WELCOME ABOARD the Neverending Ocean Cruise!

Welcome to the deep end,
Glad To Have You Here
...where we find shorter spaces between us.
-- Bobby Ocean

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


It's natural that I would begin a blog or two.

I have been writing since I was able to pick up a crayon and make it go in the direction I had in mind. Seems I started drawing and otherwise expressing my imagination as far back as memory serves.

I sat nearby when my father would tell his friends stories. When dad started in on a tale, usually a long joke, it wasn't like anywhere else when someone told a story or told a joke. Dad had them truly engaged in his tale, held them rapt. Even mom and any available sibling would stop as they were passing through, fall in and listen to a story they had already heard many times. It was always so entertaining.

Dad was a natural story teller. Luckily, much of that interest and ability made it through the DNA encrypting process and was passed along to me. And naturally, I extrapolated.

Later, in my radio career, a real, genuine Program Director, whose job included not only overseeing programming and performers, but the ability to 'read' talent, described me as "having content," which I would have to learn to edit on the fly and simplify for the modern '60s' radio audiences.

That was when I was first introduced to the broadcast craft called an "economy of words," which HAD to be easy-to-follow, compelling, and fit over a 12 second music portion (before the star stated singing) in a hit record. Cut the unnecessary fat. Get the idea across in leaner bytes.

That was one lesson in a Lifetime Portfolio of what I call "Universals." Universals are tricks of controlling attention - with words, drawings, videos, music - that are as viable today as they were when I was first clued in over 45 years ago. Will be tomorrow, in all probability, unless Google decides* differently. Specific things like style, timing, contrast, composition all belong in that file. There are millions of different directions one can go from each of these strong foundations.
[*inside joke for Social media marketers]

Sky's the limit - IF you know about Universals. If someone told you.

They don't have real Program Directors that can do that anymore. As the 70s came on, so did the younger broadcaster gen, with their then-newer PDs, who thought the title was old-fashioned and readily accepted loftier position names such as Operations Director, Manager of Operations and other brightly colored feathers for their headbands.

But, in this small feast of self serving, the age-old Me First process, those hot new Programmer/Operator/Manager entities did manage one thing - to leave out Passing The Important Entertainment Shortcuts, Tips And Tricks Along to the newer members. Eventually, no one was there to make sure the Universals were explained or upheld as the standards they are.

Consequently, we have become saturated with Pretenders To The Titles, just so scared they're scrambling over one another in their eager yelpings, their intent to say the say word, "yes" to the Pretender above them. Now, Yes-Men and Yes-Women abound, accepting substandard conditions, saying yes to replacing entire staffs and damned glad to have a job. "Yes," indeed.

Our memories will recall this as an era of those who will work for extremely low pay and do the jobs of 20 people, partially, without understanding and poorly, of course. We saw the years go by and we witnessed this practice become accelerated, the Universals more and more dimly lit, and finally the calendar rolls around to turning on the radio today.

My dad was infinitely more interesting just telling stories through his tobacco smoke, believe me.

I use a broadcast working model because I'm familiar with it. What you hear on the radio this very day reflects the way ALL businesses, from mortuaries to muffin shops seem to run these very days, with less experience, direction and awareness nor sensitivity to clients, customers, listeners -- and, instead, a hypno-focus on their bottom line (which is always their real Mission Statement).

Stockholders trump customers and audiences, is the message we're all hearing. First one to the trough is the winner, we see them teach us by example.

Yes, this loss is not just in the field of broadcasting, but along all vocations and activities. All Universals have been stunted, from every walk or slime trail of life, from the hard working honest citizen, to the bilking banking scoundrel. And our country and its denizens are no better for it. You really gotta search for those Universals now.

And, horror! - this plastic, fake posing, all issuing forth from the mistakenly motivated process of pretending to be some concocted inner mental identity, includes blogs: <http://tinyurl.com/4usa8mz> Now we need firewall plugs for BS in costume appearing to be information or entertainment?

Not here, though. I couldn't do that and still blink straight. My own father, and a host of broadcast predecessors I was fortunate to have been at the party with, passed along too many Universals for me to even consider cutting costs or words. I do my own writing. All blithering my own. All stolen ideas re-written by my thumb and index finger. All mistakes my own. I learn that way. I enjoy the learning process; keeps me in touch with the Divine, in that in never ends.

When I'm learning, my heart is open, not filled with answers - and I get the unspeakable-because-words-won't-do thrill of just plain BEing. Kids know all about this. So do dogs. You do, too, when you don't think so much.

These days here? These are are nothing like "the good old days." These ARE OUR good old days - to create with our own wits, NOW.

We'll be remembering these times and we'll be much happier keeping it real.

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