Options Aerial View: Playlist from May 19, 2015 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 May 19, 2015: The Secret History of Kindness

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Tonight: The Secret History Of Kindness
Tonight I'll be joined by my friend Melissa Holbrook Pierson, whose new book The Secret History of Kindness: Learning From How Dogs Learn "...examines how kindness works to motivate all animals, including the human one."

The seeds for the book were planted when Melissa acquired a border collie - Mercy - and decided the dog needed some discipline. Before long, Melissa was fully immersed in the world of "Clicker Training", derived from the pioneering behavioral therapy work of B.F. Skinner. This "non punitive" school of training has led to a quiet revolution and Melissa writes movingly about her time with Mercy and the ways in which the dog's training changed her life, too.

I'd like to hear about your "Secret History Of Kindness." Who's been kind to you when you needed it the most? Whom have you been kind to? What's the last kind act you performed? And have you ever had a pet transform your life?

Your conditioned response is to call 201-209-9368 and BE KIND.
The Secret History of Kindness
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey Trailer - In cinemas 28 Nov | BFI release
"I know that you were planning to disconnect me...
and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen."
Last Week: Does Not Compute!
Last week we discussed your computers, how many you actually own, what you do with them, etc. No one I spoke to had a computer commit murder, as does HAL9000 in the greatest film ever made, 2001: A Space Odyssey (above). 

Here's some playlist comments:
  • I have 2. One crappy PC that I bought for 200 as a spare, and a Macbook Air that I just bought. I use the mac for writing mostly.
  • my dad worked for IBM, so for many years, we were all about PC's, but I have since come around to apple...seems to be a lot less error messages which was starting to drive me crazy.
    I have an older Imac and a newish macbook pro. I use a Dell at work.
  • I love my iMac. I maxed out the RAM so it can handle animation work, and I got the big one so it doubles as my TV...so I can watch Mad Men!
  • Macbook Pro, PC laptop, iPad, iPhone. im trying to move from a life of programming and websites into analog electronics and audio since i just can't deal with staring at a screen 10 hours a day anymore.
  • iPhone 5, 2006 Mac Mini, Blue G3, Toshiba Satellite.
  • dead laptops which I hang onto with the idea that someday I'll be able to pull the data out of them and revisit old recordings I've done, but I'm doubtful that it will ever happen...or if its even possible.
  • Currently (almost always) listening to WFMU on my Lenovo V570 laptop running Windows 7. I can also listen via tunein.com on my Moto G Android phone or cheap-but-effective Hisense Sero 7 Pro tablet.
  • My first computer was an Atari 400. Then when that broke, Atari 800. And then when Atari was failing as a company I scored a brand new Atari 800XL for really cheap so gave the Atari 800 to some kids in the family who liked to play games.
SPOILER ALERT! Herein lies the Mad Men final images...
The Real Thing!
There's was almost as much controversy over the Mad Men finale as there was surrounding the Louis C.K. Saturday Night Live monologue.

Initially, I hated the ending. It's since grown on me and now it makes me smile, just like a certain bubbly cola. I enjoyed seeing Don/Dick hit his nadir only to realize what he's truly good at: selling us things that may not be good for us. While I'm not sure it was the best show ever on TV, it's certainly in my top ten. Thanks, AMC!
Second Mate Cabin
My Flipside Classifieds Pen Pal
Yes, it's true: I had a Flipside Classifieds Pen Pal. Doris Domen was her name. Back in the early 80's we began writing to each other. She lived in California, I was on Long Island, in my mother's house. Our friendship lasted years, with several etters every week until I made the mistake of flying out to meet her. She was a freshman at U.C. Berkeley and I went out there with nowhere to stay, thinking I'd crash in her dorm. Her roommate was having none of that. I tried sleeping in the common room but the Berkeley kids thought I was some bum from New York (which I was).

Things did not go well between Doris and I so I burned all of our letters when I got home (I used to make photocopies of my letters to her, so I'd have a record). To this day it remains one of my biggest regrets. Those letters were more than the ramblings of two young dopes. They were a record of what was going on in my life at the time.

Recently, I found the only letter that remains, the second one from me to Doris, telling her about this band (The Nihilistics) that was coming together. I present it here. Doris, if you're out there, contact me... 
Thursday, August 9, 1981  4:30 PM
Dear Doris:
How is the weather in California? I really like the picture you sent - you look pretty cool.
At my house right now it’s warm but not too bad. We don’t have air-conditioning but there’s a huge attic fan and another one in the hallway ceiling. They pull most of the hot air out, except what comes from my brother, ha ha.
I’m living in the small room, the one my father built years ago, over the garage. I don’t know if he built it as storage or if it was meant as a room for my oldest brother, Mario. But that’s who moved into it. After that, my brother, Marc, and I shared the large bedroom.
The three of us used to live in there. Mario had his own bed and Marc and I had bunk beds. I slept on the bottom because I was heavy and Marc was skinny. But Marc used to wet his bed. I woke up a few times to this awful smell. It never came through the mattress but I always thought it would. I think he stopped eventually.
He also bangs his head at night to fall asleep. He slams his head down on the bed, hitting the headboard sometimes. He goes bang, UGH. Bang. UGH. Bang. UGH. Bang. UGH. He’s been doing it for many years.
Anyway, it’s not too hot in here because I have a fan in the window. There’s only one window in the room and it’s way down low. I tried to take a picture of it but it came out too dark.

I like my room. It’s too small for most people but I think of it like a cabin. Maybe that’s why my father put the “Second Mate” sign on the door?
By the way, I’m typing this on my mother’s new IBM Selectric. She lets me use it. The Royal is still around, though. I won’t go back, though. This electric is cool and even lets me make corrections. Notice how there’s no mistakes?
It also sound likes a machine gun. I was up here up late last night, writing a short story. Maybe I’ll mail it to you with this letter.
I’m really glad I answered you ad in Flipside. It’s nice to write back and forth to you.
I was trying to tell you in my last letter about how hard it is to live here. Right now my Cougar is not running and I feel trapped. It’s okay when I can get out of here and go visit Mike. We can drink a few beers and play some records or just jam.

We started a band. It doesn’t have a name yet. He plays the bass and I play - what else? - guitar. We just got a singer. We met him at that club in Valley Stream, the one I told you about, the one with the Mafia guy who owns it? At least we think he’s in the Mafia. He acts like he is.
Mike met this guy Ron in the parking lot. Ron was playing the Dead Boys on his car stereo and Mike said, “At least someone around here plays some good fucking music.”
So far, Ron has been pretty good. He really likes Sid Vicious. He looks like a heavier, more Italian Sid. And he does his hair up, with the gel or whatever. And he wears the leather jacket. But I like him.
Now all we need is a drummer. Mike things he knows one. We’re having him over to my basement or Mike’s next week. If he comes over here, I have to plan this for when no one’s around. Next week my mother’s going to see Frank Sinatra at Westbury Music Fair and my brother will be working out at his friend’s house.  So we might have a drummer - a REAL drummer next week.
I’ll send you a tape we made.
Marc actually came downstairs last time I was hanging out with Mike in the basement. He came down with Jimmy. Usually we try to avoid each other in the basement but we run into each other once in awhile. I hate Marc so much you have no idea.
God, I don’t even know if you have any brothers and sisters! Tell me when you write back, okay?
Upcoming Chris T. Stuff

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Saturday, May 30
Come and see me at the Asbury Park Punk Rock Flea Market.

Held in the historic Asbury Park Convention Center, the Punk Rock Flea Market is sponsored by Hold Fast Records and features a live DJ (spinning actual 45s!) and lots of comic books, T-shirts, collectibles, antiques, vintage clothing and - of course - vinyl.

Find me in the entry way, off to the right, at tables 40 and 41. Look for the golden tableclothes!

After the Flea Market, stroll the Asbury Park boardwalk all the way to the huge Ocean Grove Flea Market on Ocean Pathway!

David Johansen & Chris T.
2005 Mermaid Parade
David Johansen, King Neptune & Chris T., Your MC
Saturday, June 20
Have you made your plans for this year's Mermaid Parade yet? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! If you're hoping to march, sign up NOW. If you'd like a decent view spot, get there EARLY on Sat., June 20!

I'll be in my usual spot on Surf Ave., standing on a bally stage behind the new Mermaid podium. If you can, come by and say "Hello!"

The parade begins at 1 PM and all the info can be found at coneyisland.com. See you there!
Obligatory Throwback Pic
Tsakis kids in kitchen.
July, 1963. We always had pets.
L - R: Me (w/kitty), Diana, Marc, Mario Jr. (RIP), Joanie (RIP)
How To Hear Aerial View
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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.
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Artist Track Year Format
Music behind DJ:
Marvin Chris T. Gaye 
Mercy Mercy Aerial View Me   Options 2015  CD-R 

Listener comments!

  Tue. 5/19/15 6:26pm Linda McL:

Hi ChrisT. This is such a great topic.
  Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:27pm Listener Robert:

That bit about cats not being trainable amuses me, because cats are used plenty in psychology experiments that depend on training them.
  Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:29pm Listener Robert:

Or just take the Universal Studios tour & they'll show you cats doing lots of fancy tricks. Dogs too, of course.
  Tue. 5/19/15 6:31pm V Priceless:

Hey Chris! Great conversation! Dogs rule! Cats are cool too! We had a cat that would come running when I whistled a specific 'theme melody' that was reserved just for the cat!
  Tue. 5/19/15 6:33pm KF:

Good callers
  Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:34pm Listener Robert:

Interesting, Priceless. My friend Charlie's cat used to come for dinner when he whistled "Boola, Boola". But I don't remember if the cat actually recognized that tune, & if Charlie ever tried whistling anything else to see.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:35pm steve:

gah sorry im late im gonna catch the rest of the archives. are people saying cats are untrainable? both of my cats can sit and shake hands on command (consistently, every night for years) and the smarter one can stand up and also jump in a box on command. cats are smart.
  Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:37pm Listener Robert:

Actually a lot of INSTINCTIVE behavior seems to be highly conserved (evolutionarily) between dogs & cats, & probably other Carnivora.
  Tue. 5/19/15 6:42pm V Priceless:

Milan is right on with saying that first order of biz with dogs is excercise. Dogs need to be active; both mentally and physically involved, even around the house.
  Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:44pm Listener Robert:

One of the ways people commonly distinguish animal types as to their learning is between those that tend to imitate behavior & those that don't. That characteristic varies more than you'd think between related species.

For example, horses will imitate you, maybe even more readily than dogs & cats, while "monkey see, monkey do" is true of only SOME simians.
  Tue. 5/19/15 6:46pm V Priceless:

Wow Listener R - I did not know that about horses!
  Tue. 5/19/15 6:47pm Jack:

Our two new cats fart like dogs. They really stink; we have to light scented candles and turn on a fan. I've had cats all my life, never had cats fart this bad. Otherwise, they are the two greatest cats. Can they be trained not to fart?
  Tue. 5/19/15 6:47pm spodiodi:

GREAT show. (Btw, Melissa Holbrook sounds a lot like Mary Wing, imho.)
  Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:48pm Listener Robert:

Priceless, try, "Give me your paw" with a horse. Just raise a hand in a way similar to the way a dog would, shaking it up & down a little for emphasis. Chances are good that the horse, if you have its att'n, will do it RIGHT AWAY with its nearest front hoof.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:48pm common:

horsies! i got the tip of my nose bitten almost all the way off at my friend's jewelry store. because i hugged him and he did not trust me yet. hard lesson. still love doggies!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:49pm common:

his dog, not my friend.
  Tue. 5/19/15 6:50pm LES:

Ha. I noticed a Mary similarity also. Good show today Chris and Melissa.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:53pm dale:

a motorcycle is the perfect vehicle. why i have five of them.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 6:56pm dale:

i have to get that book.
  Tue. 5/19/15 6:59pm LES:

Thanks Chris and Melissa. Kindness works.
  Tue. 5/19/15 7:00pm V Priceless:

Great stuff Chris! Thanks
  Tue. 5/19/15 7:00pm arrow apple:

Please mention a dog giving a whale eye as a warning.

Dial up isp very very slow here, so I waited til after the show.

Shut Up Weirdo had a caller that was bit on the face by a snapping turtle.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 5/19/15 7:13pm SeanG:

Great show Chris--gotta check these books out-Thanks-
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