First Night at EAA. Sunday nights are load in nights for exhibitors, fly-ins, and media at the EAA AirVenture Air Show at Osh Kosh, Wisconsin. I always celebrate with a regular podcast, live from just under the control tower as we start a new week, on the First Night at EAA. It’s late. Everyone is asleep, but I am getting in the last few thoughts on the coming show, and new developments in the political world this weekend. Having just come from the RNC at Cleveland and witnessing the divisions in the Republican party firsthand, it’s a little weird to see the same kinds of fissures developing with the democrats at Philadelphia with the specter of the democrat establishment killing the grassroots too. Throughout this hot and stormy Sunday I’ve been thinking about a recent email exchange with a Trump supporter that says so much about American politics today. A gentleman who normally sends me great jokes via email suddenly swerved into politics exhorting me and a few score others on his email list to ‘vote Trump’. Why? Because Trump is going to get rid of NAFTA and the TPP and bring all the jobs back to the United States. I decided to press him to find out exactly why he thinks what he thinks and why he would take the unusual step of pushing his friends to vote Trump. It took several emails to learn he just ‘feels’ Trump is the best guy, Trump is like Lincoln, Trump knows what to do and he’ll do it, and don’t make me explain this stuff, google it. Then he asks me what I think of the questions I asked him! That serves as a debate in the land of Trump. A place where everyone gets what he wants, when he wants it, because Trump said so. A place where one bright morning a box will arrive from China and everyone will open it up and find a note that reads, “Sorry about taking your job at the bucket factory way back in 1997 but we needed it. Here it is back, slightly used but we hope you’ll forgive us”. There it is people. Donald J. Trump is going to get Uncle Joe his job back at Bethlehem Steel so he and Martha can buy back the 1993 Buick Regal, which the GM plant in Flint will be making again thanks to old ‘I’ll make the trains run on time’ Trump. I realized, while ordering coffee at the concessions stand next to the beautiful B-25 out here on the airfield, that there are a lot of 50+ children out there. Thinking is just too hard. Researching facts takes too much time. Actually learning the contours of an issue is a job no one wants. Lots of final thoughts — for the time being — on the convention, the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the DNC chair, and the impending Trump presidency. Or not. Thank God I can talk about airplanes for the next few days! Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.
The Pope and The Media Circus. After a long trip home from the East Coast in the Mobile Podcast Command Unit, it’s time for a full stereo podcast from just outside the Broadcast Bunker, on the flat, by a real fire, back in Minnesota. Sometimes getting you ready for the coming week is a tall order, especially when it comes to the ‘borg’; the modern media machine. Will the new technology revolution – and it is coming – disrupt institutions that have existed for generations? Government, and religion, all seem to have become cloying media whores, looking to make one more lurid statement so they can get another story written for the Daily Beast, or get on CNN, or get some kind coverage for something…anything to stay relevant. Here comes the Pope all tarted up, to condemn capitalism and the ‘filth’ in the world. Of course the reaction is already classified as right wing or left wing, in tweets, on FaceBook and any number of shout-fests, roundtable gabs, and table pounding orations. If there is one takeaway from the recent trip through the American Southeastern Coast, including Washington DC, and from a trip earlier this spring to the West Coast, its seems like the people in this country are living their lives in spite of the constant chatter. Is it possible that our government and other institutions are becoming irrelevant, thus their leaders struggle more and more to be heard, by making one lurid statement after another? The media, and the politician, even when he is a ‘man of the cloth’ have become all one thing, feeding on each other, feathering their own nests and advancing no one else’s fortune but their own. All of them busting into our living rooms, cars and onto our phones with their incessant nonsense. Most of the time we spend our time just trying to get out of the way, hoping whatever international initiative, legislation or some nonsense laden bill sponsored by a publicity hungry politician doesn’t ruin our business, our town, our life or the lives of someone we love. Sometimes you find yourself wishing they would just shut up. You know, maybe we need a new holiday in America. How about Dead Air Day. All the stations go dark, all the politicians shut up, and all the media whores take a day off, including and especially the Pope. Oh wait! That would mean passing another law. Never mind! On the longest day of the year, and the shortest night. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul.
Summer 2015 Road Trip Part 1. A midnight ride to Iowa, with the first leg ending at Walcott Iowa’s ‘Iowa 80 Truck Stop’ where we encountered the first blush of Internet Upload problems. While I usually don’t write these podcast notes in the first person I have to break format to suggest that a real problem with traveling and ‘untethering’ is spotty Wireless Internet Service, particularly at Truck Stops. Iowa 80 gets points for allowing free access to their WIFI, but when you start uploading huge audio files, it becomes impossible to file. Starbucks used to require people to sign in with AT&T Wireless Service (blah blah blah) but figured it out. It’s free, and its fast downloading and uploading. Unfortunately, in the desert that is Central Illinois and Eastern Iowa, there aren’t many Starbucks. So, Kudos to the Sapp Brothers Truck Stop near Peru, Illinois. I was able to get this package uploaded and posted by around noon central Wednesday. Anyway. Lots of energy and enthusiasm for this trip out east, to the Atlantic Coast, with stops in Illinois, via Kentucky, Tennessee, Southwestern Virginia, onto Richmond, and Washington DC. Bored with the Bruce Jenner changeling story, as the moon rose over the fecund fields of Iowa last night, I began to wonder whether ‘The People of Iowa’ really deserve all the attention their getting in the media, because they hold the ‘first in the nation Caucus’, in 2016. What has become a cliche of American politics; The Diner photo op, the chat with the farmer by the barn, the waving fields of amber, is abundant in Iowa. What happens when an honest, real population becomes aware they’re on the Truman Show, as politicians and Media caravan all over this state? Lots of federal largesse evident in Iowa from Wind Farms to Bio Diesel. Is this good? Is Iowa, with its farms and burgeoning small cities, aspirational? 100 years ago most Americans lived in rural, small towns and cities. Does Iowa represent a desire to get back to that kind of bucolic existence or is it just that they have the first major political contest in what is becoming an insane circus called the Presidential Election of 2016? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.