Entries Tagged as 'media'

losing our minds


I like reading books, but I don’t do it a lot (it’s the time thing).

When it comes to book reading for my own entertainment, I am not a huge novel fan (except when someone’s paying my to produce an audio book of their novel…then I jump in feet first!) Unless the writing or a character really grabs me very early on, I lose interest.

I’m more of a biography guy. Reading about the lives of people whom I find interesting is more entertaining to me. I also enjoy certain business books as well.

But like many high schools students, I had to read the late Kurt Vonnegut, specifically Slaughterhouse-Five. I didn’t like the book and thought the story poorly told (but he’s sold more than a few copies so what do I know?). Part of the process of learning in school is accumulating a list of likes and don’t likes so I slogged through it.

And I get that Vonnegut is talented, sharp and witty. And through some of his interviews, he also struck my as a bit of a pain in the ass (something I have never been accused of being!;)

But courtesy of Tim Ferris’ blog today, I had the chance to read part of Vonnegut’s final interview (originally in US Airways Magazine of all places…and who knew they bothered to put that mostly advertorial rag on line?)

In that interview, Vonnegut brilliantly summarized a thought I have had for sometime regarding our society’s scary and growing dependence on the electronic media (of which, I admit, I help foster with my business). What made his quote brilliant to me was that he said it and I only thought it.

If you want people to know you’re brilliant, you’ve got to show them the evidence. Here’s Vonnegut’s Exhibit A:

Q: We live in a very visual world today. Do words have any power left?

Vonnegut: I was at a symposium some years back with my friends Joseph Heller and William Styron, both dead now, and we were talking about the death of the novel and the death of poetry, and Styron pointed out that the novel has always been an elitist art form. It’s an art form for very few people, because only a few can read very well. I’ve said that to open a novel is to arrive in a music hall and be handed a viola. You have to perform. [Laughs.] To stare at horizontal lines of phonetic symbols and Arabic numbers and to be able to put a show on in your head, it requires the reader to perform. If you can do it, you can go whaling in the South Pacific with Herman Melville, or you can watch Madame Bovary make a mess of her life in Paris. With pictures and movies, all you have to do is sit there and look at them and it happens to you.

Other than soap and water, we shouldn’t let other things we experience , like electronic communication, simply wash over us. Our brains and those of our children become sedentary and nothing good can come from that.

We shouldn’t let things just “happen” to us. We’ve been given the gift of thoughtful participation and I think we all should use it alot more!

Make it a novel or a biography, but read a book…right after you’re done reading with your children.

the power of social media

blog action day, october 15, 2007

20,603 blogs/bloggers participated.

23,327 blog posts.

14,631,038 RSS readers.


It started in August and it spread across the internet, gathering steam and support as it went. People talked about it on their blogs which other people read and also signed up.

Blog Action Day. One theme: the environment. It wasn’t slanted democratic or republican, conservative or liberal. The topic was the environment and could be written in any way needed to relate to the larger issue in a way suited to the blog and its readership.

Simple. Understandable. Executable.

I noted that I wasn’t the only voice over talent blogging either. Elaine Singer, and Karen Commins had posts that I read as well. Like the other 20,600, each different, each insightful.

Let’s hope now that the writing’s done, there is some serious reading as well as thinking done. And action is always appreciated.

today is blog action day, october 15, 2007


Editor’s Note: In the daily observation of life around him, the author occasionally feels the need to point out ridiculously inane behavior and general thoughtlessness. These are called “Rants” and this is one of those times.

Today is Blog Action Day , a day when bloggers across the internet have agreed to publish a post about one topic based on the concept:

“What would happen if every blog published posts discussing the same issue, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices.”

We found out about this project in August.

My environmental hot button has always been litter: how incredibly easy it is to contain, how unnecessarily careless people are with their minor waste and how it’s grown into such a huge problem.

I’ll let the more environmentally educated in the world tackle the statistics on garbage collected and how best to recycle, etc. I want to focus on the simple everyday problem of daily litter and stopping people from littering.

Many people of a certain generation will remember in 1971 the Keep America Beautiful campaign’s TV spot for Earth Day where the actor known as Iron Eyes Cody came upon all the litter surrounding America, which made him cry.

That was 1971.

It’s not much different in 2007.

At least twice a week as I’m driving my car, I see one of the other drivers tossing some wrapper or cigarette or other refuse out of their car on to a street or expressway. Somehow the materials that got into their car “immediately” need to be expunged from the car…for some reason, it can’t be disposed of in their home’s garbage can or in a nearby trash receptacle at their next stop (there are trash cans at public places almost everywhere these days).

It’s not just cars though. Parks, streets, its everywhere!

I know Americans are lazier than ever, I know we’re less educated than ever and more disrespectful than ever. So all I think it takes is a quick reminder…a loud, public, always polite reminder that will attract attention from anyone within ear shot and embarrass the crap out of the litter bug.

(In an overly clear loud voice professional voice talent….but you can do it too>) “Hello, HELLO SIR!!!! I’m sure you dropped that wrapper on the sidewalk by accident so I just wanted to remind you to please, right now, pick up that wrapper and throw it in the garbage can you’re standing next to, great, thanks!”

Start politely humiliating the offenders, wherever possible. If we’re silent, litterbugs think we don’t mind. We mind and we need to let them know it.

I think one of the best ways to tackle a huge problem like protecting the earth’s environment is to start small. To a person, litter is a small thing, something that if we each just THINK about it, about what we are doing, how and where we are disposing our trash, we can make a huge impact.

I hope you’ll help by not littering and publicly (and politely) calling out anyone who does.

pahk yah pahdcast in bahston

podcamp boston 2007

Shall I see you in Boston during the weekend of October 26th?

Only if you’re at Podcamp Boston 2 taking place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Join me and maybe thousands of my podcasting and blogging brethren and sisterthren and what is sure to be a lot of learning, a lot of networking and a lot of fun.

You can read all about it here…oh yeah, and it’s free.

radio’s tractor beam

tractor beam from star trek courtesy- www.ornl.gov

My friend and re-newed Mom (welcome baby Daphne) Stephanie Ciccarelli posted on her Vox Daily blog a fun question: “What Attracted You To Radio?” At the risk of parroting my voice over compadre David Houston who has previously done what I am about to do (and probably did it better) here is my response to the post offering you a little peek into my inner geek (oh, you KNOW you wanted to look, admit it!)

“I was in kindergarten in 1969 at Mount St. Joseph Academy (well, it was called the Medaille School then but it changed and…aw you don’t care).

Sister Donna Marie took the class on a field trip to a radio station – WEBR. Now up until that point, I was under the distinct impression that the music coming out of the radio came from a building where all these musicians stood around waiting their turn to play their songs live on the radio.

Imagine my surprise.

We stood in the control room and watched the broadcast live and I was mesmerized. Knobs and lights and oooo what’s that? A microphone! I want me one of those!

Wait, it gets geekier.

Some kids like to draw….space ships or cowboys….I drew pictures of radio and TV studios….100’s of them. Microphones, cameras, technicians. Paging Dr. Freud!

Um, it gets geekier.

I’m in 2nd or 3rd grade and I come across an audio production catalog which has….microphones! Oh I thought that was the coolest thing. Lots of em to broadcast my voice. I finally got a used one and I thought it was super cool. It didn’t work, it wasn’t hooked up to anything but I had me a microphone.

Fast forward early high school where it occurred to me after everyone said I had a nice voice (my Dad had won public speaking awards in high school and my mom wanted to work in Television before women were really permitted to do such things…do you think the broadcasting bug I have was genetic?) I started reading copy from magazines like they were radio scripts. And I gave them pretty good reads. The quizzically look my Mother gave me one day when she heard this was priceless (“what are you doing?”) But I was too far gone.

College time rolls around and I am looking for a broadcasting program. I thought I would head right to one of the best broadcasting programs in the east, Syracuse University, until they said “no” (who wants to be an “Orangeman” anyway…what the hell is an “Orangeman”). The University of Dayton I liked for many reasons not the least of which was their 50,000 FM commercial (non of this public radio stuff) station broadcasting to three states with a professional GM, PD and sales staff….and all student air staff.

WVUD-FM was the equivalent of Geek Bingo!

What an amazing introduction into broadcasting and my future in radio and voice over. Sadly, the University sold the station and now one of the big radio chains owns it, WLQT (an old competitor, Kim Faris, a staple at Z-93 for years now does mornings on Lite 99.9…very nice lady).

But what an introduction and what a ride.”

more olympic logo fun

Olympic logos_60 (all trademarks and copyrights acknowledged)

OK, so I’m a nut for logos. Some people like wine, some people like tropical fish. Me, I’m a logo guy. It’s addictive, I suppose but not in a 12-step sorta way.

So when I came across a story about the about Sochi in Russia getting the 2014 Olympic Games, I went to their web site and immediately had a reaction to their logo (as I have had to other Olympic logos though I will not reference that article here lest it interfere with a poll I am about to have YOU partake in).

So above you will see logos from the upcoming Olympic games in Beijing, Vancouver, London and Sochi.

Here are your questions that you must (I’m a demanding little stinker, ain’t i?) answer in the comment section:

• Which logo do you like the most?
• Why do you like that logo so much?
• Optional question: which logo do you dislike the most?
• Optional question: why do you dislike that logo so much?