Monday, October 31, 2005

Standing in the grocery line ... thinking ...
On Saturday afternoon, I was standing in the grocery line, thinking. I made the mistake of being a gentleman and giving up my place in a grocery line for a woman who left her cart in the middle of the store and later claimed that she was in line. I let her by - after she said it wasn't a big deal. She then proceeded to unload $315 worth of groceries and then attempted to pay with a check - without a courtesy card. Needless to say, I was in line for about 20 minutes behind her.
Anyhow, this left me for a good long time staring at those insipid supermarket tabloids. You know the ones - the Examiner, the Star, the Globe, People, Us, the Enquirer ... Do you recall the ad campaign: "Enquiring minds what to know ..." with the woman standing in line, looking up from the tab stating, "I want to know!"?
And, for whatever reason, the greatest tab of all time, the Weekly World News, with the hilarious Ed Anger, doesn't seem to be on the racks anymore. As I always say about the Weekly World News, with a stolen line from "Repo Man": "They wouldn't print it if it wasn't true ..."
So I am looking at these ridiculous magazines, promoting and exposing the most shallow behavior of celebrities and all this other crap. There was the Brad and Jennifer divorce stuff, Liz on her deathbed, my God, they are even dragging up the Chandra Levi situation again ... Let the poor girl lie in the grave in silence already! You know what I mean.
I was just staring at these magazines, and Vanity Fair and TV Guide, thinking. And then, I had a revelation: I wonder if a political magazine had similar tabloid headlines, would people buy it? Would they care about important things if they were fed to them in a tabloid manner.
For example, "Scooter" Libby was indicted on Friday. This was Saturday. A potential screeching headline could be something like LIBBY INDICTED: DID HE DO IT FOR LOYALTY OR LOVE? Or how about marking the 2,000 American death in Iraq with something more than a random passing; like the body bags which we aren't supposed to see, with a headline like WHAT DID THEY DIE FOR? Or how about some scandalous corporate stuff blaring across a People-type magazine: KOZLOWSKI SAYS, 'I NEEDED THE $5K SHOWER CURTAINS!' Or, another headline: ENRON'S KENNY BOY: HOW COME HE IS STILL LIVING COMFORTABLY? THE SHOCKING TRUTH! Or another: CHINESE BUYING UP AMERICAN DEBT. WILL AMERICA BECOME THE RED, RED, AND BLUE?!
During the Clinton scandals, there was all kinds of dirt in these magazines. How come not now? Just because the scandals aren't about interns, small "L" lewinskys, and blue dresses? Come on.
The potential headlines are endless. But the question is: Would people buy the magazine? Would they wake up when faced with the important issues of the day on a level of the supermarket tab, something that they might be able to understand more clearly. I don't know. But it is worth a try, isn't it?

New Boston blog
Kevin Rothstein has a new blog about things going on in Boston City Hall: ["City Hall Confidential"]. It should be a good read. This is a great addition to the blogosphere, along with Adam Reilly's new Boston Phoenix political blog: ["Talking Politics"]. On another note, Eric Moskowitz of the Concord Monitor moves from the city beat to the political beat while Daniel Barrick moves from reporting to editing. Good luck to both of them!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Noise November Top 30 Chart

1. Apollo Sunshine – Apollo Sunshine
2. Reverend Glasseye – Our Lady of the Broken Spine
3. The Rudds – Get the Femuline Hang On
4. Harris – The Light Is Seeping Through the Cracks
5. Feathers – Absolute Noon
6. Don Lennon – Routine
7. Chris Brokaw – Incredible Love
8. The Hidden – Smash to Ashes
9. Slim Jim & the Mad Cows – Homebrewed
10. Frank Smith – Burn This House Down
11. Cassette – Broadway Showstoppers
12. Faces on Film – Seven Sisters EP
13. The Glass Set – The Glass Set
14. Ric Ocasek – Nexterday
15. The Scissormen – Jinx Breakers
16. Taxpayer – Bones & Lungs
17. Tiger Saw – Sing!
18. Aberdeen City – The Freezing Atlantic
19. Baby Ray – “I Look, There you Are”
20. Blanketeer – Blanketeer EP
21. Bourbon Princess – Dark of Days
22. Count Zero – Little Minds
23. Four Tet – Everything Ecstatic
24. La Peste – v.2.0
25. Lovewhip – Virtual Booty Machine
26. Robby Roadsteamer – The Heart of a Rhino
27. Micah Blue Smaldone – Hither and Tither
28. The Dents – Time for Biting
29. Hilken Mancini/Chris Colburn – Hilken Mancini/Chris Colburn
30. Travel Labyrinth – It’s Springtime in my Brain Today

Friday, October 21, 2005

Congratulations to WKXL 1450!
Tonight, the WKXL 1450 news team won six 2005 Golden Mike Awards, including five for the news department.
Our Assistant News Director Hilary Cogen won two awards, a first place award for documentary news on a terror alert which was issued in the region earlier this year as well as first place for a feature story about a support the troops rally held over the summer.
Syracuse University senior Frank Alosa, who spent last summer working in the news department, placed first in the spot news category for his coverage of a hearing about an alleged probation violation of a convicted child molester and also won a merit award in the documentary category for covering a Gen. Wesley Clark speech in Manchester.
I won a merit award in the feature category for a story I did about the annual Hooksett Lions Club model train fundraising event. Later this week, I will grab the audio and try to link it here.
Sports Director Mike Murphy and Tom Gauthier, who works in both the news and sports departments, also won a sports play-by-play merit award for the Bow vs. Milford NHIAA Boy’s Playoff.
In fact, the department won five of the eight awards available to it although we only entered the spot, documentary, and feature categories [No staffers decided to enter the newscast category although they would have won since only the woman from WZID entered the category].
Our six awards were more than any other radio station at the event.
In all, it was a pretty good night for local news which is relevant to the community and not a bad way for WKXL 1450 to enter its 60th year of broadcasting live and local thoughtful community radio.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Butler gets signed
This is good news, via

(October 17, 2005) -- New York, NY -- KOCH Records announces the newest addition to its successful and burgeoning roster, multi-talented artist and Psychedelic Furs frontman, Richard Butler.
With one of the most distinctive and recognizable voices in recent history, Richard Butler burst upon the scene in 1979 as lead singer and predominant songwriter of The Psychedelic Furs.Throughout their legendary 26-year history, The Furs earned a reputation as one of the most iconic forces to come out of the 80s post-punk, new wave era. The band charted big hits with "Love My Way," "Pretty In Pink," "Heaven," and "The Ghost In You," and released seven studio albums.
For his forthcoming KOCH Records solo release, titled simply Richard Butler, Butler collaborated with Jon Carin, an accomplished musician who has worked with Pink Floyd, Pete Townshend and Bryan Ferry. The result is a collection of songs that's an incredible melding of Butler's incisive lyrics and signature voice awash in Carin's mysteriously captivating musical landscape.
About the forthcoming album, Butler says, "I've experienced quite a bit the last few years, both good and bad it's changed me tremendously these songs reflect all of it and because of that, they're some of the most personal and important songs I've ever done."
Look for the self-titled album Richard Butler in early 2006!
KOCH Records proudly claims the largest number of Billboard charting albums among independents for each of the last four years (2001-2004). For additional info on the KOCH Records label and its roster of artists, please visit

All Stars
Roy Morrison/Guest Perspective
My son Sam's team, the 12-year-old Kearsarge Mountain All Stars, lost their last game at Bambino field in Jaffrey.
They did their best, but came up short. Coach Toro gathered the team and offered each player praise.
The way it should be, America's kids, pinstriped pants covered with infield dirt from desperate slides hauling away equipment bags with their wonder boy bats and oiled gloves.
But unfortunately, other images punctuate our American dream. Our kids also haul duffel bags packed with field gear, not bats, onto commodious transports. The night I told my friend about Sam's losing game, we spoke about her son's coming deployment.
The day Sam started his fall term at Kearsarge Middle School, my friend's son was enroute to Iraq. Now, I can check Sam's math homework and then read perceptive and often humorous e-mails from Iraq about base life and a trip to mandatory convoy training.
For the educated and professional classes, it's usually somebody else's kid headed toward Baghdad. It's the secretary's son or the mechanic's daughter who signed up after high school; or, it's the past 40 dad, set up man at the plant, who once upon a time joined the National Guard.
There is almost no good news from the front, just the steady drip of reports of American casualties, or bulletins of Iraqis slaughtering Iraqis. The conservative chattering classes and liberal war apologists still offer justifications, but even their ranks are thinning.
It's time for us to stop paying allegiance to some American rituals.
The heroism of our sons and daughters in arms, the spilled blood upon the sands, the inevitable alteration of history's course by war's destructive energies are not justifications for even more killing.
If the Iraq war was about the danger of weapons of mass destruction, we found they didn't exist. If the Iraq war was about democracy, the Iraqis are about to vote on a constitution. If the Iraq war was about fighting terrorism, the war is making the terrorists stronger, not weaker, and has become the jihadists rallying point and training ground.
It's time to declare victory and bring our soldiers home with all deliberate speed. That doesn't mean overnight. It does mean turning the fate of Iraq over to the Iraqis, their Arab neighbors, and the United Nations.
Yes, the United States should provide logistical support for the Iraqis, and aid in the reconstruction of their country, which, after all, we bombed and invaded.
It's time to ask ourselves a few gut questions?
Would you send your son? Would you send your daughter? Many American mothers and fathers are being asked to do just that. Why?
I listen to sports radio. There are public service ads reminding 18 year old boys to sign up for Selective Service, in case Uncle Sam wants to get in touch...
There's a great silence from most of the Democrats who apparently see little political advantage in standing up to the Commander in Chief. But I have a few questions, I'd like answered: What if the U.S. had not invaded Iraq? What if UN inspectors were still combing every last sand dune looking for non-existent weapons of mass destruction? What if we spent money on levees in New Orleans and not bombs in Baghdad? What if thousands of Americans and Iraqis were not killed or wounded? What if Iraq had not served as a flash point for jihadist suicide terrorism?
And most importantly, why don't we turn over the fight for democracy in Iraq to Iraqis and bring our sons and daughters home?
Roy Morrison is a writer living in Warner, N.H. His next book is "Eco Civilization 2140" and is forthcoming.

Serious talk radio
Barbara Anderson of CLT has a great column in the Lowell Sun this weekend about the lack of serious talk radio in Massachusetts: ["Have we lost interest in serious issues?"]. Anderson, who drives liberals ballistic with her libertarian rantings and sometimes completely dead-on correct political positions, really nails it on the head here.
The consolidation of radio in the United States has taken all the serious talk off the air. And the other places for "serious" talk radio - like NPR - are too snotty to have Anderson on the air when they rarely do local radio. This hurts groups like CLT who have pretty much relied only on talk radio to get the rabble riled up. Without that rabble getting riled up, CLT's job is even harder than it was in the past, because the immediacy of radio lends itself to the rousing. Unlike TV, radio is a hot medium; the audio pours through your ears into your head versus coming into your brain via the eyes. It has a whole different effect on the mind.
Surprisingly, she even gives a pat on the back to her friend - but political enemy - Jim Braude of NECN, stating that he does some of the best political interviews, perhaps ever.
I don't know if I would go that far. I think the late Jerry Williams was one of the best political interviewers ever; the late David Brudnoy was pretty good too, although they could both be cranky. But Braude does do a good job and he is an asset to the industry.

Speaking of radio ...
Check out this great article on the one and only Bob Bittner: ["Deejay follows his star"]. Bittner owns this station in Maine where this newspaper is published. But I am more familiar with his "beautiful music" station, WJIB 740 AM, right outside of Fresh Pond Circle in Cambridge [the article got it wrong about being in Rowley]. That station also plays all the songs from the golden era of AM radio.
I once appeared on Bob's "Let's Talk about Radio" show, which used to air on Sundays, after we had an online argument/discussion about whether or not a commercial radio station could have an eclectic freeform talk and music format, with various guest hosts and volunteers. We took the debate off line and on the air, in 1997, I believe, and it was a lot of fun hanging out at his station. It is interesting to note that I am the program and news director of WKXL which currently has a similar programming format that I was advocating back in 1997 on Bittner's show; while Bittner does the thing he loves too.

The Western Primary
I forgot to post this earlier this week: ["Huntsman sets date for proposed Western primary"].
I think this is an intriguing idea and could make for an interesting primary season, especially if the election is a week after New Hampshire and includes at least a few Western states.
The only problem is that because those states are so big, they won't actually get the New Hampshire or Iowa experience - that one-on-one, shake every candidate's hand, kind of experience that makes our primary so special. The reverse of this is that in order to mount a serious campaign for the presidency, a candidate must organized in a lot of places at the same time.
So, if you are a serious candidate running for president, you are going to be running grassroots campaigns in New Mexico, Utah, and possibly Arizona, while at the same time going to Iowa and New Hampshire. In fact, you are going to enjoy the dry heat of the West after you've spent the cool fall of Iowa and New Hampshire campaigning around. If you have enough cash, you'll be earning frequent flyer miles for you, your staff, and the media, because you will be doing this a lot. Depending on your political position, you might even skip Iowa or New Hampshire, and concentrate on a big state like Arizona. Although, that didn't build "Joementum" for Sen. Lieberman when he skipped Iowa, went straight to New Hampshire, and then skipped everything else to make a stand in Delaware, ultimately being humiliated by the results.
Another reverse: If there is a big field for either the Democrats or Republicans and one guy wins Iowa, while another woman wins New Hampshire, and they all stay in to shoot it out in the Western Primary, there could be a total free-for-all with multiple winners and a nice drawn out primary process.
With all the money that is going to be spent in the 2008 election, there is a good chance that this could happen ... and it will be a lot of fun to watch.

Polling results
I also forgot to post these latest polling results for 2008 from two weeks ago:

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. Sept. 27-28, 2005. N=900 registered voters nationwide.
"If the 2008 Democratic presidential primary were held today, for whom would you vote if the candidates were [see below]?" Names rotated. Among Democratic voters; MoE ± 5

Hillary Rodham Clinton: 42
John Edwards: 14
John Kerry: 14
Al Gore: 11
Joseph Biden, D-MBNA: 5
Wesley "War Criminal" Clark: 1
Mark Warner: 1
Other (vol.): 3
Unsure: 8
Wouldn't vote (vol.): 2
Evan Bayh: 0

"If the 2008 Republican presidential primary were held today, for whom would you vote if the candidates were [see below]?" Names rotated. Among Republican voters; MoE ± 5

Rudy Giuliani: 26
John McCain: 23
Condoleezza Rice: 18
Newt Gingrich: 7
Mitt "Guy Smiley" Romney: 3
Bill Frist: 2
George Allen: 2
Other (vol.): 2
Unsure: 17
Wouldn't vote (vol.): 1

Very interesting ... but check this out:

"Thinking ahead to the next presidential election, if the 2008 election were held today and the candidates were Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani, for whom would you vote?" Names rotated. N=900 registered voters, MoE ± 3.

Giulani: 50
Clinton: 39

"What if the candidates were Democrat [see below] and Republican [see below]?" Names rotated. N=900 registered voters, MoE ± 3.

McCain: 49
Clinton: 38

Clinton: 46
Rice: 43

Giuliani: 52
Kerry: 36

McCain: 53
Kerry: 35

Rice: 45
Kerry: 43

McCain: 57
Gore: 29

Giulani: 55
Gore: 32

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What's goin' on

Here is some interesting stuff that has been going on lately:

Sometimes, you can take the boy out of Boston but you can't take Boston out of the boy: I have been attempting to get at as much Boston municipal race coverage as I can and, as usual, the coverage has been pretty spotty.