Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Smithville – Amory

Day 4

The first order of business was to work out at the gym. The gym is across the parking lot from the hospital in Amory, which is about 7 miles away. I listened to POTUS, a satellite radio channel, in the rental car on the way. POTUS was launched to cover the 2008 presidential election, but remained on in lesser form as a political news channel. The degradation in quality, from my point of view, is the current domination of daytime programming by a dreadful talk-format program called Stand Up with Pete Dominic. It’s hours and hours of a tepidly presented and superficially informed blowhard-style call-in, with the host always “running out of time” on his way to talking about nothing in particular.

This racing to nowhere style talk radio (and TV) is the bane of my existence. I can’t stand it. I don’t like it. Have I mentioned that I find it irritating?

“Blah blah blah and in the 9 seconds remaining, can you recommend a solution for mid-east peace?”

“Well, host person, it’s a very complicated issue with great historical and cultural –“

“I’m sorry! We’ve run out of time! Up next, we’ll ask our next guest about Afghanistan!”

“Welcome back to our show!

“Blah blah blah, and in the 9 seconds remaining, should we sent more troops to Afghanistan?”

“Well, host person, it’s a very complicated issue with enormous political and economic consequ-“

“I’m sorry! We’ve run out of time!”

Rinse, repeat, all day long.

If it’s not patchwork crazy quilt pseudo conversations, it’s yell kings baiting guests to snap and bite at each other like clever children. This is why I watch about 3.7 hours of this stuff per year. Just to check and see if it’s still as bad as I remembered.

I know I sound like a total grouch. I’m not, really. I just prefer a real conversation, where you put your opponent and your comrade in the one and the same most positive light; where you direct your remarks to the most intelligent person in the audience, and not the most base or partisan.

Anyway, the gym was great. I covered three miles and had some good coffee there in the small café overlooking the pool. I’m updating the Livescribe smartpen (I highly recommend this tool) and have some work to do today in terms of packing up things in the storage room in downtown Smithville and in continuing the interview process for the writing project I’m here to start.

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