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Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the last lap...

30 December, 2008

The Final State of My Union ('09)

[if, in any way, you think this is political in nature or has anything to do with W's Final Days, please read this. If you are confused as to why this is the final SOMU, please read this. After unnecessarily forcing you to roam this ridiculous blog, enjoy.]

Fellow citizens. I stand before you with a happy and heavyish heart at the same time. Before I speak of the state of my Union, let me first say that I am joyful to be speaking to you and therefore speaking about speaking to you for the last time. Allow me to indulge this wellspring of good feeling [pause] thank you.

I should begin simply, as this is the best way to begin when speaking to a potentially diverse yet nonexistent audience. The State of My Union is sound. It is, if I may, a Wall of Sound. This in spite of the normal setbacks and speedbumps of our agenda during my term.

To that end, let me first address the War On Poop. Friends, I will freely admit that the War On Poop has gone on longer than I wished, there have been losses and regrets along the way. But it is important to remember that this, like all wars, will take as long as it needs and no longer. With all conviction, I will tell you that we are winning the War On Poop. [pause for applause] This is a credit to those fighting the War On Poop, who have been brave, committed and true to the mission despite the inherent dangers and confusion. We said again and again that the success of this mission was on the small shoulders of the maker of poop--that he should take responsibility for creating a environment free of dangerous poop and that his security is in his own hands (so to speak). [brief pause for laughter] I will tell you with all certainty that the maker of poop is doing just that. Random, destructive acts of poop are at their lowest rate since the War began and all indications are that this trend will continue. Again, may I ask you to join me in tribute to our brave poop warriors. They are the example of the best of us. [pause for lengthy applause]

My friends, these are challenging times, which is to say that time is not the thing challenging us but the actual times in which we are living. In all, we can agree on the fact that they are challenging. But in the face if these challenging times (which I have discussed briefly), please join me in Hope. Hope, my friends is the thing that we should all carry with us, like a charger cable and extra change but more hopeful. Hope is the one resource we have en masse, we only have to draw on it. As things change and new administrations take the lead, I must tell you I'm brimming with Hope, my seams stretching as Hope fills me to capacity like the Golden Corral that sits next to a Matlock Convention.

But this Hope may not be in the manner you speak, friends. This is not the Hope of the belief that someday the purchase of a bread maker with built-in iPod dock will seem sensible again. No, my Hope is more simple. These times, we, as citizens have come to glimpse our selfish and shallow nature in the face of lost jobs, death of institutions, moments replete with political and social corruption, these times will end. I believe will come to ignore all these ignoble moments and go back to Britany Spears and Gawker feeds in no time. Because Hope IS ignorance. If you doubt this, do not. No matter who we elect or what we read or do, we will come together over Dancing with the Stars again. We must. We will. Allow me a catchphrase for the age: Yes, we are able. Say it with me [pause] Yes, We Are Able.
Can't you feel it?

I close with fondest wishes to you. God bless you. And God bless my Union.

"My, how he does go on..." click here for more

11 December, 2008

KTXT updates

Updates--
The kids are angry but alright!

blogging at http://savektxt.blogspot.com
facebooking at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=40095606811
twitter feeds include: http://twitter.com/wombat881 or http://twitter.com/iamthemaster
again, for grownup emails whereis88point1@gmail.com

"My, how he does go on..." click here for more

Glad to have you with me...here at the end of all things

Eventually this will be part of the final dinosaur post, but the clock's ticking...

Monkey Man. The Stones' Monkey Man, from Let it Bleed. My dad opened every shift on air with it, when KTXT-FM was still broadcasting from the Speech Building at a 1000 watts, when it was hard to hear in most dorm rooms. Some twenty years later, when the signal was stronger (barring fried transmitters, which was often) I neglected to have a signature sign-on. Nevertheless, I formed an identity and skills that served me for more than twenty years in a wandering, hopeless career in media.
Texas Tech University's Department of Student Media within the College of Mass Communications has elected to shut the station down and offer the frequency up for use at a different time. Details and quotes here and here .
As a Tech employee that is currently working my way into the unemployment line due to a reduction in force, I understand the money issues at work here. I understand the Official line about investigating new media to the betterment of the students (though I have to believe that "free radio" will survive in some incarnation as the world shakes out).
But my sense of loss is profound. KTXT was responsible for my first management job. Many friends of those days remain some of my closest (one will never forgive me for not giving him a shift--your schedule didn't fit the board, Todd), I proposed for the first time there (thankfully that didn't happen). As noted, my own father worked there, fer chrissakes.
I've never stopped listening to the station, 23 years after moving to Lubbock. In that time, listening to the young people bouncing across the ether, I heard the same youth, hopefulness and irreverence we felt back when dinosaurs roamed the campus and it warmed me, made me feel a little less old.
I have no call to action. I have no idea if there is anything we alumni can do to help these young people and save the station. I will let you know if I find out.
What I do know is that the silence at 88.1 megahertz is deafening. It has rendered me same.
Until the students organize, if you are a Tech alum that worked or listened to the station, please send an email to whereis88point1@gmail.com so that we can get you into a database.

-Michael Stephens
Operations Manager, 1988
KTXT-FM, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

I recieved this email last night:
Well friends, it has turned out to be quite a sad day as something that I hold very dear to me, as do many of you, has been taken away. The Texas Tech radio station that meant so much to so many of us has ceased operation. News came through this afternoon that the TTU Dept of Student Media shut down KTXT-FM citing "high maintenance costs and an evolving media industry".

This brings to an end many decades of commercial-free, independent music. In thinking about KTXT-FM's legacy, I can't even begin to comprehend how many imaginative and diverse pieces of music were channelled throughout its 35,000 watts across the South Plains. Reggae, ska, hip-hop, alternative country, death metal, world, emo, punk, post-punk, spoken word, new wave, Texas country, jam band, Britpop, folk, indie, and downbeat/triphop were just a few of the genres of music that received airplay on 88.1 FM; many of which were radical and relatively unheard of in a Conservative hub like Lubbock. On occasion, the station's content resucitated Lubbock's music scene by providing an outlet for local (or travelling) musicians to get the word out about their craft. Most importantly, it stirred the musical and artistic inspiration and creativity in countless students, and opened their ears and minds to the diversity of non-commercial music. Throughout, it instilled in the listener that there is an alternative to what the Clear Channels, the Cumulus', and the mega-corp commercial stations are spinning.

Despite its finale, it has left behind a remarkable legacy.

-Brad Patrick
KTXT-FM, 2000-2003



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"My, how he does go on..." click here for more

11 September, 2008

The start of the breakdown

An apologia.

Sincere regrets, dear non-reader. For the year sabbatical (though again, if a tree falls in the blogosphere...). There was a purpose and a plan after the string of short, snarky and/or cute posts of spring '07. Stop. Pause. Revamp.

And I have. There is a plan: five (make that six) things we'll finish in this little plot of ether we plowed years ago ("Hi, Welcome to this week's installment of Mix Your Metaphors! As always, I'm your host, Mike), and then we're done. I'll be done with the blog just as it is done with me.
Don't read this as some sort of discouraged, cynical condemnation of whatever it is this new medium has become. It's nothing of the sort. No really. As I told Jefe during SXSWi, I have nothing negative to say about my friends and acquaintances in bloggyland. My regard for you has not waned, I would never insult you, your hard work, diligence or wit. This spot here was perfect for me four years ago, a creative backscratcher for a place I couldn't reach. An opportunity to foray into travelogue, essays, procrastination, whatever.
But I'm done. Or very nearly. To paraphrase the 38th President
I haven't left blogging, but I'm pretty sure it left me. To paraphrase Heather Blakeman at San Antonito Elementary, "It's not you, it's me." If new media is the great equalizer maybe I'm a little tired of feeling so equal.

If you found yourself greeting that statement with a "maybe you should just dance off the floor then, Mr Doesn't-Get-It."

Maybe you're right.
* * *
But there is still some business to attend to yet. My original intent was to first reprint the essay I read on the radio the morning of 18 September, 2001 (my first hour on in a week). I thought it would be interesting to see what I said about the people of our country and in our government and that attacked the east coast. To see it in hindsight. It seemed prescient.

Then I read this. (I really hate this guy, he's good at everything). He says it more succinctly and well, better than I would have. Please read it.

postscript: Having already angered some over my reasons for departing this little diner of ideas, indulge a gamely insight on why some people want a seat at the counter--here.

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