Tragedy Coverage Social Taboo-Talk About Death-Podcast 668

Shootings. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Floods. Lots of talk about what happened. Not much talk about the actual experience of death. That’s because Death isn’t easy to talk about. I do in Tragedy Coverage Social Taboo-Talk About Death-Podcast 668.

Overwhelming Tragedy Coverage

Check your social media feed. Turn on TV. Listen to the radio. There’s an avalanche of talk about the events surrounding a tragedy. What happened? How did this happen? Can it be prevented from happening again? From comedians to news reporters, it’s mostly people trying to remain relevant.

Nobody Talks About Death

In all of the coverage no one wants to talk about the experience of death. Death as a concept. The reality of death. Fact is, we live with death and we have an experience called death. However, we don’t ever talk about it. Death as a subject is not okay. In Tragedy Coverage Social Taboo-Talk About Death-Podcast 668.

What Is Death?

Death is the total and permanent cessation of the vital functions of an organism. We don’t really want to talk about that so we find other things to talk about. How do we deal with the shock of the unexpected, unexplainable and irreversible?

We Don’t Know How It Feels

Why do we grieve the death of the famous and barely pay a second thought to the deaths of hundreds in an earthquake in some other land? How is that different from how we react when someone really close to us dies? Talk about it in Tragedy Coverage Social Taboo-Talk About Death-Podcast 668,

Sharing My Experiences Of Death

In this podcast I share my own experiences. How I reacted to recent deaths of people very close to me. People who died unexpectedly.  This is in the hope that subscribers and listeners might think about and share their own stories and their own experiences with death. This is not easy to do. Talk about this is not a judgement.

We’re All Gonna Get There

Sooner or later we’re all going to have the death experience. Seems like everyone has different ideas about what actually happens. Death remains the great mystery for all of us. When you talk about death you have to talk about life. Do we regard life with the same wonder? Is life the same amazing mystery to us? Why not?

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Tragedy Coverage Social Taboo-Talk About Death-Podcast 668

 

 

Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship

Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship-When The Famous Become Gods

Fame. Notoriety. Our fascination with famous people. Our fascination with those who are famous. One of the things I like to do in podcasting is to focus on the first thoughts I have at the beginning of the day. You might think podcasting in this manner is easy. Unfortunately sometimes these first thoughts turn out to be a lot deeper and complex than first imagined.

Two thoughts ignited Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship. First, the concept of fame itself. Where did it come from? When did it start in the United States? What makes someone famous these days? How is that different from what made someone famous three hundred years ago? Second, we form a bond with famous actors and musicians because of a movie or a song we connected with at a certain time in our life. The performer is forever part of our life because of a performance.

The kick off for these first thoughts is the HBO documentary ‘Bright Lights’ detailing the relationship Carrie Fisher had with her mother Debbie Reynolds. Both of these women are recently deceased. Carrie Fisher from a heart attack and her mother from a stroke shortly thereafter. Some of the content in the documentary has to do with Postcards From The Edge, first a book and then a movie about the relationship between Carrie and her mother, in which Meryl Streep played the role of Carrie Fisher.

All of this connected for me because Streep’s recent comments about the President-Elect at the Golden Globe Awards. The Golden Globes usually has lower viewership than the Academy Awards and would be forgotten save for unsavory comments from Streep this year. While any citizen has the right to say what they want about political events, stars seem to think they can use their fame to tell the rest of us what we should feel, how we should vote and how to live our lives

Back in the day, people became famous for doing something. They discovered a continent, or won a big naval battle, a war, or saved western civilization. One became famous for building a bridge, mass producing an automobile or opening the east to western trade. Great artists and performers became famous for work that changed the world. Today it seems like people become famous for being famous.

The roots of this kind of fame, or notoriety go back a long time. Dime store novels, traveling road shows, Vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, and the movies. It wasn’t long before you could become famous for just playing someone who had actually accomplished something. Actors who played western heroes, Pharaohs, and Great Leaders became associated with the accomplishments of someone else.

2016 was the first time I’ve seen the media tally the deaths of ‘Celebrities’ as they might natural disasters. We ‘mourned’ the loss of people we did not know as though they were part of the family, and seemed to forget the thousands who have been killed in America’s violent big cities, or in war zones across the world.

Prince, David Bowie, Carrie and Debbie Fisher and many others. Oh! What a loss!

Some people who are famous for a role they played in a movie forty years ago have insights into how fleeting fame is. Carrie Fisher reluctantly came to terms with her connection to the character she played in the original Star Wars, comparing it to her mother’s performance in ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’.

Fisher considered herself the ‘caretaker’ of the Princess Leia character, and felt she was irrevocably connected to her. A fact fans sometimes did not seem to understand. Or did they? We wonder what fame and fortune is like because we think of people who are famous and rich at the height of their powers. What is it like when people who live every day of their lives in scrutiny begin to age and decline?

We all love our movies and TV shows. We love our favorite music and performers. Human beings need entertainment. We all love a good story, told well. Great artists don’t do what they do because they want to change the world. They do what they do because doing it is what makes them happy. Sometimes the result of their work is world-changing. I don’t think they know this when they are creating these world changing works. Sometimes too, a movie is just a movie, or a song is a one-hit wonder, or a show only airs for two or three seasons. We want to know the people who write and perform these works, and some of us put them up on a pedestal.

Do we mistakenly worship these people and their works and believe they have some insight or power to be able to tell us how to live our lives or what kind of political system we have? What happens when the works of Hollywood form a bond with the works of fame-seeking politicians in our capitols? Are the performers worthy of our worship? What happens when powerful media mechanisms make politicians famous for being famous?

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbings and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

 

Podcast 512

Orlando Terror Attack. Another terror attack on US soil. This one, the largest death toll in a mass shooting in ‘US History’, gets the attacker’s name in lights, until the next attack that ‘breaks the record’. We now call it the Orlando Terror Attack. Or just ‘Orlando’, for short. I ask myself, how should podcasters cover this? Radio and TV stations called their A-Teams in on Sunday morning to do round robin coverage, spitting out facts and interviewing the usual experts and political prognosticators, all in hushed tones. On the cable news networks, and broadcast networks, it was all presented over video loops of SWAT Teams walking around with nothing to do, cop cars with their lights flashing, the anguish of victims and witnesses, and ambulances hauling away the dead, the dying and the critically wounded. From a podcast perspective, we don’t need to do this. Yet this is one of those topics that is unavoidable. A big story. Then the recriminations and lamentations. The demands for change and action throughout the political spectrum. Of course this attack – because the target was a gay nightclub – has something for everyone to be outraged about. Isn’t that the essence of terror as a weapons system; To divide and conquer? To bust open the old wounds and scar tissue, to make sure we never unite against a common threat? To provokeTexas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to say “men reap what they sow”, or politicians on the other end of the spectrum to demand that ‘sensible’ gun control legislation be passed. (Editor’s note: It seems to me this kind of thing would make people want to own guns in order to protect themselves, since clearly the government with all its power isn’t protecting us.) What would you have them do? Everyone has their list of solutions from bomb them back to the stone age – didn’t we already do that? – to seal the borders and only let ‘ethnic Americans’ in. How do we do that? The problem is, in the clear light of day, these ‘solutions’ are really just expressions of anger and don’t stand up under scrutiny. What will be done? Nothing. Nothing will be done. Why? Because no one knows what to do. The United States will hold an election in November, so any and all decisive action against this kind of attack will be delayed until a new president and congress can come to grips with it. That, of course, will take more time as policy solutions are developed, and sold to the American public. It isn’t as simple as ‘this one will invade and this one won’t’ either. Do you want to support Saudi Arabia and attack Iran? Do you want to support Iran against Saudi Arabia? the Saudis support ISIS and Iran supports the Shiites. How does that work? What about Russia? What about China? What about NATO member Turkey? How will they react? You might be surprised to find a President Clinton invading some foreign country in force, just as much as you might find a President Trump doing the same thing — assuming either one of them actually gets the nomination of their party. So, it’s a very complicated problem, a long term problem, with no real solution in sight. No, nothing will be done. There will be more attacks, and they will get more ferocious until the United States or the enemy — whatever you want to call it — miscalculates and goes too far. Then there will be a typically American overreaction. We’d all better hope it works, whatever it is, whenever it is. That is the takeaway from the Orlando Terror Attack. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and by X Government Cars.

Podcast 466

South Carolina BBQ and Kasich. In Greenville, South Carolina on the night of the Republican Debate at Clemson. Hear what a Governor John Kasich event at Mutt’s BBQ in Mauldin, South Carolina sounds like. Hear John Kasiche’s stump speech. Which is why this podcast is entitled, South Carolina BBQ and Kasich. In the wake of Justice Scalia’s death, constitutionalists republicans forget the constitution and bemoan the possibility that sitting President Obama may appoint a liberal justice, swaying the court to the left. Some suggest the President avoid an appointment ‘in an election year’ (which the constitution makes no provisions for), or that the Senate refuse to hold hearings or confirm this president’s appointment, waiting for the ‘new’ president, which they assume will be republican, a distinct contravention of the Senate’s duties outlined in the constitution. Meanwhile, it may be painful to quote Hillary Clinton but ‘elections have consequences’. Had republicans been able to elect Mitt Romney, a republican would be filling the vacancy created by the untimely death of the Justice. Perhaps this is a good lesson to remember for the GOP heading into 2016, as ‘establishment’ republicans throw a tantrum because showmen like Trump and Cruz are crushing establishment candidates like Bush, Rubio, and Katich, at least according to polls. We’ll see what happens when South Carolina Republicans vote on February 20th. Meanwhile, the media does its best to sell all of America on the idea that South Carolina and South Carolinians are ‘quirky’, ‘conservative’, ‘moderate’, ‘different’ or fill in the blank with your own superlative. Myths that continue to dominate the political narrative, all the way through the debates. This is a ‘gut punch’ kind of state, they say. So, the candidates did their best to gut punch each other at the debates. After this weekend’s debate performance, one wonders when state party leaders across this country will take a look at a primary system that puts candidates in a cage, and forces them to answer questions from TV Stars. First, it elevates the media to a position it doesn’t deserve. Second, it seems to force the candidates to not just act craven, and rude, but to be so. This is the process that brings the cream to the top in US politics? I don’t think so. The cool thing about this event was the music. All the campaigns use music to stage their events, but whoever did this one, did a great job. This podcast includes a lot of the music they chose to stage the event. Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars

Podcast 436

Death and Tyranny. How’s that for click bait? Another protest, more glimpses of the French Revolution as an assistant professor throws ‘the media’ out of a protest on public property at a University in Missouri. Meanwhile a new study says white americans 30 to 64 are dying from alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide at alarmingly higher rates than in the past. Frustration. Anger. Despair. Name calling. Blaming. The first few years of the 21st century seem to be calling out for a new defense of ‘Freedom’. What is Freedom? Are we free? Are we free when we can’t express feelings without checking first to see if they will ‘offend’ some group with ‘special’ protections? Are we free when we have to make sure what we express is in line with paradigms determined by social acceptance? Not according to most definitions. So, are we free? What holds the United States together? A common enemy? An idea? A leader? A culture? A religion? A government? How can we hold together as a country if we aren’t allowed to express ourselves, to be ourselves? Over 60 percent of working age people are out of the work force. People are getting tired of being nudged, pushed, shoved, forced, shamed and cudgeled into behaviors the government wants, or behaviors deemed ‘acceptable’ by unelected culture czars, crowned by their exposure in media. We don’t trust our government. We don’t trust our leaders. We don’t trust the media. We don’t trust each other. If studies that show people descending into alcoholism and drugs and depression are true, one could conclude, we don’t trust ourselves either. When you travel the country, it doesn’t look like its falling apart, but any examination of the day’s news suggests something different. Political candidates slinging mud, name calling, finger pointing and the ever present blaming and subsequent atonement. Our entertainment is blood and gore, and sex. In short, our entertainment is coarse to say the least. What future is our art seeing? What kind of frontier are we pioneering today? Where is our toughness and virtue, and grit? Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Hydrus

Podcast 414

Apocalypticism Now. The Full Lunar Eclipse on the evening of September 27th, 2015 is often referred to as a Blood Moon. This one has the evangelists and everyone else predicting THE END OF THE WORLD. Again. What is Apocalypticism, where does it come from, and how long as it been with us. Over dinner, I decided to do some research on this topic and was amazed with its history. It’s probably true that end-of-the-world prophets have been with us since the beginning. There are certainly end of the world myths associated with every tribe and culture in history. Ours is no exception. Why? Is it the need to make sense out of complicated events? A need to put context in our lives? Is there something going on with the subconscious? Or, maybe, the world is about to end! Gasp! It’s been a long time since an end of the world ‘prophet’ actually provided a date, but some are saying this blood moon could herald ‘The End’. Hearing a lot of this kind of talk these days in political circles, which is some of the impetus behind this podcast. Some people seem to be afraid, frustrated, confused and have difficulty putting the events of the time in some kind of context. Moreover they seem to be unable to act to do much about it. Is it aging? Is it fear of the unknown? Is apocalypticism part of the standard teachings of Christianity? My prediction? Listen to the podcast and find out. Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Pride of Homes

Podcast 388

The Power Of Negative Thinking. See? Made you look. What’s needed is more positive thinking. Still, negative thinking is everywhere. We’ve talked about the power of turning off all the media long enough to hear internal thoughts. Now its time to talk about how many of those internal thoughts can be negative. Negative thoughts are like a cancer, that invades everything and makes it hard to act positively for yourself. Political people especially need to remember the need to be for something, as opposed to against seemingly everything. In this podcast, some experiences directly related to business, and the changes a radio guy goes through to become a podcaster and independent businessman. It’s not all wine and roses, but in the end, being able to be independent, to navigate deep and shallow water as you wish, is very fulfilling. Fact is, no one ever said it would be easy. One of the things you learn in business for yourself is, it’s always something. Negative thoughts include self doubt, worry, and fear of failure and especially success. So many conversations this fourth of July weekend, and almost none of them were about politics and what’s on the 24 hour news channel. Many of them were about other, deeper subjects; Proof that normal, everyday, regular people are thinking about complex and deep subjects, and doing amazing things. You just don’t see them on Fox and CNN, or hear them on talk radio, because they’re too busy talking about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and in talk radio’s case, running away from the issues. Find out how a simple piece of advice from a friend ended up as Podcast 388. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul

Podcast 196

News Cleanse Day 1. Joined by local radio producer and friend of the Bob Davis Podcasts, ‘Tam’. You’ve heard of colon cleansing? Flushing out the brain after a Winter, Spring and Summer of non stop news coverage. That means drinking a lot of water, doing a lot of yoga, and staying away from CNN, Fox News, and the Drudge Report. More on the ‘News Cleanse’ in the podcasts this week. Meanwhile, dinner and a podcast, is in order. ‘Tam’ and Bob Davis have been through a number of adventures over the years, from using illegal scanners to ‘police call’ to obsessing about diets that do not exist. Bob interviews ‘Tam’ and ‘Tam’ interviews Bob in this podcast. Tam works at a station that features pop culture news. While they are different disciplines, the pop culture ‘talk’ world is similar to the News Talk world. Does she ever get tired of it? What is Tam still obsessing about. Tam wants to share some stories about how weird Bob is, some of which are funny, and some of which involve loss and death. Finally, an idea for the State Fair that probably won’t fly. It’s amazing what you can talk about these days when you put down Politico for five minutes. Who cares about Rick Perry, Barack Obama, Paul Ryan, Vladimir Putin and Chuck Todd’s new job, when you have the bean diet? Sponsored by X Government Cars.