Sunday, September 30, 2012


You frequently hear people lament that the news media of today is not as good as the news media of the past. Then again, you hear that about everything. When I entered college as a media major, being in the news media was considered one of the ultimate jobs a person could have. After all, the news media was America's window to the world. If I wanted to I could choose the path to belong to that elite group with such people as Walter Cronkite, Chet Hutley and David Brinkley, and Peter Jennings (All pictured above). I've got a surprising eye opener for you. Watch the evening world news on CBS, NBC and ABC, then watch an old evening world news cast on You Tube from the 60s, 70s or 80s. They haven't changed except for the technology and personalities.

On the other hand watch a clip of CNN from the 80s and then watch a little of it now, you WILL see a big change. Personally, cable news has went down in quality. Also, you would be shocked if you saw Internet news pages of the 90s versus today's.

Let me give you my opinion about what made the men above trusted voices. They were larger than life figures in Washington, DC or New York. When they told you what happened, you accepted it as the truth and didn't argue with them. Now thanks to Facebook, Bubba in Bois D'Arc or NellieBelle in Piedmont, Arkansas can make a snide remark about a story KYTV or KOLR ran on the 6 pm news or bad mouth Brian Williams or Scott Pauly.

I feel the comments on local news stories on Facebook has reached some very dangerous and tacky levels. After a recent tragic accident here in the Ozarks, people began leaving comments accident if the man and woman, who died in the accident were having an extra marital affair. WHAT DOES THAT MATTER? WHY WOULD PEOPLE BRING UP THAT AT SUCH A DELICATE TIME?

Another problem is how Internet news like Yahoo and MSN is driven not by importance, but what people have shared, searched or read. Never mind important world news or national news, Yahoo and MSN is going to give you headlines on Anne Hathway's ugly dress or a video of cute kittens on You Tube.

Let me also add that it is either time to do away with Letters to the Editor in newspapers or make stricter rules on what letters get printed. Some local newspapers run letters from the same idiots week after week and day after day. I was recently looking at some back issues of the Springfield News Leader and discovered that many of the crazy right-wing letters in the 80s and 90s were from the same people EVERYDAY. Many of these were stupid too. Case in point: Ron Davis in his Chatter column (which was hated by these idiot NL letter writers) had said that he wished Guns N Roses would perform in Branson. Several brain damaged individuals didn't want Guns N Roses in Branson, because they considered them "vulgar" and "untalented." You know who else they didn't want to come to Branson? ANDY WILLIAMS. Yes, the Letters to the Editor section in the Springfield News Leader was once filled with hateful letters from Ozarkers who didn't want Andy Willaims to bring his "Hollywood values" and "Las Vegas values" to "ruin" the Ozarks. This was after he had told some an interviewer that some of the Branson shows were crappy.

The one thing I have learned from working in the media is that the majority of people think you do a great job but never tell you. The people who constantly criticize the media are insanely jealous of media people because they chose a bad career, like real estate or auctioneering.

Of course, opinions like these are why I'm considered the Super Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  

Friday, September 21, 2012


I thought it was time for another Guilty Pleasures I AM NOT ASHAMED playlist.

"Cars" Gary Numan
"Wild Is the Wind" David Bowie
"Trouble' Lyndsey Buckingham
"Christo Redentor" Harvey Mandel (Sounds like make-out music for Captain Kirk)
"Juicy Fruit" Mtume
"Special Lady" Ray, Goodman & Brown (KLWT-FM 92 in Lebanon played this everyday at 4:05 p.m. You could set your watch by the automation)
"South Side" Moby with Gwen Stefani
"The Letter" The Arbors (Neat cover by a prog-sunshine pop)
"Raspberry Beret" Prince & the Revolution
"Iesha" Another Bad Creation
"Voo Doo Walk" Sonny Richard's Panics with Cindy and Misty (Go-go dancing singers doing a song about monster - What is there not to like about this?)
"Now To You" The David
"Who Do You Think You Are?" Candlewick Green (Original British version of the Bo Donaldson & the Haywoods hit)
"Do You Want To Dance?" Bette Midler (Sexiest cover version of this song ever)
"Theme from Dark Shadows" Bob Cobert Orchestra (The 45 single easy listening version with a great piano player)
"Down By The Station" The Four Preps (Children's song turned into a song about a being a player)
"Dancing Bear" The Mamas & The Papas
"Sugar Sugar" The Archies
"What Goes Around Comes Around" Justin Timberlake
"Easy Come, Easy Go" Winger
"Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile" David Allen Coe
"Signs" Five Man Electrical Band
"Who Is Gonna Mow Your Grass" Buck Owens & the Buckaroos (One of the best fuzztone guitar parts ever in a country song)
"Isn't It Time" The Babys
"Heat of the Moment" Asia
"Too Shy" Kajagoogoo
"Master Jack" Four Jacks & a Jill
"No Reply At All" Genesis
"Guilty" Barbara Streisand & Barry Gibb
"Never My Love" The Association
"Fantasy" Aldo Nova 

Friday, September 7, 2012


Since we are knee-deep in the 2012 Presidential election, I thought I would look at two political figures of the past, who made political elections fun. They were on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean and had different personalities, yet they were sort of doing the same thing. One was a proto-Gothic-shock rocker, the other a skinny, sad-faced fellow with a slow, monotone deadpan delivery. Screaming Lord (David) Sutch and Patrick Layton Paulsen ran for office for office from the 60s until their deaths in the 90s and, truth be told, could probably still get votes a whole decade after passing away.

Screaming Lord Sutch

David Sutch was an early British rock and roll performer. The "Lord" part of his name came from his habit of wearing a crown on stage in the early days. With the help of eccentric record producer Joe Meek, he created a stage persona of a ghoulish character with long green hair (this was in 1961), red lipstick, white face paint and blackened eyes. He recorded songs like "Til The Following Night (Big Black Coffin)," "Jack The Ripper," "Dracula's Daughter" and "She Has Fallen in Love With a Monster Man." None of these records were hits, but became quite influential and collectible due to his use of musicians like Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, Mathew Fisher, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell and (fellow partying buddy) Keith Moon.

In 1963, Lord Sutch entered into a Parliamentary special election for the seat vacated by Conservative John Profumo, who resigned after a sex scandal (which was the subject of the movie Scandal). At that time, he said he represented the National Teenage Party and said if elected he would lower the voting age from 21 to 18. He didn't win, but the idea picked up popularity and voting age was lowered in Great Britain. The Untied States followed suit in the early 70s. When Lord Sutch ran for Parliament, he usually included several serious issues in his platform, such as the rights and treatment of the disabled. Of course, the rest his platform included things like "Clothing-free Tuesday" and drivers license for dogs. In the 80s, Lord Sutch promised to win an election to be prime minister by changing his name to Margaret Thatcher. It apparently scared the Conservatives so bad that they raised the entry fee for candidates. This didn't stop Lord Sutch and his Monster Loony Party, which is still in existence and has a following with the younger generation. Sadly, Lord Sutch suffered from severe depression and took his life shortly after the death of his mother in 1999.

You wouldn't know it by looking at Pat Paulsen, but he served in the Marine Corp in World War 2. His foray into politics started as a series of monologues on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The joke began as a parody of editorials on local newscast, usually given by the TV station's general manager. Paulsen modeled his persona off of a general manager of a California TV station, who was ill-suited for speaking on camera (Paulsen said in an interview with E! Network that this GM must have worked his way up from accounting to general manager). One of the traits Paulsen picked up from this GM was his clumsiness. The GM might spill a cup of water or knock over the microphone. The first editorial Paulsen performed was mainly double-talk, followed by announcer Roger Carol giving an CBS address for a transcript of the editorial. CBS was bombarded with letters saying, "That guy is funny. We want more of that." So the Pat Paulsen editorials became a weekly feature on the show during the first two seasons. It caught on so fast during the first season that Pat Paulsen was asked to appear as a government expert on UFO's in an episode of The Monkees.

The second season of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour fell during the turbulent election year of 1968. Early in the year, politicians such as Robert Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Eugene McCarthy, and others would give a speech then deny they were running for the office of President. At the end of one of the editorial segments, Paulsen told Tommy Smothers that there was a "rumor going around" that he would be running for President. Paulsen said, "I will not run if nominated, and if elected I will not serve." Eventually, Paulsen announced on the show his "candidacy."  He told the audience, "I'm honest enough to admit that I have some draw backs and disadvantages as a candidate. Although I am a professional comedian, some of my critics maintain that this alone is not enough."

In the editorials and the campaign, Paulsen used to dismiss criticisms by saying "Picky, picky, picky." This became his catchphrase on the show. He said that he belonged to the Straight Talking American Government Party or the STAG Party. His campaign slogan was "I upped my standards, now up yours!" He frequently referred to himself as "Just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America's destiny."

He not only ran in 1968, but in 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992 and finally in 1996. He was actually more successful in the 90s. In 1992, he came in second to George H. Bush in the North Dakota Republican Primary and garnered 10, 984 votes in the Republican primary that same year. He received 921 votes to come in second to Bill Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary in 1996. Tommy Smothers has said if Pat Paulsen probably could have one an election, if he had ran a serious campaign. Pat Paulsen died the next year of pneumonia, while being treated for colon and brain cancer.

There are elements of Lord Sutch and Pat Paulsen still with us in various forms. Lord Sutch's music and stage act influenced later acts such as Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, the Damned, the Cramps, Marilyn Manson and Slipknott. Paulsen's editorials were sort of the forerunner of The Colbert Report, The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. However, the type of campaigns that made Lord Sutch and Pat Paulsen famous may be a thing of the past. A case in point is Stephen Colbert's attempt to run for President in 2008 ended as soon as it began. South Carolina Republicans raised the entry fee (Much like British Conservatives tried to do to Lord Sutch) and the Democrats said he wasn't a serious candidate (Remember Paulsen's joke about being a "professional comedian" -as he would say "Picky, picky, picky"). Of course, it should be noted that Pat Paulsen was always a write-in candidate rather than being on an official ballot.    

Much of the blame for this could be a response to the confusing outcome of  the 2000 Presidential Election. There were some who blamed candidates from other parties (i.e: Reform, Green, Constitution, Libertarians)  for throwing the count off for Al Gore Jr and George W. Bush (BTW - Dubya shares a birthday with Pat Paulsen - July 6). Some people also take politics way too serious after 9-11. These people seem to think we should have banned humor after 9-11. I remember when Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, one local blogger had a melt down on Twitter that they were "making light of our nations problems." No, they were poking fun at Glen Beck's rally a few weeks earlier, which the blogger gushed about for weeks afterward.

Think about this, both Sutch and Paulsen received more votes after there stardom was over. Was this because there was an underlying vision that appealed to people for years after the 60s or did the political scene get so goofy and stupid that Lord Sutch and Pat Paulsen seemed sane compared to the other people in politics? After all, Honey Boo Boo beat Paul Ryan in the TV ratings last week.  Maybe I should run for office and Honey Boo boo can be my running mate   

Saturday, September 1, 2012


The LHS Class of 1987 had trouble making an 8.
I recently attended my 25th year class reunion. Yeah, I'm surprised they invited me too. I wasn't exactly the most well liked person at Lebanon High School. 1987?!?! What can be said about 1987? As many of you who read this know, I'm not a "my-generation-is-better-than-your-generation" type of person. To be quite honest there was many things on TV, movies and in music back in 1987 that SUCKED BIG TIME!

I was looking at the various radio survey charts on ARSA, I began to notice that there were some of the music between September of 1986 and June of 1987 was really wimpy. Radio airwaves were ruled by Whitney Houston.  I think this may explain why I became interested in classic rock and college rock (later to be known as alternative). It also was one of the reasons I wanted to get into radio. I felt I needed to be a program director to change the kind of music that was getting on the air. Of course, I also would listen to Woody P. Snow on KXUS and Dr. Don Carpenter on Rock 99 (KWTO-FM) on my way to school. I began thinking, "This would be a perfect job for me. I could be a wild and outrageous morning show host." Sadly, the consolidation of ownership in radio has lead to the demise of both of these jobs in many areas. During that time, you could tape your favorite song off radio. There seemed to be quite a few good Top 40 stations in the area. I just didn't appreciate it at the time. During the 90s, there was about one real Top 40/CHR station in the area. I will have to say things are swinging back to the way they were in the 80s. Now would be a good time for kids in the Ozarks to tape their favorite songs off of the radio, if they still do that.

I knew I wanted to be involved in the media. I decided as another option to radio I thought a great job would be program director at an independent TV station. Back in the 80s, independent TV stations were fun because they had to fill there time with what ever they could. Usually, old movies, old TV shows and old cartoons. Three things happened that changed that: 1) upstart networks like Fox and CW (originally the WB),  2) Specialty cable networks like TV Land, Turner Classic Movies, AMC, and Boomerang, 3) infomercials or pre-paid programs. Many independent TV stations became Fox or  CW affiliates, which took up the evening hours with their programing. As the cable networks became popular, many independent TV stations got it through their heads that since many older shows and movies were on cable, why duplicate their programing. The alternative (at least in this area) is run infomercials and prepaid package shows that are usually bad "judge" programs or bad "infotainment" shows.

I went to college to get a degree in media. During that time, I would attend seminars in K.C with a group called International Association of Business Communicators. I was told by these K.C and St. Louis business people that a media would be the ticket in the door to a high paying job in any field, not just media. Not only did businesses in Springfield, Lebanon and the surrounding are not get the memo on that, they seem to be against hiring anyone with a authentic college education. They seem to either want someone with an MBA from some fly-by-night school that holds classes in a bank after hours or no post-high school education. 

David Rasche as Sledge Hammer "Trust Me, I know what I'm doing." 

One of my favorite TV shows during my senior years was a satirical sitcom called Sledge Hammer! (Yes, there was an exclamation point at the end of the title). I think this may have gave birth to my love of broad satire. For those who never saw the show (It was one of the lowest rated shows during its two year run), Sledge Hammer! was to Dirty Harry and Hunter, what Get Smart was to James Bond and the Man from U.N.C.L.E.   The main character, Sledge Hammer (played by Missouri born actor David Rasche), was an overly enthusiastic plain-clothes, police detective, who talked to his 44 Magnum. Sledge liked to use excessive violence, such as firing a warning shot a jaywalker, using a bazooka to stop a sniper on the roof of a building and target practicing with his 44 Magnum in his apartment. He also spouted outrageous lines that were a satirical poke at macho, conservative types in 1987. The bad part is when you watch the episodes now, you notice that the stuff Sledge says isn't as stupid as the things being said by most talk radio show host or congressional Republicans (especially the ones from Missouri). As a matter of fact, watching another 80s sitcom, Family Ties, I notice that the then popular neo-con sitcom character Alex P. Keaton is seems like an antiquated character. Sadly, Alex is a fantasy, while Sledge has become a reality. Yipes!

Babe bashing not allowed in 1987.

One of my other obsessions at that time was girls. One reason I wanted to be in the media was in hopes of scoring the ultimate babe. I thought the women would be crawling all over me because I was either on radio or TV. I could see myself dating a supermodel, bikini model or female newscaster. Never happened sadly. Let me point out here something that has changed for the worst, men's opinions of famous women. I have seen horrible things posted about famous women on Yahoo, MSN, Facebook and You Tube about Katy Perry, Paris Hilton, Holly Madison, or Kim Kardashian. We didn't have these websites in the 80s, but if any guy had said some of these things about Cindy Crawford, Cindy Brinkley, Brooke Shields, Elle McPherson, Kim Bassinger or Kathy Ireland people would have wondered about their sanity, libido or manners. It seems to be these comments are made by redneck who pose for their profile photo in front of a Confederate flag or by people who use a photo of John Wayne or Ronald Reagan for their profile photo. It seems to make these little wanna-be men feel macho, but it just shows how low on the evolutionary chart they are. I guess sex was more important in the good ole days of 1987. 
I started working on this post about three weeks ago, I realize that I've taken most of the changes in stride. I don't get bent out of shape about everything younger people do. As a matter of fact, most of my best friends are younger than me. I also don't feel a need to be superior to them. I think I have younger friends because I really haven't changed since I was in high school. I have the same ultra-laid back attitude about things. A case in point would be a discussion I had with an older co-worker about a LHS Class of 87 member who allegedly defrauded a Lebanon boat manufacture of a large sum of money. This co-worker was shocked when I said, "So what. Its a big corporation. They make plenty of money. They won't miss it and will get over it." My co-worker seems to be part of that "Standing up for what's right" school of radio philosophy, where as I share the philosophy of the late Bill Drake, "The hits just keep a-coming!" Of course, this co-worker also thinks an auctioneer should host a radio show.

I think the song from that year that for me sums up my thoughts on graduating from LHS 1987  would be the song that I first heard on the radio as I left the run through for the graduation ceremony. It was by "Touch of Grey" by the Grateful Dead. It would become their only Top 40 and Top 10 hit. "We will get by. We will survive."

Of course, opinions, like the ones expressed here, explains why I'm considered the Super Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!   

Songwriter Hal David, co-writer of ’Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,’ dies at 91

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