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.
Travel Frustrations. When traveling sometimes, nothing goes as planned, and even the smallest effort to go where you intended, or do what you intended, fails. Its frustrating and eventually mind numbing. The bane of the digital traveler these days is Internet service that is too slow, spotty, or not robust enough to accommodate file uploads. Attempt after attempt to upload failed, in different villages all over Maryland’s Eastern Shore. From Salisbury, to Easton, and finally to Rock Hill. Literally the ends of the earth … but in the process riding on two lane farm roads in what is probably one of the most beautiful parts of rural America, in the middle of some of the largest population centers on the East Coast. There’s a great opportunity out there for enterprises to get free WIFI and robust Internet service right. As more and more people consider ‘untethering’; Something more big companies than you think are considering. It means closing offices, getting rid of big staffs and running things from the road, untethered. This is supposedly made easier with high speed Internet and WIFI, and autonomous software that does the work of the back office. All fine and well, but the places you want to go sometimes just don’t have the capabilities to accommodate a digital ‘road warrior’. So far, Starbucks has it down cold, with high speed internet for uploads, and free WIFI. Nothing to sign up for, nothing to log in on, no nonsense. There may be other solutions fine for surfing the net, but when it comes to uploading it’s a different story. Note to someone; We can’t work untethered if the upload capacity isn’t there. In spite of all that, there is enough technology present in the Mobile Podcast Command Unit, to make it possible to do quality audio from the road. The bottle neck is sending it somewhere. Travel may be frustrating but the happy accidents are what makes it worth the time. Having the opportunity to literally drive all over Del Marva Peninsula from the Atlanta to the Chesapeake Bay, from Norfolk and Virginia Beach, to Baltimore, also provides an opportunity to see a lot of this part of the country from the backroads. The reality? Some people may think the United States is coming apart at the seams, but it looks pretty prosperous from this perspective. Maybe some ought to stop shouting about the end of the world and start talking about how and why they think things should be a certain way. It’s hard to think people are enjoying these perfect summer days on the East Coast, shaking their heads and waiting for the ‘Walking Dead’ scenario to play out. Sponsored by X Government Cars.
Mercury Retrograde. Astrologists say when Mercury goes ‘retrograde’ it wreaks havoc with mechanical and electronic equipment, makes communications difficult and puts teeth in Murphy’s Law. In this case ‘retrograde’ means to go backwards. Now, Mercury does not go backwards; its orbit around our sun does not change one iota, but it supposedly ‘appears’ to be moving backward in the sky. What does a mercury retrograde do to a fifteen year old ambulance, repurposed as a mobile podcast studio, traveling across the country? Listen to this podcast and find out. From Illinois to Indiana, visiting an old friend, with ambitious plans to install Ham and CB radio communications, and WIFI Antenna. Attempting to this, we encountered nothing but problems. Oddly enough, Mercury Retrogrades are supposed to be good for making plans and catching up with old friends, finding good deals, and resting up. While most women seem to have a hundred ‘best friends’, men pretty much have two, or one. It’s great to hang out with someone who has known you since you were a kid; someone you haven’t talked to in decades, but you pick up right where you left off. Lest some readers decry all this reliance on astrology, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the hokum of the stars and the hokum of today’s economists, who despite accolades, fur hats, and purple capes, can’t seem to figure out whether the US economy is growing, not growing, or contracting. Even worse, every ‘news’ story you read on the subject seems to repeat one fairy tale or outright lie, over and over again. Don’t worry though, no one’s looking at economic stories, they’re too busy counting the Republican candidates for President and getting lost in the details of a presidential campaign that has come too early, and too loudly for any civilized people. While the news media covers this political circus, the real political circus is about to pass a trade law — supported by the “Chambers of Italian Fascism” — Americans are forced to turn to Julian Assange and Wikileaks for the details, which suggest a far reaching agreement bigger than NAFTA with provisions that have little to do with free trade. How is your congressman voting? While the FBI circles over our cities in unmarked civilian planes, listening to our cell phone conversations, and Republican congress is also about to pass a ‘patch’ that will save Obama Care if key provisions are struck down by the US Supreme Court. Hey wait! Didn’t republicans run on repealing the ACA? Surprise! Sponsored by X Government Cars.