Opening Salvo

We are a culture that needs to be heard. We write words of confession in
the dark on the face of the screen and find ourselves pouring out our
hearts to the nameless faces on the other side of the URL link. We are
back in the caves of our forebears telling a story by the light of the
fire, imagining more than seeing the responses to our glorious tales of the hunt and the battles won, before crawling off into our respective corners for a little rest, just for the chance to head out into the dangerous din of day to slay our dragons all over again. Back then, as with now, the tale's end may only be met with satisfied grunts or nods of approval. A story well told is it's own reward.
If you are good, you will be asked to tell another tale tomorrow night
to the assembled tribe.

Why am I writing at all? And who is waiting for the end of my tale?
Hopefully it lasts longer than Sheharrazad's. Not that I have anything
truly compelling to impart. And my life, as far as I know, does not
depend on prolonging the ending. So I am merely starting to speak in
this new storytellers realm because as of this past April Fools Day, I found
myself waking up at the crack of 8:00 am after my Morning Radio Show
had been taken away from me. "Good one! Ha Ha. Got me! Never saw
that funny prank coming!" Corporate America's response to incredulity
when they pull a nasty/funny/completely unsuspecting prank like this is
"Well, I'm sorry (insert name here for personal touch)'s only business"
Then they soften the blow with something akin to, "... revenues are down,
our industry has lost 45 per cent of the on-air jobs in the past ten years.
We are simply not immune to Blaah blahh Blaah..." And this is the one that allows
you to leave the corner office shaking and just barely composed. "We are outsourcing your news to a service (where the hopeful, dewey eyed, dopey
young broadcasters are paid ten dollars an hour to get no sleep and nurture their own performer's dreams) which is what you tell your family, friends fan(s),
and most especially your landlord, who is expecting the rent as sure as he's
sitting there listening to your tale of woe. You say nothing to your kid who's
valiantly negotiating her way through freshman year at a College way out of
our financial league. She doesn't need any more stress added to her plate.
This kid has braved enough harsh truth in her young life already. I shelve
the maternal guilt for the face-to-face that will come soon enough.

As I'm sitting in the Corner Office with the Big Cheese and his requisite
witnesses looking at me with practiced blankness and ever so slightly feigned
sympathy, I think of every epithat I want to hurl. I rush through a cavalcade
of responses about Gross Lack of Imagination, Leadership Vacuum, Nepotism,
and Blind lading the Bland, etc. None of which is shared with this particular
audience simply because there's precious little dignity left to maintain at
this particular juncture. You quickly gather your immediate belongings on
your way out into the sunny day into your car and think to yourself what a
nice little gesture that cup of tea will be...having been left behind on your
desk before what you anticipated was just another production meeting.
Someone will have to take that cup of tea into the kitchen....wash it out
and eliminate any reminders of my having ever been there. Touche.

The Newspaper Columnist calls me in sympathy, asking for my quotes,
listening to the unedited version with compassion while gallantly saving
the practiced on-the-record version for the readers eyes. One thing I said
was true enough - every day is another day to use your talent. And so...
here I am.

I am a neo-ludite. My daughter thinks I'm do all of her generation
when they see us struggle to negotiate the minefield of the internet.
Blogging? Who the hell cares what my thoughts are on any subject? I am
so lacking in imagination myself that when I got a job on the radio - it was
to read the news and tell the weather and throw in some inanities about
Hollywood Celebrities every once in a while. America are officially dumbed
down, and I did nothing to ameliorate that condition. Apparently, according
to my untimely demise, I didn't have the right stuff for the job anyway.
I am out-sourceable. Now THAT is an American tale that has some ring to it.

And as if the Universe's cosmic sense of humor knows no bounds, on the same
day my Unemployment paperwork arrived in the mail, my UNSOLICITED membership card arrived from AARP. How's that for an Ahah moment, Oprah?
You are JOBLESS and you are OLD. I look over at the crocuses battling for
attention from the much flirtier daffodils and I decide there's no tagline for
this great moment of clarity. The daffodils are cuter. They will be picked first.
The crocuses may have emerged first, but they will shrink back and let the
daffodils have their day.

So, let it be. I have PR clients. I have a healthy, beautiful talented daughter,
I have a loving wonderful man. And I have loads of pluck culled from millenia
of Celtic inbreeding, peppered with zesty Nordic blood to be sure.
There's still some Druid magicianship left in this aging erzatz radio journalist.
I have met every living Beatle. Every Rolling Stone. Every Rock star you can
imagine. I have met every living president EXCEPT George Bush - which is
probably a good thing because I don't know how long it will take to get
me out of Guantanamo when I tell him what I actually think of him.

It's just that gigs are so damn precious not to mention few and far between.
Here's the thing about radio. It is live. It is organic and it is fleeting. It is
spoken once and then done. This blogging thing has a certain permanence to
it. And I'm not sure the rants of a wronged woman of a certain age will read
large in the long term. But I suppose I must curb my ludite tendancies and
get on with the business of reinventing myself 21st-century style.

Let the next night's story begin.....tomorrow.

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