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.
Guess which slogan that walking "Pile of Bile" Chris Christie chose for his presidential campaign? No, it's not "Sit down and shut up!" It's...
Telling It Like It Is
Besides putting me in mind of Aaron Neville, this is hilarious because no one dissembles quite like the (absent) Governor of New Jersey. He somehow earned a reputation for "giving us the hard truths" that no other politician would dare (I'm not sure Donald Trump is a politician, despite his presidential run) while lying through his teeth. AND he hugged Obama!
We are living through yet another Bulworth moment in American Life, when along comes a truth-teller, a disrupter, someone who cares NOT for "political correctness" and TELL US WHAT WE NEED TO HEAR. Whether it's Joe the Plumber or Chris Christie or Donald Trump, they all have one thing in common: they wouldn't know the truth if it asked them to refer to her as "Ms. Truth."
With rare exception, when people preface what they're about to say with "Let me be honest here..." or "I'm telling it like it is..." or "I'm keeping it real!" they are usually not. If you've been listening to me long enough you know this is a theme of mine. What you might not know is that I'm blowhard and loudmouth-adverse. Some of you are scratching your heads right now, saying "But Chris... aren't YOU a blowhard and a loudmouth?" No. Just because I'm both an amateur and a professional talk radio host it doesn't mean that I engage in the easy inflammatory bullshit of my brethren. I've always taken a more challenging path. Stupid me, I actually want to have a conversation on the radio. Yes, occasionally I get riled up and rant. But I try to make it clear that I am speaking my own truth, not some universal truth that everyone's too deluded to accept. And I've tried - really tried - not to be hurtful in the guise of honesty. Hell, I still remember that Partridge Family episode where Danny went around speaking his mind constantly and Shirley finally had to sit him down and explain that you can't always say what's on your mind. Society doesn't work like that. You don't get to say horrible things to people and then explain it away with "If you don't like it, too bad! I'm just TELLING IT LIKE IT IS!" But behavior I'm willing to overlook from Joe Twelve-pack is thoroughly unacceptable from a politician.
Tonight, I'd like to know about those times you were "brutally honest" with someone. How did it go over? And I also need to know about those times you kept your true thoughts to yourself. What did you say instead?
Call 201-209-WFMU between 6 - 7 pm, and then SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP! Until then, enjoy this outtake from the GOP Debate:
Last Week: Led Zeppelin III (Karaoke)
Last week I took another stab at doing on-air Karaoke. I think I stabbed it to death. It was easily the worst installment yet of an experiment I've done half a dozen times. This time out, no one could hear the music over the phone (I thought I'd be able to use Skype but Microsoft wouldn't let me access my account) and I kept dropping calls inadvertently.
This was the fourth Led Zeppelin installment (two of them were back-to-back weeks, which is why I dubbed this one number three) and I've also done a Beatles show and a George Harrison show.
I'm more than happy to revisit the concept at some point in the future but it will have to be with a method that doesn't involve WFMU's Soviet-era phone system. I'm working on it now...
The highpoint of the show, for me, was getting to sing Thank You to my wife on the cusp of our eighth anniversary. I LOVE YOU, HONEY!
This guy sucks a squeezed lemon… Juice running all down his neck…
THIS SHOULD TEACH YOU NOT TO ATTEMPT THIS STUPID IDEA AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Applause to this guy for honestly trying.
This is fun anyway to hear the people try.
You got to try this again Chris T. The last time it worked good.
This is going to be tough but please hang in there with me.
Aerial View first went on the air in 1989. It was initially heard on Tuesday afternoons, then it went to Fridays at 6 PM. That's where the show was when I gave it up in 2005, due to scheduling conflicts on a new job. I didn't leave WFMU altogether: I began a podcast called Communication Breakdown, something of which I was very proud (and you've probably never heard).
In 2006 I became a professional talk show host and walked away from WFMU, not knowing if I'd return. I made my way back on the schedule in June of 2010 and have been doing new shows ever since. But I'd be lying if said this was easy. In the early years it was enough to go in and do a radio show. Radio was its own social media. Now, if you're not on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., you might as well not exist. I am on all those platforms, plus Periscope AND I spend five to six hours a week on this newsletter. It's a whole bunch of volunteer labor and I wouldn't mind doing it except I'm not sure what the payoff is besides a ton of work for me.
Last week I asked for a vote of confidence in this newsletter and got five replies. This thing goes out to 437 subscribers. Sixteen to twenty-five percent of those people actually open it. How many read it I'll never know. But the point of this newsletter was simple: to get more people interested in Aerial View and pledging to WFMU at Marathon time. As I've said here before, it hasn't panned out that way. I made a bit more money last year than the year before. Of course, it isn't all about the money. I get it. But I'm losing my taste for doing all this work if there's no endgame.
Aerial View is a difficult show to love. You never know what it will be from week to week. You only know that I will be at the helm. I'm one of those people you either love or hate. There's precious little in-between.
This is the 80th newsletter I've cranked out once a week since February 3, 2013. I really don't know how many I have left in me. As I write this it's 8:06 PM Monday night and I began working on this at 5:30. It's nowhere near done. I still have to swap out all the pictures, I have to create a GIF for the top, I have to check all the links, etc. Again, broken record here: I'm a one man operation. No one is helping with this.
I mentioned last week that I was thinking of creating a Facebook group for Aerial View. I didn't want to (who needs one more thing to administer?) but I did. Find it here. If this newsletter does go away I hope to see you over there.
While I'm being Debbie Downer: the future of Aerial View itself is also cloudy. I am going in for foot surgery (my podiatrist says I was born with a "congenital malformation" and it's finally caught up with me) at the end of September and will be non-ambulatory for awhile. There is a chance I'll be broadcasting from home while I'm recovering... but there's also a chance I won't. The worst part? Once I'm all done with the left foot, I need to get the right foot done. I've thought of turning Aerial View into a podcast for the duration but that just seems like even more work.
Forgive me for trying to figure this all out in public but I've always been open with the audience. Aerial View was a confessional show before confessional shows were cool. I'm proud of what I learned doing the show and of my connection with WFMU. But I wonder if it's time for me to ramble on...
WFMU Literary Guild Meet Up
The next WFMU Literary Guild Meet Up is Saturday, September 18 at the KGB Bar in Manhattan. On the bill:
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.
AUDIOBOOM: Hear Aerial View and easily share it on social media here. Mobile apps are here.