Options Aerial View: Playlist from July 8, 2014 Options

Aerial View was WFMU’s first regularly-scheduled phone-in talk show. Hosted by Chris T. and on the air since 1989, the show features topical conversation, interviews and many trips down the rabbit hole. Until further notice, Aerial View is only available as a podcast, available every Tuesday morning. Subscribe to the newsletter “See You Next Tuesday!” and find tons of archives at aerialview.me. (Visit homepage.)

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Options July 8, 2014: Hate & Discontent



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*|MC:SUBJECT|*

John Lennon Radio
Tonight: Hate & Discontent
Truckers have an expression about what they tend to hear when they switch on their citizen band (CB) radios: "Hate & Discontent". Spreading hate and discontent is an actual thing, done for many reasons but often just for shits and giggles, to rile up other folks listening. I've been as guilty about it as anyone - more than anyone - because I work in talk radio. There's almost as much hate and discontent there as on the CB.

With the ascendancy of social media hate and discontent has found a new home on the internet. I have a Facebook page, like everyone else. I tweet as well. I try to Instagram but often forget to. I've fallen off Vine. Again, not letting myself off the hook, I notice that much of what goes on - especially on Facebook - is hate and discontent. People knowingly, willingly insult your taste, your opinions, your beliefs, your you-name-it so they can communicate how superior they are to you.

A Facebook friend of mine recently went off on a musician who I happen to admire. His post was more than your standard God, I hate this guy - his music sucks!, which I could dismiss as personal taste. It was more This is guy is an absolute phony and if you don't see that, you're a sap. Like everyone else I posted comments, trying to be reasonable, make valid points, like All artists grow and change and some try on different personas in public. No one is fully formed at the start. It doesn't make you a phony. After writing back and forth a few times I quickly realized I was wasting time and engendering yet more hate and discontent as my Facebook friend's followers began piling on. It made me feel sorry for all those KISS fans I mocked in high school. Hoisted on my own petard again.

I try to remember if the world was more civil "back in the day" and - as someone who resists the pull of nostalgia mightily - I can't say it was. But it's true that we seem to be spreading more hate and discontent than ever before because it's SO much easier now. So tonight on Aerial View I want to try and imagine the opposite: LOVE AND CONTENTMENT. Call and counter the trend. Tell me about something you love and something with which you're content. Believe me, the punk rocker in me wants to puke. But I promise you we can go right back to hate and discontent next week.
Last Tuesday
Cooling off in the WFMU Froeburg Hall fridge, circa 1988.
Last week's show was about independence and my first time on WFMU, July 4th, 1986. I also played a few tracks from 2776, a new comedy concept album from the Levinson Brothers and Rob Kutner.
Story Time
Me, on stage in a blonde wig, CBGB's, 1984.
Mike Nicolosi on bass, me in blonde wig.
On the stage of CBGB's with The Nihilistics, 1984.

Recently, a radio talk show host lost his job for some things he said on social media.
Those who know him well say he isn't a racist.
All I know is he reminds me of many guys I grew up with on Long Island.
This story is about one of them.
The names have been changed but the story is true.
I call this...
Our Last Show
Stan stood outside the club jump-starting a new Marlboro. He pinched the butt of the previous smoke between his thumb and middle finger. With a theatrical flourish he extended his right arm and flicked the smoldering cigarette in a wide arc out over the parking lot, where it landed on the hood of the Savage Four's Dodge van. Don, lead singer of the Savage Four, owner of the Dodge Van, stopped in mid-sentence to watch the ash burn a black circle into the white paint. "Excuse me," he said to Tyja, his girlfriend, before stepping over to where Stan held court.
 
"That guy's a fucking asshole, buddy boy." Stan addressed everyone as "buddy boy" sooner or later. It was not a term of endearment but meant he couldn't be bothered remembering your name. Or that an insult would follow. Puffing himself up to his full six feet two inches, Stan jabbed his right index finger into Glenn Silverman's chest, saying, "That guy's an asshole and YOU’RE an asshole, Silverman!" Glenn grinned and laughed nervously. The five or six hangers on laughed, too. John turned to me and said, "Jesus! Why do people let him talk that way to them? I don't get it!" We stood twenty feet away, leaning against the hood of my lead singer Rich's Pontiac. We'd been talking about guitars, humbuckers versus single-coils. John is in The Condemmed, also on the bill. There are about fifteen bands on the goddamn bill.

"Why do people let him talk that way to them? I don't know. He's always calling people assholes, even to their faces. I guess everyone thinks he's just kidding. You can say almost anything if you smile while saying it."
 
"You mean they know he's a blowhard and they come around to be outraged?"
 
"They think he's Johnny Rotten. They don't know he's just a mean motherfucker. A real bastard. Just add beer. Which is why I hate getting to these gigs so goddamned early. We've been here since four just to get a fucking SOUNDCHECK. The longer we hang around, the more of that cheap shit Red, White & Blue beer he consumes."
 
"Jesus, how can he drink that swill?"
 
"Not only does he drink it, he drinks it WARM, motherfucker!"
 
"You're shitting me!"
 
"Dude, he pounds that stuff down one right after another. He's finished half a case already." Don stepped through Stan's fawning admirers, clapped his hand on Stan's shoulder and laughed. "Hey man, you trying to ruin my fine paint job?" Don's van was infamous in the scene for its sheer ugliness. Not a square inch was untouched by graffitti. Not the creative, interesting kind either but FUCK YOU and SUCK ME and YOU BLOW in big, blobby Day-Glo letters. He'd make half-assed attempts to cover it up, only to be undone by a fresh batch a week later. Once he got pulled over on the Palisades Parkway by an ignorant trooper who claimed he was carrying "advertising" and the van was, therefore, a "commercial vehicle".  Don talked for months about fighting the ticket but I think – in the end – he just paid it.
 
"What ARE you talking about Donny?" Stan said, peering in the direction of the van. That thing's a piece of shit!" Everyone laughed. So did Don. "And who's that leaning on your hood?" Stan asked. "Your girlfriend?"
 
"Yeah. That's Tyja. You remember her."
 
"Oh, right. I didn't think you'd let just any nigger lean on your van." Stan said, tossing another cigarette butt. Everyone fell silent. You could hear the wind blow in all the way from the Meadowlands. Don stood there, his mouth hanging open, then said, "Hey man, that's TOTALLY uncalled for. You know, people put up with a lot of shit from you. But that's bullshit!" Stan slurred, "What are you gonna do about it, PACIFIST? You ARE a pacifist, aren't you, DON? Real fuckin’ SAVAGE."
 
"Shit, I better get over there..." I said to John. "Hey man, I wouldn't get involved if I was you!" I turned and yelled, "We're supposed to go on after those guys! I haven't been hanging around Dover all day for this asshole to blow the gig!" I step between Don and Stan, who hisses "And what the fuck do YOU want?!" I try the non-chalant approach. "Hey man, come on. Let's go inside and see what Rich's up to. I saw him with that blonde chick." I try to grab Stan's arm but he waves me away.
 
"Yeah, I said it. 'Nigger'. What are YOU gonna do about it?" Don, a good foot shorter than Stan and fifty pounds lighter, stands frozen to the spot. The Savage Four is all about non-violence, about turning the other cheek, about peace and love. Their name is supposed to be ironic. What the fuck they’re doing on a bill with our band, Nature's Mistakes, is anyone's guess.
 
Tyja stepped over to Don, tugged at his pants, said, "Come on. This guy's just an asshole."
 
Stan finishes off another Red, White & Blue. "Yeah, I'm an asshole." He points at Don. "But he dates niggers."
 
"Okay, okay. Stan, that's enough." I push hard with both hands against his chest. He staggers backwards. "Stay out of this, you fat fuck!" Stan throws his beer at me. "You're not a Mistake. You don't even know what it means!"
 
"What are you talking about?! I came up with the name! The whole thing was my idea! You didn’t even know how to play your bass! I fucking TAUGHT you!" My bellowing draws patrons out of the club. Soon an audience of fifty or so punk rockers are watching us. "Yeah, well..." Stan says, "...you're just a nigger-lover. So FUCK YOU!" He punches me in the face, catching me above my left eye. I hit the sidewalk. Stan looms over me, aims a boot at my head. Then Rich is there, yanking Stan's leather coat, hauling him backwards. Stan falls on his ass., Rich yelling, "Whoa, whoa, whoa - what's going on out here?"
 
"Your bass player is a fucking asshole." Stan sits holding his stomach, laughing maniacally. I feel above my eye for the blood. John comes over, helps me up, says, "Dude, I told you not to get involved." Stan keeps laughing. Rich finds me, says, "You okay?"
 
"Yeah. I'm okay. But I think this gig is fucked. I'm not going on stage with that guy." Rich helps Stan to his feet, saying, "I can't leave you alone for ten minutes, can I?" To Tyja he says, "He's drunk. He didn't mean it." Tyja turns, walks with Don back inside the club. Rich leads Stan to the Pontiac, shoves him into the passenger side. Stan, his head drooping on his chin, mumbles, "Niggers. Fucking niggers. Fucking goddamned niggers. Niggers..."
 
I press a bandanna to my cut. Rich waves me to the driver's side window: "Listen... I'm driving him home. He's in no condition to drive."
 
"Rich, he's in no condition to live." That was our last show.
Obligatory Throwback Pic
Chris T. & Mike Nicolosi
The birth of The Nihilistics. Me, left, Mike, right. My mom's basement, circa 1980.
How To Hear Aerial View
OVER THE AIR: Every Tuesday night, 6 PM Eastern time on WFMU in the metro NY/NJ area at 91.1 FM and on WMFU at 90.1 in the lower Catskills, Hudson Valley, western New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.

ON THE WEB: Streaming audio in several formats is available at wfmu.org.
ON DEMAND ARCHIVES: The Aerial View Archive page features archives going back to nearly the beginning of the show in RealAudio and MP3 format.
PODCAST: Aerial View is available on iTunes as a podcast.
WFMU MOBILE: Listen live via the mobile app or browse the archives. Get the iOS app here and the Android version here. Amazon Kindle users can use the TuneIn Radio app. Info for other platforms, including Blackberry, etc. can be found here.
 "I'll see you TONIGHT, 6 PM Eastern time, on WFMU!"
Artist Track Year
Tom Chris T. Waits  Way Down in the Aerial View Hole   Options  
Tom Waits  Little Drop Of Poison   Options 2006 

Listener comments!

  Tue. 7/8/14 6:08pm SeanG:

The newsletter is great!
  Tue. 7/8/14 6:10pm Gorgeous:

Disco Sucks! Kill all Hippies!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/8/14 6:25pm dale:

what's worse - baking babies or those mothers who drive them into a lake?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/8/14 6:27pm dale:

i love my vodka. i'm content with the fact that my liver probably looks like pruneface from dick tracy
  Tue. 7/8/14 6:28pm Robert:

My phone service has been out for a week. Can I Skype you in studio? All I know about coal rolling is what I read a day or 2 ago.
  Tue. 7/8/14 6:33pm Robert:

Hey, James Bond had smokescreen, so....
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/8/14 6:33pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Diesel soot particles are really tiny. They wind up in the bottom of your lungs and do damage there.
  Tue. 7/8/14 6:34pm Robert:

Actually there's a range of particle sizes that deposit in different places according to their size.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/8/14 6:36pm Mike East:

I love this show. You do a great job, Chris T. Thanks for all your efforts.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/8/14 6:37pm Chris T.:

Skype #201-204-9368
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/8/14 6:38pm Chris T.:

You can also Skype me at commbreak
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/8/14 6:41pm Mike East:

"...and they're NOT realtors..." - LOL
  Tue. 7/8/14 6:41pm Robert:

Is that a Skype contact address, or just a phone no. that'll take Skype calls? Because it it's just a phone no., Skype can call it, but only for $. If it's a Skype contact address, no charge. Mine is robert.m.goodman
  Tue. 7/8/14 6:43pm Robert:

I'm a childless adult, and have been for years a volunteer football coach for children.
  Tue. 7/8/14 6:43pm listener monica:

children are for people who have no imagination.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/8/14 6:47pm Chris T.:

Robert, it's a Skype phone # and Skype name.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/8/14 6:51pm Marcel M:

Hey Chris, cool guitar in the Photo, Les Paul Goldtop???? Humbuckers or p90s???? Lets alienate the people who don't know what we are talking about!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/8/14 6:54pm chris:

Do robots dream of electric sheep?
  Mon. 7/14/14 5:46pm Chris T.:

Marcel, if you mean the pic in the newsletter, that's a '68 Les Paul, formerly a gold top with mini humbuckers. It was routed out for 3 full-size humbuckers before I bought it in 1984. The gold top was pretty much roached so I had it painted blue metal flake. At the time I didn't know it was a '68 with a full mahogany body (no maple cap) and probably would've left it as is if I knew.
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