The Prodigy's Blog "Spontaneous Self-Implosion, Rambling Thoughts (Ignore the Selector)"

April 11, 2016
Dan Sanders


Today's blog comes from one of my dad's mentors, Dan Sanders: 


Warning: Reading this could cause an emotional convergence of brain waves, not to mention a total collapse of the accepted order of things. Look! It’s Rambling Harbor up ahead.

In the only political news from me this week, after the Wisconsin voters voted the good news, is people are starting to see Trump as the rump he is, and while I'm not a Hillary hater, I am definitely feelin’ the Bern.

A few days ago, I posted that it was Merle Haggard’s 79th birthday, and a few hours later I had to post that “The Hag” had died. On that same day, I also learned that Joseph Medicine Crow, a Native American historian and the last surviving war chief of Montana's Crow Tribe, had died. He was 102 years old and had been raised by his grandfather Yellowtail to be a warrior.

I never really talk about movies, but I watched a great documentary about Nora Ephron. It’s the kind of movie you will want to watch more than once because there are so many things going on, including interviews with many well-known people (Meryl Streep was one) and readings of Ephron’s work. There was one quote from her work that particularly struck me, and it went something like this: You read about someone dying and you’re glad it’s not you this time, but it could be you the next time. (In the interest of preventing my editor from having a myocardial infarction, that is not a direct quote.) What a strong, beautiful, funny, talented, mysterious woman Ephron was. The documentary is called Everything Is Copy.

Just before I started my podcast last week, there was breaking news that the historic rock and roll radio station KFOG-FM, one of the few surviving links to San Francisco’s history of free-form radio on the commercial dial, had gutted its on-air staff in advance of a new format to be introduced April 20. Four of the station’s six full-time DJs, including Annalisa, a great DJ and friend I worked with many incarnations ago, would feel the scythe. Except for a few commercial stations that may or may not exist by the time you read this, most of commercial radio has become a wasteland of brain-numbing, formatted humdrum hosted by DJs who might hate it as much as you do but need a job so they detach their brains, unplug their hearts, and strap themselves to something called a “selector” (a beast of burden that tells you what you are going to play and when). It’s available through companies such as RCS, one of the biggest perpetrators of radio tedium, and is marketed to stations so that radio A can sound just like radio Z. It’s a good thing the selector and I never met since we would never get along.

I do my podcasts like real live radio. I open the mic and open my mouth and whatever I say just spills out over the countryside. Sure, my podcasts are recorded and could be altered in multituneious ways, but I don’t. (Multituneious isn’t a word but should be. Try it this way:multi-tune-ious.  In the new unabashed Dan Sanders dictionary, it has many definitions, none of which have anything to do with being able to sing in more than one tune.)

There will be more about all of this in the podcast, but the rest is as vague as Shakespeare’s skull, and I will explain that. I hope you’ll join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.