch we were all given before the sale: "Giving back."

But what?

To whom?

The talk was remarkable, even by salespig standards. Yet the product to this point was sterile typical showbiz variety fluff. The other area in which I've failed was taking on the morning show, and getting involved with Little Miss Sunshine (program director). There is no way I had a prayer of surviving that relationship!. Of course, I had a few arguments with the two slimiest of the salespigs regarding "getting on board." etc., but Little Miss Sunshine was different. I have absolutely no respect for him. None. Our relationship was as toxic than the worst in Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor, or with the Sea Hag in Ft. Walton Beach. We had days or weeks where we'd get along, but what else can come from a relationship where the morning host utterly refuses advice, guidance, or direction from his program director? It's going to fail. It failed.

The one piece that I can't quite reconcile is the conversation a few weeks ago with Skippy, where I tried to quit the morning show and sever my direct dealings with Little Miss Sunshine. He acted like I was shitting on, or quitting the company! Mind-boggling! When he removed me from RFSF, he rationalized that he hired me as Production Director; yet getting off KV** was some huge drama! You would think that I had raped his dog, and he was jealous he didn't get to her first.

So, what now? Hard to say. Moonglow offered to contact KS** in hopes of getting a paying gig there. And, there is always the chance for us to do our own little show. I do know that today, December 1, 2007, corporate media is dead to me. There is no Utopia. There is no commercial outlet that stands for anything. They all tout it, but when you're inside it's all presentation -- image to increase revenues. Now it's time to evaluate while it's still fresh. What I've learned. Where I failed. Where I've made self-destructive mistakes. Am I accurately making distinctions between principled behavior and the self-destructive tendencies? There may be a combination of both at work here. I know that my blatant lack of respect for Little Miss Sunshine is not systemic. Bryant, Tim, Isaac, Ray, Sam, Murph.. No, I despised him because he is perpetuating what's cancerous about the media. He claims to care about the product, yet has no clear ideas about what that product should be. He offers someone elses quotes, tired, failed, or failing quotes and professes wisdom without an ability to create original thought. To be fair, I've recently lost the ability [motivation], once so strong, to be able to articulate my own ideas. I've quit writing, reading (for the most part), and only recently have begun to have meaningful discussions with outside-the-structure thinkers: Moonglow, Ellen, Joe...sort of ...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

6/10/07: Santa Fe-Marketed Mirage of an Idea


I'm really fighting some doubt right now. It's centered on the radio station, and considering I haven't even started, I'm annoyed. I can't shake the feeling that I've bound myself into something that's different than what I expected and wanted. I've been exposed to too many business-minded people; talking about "sales & revenue" like they're running a fucking 7-11.

I haven't really looked that hard at why I avoided the [optional, uncompensated] airshift last week. It felt completely foreign... like I wasn't prepared for it. I'm not part of that team yet. I'm still "on-deck"; don't quite feel like I belong there. This is NOT how I envisioned this going! Where's the excitement? Where's the passion? Enthusiasm? Energy? I don't understand why I'm still in such a state of limbo. Am I that far off course? Have I been kidding myself? What exactly will it take for me to engage? Have I been out of radio too long? Am I beyond jaded? Jaded to the point where I can no longer function? "Functioning" is not an option. I must pull myself up and get busy. For better or worse.

I had not expected this. I figured that when I got here I 'd be raging to get going.

Yes, I'm frustrated. Intimidated. Doubting myself...and wondering if I've gotten lost. I have changed a lot since we were in New Mexico before. I see the city [Santa Fe] as a money trap. The marketed mirage of an idea. A mirage that evaporates upon examination into nothing more noble than image-driven commerce. A lack of authenticity. A city of contradictions all concealed beneath a veil of contrived "culture" and "mystique." The energy [I've felt] is still here, but it doesn't emanate from the plaza [or Canyon Rd.]. It's elsewhere, which is why, I think, I wanted to live out here [in Pojoaque].

So, Todd, what is it that's not quite right? I've had the recurring dream: cracking the mic and not being able to finish a sentence. Not being able to communicate effectively. Having no control of my voice, both literally and figuratively. I have to honestly evaluate what it is I hope to "be" here, then decide how to get there. I came to Santa Fe, ultimately, to be part of something authentic. That word again! To integrate with whatever it was that I perceived was organic; a significant step toward singularity. I feel as though whenever I get close to hitting on something, I get yanked back... like I have a intermittent or bad connection.

What's my voice become over the last few years? Dissent is an obvious choice, but my politics and sociology have become muddled over the... months. And, what if I don't mesh with this "community?" I'm not a business person; I'm barely a capitalist anymore!

Let's be realistic: no one there is REALLY doing ANYTHING! I don't need to blow anyone away. I don't know to what preconceived standard I'm holding myself, but it shouldn't be so daunting...

Friday, May 11, 2007

5/11/07: Denver-Red Flags in Santa Fe

2 1/2 months since I've written... on hold waiting for K*** (radio station) to come through. Mentally, I've checked out. I've also started smoking again. Cigars were my undoing. They got to be more and more until I realized that I might as well just smoke. A few mental earthquakes sealed their fate, and I essentially became a regular smoker again about three weeks ago.

Life at [with the Rockies at] Coors Field is stable. I chatted with them about [the move to] Santa Fe right off the bat, and they have no problem with me working all the way up until we leave. The Giants are in town w/ Barry Bonds. He's 10 away from Hank Aaron, and hitting well! Clint Hurdle [won't] pitch to him. How annoying! Two more after tonight [Tim Lincecum's first ML win], then Arizona's in next week. I finally get to see Randy Johnson. I've really enjoyed the ballpark again this year. I attribute it to the fact that I'm not emotionally attached to the job. I know I'm leaving and just want to enjoy it.

... For the next three weeks, my focus is Santa Fe. The ownership plan has changed and the station will now be part of a group rather than a stand-alone. I'm rather disappointed with that. The challenge is trying to figure out how things will go with the new owner [Skippy]. Supposedly, "nothing's going to change" [from the original plan] but we need to begin getting specifics. [The program director] has been strangely ambiguous about how things will shake out. In our discussions, I think I've theoretically held every shift on K***; his preference for me appears to be, of all things, mornings. Apparently they're letting the current host go. I have no idea...it seems a bit odd that he has no clear plan for his station after the purchase.

I don't know what to think or to expect. The initial "high" of moving back to New Mexico is wearing off... The long process [since February] has sapped most of the excitement, but I'm still looking forward to it. I need to begin to get mentally prepared to do radio again...to MOVE again. I'm getting a bit nostalgic about Denver. We've really enjoyed it here. Colorado's a nice place to live!