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"What the...?"
Radio with multiple personalities
the_thorn
"Uncompromising. Meticulous. Control freak. Reclusive. These were all words that were attached to Stanley Kubrick throughout his life." - taken from Edward Champion's eulogy of Stanley Kubrick.

These are words that could also easily be attached to a radio show such as "What the…?". 'Visionary', 'artistic', 'refined', and 'genius', however, are only puss-filled, bleeding sores stuck in our collective mouths; we only wish that we could release them in recollection, but they are all too well-canchored. No amount of force and/or willpower will allow them to escape our lips; if not because of the abhorrent lies they would be, then simply because we do not dare speak the show's name in public.

No. When reminiscing about "What the…?", one might politely admit that it could be 'creatively challenging', 'entertainingly strange', 'inwardly-otherworldly', and, at times, 'uniquely embarrassing' for its listeners. While one might consider this to be somewhat disparaging, these are not combinations of words that should be taken so lightly. In fact, I'm pretty sure that "What the…?" would be rather pleased with this achievement and would endure the pinpricks gladly.

After all, "What the…?" was a silently ambitious show that struggled weekly with a conflicting desire to remain genuine and humble. It certainly wanted to succeed (who doesn't?), but it refused to compromise itself -and, consequently- its audience; it desired success on its own terms, without being influenced by outside forces. It was clear from the onset that, by giving in to demands, by being influenced by someone else's vision, "What the…?" could lose its soul.

If it had only known that it had no soul to lose in the first place, then maybe things would be very different today.


Granted, there are always the inevitable constraints. One obviously has to learn to contend with the limitations of timeslots and internal station policy, but the joys of community radio are such that creative freedom can be nurtured more easily than with commercial radio. So it was that "What the…?" could remain an open-format show for the duration of its stay - a rarity that probably bewildered the conventional and/or casual listener, having no grasp of such a concept. Hence the not-quite-God-given name "What the…?", a literal reference to listeners' anticipated reactions.

While it was deemed a 'theme-oriented' show, the fact was that "What the…?" could channel these themes any darned way it pleased: if the muse wanted flatulence for an hour, it would be served up with an unhealthy helping of refried beans - much to the detriment of any following shows, hosts and guests. In theory, even if it was not always the case in practice, "What the…?" could change format from week to week; there was no set limit other than that of 'good' taste - and even this, as any listener will tell you, was question for debate.

That's how this little show that could, did. And that is why, over the course of 389 shows, we were all treated to, and tortured with, such aural delights as 90 minutes of bagpipes from Hell, 120 minutes of potently -and purposely- inept karaoke, over 100 national anthems back-to-back, Christmas shows every sweaty summer, numerous features on artists of limited interest, endless piddles of original covers, bizarre concepts that entertained or inspired absolutely no one, and more lame plays on words than anyone can chew. To be polite, it was a 'unique' journey and "What the...?"'s legacy will no doubt be questioned for minutes to come.


It should be noted that, while all this aural diarrhea was flung about in good fun, there was a bit of mischievousness behind it. If one could laugh at one's self ("What the…?" was a consummate self-deprecator), then it could be said that one had a license to mock others. Thus, while it was that some of the shows poked fun at things that, in a perfect world, shouldn't even exist (karaoke, bagpipes, ...etc.), it was also poking fun at its listeners by subjecting them to trials of immeasurable proportions. One might argue that it is a traumatic way to befriend people, but it served the inimical double-purpose of weeding out the undesirables - for there is nothing worse than false friends.

It worked. "What the...?" had few friends. But, at least they were true. They were the silent minority, yes, but they were around. Like ghosts, they would rarely be seen or heard, but there was always a gnawing feeling that something -someone- was breathing down its neck, watching and listening. Their presence was felt, somehow, even if it was almost imperceptible - and the knowledge of their existence was sometimes enough to keep the show running when the fuel was low. "What the...?" would probably have ended its run much earlier if not for them; however, it would also no doubt have lasted longer had they been more vocal.

While it never needed cheerleaders to embarrass it into motion, it is with much regret that "What the...?" took up its headphones in an age of internet and virtual (dis)connection. Granted, on the one hand it means having reached out to fans from across the globe - but it would have proved somewhat more satisfying to have them reach back more frequently. The thought kept crossing my mind that, while broadcasting during the golden age of radio would have meant being relegated to local distribution only, it would ironically have amounted to more interactivity with its listeners - as they would have had to call in or write letters to touch base (as opposed to the flacid passivity of the digital world). If there is one thing that "What the...?" would have liked to change, that was it.


I'm in a particularly good position to know: as the malignant host of this show for the last seven years, seven months, and seven days, I have a fairly intimate understanding of what went on behind "What the...?"'s crooked smile. I was not only a thorn in the side of our listeners but, ironically, I was also a thorn in the side of "What the…?". I'm still convinced that the show would have stumbled upon larger rewards if it had a different person at its helm - one with an engaging personality, an unshakeable vibrancy, and with some form of radio training. But it was not to be... poor thing.

Sometimes we were fortunate enough to have live guests in the studio to spruce things up. The dead ones weren't contributing in any palatable way, but with the help of The Horrible Doctor B, The Rock 'N' Roll Doctor, and many others, sometimes the on-air studio would sparkle and the magic would make its way onto the airwaves. These people will always know our eternal gratitude for injecting much-needed zest and fun to the proceedings - an otherwise funereal bore that was strictly held together by the fantastic music we desperately wanted to share with our audience.

As I have said numerous times, if I could have fired the host, I would have. I tried, but I kept showing up every week. I'm a pretty pig-headed person, and it's hard to keep me at bay when I set my mind on a specific destination. So that's hardly a surprise. The fact that I also produce and promote the show also makes it profoundly difficult to lock me out of the on-air studio. Oh, I had bitter feuds with myself over this, but I could never agree on which course of action I should disagree with. My analyst would tell me that this internal feud was only compounding the problems, and she may have been right. But it's all water under the bridge now.


Over the many seasons, "What the...?" may have had its rough patches, its struggles and identity crises, but it always bounced back in the end. Its insistence on doing the utmost with whatever was at hand at all times, on pushing the envelope whenever possible, of even pushing itself beyond the unexpected gave it -and myself- a character found nowhere else. It gave us focus and determination that will be terribly difficult to replace, even if we do move on to new avenues and outlets for our peculiar brand of amusement.

"What the...?" could always be counted upon when I needed strength and, conversely, I was always there when it needed someone to throw a wrench in a well-oiled machine... despite myself. Through all my grey and bleak days, the show was a weekly exorcism of sorts and I will always remember the projects we conspired on together - and how it frequently shouldered me like a true friend until I could walk on my own again. We also had loads of fun, even if -as in any relationship- it was interspersed with sheer boredom at times; there are countless shows I will probably revisit someday on my home stereo, in the comfort of my decripitude.

What matters most now is that everything is as it should be: "What the...?" has called it a day on its own terms. No outside force has pulled the plug, no one has remodelled it to fit some unwanted image or format, and it didn't simply fade away, slowly losing face and its essence in front of its audience. Yes, what we started so many years ago on but a whim, was taken off the air before hitting its thirteenth anniversary, but it was done after much deliberation and hesitation. The fact is that it has become a Frankenstein's Monster with more strength and bearing than ever anticipated and sending it to meet its maker was a necessity few could comprehend. But it doesn't mean that I don't Love "What the...?" and that I won't miss it in my own way. I will. I won't. I will.


It only seems fitting to me that the show would make its final curtain call at the beginning of a new year, effectively starting something new by killing off the old. As with everything it did and represented, it was always a counterpoint to something - if ever there was counterprogramming, "What the...?" was it. On Valentine's Day, it would offer a slice of stalker fun for the lonely; at election time, it would poke fun at all the candidates equally and leave its audience with few answers; on Mother's Day and Father's Day, it would completely disrespect our all parents by dragging out their many failings for all to remember and enjoy. The show was a total love-in.

"What the...?" left its smudge on the radio, on sign posts around its home town, on the web, on friends' and fans' CDs and DVDs, in peoples' inboxes and even in the early history of some exceptional bands and artists (although they will probably never admit it). And while "What the...?" may very well be largely forgotten as early as tomorrow, it is clear to me that it has connected with the very precious few it aimed to please in the first place; those like-minded people who understood the purpose and meaning behind the weirdness and persistent chalkboard-scratching.

Oh, there might be some truth to the rumours that these people are a bunch of sick, twisted, little twerps… but that's the way we've loved them all for all these years. Seriously, "What the...?" felt very much at home amongst them...amongst you, wherever you are. If you're reading this, there is no doubt that you are one of the desirables; you are part of our family. And, as "What the...?" hangs up its headphones for good, it takes with it every little bit that you gave it. The good and the bad, forever and always.

As The Beatles once observed: "And, in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make."


Here is, for your reading pleasure, the last of the "What the...?" playlists (from the CHUO 89.1FM era, anyway!): 777Collapse )


...
This is the end. And, in the end, all I can do is close with a piece of advice: nothing and no one should be taken for granted.


That is one of the more important things that I've learned in the last few years. Nothing exists in a vaccuum and no one can be expected to wait up and be there for us tomorrow while we're busy looking the other way. This applies to to so many things, not just a meaningless radio show, quite honestly.

Thus it is that I've learned to call in to the few shows I've listened to and enjoyed, I've written to support bloggers I love reading and I made it a point to respond to fan mail as much as possible (some of you know just how hard that became at times, life being what it is).

But I realized that I had to make that effort. I had to reach back when someone bothered to touch base. Because, while we human beings mostly don't expect kudos for everything we do, acknowledgement is terribly important - it makes us know that we are notdoing things in vain, that it's not a waste of breath, or that it's altogether meaningless.

The times that people reached out, I developped some interesting relationships. I met someone special thanks to the show, I made real friends out of fans and artists alike, and I connected with people from around the globe. It wouldn't have happened if they hadn't bothered or if they had hesitated. And it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't taken the time to reach back.


In this modern age of instant connection, we give those 'connections' more weight and meaning than they deserve: they are NOT real. Connections are only made real by interaction, and are only made solid by solid interaction. Just like any relationship, simply living under the same roof, going to the same school, or working at the same office doesn't develop friendships - it creates acquaintances.

The stronger the connections, the stronger the relationships. That's why I like being stalked. No, not really. But that's why I honestly believe that the show would have lasted longer if there had been closer contact with all of you. I know you're out there, but I can't give you a name, a voice or a face. And so it is that the show existed without those very significant items in mind: the names, voices, and faces that remain with you when you're thinking of the future.

And so it is that we got acquainted, when we could have been friends. It's our loss. It's unfortunate. And it's a mistake I will make a point to avoid more and more in the future. I will reach out more frequently to let people know that I'm out there, appreciating what they do; the internet has made it a small world, yet it's so large a world that it's easy to lose yourself in it. It's good to know you're not alone.

So my final words are: reach out. Let the people know that you enjoy what they're doing. Forget this whole Facebook business. Connect. Put a halt to this virtual disconnection that we're entrenching in our lives every day. Put a halt to it before you wake up alone, in an empty world full of people.

Thanks for tuning in all these years.
The Thorn

State Of Mind: tired tired
Aural Stimulation: Ab-solutely nothing

2 comments or Leave your comments, concerns and complaints
the_thorn
The Lone Wolf



"What the...?"

Radio with multiple personalities

June 7, 2000-January 7, 2008


Community radio show "What the...?", the inimitable idol of zillions, has passed away and gone on to the great transmitter in the sky. After 7 years, 7 months, and 7 days of weekly enjoyment for countless dozens of unexpectant channel changers, the airwaves will no longer be infected by its presence. Only middle-aged by radio standards, its relatively brief stay was nonetheless filled with enough embarrassment to last a few lifetimes - proof of which has been permanently recorded for future generations to ponder.

"What the...?" was conceived in the back of an old Buick Super Sedan in the spring of 2000. The little bastard found its radio voice faster than its legs in the form of its host, Al (derisively known as 'The Thorn'). From the onset, its flavour and good taste were questionable, but nonetheless palpable. It was originally slated to run every Wednesday from 8 to 10am, and it managed to annoy locals on their way to work - a golden age when 120 mins actually felt like twice as much. It was magic. All black.

This began a time of trials and tribulations for listeners and their neighbours alike, as programming was played backwards on purpose, stinging karaoke was performed live, and cartoon shows were processed in audio format for the dubious enjoyment of a visual world. Over the years, the show fought a few battles, being tossed about from one time slot to the next - at first due to segregation and then for the simple pleasure of challenging its potential fanbase.

Fiercely independent in attitude (but not necesarily in content), it quickly garnered a reputation as 'the lone wolf of broadcasting'; regardless of the many hurdles it faced, "What the...?" cut through it all and carried on tirelessly with only the rare outside input, assistance, or support from family, friends, and fans. The world was its oyster and damn it all if there wasn't a pearl inside!

"What the...?" is survived by its host, The Thorn, its mascot, the filthy demented radio clown known as Rabies, and its siblings at CHUO 89.1FM. Flowers and condolences should be forwarded to the station at: CHUO FM, 65 University Pvt., Suite 0038, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 9A5, CANADA.

A memorial service will be conducted this Monday from 9 to 10pm (eastern) as we pay a final tribute to CHUO 89.1FM's "What the...?" - the only Radio With Multiple Personalities!!!


Please note that "What the...?" can also be heard on the web via chuo.fm

State Of Mind: pleased pleased
Aural Stimulation: Aural Vampire : 'Vampire Ecstasy'

Leave your comments, concerns and complaints
the_thorn
Not a whole lot

“Not a whole lot” is a polite way of shrugging off polite greetings. It’s a way of telling someone else as little as possible while remaining sociable, lest you diminish in their regard. Sad but true: for appearance’s sake, or to retain some form or semblance of anonymity, we frequently resort to total inanity - regurgitating the same bloated responses as everyone else does time and time again.

But what would happen if we spoke our minds? What would happen if it we told it like we felt it? Could it be socially acceptable to simply share our brand of truth? Or would it be a drag for others to actually know how we feel, to actually know how we are as individuals? Would it be a burden for them to have a comparison point by which to measure their equally mundane and repetitious lives?

I wonder…


Could bluntness and frankness serve to punctuate and define moments in our lives that otherwise pass unnoticed due to their relative blandness?

What if I suddenly decided to regale people with the tedious details of the minor things that stand out of my daily routine? What if I described, painstakingly, every single ‘new’ thing that’s happened since I last had the misfortune of being asked “what’s new”? What if I kept, not a journal, not an account, but a grocery list of stand-out -but insignificant- happenings in my life… and shared it at each opportunity?

Would the fact that I burnt my toast that morning feel like a more vibrant experience to me if I pointed it out? What if I announced that I had long wanted to try that Smucker’s marmalade and finally did… only to be disappointed by its lack of taste and texture? Would that fall flat, bounce back in my face, or would it solidify the experience in my mind like the crust that forms on the rim of an old jar of jam?

Would I be a more engaging person to them than if I defecated “not much” in their faces? Or would they simply avoid me and my platitudes like the plague?


I suppose that, for the sheer sake of making my casual encounters more entertaining, I could take the whole idea to farcical new realms of realness:

I could tell people when:

· I cut my toe nails

· groom myself

· wash my clothes

· clean my bathroom

· vacuum my couch

· take my pet to the vet

· baby-sit my sister’s kid

· mow my lawn

· break-in a new pair of shoes

· do some groceries

· burn microwave popcorn

· read a new book

· complete a sudoku or crossword puzzle

· relax in a bubble-bath

· find a penny on the side-walk

· watch birds chirping gaily on the window-sill of my bedroom

· sing in the shower

· trip on the carpet

· go to the aesthetician for facials

· break the zipper on my pants

· lose my glasses

· get a papercut

· suffer from a headache

· get a cramp

· feel bloated

· take family pictures

· have a doctor’s appointment

· run into my neighbours

· go to church

· play poker with my buddies


Heck, even I’m not convinced that this would make me more interesting. I think that I should at least try to dramatize these moments as I relate them. So, for the sake of punctuating the dreariness, I would have to say that I:

· nibbled my toe nails

· shaved my back

· chiselled my underwear

· scraped the grit off of the inside of my toilet

· had my couch fumigated

· took my pet to be put down

· baby-sat my sister’s demon-spawn

· bought a goat to munch away my lawn; it’s cheaper, efficient and effortless

· broke a pair of expensive new shoes

· ordered in two weeks’ worth of KFC

· sat fire to my microwave oven

· read a new ‘dating’ manual; the exam is next week.

· played charades by myself

· took a bubble bath with my collie

· found a syringe on the side-walk

· screamed at the annoying birds on my window sill

· sang on the bus

· got rug burns from sitting on my carpet

· paid some guy 10$ to give me a facial

· got caught in my zipper

· stepped on my glasses

· got a papercut on my tongue

· suffer from a hangover

· got blue balls

· feel hopelessly flatulent

· took pictures of my parents getting ‘frisky’ at a family get-together

· found blood in my urine

· ran over my neighbours

· go to confession. A lot.

· played strip poker with my buddies.


But even that might not work. In the big city, people get jaded pretty quickly. So, if I really want to denote myself, or disturb people even more, when asked “what’s new” in my life, I could respond that:

· I’ve been crying.

· I am horny. Yes… right now.

· I drank alone last night. And the night before that.

· I had a very challenging bowel movement this morning and I’m pretty exhausted, actually.

· I caught a VD, but I don’t know where.

· I stood outside a well-known bar, waiting… (“For what?” someone might very well ask, to which I would respond: “I don’t know…”)

· I started wearing women’s clothing at home.

· I got my scrotum pierced

· I tried a new sexual position that made my grandmother blush

· I decided to take up a nightlife of masked vigilantism, fighting crime with a variety of gadgets and gear

· I drove to work without pants on this morning. With my windows down.

· I am planning to get my feet Botoxed; I have very ugly feet.

· I played bobbing-for-mice with my cat last night. I won.

· To help with my self-esteem, I decided to go on the 'Elvis Presley Diet'. And I started singing "Love Me Tender" in the mirror before going to bed.

· I had my will changed to make the boss my beneficiary.

· I discovered that rubbing alcohol is not a good substitute for mouthwash

· It turns out that the gum that can be found under chairs and on lamp-posts is actually still pleasantly chewy.

· Ack ack, ack ack ack ack, ack ack (please refer to Tim Burton’s ‘Mars Attacks’ for tone and accent)

· I’m getting’ jiggy wit’ it, Holmes, I’m getting’ jiggy wit’ it.


Look. I know that none of this could possibly make anyone a more popular person. But it would get people talking and it would be well worth the laugh. And, ultimately, it might even get some of them off your back until they really want to know how you’re doing and actually want to hear something real.

Maybe it would help to end the farce once and for all, even. Or I could just shrug and mumble "not a whole lot". Maybe alternate it with "not much" for variety. And continue the pointlessness...

I mean, why do we shy away from saying what we mean, from expressing our true feelings? Why do we waste our breaths with fanciful small talk, spinning around in well-choreographed dances that lead nowhere, knowing all-too-well our destination? Why don’t we take the time to sit down with one another, actually connect, and finally get real?

Honestly… what, or who, are we afraid of?


On that all-too-real note, here is our last playlist for 2007, and the before-last one for this show: The Dawning of DoomCollapse )


...
I would hate to think that you are surprised to hear this. I would hate to hear it because it would mean that you haven't been around these recent weeks. The fact is, that this is the before-last show for "What the…?"

As of next week's show, dated January 7, 2008, we will effectively be off the air. It will have been a 7-year, 7-month, 7-day run, and I think that it's time to pull the plug on this current incarnation of "What the…?". At the very least, for those of us who are superstitious, it will be a lucky break.

While I don't believe that the show will return to the airwaves of CHUO 89.1FM in the near future, it is certainly not impossible. Our issue is not and never has been with the station or its staff. More than anything, fatigue is the ultimate reason for taking an extended -if not permanent- leave of absence.

I must admit that, had there been a more vocal interest from listeners and readers, my enthusiasm would have trumped the weekly grind of producing the show (and everything that comes along with it). I know you are all out there. I know because of our blogs' statistics prove it and because some of you touch base once in a while. But, as blue moons are scarce, this delight is rare indeed.

So we will replenish our energies away from the mic. We will find other outlets to channel our create forces. However, we will not disappear from view entirely: we expect to blog more consistently (however more briefly), and we will try to make mixtapes available for a limited time on a somewhat regular basis. We hope that you will check in with us every now and then and find out what's going on with "What the…?"

In the meantime, we hope that you will sit by your radio -or your internet- next Monday and enjoy this final -and special- edition of our show.

Thanks for tuning in. I wish all of you a very Happy New Year.
The Thorn.

State Of Mind: pleased pleased
Aural Stimulation: Various Artists : 'The Animatrix'

1 comment or Leave your comments, concerns and complaints
the_thorn
The dawn of a new year is only a few hours away. Tick tick tock, the clock drags its hands closer and closer, expectantly, if not ominously...

Doom doom doom


For this show, 'Doomsday' is right around the corner. Oh, we're not talking about some prophetic but apocalyptic vision of the future. No. Rather, much like the current year, "What the...?" is edging its way to a final bow.

And what better to celebrate the beginning of the end than a set filled with all sorts of 'doom'? The answer: nothing.

You read right! Not only is our show actually terminating its run, but it will pound this year to a close with some heavy metal thunder!!! Rooooooooock!!!

And who better than Atreyu, Black Label Society, Black Sabbath, Darkest Hour, Hatebreed, H.I.M., Manowar, The Misfits, and Type O Negative to take us on this terminal journey? Well... no one, we figure. This is going to kick some serious @$$!

So put on your leather wristbands this Monday from 9 to 10pm (eastern) and pump your fists in the air to the dawning of doom with CHUO 89.1FM's "What the...?" - the only Radio With Multiple Personalities!!!


Please note that "What the...?" can also be heard on the web via chuo.fm

State Of Mind: tired tired
Aural Stimulation: The steady of hum of computers

Leave your comments, concerns and complaints
the_thorn
Merry Christmas, everyone! What a great time of the year! It makes me want to sing tunes at the top of my lungs and revisit the fan-tastic year that we've all shared. It's my gift to you, on this fine Christmas Day.

Here goes:

"On the first day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the second day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the third day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
The Senate as whipping-boy,
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
Concealment of the truth,
The Senate as whipping-boy,
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
Accountability dying,
Concealment of the truth,
The Senate as whipping-boy,
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
Negative advertising,
Accountability dying,
Concealment of the truth,
The Senate as whipping-boy,
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
Handbooks on a-stalling,
Negative advertising,
Accountability dying,
Concealment of the truth,
The Senate as whipping-boy,
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
Provincial interfering,
Handbooks on a-stalling,
Negative advertising,
Accountability dying,
Concealment of the truth,
The Senate as whipping-boy,
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
Reduced student work funding,
Provincial interfering,
Handbooks on a-stalling,
Negative advertising,
Accountability dying,
Concealment of the truth,
The Senate as whipping-boy,
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
Nuclear reactors a-busting,
Reduced student work funding,
Provincial interfering,
Handbooks on a-stalling,
Negative advertising,
Accountability dying,
Concealment of the truth,
The Senate as whipping-boy,
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
Afghan prisons torturing,
Nuclear reactors a-busting,
Reduced student work funding,
Provincial interfering,
Handbooks on a-stalling,
Negative advertising,
Accountability dying,
Concealment of the truth,
The Senate as whipping-boy,
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Bali.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my goverment gave to me
A Mulroney-Shreiber flip-flopping,
Afghan prisons torturing,
Nuclear reactors a-busting,
Reduced student work funding,
Provincial interfering,
Handbooks on a-stalling,
Negative advertising,
Accountability dying,
Concealment of the truth,
The Senate as whipping-boy,
Two dumb cabinet shuffles,
And a watered-down accord in Ba-li!"


Aaaaaah! It feels so great to have gotten this off my chest. Now I'm gonna go roast it on an open fire. In the meantime, here is our fine Christmas-flavoured playlist for this week: Clowning AroundCollapse )


...
As discussed on the show last night, we are going on indefinite hiatus.

The decision was made late Sunday night. However, I waited until Monday to sleep on it and be 100% sure my mood wasn't affecting my final move. Unless something amazing happens, our last show will be December 31 - worst case scenario (and preferably), on January 7.

It will have been a whole 7 years and 7 months of "What the...?" and it's time to hang up our headphones once and for all. The show has taken up most of my personal life for the last few years and I just can't give as much as I have every single week of the last few years without taking a break. I'm just totally exhausted with the pace and need to put on the brakes.

I know that I want to continue "What the...?" in some capacity, mind you; putting these mixes together for you is a lot of fun, despite all the work involved. However, I doubt that the show will come back in its current format. I think I might start a series of mixtapes and make new ones available via this blog.

And I might focus more on blogging. I like to write and it can be done pretty much anywhere. And, if it's in short doses, it will be more manageable than its been in recent years. Well, such is the theory. We'll see.

In the meantime, please enjoy the last of our shows while they last. I can't say that "What the...?" is good to the last drop, but it's certainly a taste like no other :P

Thanks for tuning in.
The Thorn.

State Of Mind: tired tired
Aural Stimulation: Tales From The Crypt : 'Have Yourself A Scary Christmas'

1 comment or Leave your comments, concerns and complaints
the_thorn
Some people love clowns. Some hate them. Others find them scary. But, really, what's behind those eyes?

Clown glare


Well, nothing says Christmas quite like... um... clowns do, so we here at "What the...?" thought that it might be novel to put together few songs about circus clowns, birthday clowns, rodeo clowns and... radio clowns.

And who better to revel in the ebulliance of circus happiness-of-joy like Judy Collins, Robert Downey, Jr., Bobby Goldsboro, Jars Of Clay, Jack Johnson, Matthew Good Band, Sarah McLachlan, Placebo, Ringo Rinfret, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Neil Sedaka, The EVerly Brothers and The Kinks? Um... hard to say, really, but that's what you'll get. So there.

PLEASE NOTE: this week, we'll be spinning our gay tunes from 8 to 9PM instead of the regular slot of 9 to 10PM!!!

Now put on your white-face make-up and red plastic nose this Monday from 8 to 9pm (eastern) and join us this as we clown our way through another xmas eve on CHUO 89.1FM's "What the...?" - the only Radio With Multiple Personalities!!!


Please note that "What the...?" can also be heard on the web via chuo.fm

State Of Mind: peaceful peaceful
Aural Stimulation: The Vindictives : 'Leave Home'

Leave your comments, concerns and complaints
the_thorn
"We were naturally disappointed in the language that weakened and watered down the agreement." - Canada's Environment 'Minister' John Baird, with regards to the outcome of talks in Bali.

Now, considering his -and our government's- already very low standards, this says a lot about what was achieved in Bali. No thanks to his -and our government's- railroading, evidently.

Well, at least the oil company reps that he brought with him at the conference must have been pleased ;)

Here is last Monday's slightly tardy, but very earthy, playlist: Mother EarthCollapse )


...
On yet another sober note, I'd like to just remind everyone that it's the holiday season.

Yes, yes... I know you know. But what I'd like to draw attention to again this year is the fact that some people feel very isolated during the holidays. While you might be spending a lot of time with friends and family, some people, for various reasons, aren't as fortunate and have to spend the holidays a tad removed.

And while the impression that suicide rates jump up during the holidays is generally misplaced (based on some research I did for the show a few years back), I know a lot of people who find this time of year difficult. After all, even if one is typically self-sufficent, everything functions on limited hours or is closed during the holidays. So, for a person who is unable to see their friends or family (or, God forbid, doesn't have any!) the regular outlets may not be available to them - it's bad enough being isolated without being able to distract yourself.

So it is with this in mind that I conjure you to look around, and pay close attention to your friends and family - you might find that there are some lonely people amongst them. See if you can't reach out to them this Christmas Season. Christmas isn't really just about expensive gifts, is it? Isn't it really about the act of giving?

And, honestly, isn't caring a gift that keeps on giving?

Thanks for tuning in.
The Thorn.

State Of Mind: peaceful peaceful
Aural Stimulation: Angelo Badalamenti : 'Blue Velvet'

Leave your comments, concerns and complaints
the_thorn
"Canada's current plan is not only irresponsible and dangerous, future generations may well find it criminal." - Elizabeth May, Leader of Canada's Green Party,last Friday.

Earth Mother


Some of you will find us foolish, if not tedious, but we do believe the above statement would ring true in a world that has all its marbles. The environment is being laid waste in ways that are appalling yet we still haven't moved as a people to stop it.

In the name of profit, convenience, or sheer ignorance, we are letting environmental atrocities take place, not just in countries we will never visit, but right here in our own homes. In fact, if you're reading this, you probably live in one of the most unfriendly countries in the world today. Honest.

It's easy to look the other way, of course, what with the media being saturated with various distractions - the few media conglomerates that exist are usually run by the friends of the people who are raping mother earth. (Strong language? If you consider the razing of the Amazon jungle, the long-term damage being done by Alberta's oil sands, the rapid extinction of wildlife, ...etc., we feel the term "rape" is maybe even diplomatic)

It's all so sad when one considers all the excuses and justifications that are heaped upon us daily for not doing the 'right thing'. What the naysayers and roadblockers are saying is pathetic and frequently disturbing, and it's all the more reason to shout the bastards down.

That's why, this week, we're spinning an ode to Mother Earth. Not content with unleashing some aural anger, as we did last week, we decided to play more contemplative songs this time around. And with Kate Bush, Days Of The New, Martin L Gore, Midnight Oil, Ozzy Osbourne, Tears For Fears, The Gathering, The Mission, David Usher, and Within Temptation, tossed together for your listening pleasure, how could we go wrong? :)

So, ladies and gentlemen, go make your voices heard - now is the time! Then, please consider taking a break to join us this Monday from 9 to 10pm (eastern) as we share our love of Earth Mother on CHUO 89.1FM's "What the...?" - the only Radio With Multiple Personalities!!!


Please note that "What the...?" can also be heard on the web via chuo.fm

State Of Mind: numb numb
Aural Stimulation: Porter Ricks : 'Porter Ricks'

Leave your comments, concerns and complaints
the_thorn
For tonight's blog, I had an idea, a concept that I would have liked to develop: I wanted to argue against the whole climate change debate, taking the side of climate-change deniers and those who diminish its various causes and impacts.

I've believed for a few years now that something's up. Just looking around me and remembering how my environment was over the years tells me that something's amiss. When people started saying that the problem is massive and the consequences of inaction dire, I pretty much immediately believed - because to me, it only makes sense of what I have seen.

But arguing the opposite view is the best way to strengthen one's opinions. It forces you to see your side of the equation in a different light and it puts your own arguments to the test. This is a basic debating tool to help a person come up with convincing, cohesive arguments and responses. This is what I would have done, as convincingly as possible.



The idea was also to shock those of you who think the way that I do and force you to question your beliefs until they can stand the heat. Thing is, it's popular to think that climate change is happening and that we should be doing something about it. But, by being popular and easy to accept, it makes us complacent in our thinking and in our actions. It makes us soft. And yet this is the one time when we'll need to be battle ready - not simple-minded followers who bend under pressure.

Because the battle will be on a few fronts:
1) against the naysayers, who generally have a lot of money to lose in the process of dealing with our polluted environment and cleaning it up

2) against the elements, as the obvious climate change beats parts of the world senseless - struggling much like an animal would if it were pinned down and choked. Mother Nature is hitting us back and, yes, I believe that it's a consequence of our actions. Fact is, here's one time when we want to pay attention.

3) against ourselves, as we have to make radical changes to our lifestyles. I still blows my mind to see enviro-freaks waste or buy junk that will go straight to the landfill. We will need to rethink our whole way of living, folks. There is NO OTHER WAY OUT. We need to be conscious of how we live in order to survive.

It will be difficult. Especially when it comes to changing our habit and influencing those around us to do the same. We are rich here, and we believe that we are due everything. Not so. Everything that we buy and/or waste has an impact. The way that we consume affects the way that we live... and the way that we will die. So I wanted to challenge everyone with tonight's blog. I wanted to put you to the wall - and further test my own beliefs in the process.



But it didn't happen.

The reasons why it didn't happen are many. It's not that I don't believe strongly in the quest - anyone who personally knows me, knows who manic I am about reducing my consumption, wasting less, and recycling like a mofo. It's not that I am complacent - I read more insufferable garbage from the naysayers than I could endure, preparing for this blog. And it's not because I can't muster the intellectual energy to put it all together - I've debated more challenging -and controversial- issues than this in my time.

The fact is, the reason why it didn't happen is because I simply couldn't pick myself up off the floor. Sitting in front of the computer, reading bullshit from http://www.globalwarming.org/, http://heartland.org/Index.cfm, or http://www.americanthinker.com/ wasn't compelling enough to bring me back to life these last few days. It's not the subject, however, it's pretty much everything. I feel strongly about the way we're scatting all over the world and I'm disgusted by the unconsciousness of the masses. I don't care that polls show we're concerned about the environment - it's all empty words, when you look at the daily reality. We expect government to do something when need to personally take responsibility each and single one of us.

I'm angry. But the rain has flooded away the fires and swimming against the current. So an in-depth blog will need to wait.



For this I apologize. Those of you who read this blog regularly expect something unique and somewhat creative. It doesn't always happen due to time limitations, but tonight is a real washout.

I hope that you will go visit those blogs I listed above and go wade through the swill that so many are willing to accept as their daily bread. I hope that you will challenge your every belief and notion so that your understanding of the issues can go deeper than ever. I hope that you will continue to change the way that you live so that you can become friendlier to our environment. And I hope that you will find a way to influences those around you - if only by leading the way and being an example (a concept that escapes this current Canadian government, by the way. "All or nothing" is not a laudable position where this matter is concerned. !@#$)

I offer the following basic arguments for you to read about and challenge:

-Climate change can be good.
-Climate change is normal; the world's climate is in a constant state of change and never remains the same permanently.
-Climate change will simply redistribute the areas that are liveable. Vast areas are currently unliveable - they will become liveable and others that are won't be.
-The planet has experienced far greater extremes in temperature and has since thrived
-Profitability. We will be able to get oil and other resources from areas we couldn't reach until now.
-Environmental activists are overdoing it: this year, the Antarctic sea ice has spread!
-Winter sucks anyway (as a joke, obviously :)

I wish that I could help you in your journey. But, besides the weekly show that is thematic in nature, there's not a lot I have the strength to do right now. I will continue to lead the way by rethinking, reducing, reusing and -last resort- recycling in my daily life. I have brought change just by doing things that makes others wonder, by rethinking the way I live. Others have followed suit. And you can do it too.

Just by braving the world, standing out and explaining your position soberly, it gives others 'permission' to do what you're doing. Sometimes seeing someone else act is all others need, so I challenge you do be innovative and to spread the word - coherently and soberly. This is where credibility lies - not in manic, misinformed and misguided blather (something that this blog frequently is, I might add :P)

On that note, I will leave you to peruse tonight's scorched playlist, then I will return shortly (and briefly): Planet Death?Collapse )


...
On another note, I just want to let all of you know that the show may go on hiatus in the near future. May. Not will.

Thing is, some changes at the station are about to affect the show considerably and I may need some time to rethink the format or identity of the show. This would require much time and work, so I am considering taking the show off the air until that is sorted.

Doing the show takes a considerable amount of time, having even impacted my personal life to devastating effects in the past, so I don't think that I would have the time or energy to do both at once - conceiving, producing, and hosting a new show each week (including the blogs, emails, and other fun things that go along with that) AND totally revamp the show into something new.

I just wanted to forewarn those of you who expect a weekly dose of thorny goodness: we might suddenly go MIA :)

And if this happens it will be soon - and it will be for an unspecified amount of time.


Thanks for tuning in.
The Thorn.

State Of Mind: numb numb
Aural Stimulation: :wumpscut: 'Body Census'

2 comments or Leave your comments, concerns and complaints
the_thorn
“… the impacts of global warming are such that I have no hesitation in describing it as a ‘weapon of mass destruction’”. - Sir John Houghton, former chief executive of the UK Meteorological Office and co-chair of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, The Guardian, 28 July 2003.

Back to Earth


With all this sci-fi type talk about climate change and its supposedly-extreme consequences, one almost has to question the validity of all this hysteria. It all sounds like we're talking about the plot for a bad Hollywood movie. Hey, come to think of it, maybe we can get Bruce Willis to save the day! Dammit, where is Bruce when you need him?

Everyone is foaming at the mouth about the current climate-change talks in Bali. On the one end, we've got those who are trampling the earth with a furious dance of death and, on the other, we have the ones who are walking the walk of common sense. The prophets of doom are taking on the naysayers in a battle of wills that will change the face of the future.

But which is which? Which side is right? Whose side are you on? And does it all really matter in the end? Well... how the heck should we know?

We do know one thing though: we have put together a very grounded show for you this week, to help you contemplate the immensity of the issue. We'll be tossing Ian Astbury, Björk, David Bowie, Cradle Of Filth, Marilyn Manson, Placebo, The Smashing Pumpkins, Tristania, Tom Waits and Rob Zombie into one gigantic mix that you will no doubt enjoy! So don't miss it!

So, will cooler heads prevail? Or are we destined to run around with our heads on fire? Tune in this Monday from 9 to 10pm (eastern) and clear your mind of your earthly troubles with CHUO 89.1FM's "What the...?" - the only Radio With Multiple Personalities!!!


Please note that "What the...?" can also be heard on the web via chuo.fm

State Of Mind: numb numb
Aural Stimulation: Various Artists : '.2 Contamination (disc 2)'

Leave your comments, concerns and complaints