Tuesday, March 04, 2008


You are reading http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/

This is another comment to J's "random musings" blog:

I'm really sorry about your dad. Here's what you need to know about that: If Dad's in foster care, it's healthier for Mom. I know, from personal experience, how draining and physically disabling it is to care for someone's every need. I did it for a living, as a personal care attendant. And I did it for my father. The day he died, although I felt -- temporarily -- guilty for it, I was relieved. I was young, back then, and physically stronger (though not psychologically). If I had to do it today, in my 50's, it would destroy me. Your Mom needs care, too.

You're learning something very important about focus & discipline, in this experience.

I'm going through something TERRIFYING in my personal life. I don't get to even feel safe & respected in my own home. I never know when the situation will again turn hostile and dangerous. There's no peace; there's no economic stability; there's no privacy; there's no dignity. I have been completely betrayed by someone I chose to love, with whom I'd chosen to live my life.

I have to wait until I earn more money, before I can change the circumstances in which I live.

So, I'm working on radio. And I'm working on print journalism.

Things here are SO chaotic, it's difficult for me to sleep through the night. I wake up, startled and paniced, and worry about what will happen next.

I've been very concerned that this will destroy my attempts to improve my situation through my creative work.

I'm brain damaged; I can't hold a regular job. And a few months ago, this person I loved punched me in the head, repeatedly. This person is much larger & stronger than I and has several martial arts blackbelts.

The only way I can work my way out of economic dependence on this person is to work, here, at home, on my computer, to produce radio and writing.

And I WOULDN't be able to produce these, just to earn money. I need to be motivated by more than economic instability. I have to WANT to produce.

I can't let the distractions of: a drunken, hostile landlady; drunken, DANGEROUS neighbors; a narccissistic & volotile house mate keep me from working.

I have to concentrate. And I'm brain damaged & have PTSD. My memory's bad, esp. under stress. I can't control my adrenal glands; my brain chemistry is out-of-balance, so I don't experience well-being like "normal" people. I have to work REALLY HARD for that one.

Creative work is how I feel well-being.

If I let all the crap going on around me sabbotage me, I'm dead.

My work isn't about me. It's about the communities and people on whom I report. I keep myself OUT of these productions and writings, as far as I can.

So, my work is HEALING to other people, and THAT is the biggest blessing in the world to me: I'm useful; I'm helping.

If I allow the toxins around me to poison me, I can't BE helpful in the world.

I'm one of the few and the VERY lucky: I get to do something I REALLY LOVE doing. Being low-income, with no formal degree, I KNOW how scarce THAT is.

It's rare, even among the financially privileged.

I've learned SO MUCH about: discipline (which I'd mistaken for "abuse," given my childhood), commitment, emotional control, impulse control....

It's turned into a Zen thing. It's like self-hypnosis or trance: I'm completely focused on my work. I don't feel pain, panic, fear, anger, self-pity. You could probably smack me on the head with a frying pan & I wouldn't feel it.

I'm very protective of my work, and everything required to do it. INCLUDING my body, my mind and my balance. I've never cared SO MUCH about my own health as I do right now, because it facilitates the WORK!

So, let everybody around me be crazy and dangerous, selfish and abusive. I've got a deadline; I don't have time for that crap.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

comment on Random Musings

You are reading http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/

Random Musings blog

It's not disinterest, in my opinion. It's dispassion. I've heard Tom Trowbridge cover stories about which he'd just done a very passionate monologue, in the newsroom, off the air, to anybody who'd listen. On the air, he knew what you've discovered: the listeners aren't as engaged as is a reporter who has a history of talking with the sources, covering the event in GREAT detail, often on multiple occassions.

Tom would have burned to a crisp very early on, if he'd let his perceptions influence his news persona. He's a very passionate, opinionated, caring and thoughtful man. But you'd have to know him, off mic, to know that about him.

I'm from the Cronkite school of delivery: let the STORY inspire passion in the listener. Now, BELIEVE me, I don't share a lot of Cronkite's perspectives; he was, after all, a success in a very commercialized, straight, white, male industry. That says, to me, something about his FAILURES, actually.

The ONLY time ANY of us can EVER remember seeing him "lose it" was during his coverage of the Kennedy assination. It was personal; they knew each other. It was patriotic; our President had been shot. It may even have been political; he may have shared a national sentiment that this new, young, frisky President was going to bring back hope, grandeur and integrity to the White House. Who knows, on that last, because Cronkite didn't communicate that. Nor should he.

Journalism must be dispassionate. It MUST be. We have to let the CONTENT of the news inspire people to take action, to feel whatever needs to be felt, to live consciousl lives.

Too much of media today is about emotional manipulation: a well-studied SCIENCE of Madison Ave. My god, characters on SOAP operas are now peddling Cambell's Soup and Ragu sauces. The actors actually look SHEEPISH, delivering lame dialogue about PRODUCT PLACEMENT!

Pharmaceutical companies DELIBERATELY peddle antidepressants during news & bloody dramas/thrillers. AND their products are placed during DOCTOR SHOWS!!!

Look, you are the captain, during your airtime at the station, of one of the LAST bastions of freedom of information. This is a sacred trust. I've SEEN egotistical characters, at the station where you're working, nearly DESTROY that trust!

What R was telling you was, more succinctly, what I'm telling you, here.

I consider that newsroom sacred ground. Literally. It is a tremendous responsibility and HONOR to be allowed to broadcast FACTS to THOUSANDS of people around the state who have NO other media outlet, besides the Moyers stuff on Friday nights (which NEVER is about our state!).

Local, commercial coverage, beyond police blotter garbage, is nearly nonexistant here. The consumers of that drivel are uninformed, ignorant and the people in power want it to STAY this way!

When your mouth is in front of that microphone, you are influencing the ballot box. You are influencing the legislature. You influence nonprofits. You influence public policy.

You DON't do it by telling everybody what YOU think and feel. You do it by letting the FACTS, that people SELDOM get to hear in this state, do the work.

You get to be emotional in your blog, among your friends, in your late night bed when you can't think for the thoughts whirling in your head.

Be very careful of revealing your emotional self to ANYBODY at the station, especially R.

He has his own trials and difficulties, yet he never discusses them, unless asked. And MY experience is that, when asked, he gets rather embarrassed and clumsy at the attention to his personal life. Although, he doesn't mind it when I call him "Shorty," as long as I don't do it in front of ANYbody!

People at the station are struggling, daily, with the challenges of just keeping good radio on the air. Period. It's frustrating; that univesity wants seventeen thousand forms, signed in triplicate, filled out just so, before it'll shake loose any resources, money or anything else the staff and volunteers there thing it needs.

If they want personal frinedships with you, they'll ask.

I'm speaking from personal experience here, buddy. I arrived in pain & crisis. I told them WAY too much about me. I scared some, alienated others and taught quite too many of them to distrust me, for fear I'd be a "loose cannon."

They can't afford distractions.

You are VERY GOOD as an on air voice. Your reading, writing, cueing of material, etc. sound quite polished. I'm comparing you to a certain freeform host who, after -- what? -- a DECADE on the air still sounds like a bumbling, complaining, rank ameteur. Listeners I meet outside the station COMPLAIN to me about her crappy broadcasts, and wish she were off the air.

What you need now is that sacred shell, in the center of your chest, that protects you from revealing too much.

It protects the station; it protects freedom of information; it protects YOU.

I'm very sorry about the loss at El Ray. I have a LOT of opinions about it. The fire was caused by negligence, for one thing. For another, it wasn't well insured!!!

But I won't broadcast my opinions. I'll let the FACTS do it.

Opinions, my friend are like assholes: everybody's got one! And they usually stink.
Random Musings blog