Options Aerial View: Playlist from September 9, 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 September 9, 2014: Don't Ever Call Here Again
We still have a land line at our house. Okay, it's not truly a land line, just a simulation. No copper cable dips from a telephone pole into my house. Instead, a gray box in my basement digitizes all my data - voice, images, etc. - and passes it back and forth on a fiber optic line. But the phone in my kitchen is one of those retro phones, built to resemble an old rotary wall phone (not like the toy phone I'm on, above), and when it rings it's a real bell you hear. Like the past is calling. It usually is. The only calls that come in our home phone are from family, a few old friends and TELEMARKETERS. I received three telemarketing calls this past Friday, my birthday. Each time the phone rang I thought it was someone calling to wish me well but birthday greetings are now the sole province of Facebook.

I'm not one to go for all that karma talk but I wonder if I'm paying for all those telemarketing jobs I held. I rationalized my use of the phone to terrorize unsuspecting souls by claiming I never did the kind of telemarketing I'm subjected to constantly these days. But that's only half true. I didn't call average citizens at home at 7:30 at night, seeking a "contribution". When I called people at home it was to conduct long, boring surveys. And my calls seeking money were always placed to business owners. I was either selling them space in a "yearbook" or trying to get them to buy cleaning chemicals or the like.

The call I received just now, from some poor sap with something called "Firefighters' Burned Children Fund" (I think that's what he said - I tried to call the number back at its California area code but it hung up on me and blasted me with a fast dial tone) was something to which I never sank: calling people at home in the evening, trying to wheedle money out of them.

In a deep, mellifluous voice, the man announced who he was and where he was calling from and began immediately reading from a script. I could tell it was a script because when I interrupted him he picked up from the same spot and continued on. I interrupted him again and told him I used to do what he did. He paused long enough to hear me out but I'm not sure it registered. I told him I used to call people soliciting donations for the First Marine Division and the Vietnam Veterans of America. We sold spaces in a printed yearbook. Your business could provide some contact info, perhaps a brief message, and we'd take your money and give it to vets. Except not really. I found (out after the fact) that less than ten percent of what we took in actually went to anyone in need.

I tried to say this to the man on the other end of the phone, that he should really look into what he's doing, but he barreled on yet again and I hung up on him.

Tonight, let's talk phones. Do you have a land line? Is it an honest-to-goodness POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) line from the phone company? Or do you have a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service? Have you skipped a home phone entirely, choosing to go with a cell phone only?

Let's also talk phone calls. Are you someone who can chat endlessly on the phone? Or do long conversations make you nervous? How much of your day is spend on the phone? Do you get telemarketing calls? Robot calls? Have you ever given money to someone who called you out of the blue? Spend a little more time on the phone and call me at 201-209-WFMU.

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Artist Track Year Format Approx. start time
Electric Light Chris T. Orchestra  Telephone Aerial View Line   Options 2012  WAV  0:00:00 ()
Claudine Clark  The Telephone Game (Listen: )   Options 1962  MP3  57:02:02 ()

Listener comments!

  Tue. 9/9/14 6:05pm marmalade kitty:

I thought ChrisT was emailing me to never call here again.. lol
  Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:05pm Ralphine:

For what it's worth, The Pawnbroker is on Turner Classic Movies at 11:45 tonight.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:10pm dale:

have a land line. not sure why when you can get naked dsl from the phone company and use a majik jack or some such baloney. i keep a dial phone around as it's the only thing that works during a power outage.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:11pm Peanut:

I'm going to say there is no longer a need for a lan line although there was something very satisfying speaking into that heavy bell atlantic telephone.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:13pm Mike East:

No land line here. Not necessary these days. We survived Sandy just fine without it...gas stove and heating would have been nice, though.
  Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:15pm Ralphine:

Didn't Oliver Wendell Douglas have to climb a pole to answer his phone?
  Tue. 9/9/14 6:18pm Mr. Kimball:

yes, you can port number from landline to cell or vice versa.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:18pm dale:

long distance used to cost a fortune. i remember getting a $100 check to switch to at&t even though i hardly ever used long distance. remember wats lines?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:18pm Fuzzy:

Victor is STONED.
  Tue. 9/9/14 6:20pm e:

  Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:21pm Ralphine:

I think Victor's been sparking up a few.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:26pm dale:

that yearbook sounds like the 'who's who in american high school students.' - of which i was a proud member.
  Tue. 9/9/14 6:28pm Zendog:

This called doesn't understand why people aren't interested in his political cold-calls?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:29pm Dave B:

Once nice feature with the VOIP phone service I use - I can upload my list of contacts, then set up rules to block all inbound calls EXCEPT the ones from my contacts.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:29pm dale:

...or i will kill you - GENIUS!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:29pm Mike East:

we get a lot of Robot calls here at work...many of them have started using the intro: "DON'T HANG UP..."
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:29pm Mike East:

I don't know what they say after that cuz I always hang up.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:34pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I switched my land line to the cable TV company's phone service. They give a discount if you have a TV, phone & internet bundlewad. I kept the same land line number so my mom wouldn't need to learn a new number.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:39pm Dave B:

The original digital telephone interface

Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:40pm dale:

police pba does the same crap - outside contractor get's to keep 90% of what they collect.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:46pm Greg from Bloomfield:

I second that– Friday night was a blast!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:46pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Whenever I don't recognize an incoming number, I just don't answer it. I go to www.donotcall.gov about once a month and report the pests. I also have a few pest numbers blocked (via the cable web site).
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:49pm dale:

i made a living doing marketing for telephone and cell companies paid my mortgage and bought my cars so i can't bitch about anything.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:54pm Ken From Hyde Park:

@dale - Are you one of those workaholics from Rancho Cucamonga, California? I love your show!
  Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:57pm Ralphine:

I was named after Ralph Kramden's adopted daughter Ralphina, not Beverly Hillbillies.
  Tue. 9/9/14 6:59pm Tim:

Pawnbrooker- Park Ave. Railroad line out of GCT where it comes above ground north of 97th Street, not elevated.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/9/14 6:59pm dale:

no ken, i worked at agencies in manhattan in the 80s through mid 2000s. i paint houses now, actually making a difference.
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