Wednesday, July 28, 2004

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Advertising: A Radio Giant Moves to Limit Commercials

I subscribe to the National Lampoon Radio Hour, delivered on a weekly basis to my account at The actual program, minus the commercials, runs just over 30 minutes. I'm happy to pay for the content (dirt cheap, actually, with an Audible subscription) rather than put up with 30 minutes of commercials.

With the exception of NPR (yeah, yeah, I know), I rarely listen to broadcast radio. Why would I? There's so much great music available via other sources, like MusicChoice on my cable system, or dozens of Internet "radio" stations.

Clear Channel, like the other media conglomerates, has to do something to retain an audience that, despite the numbers cited in this article, is being siphoned off by alternatives that offer a broader and far more accurate picture of what's really going on in music.

But I don't think Clear Channel and similar companies are inherently evil or bent on destroying music. If they're guilty of anything it's a narrow, artless, and thoroughly commercial sensibility with regard to serving up music. They're in the business to make money, not to promote music. To them, music is a commodity. If (or rather, when) music stops making money for them, they'll move on to something else. Radio, as a vehicle for delivering music to fans, doesn't make sense anymore. At least, not in its current state. But changing that will take more than a reduction in the number of commercials.

Welcome to the Home of the Original California Pocket Bike TM

If you're over three feet tall, you're not going to look cool riding a pocket bike, and you're definitely not going to meet hot blondes in black leather outfits. Any girl who thinks you look cool on one of these tiny little cycles was probably raised by circus folk.

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Little Dipper - Memphis Kiddie Park

I'm doing research for an article on the Memphis Drive-in in Brooklyn, Ohio. As it happens, the family that has owned the drive-in for more than half a century also owns the Memphis Kiddie Park, across the street. The kiddie park has the distinction of being the site of the Little Dipper, which, according to, is the oldest operating steel rollercoaster in North America.

I can't remember how many times I rode that thing as a kid. It's comforting to know that it's still around.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Yahoo! News - House GOP Leaders Kill Effort to Limit Patriot Act

The 9/11 hearings revealed that the US government had information about several of the 9/11 terrorists and the plans to use airplanes as missiles to attack tall buildings. The problem was that the Bushies failed to act on that information. So why do we need the Patriot Act? What good has it done?