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The road to Thorgellen (or) Wasting a wish on wishing a wishbone worked.


      “It never takes longer than a few minutes, when they get together, for everyone to revert to the state of nature, like a party marooned by a shipwreck. That’s what a family is. Also the storm at sea, the ship, and the unknown shore. And the hats and the whiskey stills that you make out of bamboo and coconuts. And the fire that you light to keep away the beasts.” -Michael Chabon

Here’s the recording of last night’s (2016-11-25) KNYO (and, three hours in, also KMEC) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show ready to download and enjoy.

Or, thanks to Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost, you can get it this other way, which you might like better because it offers an instant-play option and isn’t surrounded by confusing flashing ads.

In which we learn from writer and professional wedding videographer Alex Bosworth about Thorgellen, the ancient pagan festival of feasting, nudity, alcohol, pet sacrifice, fire, natural electricity and hallucinogenic mushrooms, not necessarily in that order, to honor the Great God Thor and placate his wrath. Also we learn some startling facts about the ungulates. Here’s just one of those facts: Deer and antelopes, wherever they play, are more closely genetically related to whales than they are to horses! Meredith Smith advocates for Sanctuary City status. Richard Alcott and Cob Martin separately weigh in on the freezing water cannons and tear-gas and crippling crowd control weapons and roadblocks and so on being used against modern-day interpreters of the Ghost Dance. Also a history –to the present day– of Jim Crow. Astrophysics, mathematics, meta-ceramics, yada yada… Music by Nightcore (Chipmunk-like sped-up German-language Celtic metal used in Japanese anime), the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Joe Romersa’s indelible Leon Russel-esque rendition of /One Meatball/. The poetry of William S. Burroughs, Thomas Moore, Conrad Aiken, Anthony Hecht, Carl Sandburg, Matthew Arnold, and Juanita’s little red parrot Melody, author of /Chorteet Chort/, an emphatic statement on both the injustice of others talking when she wants to talk and the joy of a hard noodle. (Parrots –from cockatiels to rosellas to African grays– are the only birds who use their feet to eat or to write with a crayon.) And a couple of pithy educational films. In fact, the recording begins with /Alcohol Is Dynamite!/ Alcohol is a violent narcotic that will humiliate you, ruin your life and the life of anyone foolish enough to care about you or even ride in a car with you, and then you end up on Skid Row prostituting yourself for a bottle. Don’t give in to the taunting and daring of your jazz musician schoolfriend; he will teach you things you’re better off not knowing. There’s nothing wrong with jazz, but /alcohol is dynamite/.

Okay! Also here are links to a few not necessarily radio-useful but otherwise worthwhile items that I set aside for you while putting the show together, found mostly thanks to the fine websites listed to your right:

Real space. The last steps on the moon. (20 min.) Triumphant and sad and thrilling and tedious and majestic and silly and yet inspiring.

Amateur fire ant casting.


I remember /our/ big quartzoil clock. All us kids used to lie around it every Saturday night on the living room floor, our chins propped up on our elbows, screaming with laughter at its radioactive antics. And then we’d sing along when it told us it was time for bed, but– “Aww, just /one/ more minute? Please?” And Mama would always give in. “One more minute, then. But just one.” “Yay!”

Be careful!–7raE3M

Portlandia generic series title sequence music offer.

Finally there is help and hope.


A knife in the butter. And the candy, and the styrofoam, and the durian, ducky, Thor, squeaky spider, more. (30 min.)

Ozzy Man’s thoughtful essay on Mexican weather news.

Don’t be a Diffle. Use your head and be safe in the office.

And, for gosh sakes, heed the telltale signs of despotism!

PETA gets a bad rap, but here’s an example of a well-thought-through consciousness-raising project. Warning: video starts automatically. I like it that everyone likes the milk. “Oh. It’s sweet and creamy, like a milkshake.”

Uncle Bill leads us in thanksgiving prayer.

OK Go’s latest music video. All real, we’re told.

Just the parts of /Akira/ where Tetsuo and Kaneda yell each other’s names.

Peaceful nature time-lapse videos.

1963. The teevee debut of Richard Nixon’s piano concerto.

Hot gun molls. Famous for their ability to keep schtum.

2016. Snarky Puppy. It starts out kind of mechanical, but stick with it; one keyboardist gets so wild in the last half that some of the other musicians have to stop playing and hold their own heads on with both hands.

Full card press.

The fastest fast cars.

Robot tractors topping tulips. Tu-ra-la, tu-ra-lay. Robot tractors topping tulips. Tu-ra-la dee day oh.

The scientist is so nice, and the robot seems nice. It even seems to think of being teased as happy playing; it gives the impression of a big good-natured dog. I hope it never makes a mistake and pulls her head off like a ketchup cork.

Get it right.

Homemade fire tornados.

Musician’s electronic percussion instrument with old CRT monitors for a sensor interface.

Spectacular starling murmuration, with sound. The best I’ve seen yet. Even better than Fresno when I was a little boy. It’s like giant sky-filling ocean waves made of silky smoke that’s a million dancing birds.

The bit about black bile and bloodletting– good to know.

A minute or so of Thanksgiving family dinners in movies.

Luna Lee wailing on gayageum.

How KZYX works. But, to be fair, it’s also how everything else works anymore, too, because these are the sort of people who naturally get in charge of and fuck up and drag down and stake to the ground everything that just wants to fly, and then cut its wings off and have a pledge drive to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay themselves to make a hat out of the bloody feathers, and then depend on a corps of amiable volunteers to actually make the hat, and then congratulate themselves as though they’ve done something wonderful, because to them they have. I mean, look, a hat.

An easy way to use the most effective tool there is to influence the government, besides being born out-of-control rich or assassinating someone or martyring yourself by blowing the whistle on the intestinal fauna of the elephant in the room.

A nuclear death installation repurposed for peace and quiet and corn, but still off-limits.

I’ve overused the title /why we can’t have nice things/.  Anyway, it really doesn’t apply anymore. It should always have been /why the sort of people who actually can have nice things shouldn’t/.

And a web-based image glitching multi-tool. Try it out. Experiment.


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