Worst One Yet, or Torpidity Now
August 28, 2015
Okay, I'm conceding defeat. August, you win. Congratulations.
It's hot here. 90 degrees, going to 94, and humid, too. Where I live tends not to be 90 degrees, and the humidity usually involves the "Marine Layer," which normal people would call fog and which involves temperatures anyone would call "cool." This, right now, is not cool.
It's been hot all week, and was hot for part of the previous week, and all through it, I labored mightily to maintain business as usual. We do not have air conditioning -- it's a neighborhood directly on the ocean, and we rarely have days that would necessitate A/C. We have ceiling fans, and stand-up fans, but no A/C. So, hot.
I raise this as an excuse, obviously, for not being able to patch together anything that would resemble a coherent thought about radio, or anything. As happens on occasion, I wrote about half a column before I abandoned ship, realizing that it wasn't following any train of logic. I will say that it used the wonderful article about WWL/New Orleans' service during Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago, and I'll add that if you haven't read that article, you should -- it will remind you about radio's value in the most extreme emergencies and might remind you why you got into this business in the first place. It WILL make you proud of the folks at WWL and of radio. But I got into that and then took a left turn and started writing about the Roanoke shooting and that didn't go anywhere rational and I hit Select All and Delete and started over. Again, WWL, then Roanoke, then frustration. The sweat increased, flop- and weather-related. The deadline loomed. The deadline passed. I ate something -- have to maintain that all-important energy level, you understand -- and walked outside to remove the L.A. Times ad circular from the driveway and walked back in and checked email and drank some water and started writing again.
I could have remained on this cycle forever. And then I remembered, it's August. It's hot, it's humid, it's August. They don't call these the Dog Days for nothing. Wait, why DO they call them the Dog Days? Search in Google, pull up Wikipedia page... okay, Orion, the Romans, Homer, Florence and the Machine.... interesting, but no closer to a column. Can I translate this heat-induced torpor into anything analogous to radio? Maybe, but not today. Too torpid. WAY too torpid.
Torpidity wins. (Is torpidity a word? Yes, yes it is.) Let's do this next week when it cools down and I have something to say about radio. After 17 years or however long I've been doing this, every once in a while, you gotta just take a week off and regroup. This is how I do that, I guess. I don't know if it's better to explain why you don't have any good material or to post bad material, but... wait, I just did both, didn't I?
But I did not slack off at All Access News-Talk-Sports' Talk Topics, where, despite the heat and my inactivity, you'll still find hundreds of items and ideas and bad jokes, all up-to-date and available now by clicking here. And there's the Talk Topics Twitter feed at @talktopics with every story individually linked to the appropriate item. Also, do not miss "10 Questions With..." Chicago news and talk veteran Rob Hart, who's got one foot on the new media side with his work for Rivet News Radio and the other on the traditional side with fill-in work at WGN/Chicago. Newsman, commentator, host, White Sox fan... Rob covers a wide range.
Full Disclosure: I also serve as Director of Programming for Nerdist Industries, which includes the Nerdist Podcast Network, one of your major podcast entities. It's hot there, too.
So, the lesson this week is that there's not always a lesson to be learned. Also, columns about not being able to write a column are lame. And writing about nothing is a job best left to Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld.