Options Aerial View: Playlist from July 14, 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 July 14, 2015: The Great Gig In The Sky
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Tonight: The Great Gig In The Sky
Do you work in the so-called "Gig Economy"? A recent New York Times article explains what that is and how it's growing. If you rent out a room on AirBnB, drive for Lyft or Uber or Gett or otherwise earn money piecemeal, you're in the Gig Economy. Apparently, more than 1 in 3 Americans is a freelancer and more companies are eliminating full-time jobs for part-time or freelance work.

Work and the ability to earn a living has become a theme in the Presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton mentioned the "gig economy" during a stump speech yesterday and Jeb Bush recently said that Americans need to work longer hours, though we already take less vacation and time off than almost any other nation. Yesterday, Paul Krugman wrote about the misplaced notions of this "Laziness Dogma."

On this Bastille Day, I'd like to hear from you about your involvement in the "Gig Economy" and how you manage to cobble together a living. Does the rise of Uber, et al, make it easier or more difficult? And when's the last time you took a vacation? Don't be lazy: call 201-209-WFMU tonight between 6 and 7 PM Eastern time.
Click the pic to see some Asbury Park 4th of July Fireworks.
Last Week: 4th of July, Asbury Park
Last week's show was an audio verite documentary of my bike ride from Ocean Grove to Asbury Park to see the July 4th fireworks. I was very happy with how it came out and hope to do more rides in the future.

Now, for those playlist comments you love:
  • Spazz, Jonesy, Asbury, fireworks…I am totally jealous of your 4th.
  • Oh boy fireworks on the air! Andy Breckman's dream!
  • These on the scene shows are great Chris.
  • Silverball must be packed to the brim on the 4th, no?
  • Brakes sound a little dicey, Chris.
  • I like bombs bursting in air. Less people hurt that way and prettier to look at.
  • Do women ever blow off limbs wth fireworks?? Answer is no.
  • Chris, this was SOOOOOO fun to listen to!!! You, the DJ's, the fireworks, the crowd.... I MISS NYC
  • It sounds like a drum solo from the 70's- great! Thanks for such a fine show, Chris!
  • Next year take a listener meetup group with you ;)
Backseat
The man in the backseat coughs quietly into his fist. He stares out into the February cold. The rain coming down reminds him of the Tom Waits song Diamonds On My Windshield.
 
The cab driver coughs, too. He’s a short, rough-cut man mumbling Spanish into a microphone he’s practically eating. The man in the back seat doesn’t understand Spanish but knows a question when he hears one: "How much from Boulevard East to Adams Street?”
 
After a moment, the speaker crackles the heavily-accented answer: "Ten dollars."
 
“Ten dollars.” repeats the cab driver. He coughs into his fist again.
 
The man in the backseat wishes he were the one behind the wheel. He doesn’t like the way the cabbie is driving. This man is too tense, too tentative. He’s afraid of the car….
 
The cab lurches and sways, the cabbie grips the wheel white-knuckle tight. If the cab were a horse, it’d be choking. The man in the backseat wishes he could change the music on the radio. He wishes he were in his own car, listening to Howlin’ Wolf.
 
There is nothing to do but sit back and ride – and keep wishing. There is no choice but to trust the cabbie. The cabbie is going to kill us both.
 
Not wanting to see the crash before it comes, the man in the backseat stares out the passenger window, watching the rain decimate the snow and ice. He pictures his ex in the mountains, in her cabin. Is she warm?
 
He remembers the wood stove glowing in the corner, the zone of glorious heat just in front… and the bed, not five feet away, awash in frigid night air creeping in under the front door.
 
Why did she put the bed there? Why not put it nearer the stove?
 
The light turns green. The cabbie hits the gas too hard and the rear wheels spin on the greasy pavement, then catch. The man in the backseat shuts his eyes, trying to recall the feel of her flesh against his. Beneath the two down comforters she’d clutch him tight, even asleep. He’d lie awake, listening to the wind howl down the mountain. Staring out a small window high on the wall, he could just see the tops of moonlit pines swaying in a star-filled patch of black sky. Her breath on his neck, he could conjure a world where this was a nightly arrangement, even the old dog laying across his feet.
 
The man in the backseat feels the cab making its way downhill, turning left, traveling straight. Home soon.
 
Eyes still closed, he sees her naked body. When they first met he couldn’t tell what she might look like under her baggy clothes. The first time she undressed for him he thought My God!
 
The man in the backseat wonders if she’s dating yet. Probably. He tries not to picture other men but it’s no use. Then he realizes it’s good to envision her with someone else… or he might be inclined to make contact. Better to think she’s going out with a new one every night, that she broke up with him so she could. Better to remember how she tried to blame everything on him. That his role is villain.
 
But still…  tasting her, touching her — that’s all he wants now.
 
The man in the backseat imagines he’s headed to her. He wishes he had cabfare to go two hours north. How much could it possibly be? One hundred dollars? Two hundred? Would the cabbie even go? Would he drive one hundred and twenty miles or more?
 
No way. There’s no fucking way.
 
The man in the backseat recognizes his neighborhood, begins to call out directions. Turn right here. Right again. Two blocks.
 
The cabbie turns, totally unsure of himself or his vehicle. He drives like he expects to be smacked in the face at any moment. Soon they’ve arrived. The man in the backseat yells. Stop here! The cabbie pulls to the curb, switches on the dome light. The man in the backseat pays the fare, tipping one dollar for the lousy service.
 
Once in his apartment, he pours himself a drink. He sits at his desk, swirls the bourbon around, stares at the phone, ponders a phone call. What would she say? What could she possibly say at quarter-to-four in the morning?
 
He swallows the bourbon, decides he’ll have another, then go to bed. He can’t spend any more time thinking about her. She didn’t love him. She never would.
 
He wonders who did, who would.
 
He drinks his drink. He goes to bed.
Aerial View on Streaming Devices
While on vacation I used an Amazon Fire TV Stick to get my Amazon, HBO Go and Netflix video. But I also ownloaded the TuneIn app and was able to listen to WFMU and all its streams AND Aerial View archives!

The TuneIn app is also available for Roku. A future edition of the WFMU newsletter, Blast Of Hot Air, will feature a guide to listening to WFMU on various streaming devices.
The Host with the Vest
Obligatory Throwback Pics
I recently found a box of slides from a 1987 Fourth of July party I threw in the backyard of the house I was renting in Tenafly, New Jersey. I was still smoking then and - apparently - going through a vest phase. The pics include lots of WFMU luminaries whose names you may and may not know.
L - R: Kaz (back to camera); Carla Dawn Behrle; Leila Haddad (WFMU DJ); Bob Martin and Bill Berger (WFMU DJ)
Kaz (WFMU DJ) & Kathy.


Listen to this show: | Add or read comments

Laurie Es (WFMU DJ)
Me, Ericka Wildgirl Dana (nee Petersen) (WFMU DJ) & Jim Ryan
Jeff Maschi
Jim Ryan
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.

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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:04pm dale:

i do house painting and drywall and tiling and such for cash. i make a lot less than i should but i don't report it to the feds. i hope the revenuers aren't watching this forum.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:06pm Īke:

Ben Walker, formerly of FMU, recently did "Instaserfs," a series of podcasts on this topic, but at the end, I felt like there was a lot more to explore. There's probably endless material to mine re: the abuse of so-called independent contractors.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:10pm dale:

i finally raised my rate for one guy i work for often - i've been charging him the same money for 4 years. you'd think i asked him for a kidney. 'you can only charge what the market can bear blah blah'. meanwhile he drives a new lincoln mkz he paid cash for.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:11pm dale:

or is it the market can 'bare?' like a naked market...
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:14pm Cooh John:

It's a part-time/laptop world.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/14/15 6:16pm Marcel M:

Hi Chris and friends.

So if you have steady clients does it not count as a "gig" job? I was gonna call in but I have a steady client base..
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:21pm Eddie:

NAFTA, GATT, TPP. These were going to make our lives better. Can't wait for the AI robots. Oy vey.
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:24pm Bill:

The Mars Attacks alien Ack is in fact the voice of Hilary Rodham Clinton
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/14/15 6:25pm common:

i'm making nothing moving into the dirt or a cave soon or a tree
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:27pm New World Odor:

It's exciting to be part of the Survey Monkey economy!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/14/15 6:28pm Marcel M:

I don't use Uber simply because its always 4 - 10 bucks more than a local NYC cab company. I have used it in places outside the city where it was worth it though, but I do try to use local people instead.

The thing that is weird is that when its peak hours, and more expensive, you can just call a cab and its the same price and they usually come fairly fast.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/14/15 6:28pm Marcel M:

by "same price" I mean the normal rate not "peak" like Uber
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/14/15 6:29pm Marcel M:

Americans work MORE hours?!??! Pretty fucking insane...
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:30pm Liz Macpherson:

Uber is for rich fucks with smart phones.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:35pm chris:

i have a full-time job, and i tend to resist the urge to gig, simply because its taking money away from folks who need to gig for a living...

that said, gigging has always been appealing to me, except for not having a steady client base...
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:39pm dale:

do uber drivers pay taxes or is the whole thing cash-based?
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:40pm Algernon:

Uber means deregulation! Yay Uber.
Overpaid teachers gig as tutors to pay for that second vacation home.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:40pm dale:

obama is to blame for everything. easy out.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:42pm Īke:

I used to think yellow cabs were for rich fucks (or people who aren't careful with money), at least in NYC when you can take the subway instead. So you might have to wait 20 min. for a train, big deal -- bring something to read, dingus. Of course if you're going somewhere far from a subway stop, or somewhere unsafe, or the suburbs, that's different.
  Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/14/15 6:43pm King Dean:

I want to create an uber with only hot female drivers called boober
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:44pm Philthy woman:

I juggle jobs all the time- I enjoy the variety but the instabitily and hustle can be exausting. You could work your ass off for over a year but when the tide goes out for a bit- not only do you get no benis from your employers you cannot apply for the unemployment benifits that your fed taxes are going towards. Contractors get shafted all over the place.
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:45pm Buzz:

With you on the immigrants Chris. My great grandma was one, she barely spoke a word of english. But she came to this country and worked hard. I'll never complain about foreigners because of that.
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:46pm Donald Trump:

Immigrants suck. Go back to your own failed country.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:47pm Philthy woman:

Right on Chris! Drives me nuts too many 'Americans' don't realize they also have 'accents' and accents don't make you illeterate or stupid.
Immagrant made and make this country
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:47pm AndyC:

RE taxes: Uber sends its drivers a 1099 form at the end of the year.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:48pm chris:

there are more english speakers who speak sino-accented english than don't.. who's to say what's "correct" or not...
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 7/14/15 6:50pm Philthy woman:

*immigrants
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:51pm Julia:

You drive a car for a living, you have to be prepared to drive drunk people. You want these people driving a car themselves?
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:51pm AndyC:

I've been driving Uber for 2 weeks. Nothing dramatic to report, but I've been avoiding the late-night bar crowd.
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:53pm Danne D:

i do not trust the uber insurance situation.
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:56pm Marcel M:

Did he say drop the drunk off at the nearest precinct? Good lord... I'm ruined!
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:57pm Mohammed Dahbi:

I got fired when some uppity racist lesbos were being dangerous in my cab.
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:57pm Danne D:

work more. get less.

right wing utopia
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/14/15 6:57pm Mike East:

would love to live somewhere cheaper, but then where do I make enough money to survive? A question I've been struggling with for several years now. Such a hustle just to make a living these days.
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:57pm ExiledtoBk:

The worst part of the gig economy is that I ran into a lot (in the more creative ends) that don't want to pay. They think that experience could pay the rent.
  Tue. 7/14/15 6:59pm AndyC:

Uber's official policy is no tipping, and supposedly sends out undercover riders to test them and drops drivers who take the bait. Lyft builds tipping into its app. Drivers like the Lyft method better.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 7/14/15 6:59pm Marcel M:

Good show, thanks Chris!
Avatar Fri. 7/17/15 2:50am crepuscular dispatch:

worth a read: citypaper.net... Philadelphia City Paper reporter goes "undercover" as an Uber driver, partly because she's having so much trouble getting info from the company about what it's like for drivers she decides it's just easier to see for herself. Uber really doesn't like giving straight answers to the press, apparently.
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