I doubt any of the shiny, colorful tourist pamphlets of San Francisco will include photos of streets strewn with garbage and feces and impassable sidewalks where homeless camp out.  And, I doubt any of those pamphlets will mention how seemingly dangerous it is for tourists to walk around this city that promotes tourism.  Maybe they should start mentioning it.

Image by Lauraat CCA-SA 3.0

In the news today:

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/British-tourist-stabbed-in-head-during-SF-robbery-6843060.php

 

This is the latest report in a never-ending wave of crime news that has become the norm in San Francisco.

From the sfgate article:

A tourist from the United Kingdom was fighting for his life after he was stabbed in the head during a street robbery in San Francisco, police said.

 

The attack is just the latest in a string of street muggings in which tourists have been victimized.
In December, three French tourists were robbed on a Twin Peaks hill while snapping photos of the vista. An 81-year-old man was shoved to the ground and lost consciousness.
In August, a tourist from Thailand was shot in the shoulder by muggers who attempted to steal his camera as he shot photos near the famed winding stretch of Lombard Street, in one of the city’s most scenic neighborhoods. In the summer of 2014, two Dutch tourists were robbed at gunpoint while taking pictures in the same area.
Officer Carlos Manfredi, a police spokesman, said it’s unlikely that tourists are being targeted for robberies, which he explained tend to be crimes of opportunity.
“It happens to everybody, so every now and then there’s going to be a tourist in the mix,” Manfredi said, “especially in the tourism capital of the world.”

 

Did you notice that remark by a police spokesman?

“It happens to everybody, so every now and then there’s going to be a tourist in the mix,” Manfredi said, “especially in the tourism capital of the world.”

 

It is all summed up by this sfgate comment on the article:

Welcome to SF.
oic800

 

Want to know how the citizens of SF feel about it?  Here are some of the other comments:

 

“It happens to everybody…” I certainly hope not. Maybe only in “Everybody’s favorite city.”
-lockwriter

 

On a recent tour across Europe everyone I met expressed interest in sf but after seeing how clean and well manged their cities are my response was always- why? It’s dirty dangerous and overpriced feels like the elected leaders are failing us all.
-fishead

 

I suggest a tourist strike – Tourists refuse to come to San Francisco until the city institutes some serious anticrime and public safety measures.
-badminton

 

1 question for our fine citizens:

If you got a call from your sweet Aunt Bee and she asked you:

“I want to come to SF and stay at a hotel on Union Square–is it safe?

you would answer: yes or no ?
-butterkins

 

 

San Francisco, you’d better do something about your crime situation, and quick. Between this, the homeless, constant high-end shop heists, and news crews being attacked, you have a serious public image problem. At this point, why anyone would come to visit SF as a tourist is beyond me.
-oakslugger

 

I live 2 blocks from there and there is a Walgreens rights on that corner I frequent. We have heard a dramatic increase in sirens locally and heard commotion again last night, but seriously this city is out of control. I call police at least 1 x a week to report vandalism, homeless camps, drug users …. On and on. The city either does not care or does not listen. This has become a very unsafe place to live. I’m 6’1 200 lbs and I carry mace. I spoke to a cop and she told me to protect myself. So I did.
-Tubenuts

 

 

Bring back the Matrix program.
… city-journal.org/story.php?id=1368
Matrix—a month-long program for enforcing in the downtown area 18 city and state ordinances that had fallen into disuse. Designed to ensure order in public places, they covered offenses such as public drunkenness, public urination and defecation, trespassing, street sales of narcotics, dumping of refuse, graffiti vandalism, camping and lodging in public parks, and obstructing sidewalks. Teams of 12 to 18 officers made regular tours through the Civic Center Plaza, a four-block stretch of Market Street, and Union Square.

The Matrix enforcement effort unfolded like a military campaign, retaking the city block by block. Every ten days or so, Matrix teams would announce a sweep of an additional area, chosen on the basis of citizen complaints. Cleaning up Civic Center Plaza took ten intensive days in January 1994… Forty-six people were arrested for drug or weapons possession.

Homeless advocates have furiously opposed Matrix from the start. But the elimination of a large encampment in Golden Gate Park—a wild green refuge in the center of the city—especially fanned their ire. For years the encampment had rendered one end of the park off limits to normal use. The city concluded that the settlement had to be bulldozed to clear away heaps of hazardous debris.

Jordan refused to apologize for either the means or the timing of the clean-up. “If the encampments are depositories of human feces, rain-soaked garbage and trash, discarded needles, and other disgusting waste, we will not hesitate to use extraordinary measures to clean up the mess. I won’t expose city workers to health risks under any circumstances.”

-Big Squash

 

 

@BigSquash The phrase “homeless advocates” says it all for SF. Let’s advocate solutions for homelessness not advocate homelessness itself. All for bringing back the matrix program. I am confused why anyone would advocate for humans to defeceate and sell drugs openly on the street. A little basic common sense people, civilize societies don’t “advocate” for that behavior.

-katratro

 

 

If that’s not depressing enough, this was in the news today as well:

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Gold-teeth-taken-from-man-in-broad-daylight-SF-6842454.php

A 38-year-old man was punched and knocked to the ground in broad daylight by two muggers who proceeded to steal his gold teeth in San Francisco’s Financial District, police said Friday.

Some commenters on that article think there’s more to the story because this is a busy section of the city at a time when there should be many people around as they leave work.  But, that’s how it’s being reported.

 

On a different note, has anyone sampled The Joe Pags Show?  Every day I am loving him more.  I might have to shove Mark Simone over a bit to make room for Joe Pags at the top of my current favorite radio host list.

I think more people are finding his show and it’s creating some messy calls.  Now people call-in just to get Rickrolled off the line.  It’s funny.  I don’t always hear the entire show because I’m working and things come up, but on Friday I heard at least three Rickrolls in a row.  ha ha!  I love it.  That’s what’s fun about callers and hosts who know how to handle them when they purposely try to disrupt the show.  Mark Simone has that talent.  Joe Pags takes it up a level.  He knows how to have fun with it.  As he says, “I’m gonna Rickroll your a** outta here!”

I think I’ll do the same, get my a** outta here and enjoy the weekend!  I hope you do, too.

 

But, before you go, check him out:

His website:

http://www.joepags.com/

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/JoeTalkShow

iHeart Episodes:

http://www.iheart.com/show/The-Joe-Pags-Show/

 

Plus, here is good ol’ Mark Simone:

His website:

http://www.marksimone.com/

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/MARK-SIMONE-24939307470/

Podcasts:

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/

 

 

 

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Anyone who has visited San Francisco in the past year has encountered the trash on the street and the stench of human excrement in the air.  It’s everywhere.  Sure, it was shuttled over a few blocks to clear the way for the big Super Bowl bash, but it doesn’t hide the huge homeless problem that is prevalent now in San Francisco as well as many major cities.

Image by Steven Lek CCA-SA 4.0 Intl

In the past I’ve posted about New York’s overwhelming indigent population and the comments about it on Mark Simone’s show (WOR-710AM in New York) and how the non-enforcement of former broken glass policies seems to have exacerbated the problem.  In the past year, I posted an audio clip from a frequent guest on Simone’s show, trial lawyer and media personality, Lionel, from lionelmedia.com.  His commentary on the homeless problem in New York expressed the same frustration we in the Bay Area have experienced with homeless encampments that increasingly menace the local population with locals having to navigate public streets and sidewalks used as toilets and dumping places for unimaginable trash.  There is also growing danger from the mentally-unstable, the drug-addicted, and felons living on neighborhood streets within these expanding homeless tent camps.

It’s been so bad that a local business owner distributed flyers listing all contact information for San Francisco supervisors and asked the local population to express their discontent with the current situation on the streets.  Here’s how it was reported in the news:

http://www.ktvu.com/news/88291253-story

http://sfist.com/2016/02/10/fitness_sf_owner_homeless_tent_city.php

https://www.reddit.com/r/sanfrancisco/comments/456poo/soma_gym_owner_fed_up_with_tent_city_homeless/

I heard on the news that the supervisors decided NOT to act on the business owner’s request, that it won’t solve the homeless problem.  They have to find housing for them first.  Good luck with that, San Francisco.  Paying residents have a hard time finding housing in the city.  So, the huge homeless encampment stays and the business owner has no option but to live with it.  huh?

The problem is not over exaggerated.  A nationally syndicated talk-radio host on a recent show talked about his San Francisco experience.  Well, I don’t know how many heard it since it was the Glenn Beck show, but he exposed the alarming deterioration of San Francisco on national radio this past week.

How did he describe his experience here?  He called it  sad, tragic and scary.  At times truly frightening.  On the streets he was almost gagging.  The whole place smells like urine.

He said he would not let family members walk down the San Francisco streets alone, even at four in the afternoon.  He saw people sleeping in doorways on streets with million-dollar homes.  Then he’d turn the corner and see four more plopping down in doorways.

If you want to hear what he said, it’s on the audio track STARTING at 1:34 and comments about it run through 1:50.  It’s near the end of the audio.

Unfortunately for me, I had to listen to the entire audio to find it.  I’m unfamiliar with Glenn Beck.  I’ve heard his name but that’s about it.  I happened to hear his San Francisco rant because when I work late his show airs after The Joe Pags Show and I sometimes catch snippets of it.  I usually turn it off, but this time I heard San Francisco and was interested in what he would say about it.

I have to say, that opening music of his is a real turn-off.  I feel like I should be drinking chamomile tea and petting a dolphin while watching a public-access channel from the ’70s.  What is up with that?

Not to mention the show is boring, two or three guys sitting around, probably drinking tea, and yukking it up at their perceived witticisms.  Beck also plays old clips of himself and clips of his name being mentioned in the media.  How pathetic is that?  Just like Rush.

So, if you want to bypass all of that, just go to the 1:34 mark (1 hour, 34 minutes), grab your tea, and start there.

 

 

If you prefer, here’s the link to YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmsKthvFr30

Until we can figure this out, we just might have to change Scott McKenzie’s song lyrics to: If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear air deodorizer in your hair…

Ronald Reagan as radio announcer. Courtesy of Ronald Reagan Library.

On Super Bowl weekend, I turned on old television programming.  One of the retro channels airs Johnny Carson shows.  I thought that would be a nice break … until Johnny announced his guest was a former football player.  My eyes rolled and I walked out of the room.  When I returned, I grabbed the remote to change the channel.  Johnny was talking to the football guy.  This guy was not a prepped-for-tv kind of guy.  The moment he spoke I knew he was a true character and I put down the remote.  I  enjoyed that segment so much I had to look up the guy on Wiki and even went to YouTube to watch the Carson clip again.

Here’s the link if you’d prefer to watch it on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HDRLnoAY9E

Then I watched some of his Letterman appearances.

The YouTube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXC5gAAMuxg

The YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMNvBtQw3os

I haven’t had time to write any posts lately but I probably wouldn’t have had much to say.  I’ve abandoned talk radio in the Bay Area except for KQED radio.  I’ve been forced to tune-in to syndicated conservative talk.  Fortunately, with the upcoming election, it’s been interesting to hear the other side.

It’s not what I’d prefer, but it’s what’s left out there in radio-land.  For years, I’ve listened to radio talk during the day.  I have it on in the background while I work.  I used to try to listen to Gil on occasion, but that wife thing is excruciating and even though I would never listen to his Friday show, he continued to bring her up on his show and I had to keep turning off the radio.  When he brings her up, my stomach brings up a little something of its own.   I’m telling you, that voice of hers is made of nightmares.  I cringe now just writing about it.  And Gil’s show is barely hanging on, his talking and sighing and telling the same stories time after time to guests, wasting their time and ours with little talks about himself.  I gave up on Gil long ago.

So, I’ve moved on from the horrible programming on no-Talk 910 and the only alternative is conservative talk.  Not everyone is willing to spend time on conservative talk.  I know people don’t want to even read about it.  It can be enraging.  I swear now more than I ever have, usually during the hour I listen to Rush.  The more this guy spouts off about the problems of others, the less he can identify the same in himself.  It’s very sad.  He talks baby-talk all of the time and every day he plays clips of himself from previous shows.  Or, clips of people mentioning his name.  He nearly pees in his Depends he’s so pleased with himself.

If you listen to him enough, you will recognize the caller ‘plants’ on the show.  It’s so obvious.  One time he was trying to push a book of his and, what a coincidence, the first caller was a young girl who talked about how much she and her friends loved reading it.  It’s all a big orchestrated script to make him feel better about himself.  All first calls support the point he’s trying to make.  The callers stick to the talking points they were paid to make.

I used to be confused listening to his show, some of it didn’t make sense.  He denigrates woman, calling them info-babes and femi-nazis (a term he proudly points out that he created) and then has women callers who claim to be fans of his show and have listened for years.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Now that I’m aware talk shows such as his (according to some sources I’ve posted previously, but other sources claim the Limbaugh show denies it) pay actors to call in and pretend to be a listener, it is very clear to me the show is more like an infomercial than a talk show.

Unfortunately, it’s only one of few options left on the radio.

In the mornings, I still listen to Mark Simone.  I love his show, but even he can be irritating with all of the Hillary bashing and Trump love.  But, he takes calls every hour and it’s such fun to hear.  I love those callers and they love Mark Simone.  He’s a real man about town in the classic sense and that’s what draws people to his show.  Simone would love that clip of Art Donovan on Carson.  He probably already has it posted, but I didn’t see it when I took a quick glance at his show page.

His Show Page:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/

Podcasts:

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/

At least Simone has consistent callers.  One callers always tells joke, lame jokes (think of Gil Gross’ attempts at humor), and another guy starts out the call in a calm voice and, Simone calls it every time, the call escalates into a screaming rant about something or other.  Simone lowers the call volume and talks over the call with his own commentary.  Always entertaining.

After Simone’s show I listen to an hour of Rush (I often do errands or step away to do things during that hour) but I hear enough and it’s not pretty.  That guy is losing his grip.

Then it’s on to KQED, but there is no caller interaction.  The shows are content rich but not always engaging to the listener.  It’s low-key and, as the Donald would say, low energy.  If there was another radio option I’d probably try it.

Next is Sean Hannity.  I can tolerate him.  He offers the same talking points that are sent out to all conservative hosts and Hannity dutifully parrots the same thing Rush says in the hours before. But, Sean has some interesting segments on his show.  Many interviews include two people of opposing sides discussing an issue.  Hannity is there but does not insert himself into the conversation (maybe Gil Gross should take notes) and I’ve heard many differing views that I usually don’t hear on any other show.  Hannity is now doing the same with callers.  He finds two callers who disagree and puts them both on the air at the same time to have a conversation about it.  Really interesting.

Speaking of interesting, recently Sean talked about the state of radio and how it’s changed (listen to this (2/4/16,Hour 1) audio starting at 8:00 and it continues with some other things through 16:45):

 

Nobody’s going to do that if you have a conscience and a soul.

 

(Are you still taking notes, Gil?)

Here’s the link if you want to go to the site: http://download.premiereinteractive.com/seanhannity/2016/02/Sean%20Hannity%20-%20Feb%2004%202016%20-%20Hour%201.mp3

And, here’s the show recap page: http://www.hannity.com/articles/shows-472046/radio-show-recap-feb-4-14347284/

I used to listen to Hannity on WOR710-AM, the New York station Mark Simone is on, but there is a sports show following Hannity and I had to find something else.  I tried several states searching for talk programs and found one in Minneapolis.  I can listen to Hannity there and then the program that follows is quickly becoming my favorite show.  Another conservative show, but this is a guy who loves talk radio and he’s been a talk host for years.  There is a passion in him that’s rare to hear in radio now.

I think that’s why Gil’s show is so boring now.  He is there to pay his mortgage and that’s it.  I also get the impression that he feels he’s not being paid top dollar so he won’t perform at his best or even try to do his best.  What he puts out is just enough to get by.  It explains why he would subject his listeners to his wife.  He just doesn’t care.  A normal person cannot listen to that side show.  How can he be passionate about his own show when he is playing the victim and taking it out on the listeners?

It’s his reputation to lose and he lost it.

That’s not the type of show Joe Pags puts on.  This guy wants to interact with listeners and does it with callers and on Facebook and email  He responds to Facebook posts himself, against the advice of his staff.  It’s him on the page and not some intern.  I like that, even though I am not a fan of Facebook or even a member.  I like that he recognizes the audience is an important part of his show and he’s not above getting into it with any one of them.  He calls people out during the show, “Hey, dude, you’ve emailed me sixteen times in the past thirty minutes with fifteen-hundred word essays.  Man, I’m doing a show.  Just stop it.  Do you think I have time to read all of that?  I don’t.  Stop it.  Say what you gotta say in a reasonable, concise format and then I’ll read it.”

Joe Pags used to be a journalist so he loves to debate people about facts.  He allows callers to talk and then asks them questions about what they just said.  If the caller cannot support their own argument, Pags Rickroll’s them off the air.

http://www.eonline.com/news/737509/happy-50th-birthday-to-rick-astley-celebrate-with-some-of-the-best-ever-rickrolls

Pags also plays some kick-a** songs.

Here’s his iHeart page:

Joe Pags Shows:

http://www.iheart.com/show/The-Joe-Pags-Show/

Talkers wrote an article about him recently:

http://www.talkers.com/2016/02/02/spagtacular-success-didnt-occur-overnight/

The article is a bit overdone and hard to read, but if you glance through it you will get the basics of his history.

Joe Pags comes closer than anyone on the radio that I’m aware of to return to the conversation, something Bruce K. discusses in this well-written comment on one of my previous posts:

Comment by Bruce K.:

… Talk radio was never perfect, but there were hosts who would have long discussions with people that did bring out good points, but more importantly they modeled HOW to have a conversation.

The only think I see over and over on the big sites is left-right argument, and I mean use the term argument loosely … it is mostly insults and repeated slogans, and it is biased to the extreme right wing. This is the heart of what I thought our country was about, and it has stopped beating, that is for damn sure.

To think I was happy with the 10 or 20 minutes per hour of radio air that contained a good discussion on an important topic, and now it is completely gone. NPR is great, but there is nothing live. I occasionally catch a live conversation on Pacifica, but it always seems to be something that repulses me to Left wing thought, which I don’t like.

I think of Liberalism as something more than hating science with a passion I thought was reserved for extreme right wing Christians, but the “Progressives” of Pacifica compete very well in illogic. Topics about criminals, prisoners, unending hatred of Israel and by extension the US government, anti-vaccine conversations. I’ve talked a few people who have become right-wing nuts based on the crazy things they heard in places like Pacifica Radio and were so repulsed they ran the other way.

This is a level of censorship, brainwashing and top down corporate control I would never have dreamed of in my life, and here it is, and seemingly getting worse every year.

I think people get so disconnected and fly to the extremes because they never hear an example of a reasonable civil discussion of conversation.

I have to think this is in direct reaction to trends of independent thinking brought about by the Fairness Doctrine, and the demise of Network News in favor of for profit news centers.

I watched the movie “Best Of Enemies” about the debates between Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal in the 70’s, and they happened to mention the most trusted institution in American society at that time was the Network News. What have we lost? Did no one notice? Is that how we lost it all?

There truly is more commenting on the old talk radio than there is talk in the new so-called talk radio. Is it possible to fix this? What is the thinking really by the people who make this policy, and when these decisions are privatized and hidden, does that count as anti-democratic ( small d )?

 

There is really nothing for me to add to that.  Read it, then read it again, and let it sink in.

 

Yikes!  I started this post almost a month ago and wasn’t able to get back to it.  At the time, I was curious about the financial outlook of Cumulus Media.  I was shocked and, admittedly, pleased to see the jaw-dropping close of cmls at $1.18.   Then, after a few weeks, I checked it again to see it drop further to $0.96.  I checked the Facebook page of No More KGO and they were on top of the big drop, linking numerous articles about it.

Visit their page and be sure to ‘like’ it:

https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreKGO/

At the time, I found this little news blurb about the current situation at the house of the drooping Dick-eys:

(note, the investorplace page has a pop-up ad on it that is annoying)

http://investorplace.com/2015/08/4-media-stocks-to-sell-now-cmls-wwe-disca-2/

Cumulus Media Inc. Class A earns an F (“strong sell”) this week, moving down from last week’s grade of D (“sell”). Cumulus Media is a radio broadcasting corporation that owns and operates FM and AM radio station clusters that serve mid-sized markets in the United States.

It is no surprise the Dick-eys were graded F on their radio report card.  Any radio listener to any of their failed radio stations across the country could have predicted this outcome, the Bay Area listeners could have told you that way back in December 2011.

The Dick-eys, as expected, are acting in their own self-interest and abandoning their top positions to take a lesser role within the company, probably to deflect any blame and lawsuits to other executives.  In their rush for the door, the Dick-eys grabbed millions on the way out.

wow.

What’s so disgusting about it, and why, in the past, I’ve questioned how former listeners can still listen to the Dick-ey stations after seeing how they fired top talent, dropped employees pay to minimum (yes, all of you so-called former listeners, this more than likely included your kids, your spouses, your relatives, and your friends) and then the Dick-ey brothers reached into every worker’s back pocket for that extra pay the staff should have been getting and paid themselves millions in bonuses every year.

So, if and when the station is closed or sold, your loved ones will continue to struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table, and the Dick-eys will walk away millionaires.  No one benefits but the Dick-eys.  There is no extra income spent in the community because no one can afford it.  The station loads commercials into the mix like logs into a blast furnace and makes the station content unlistenable, but it brings in enough money to line the Dick-eys pockets with more bonuses every year.  And, what about the shareholders?  Can’t they see how the Dick-eys have come in and destroyed radio communities?  I’d tell the shareholders to sue, but they enabled this disaster so why should they be rewarded for bad judgement?

Many of us really are former listeners for a reason and the principle behind it.

I’m not saying the other media conglomerates out there are much better, only that they’ve handled their business with seemingly less brutal tactics than the soulless Dick-eys.

The others, especially in the Bay Area, have also made questionable business and content decisions.   Yes, I’m talking about noTalk 910-AM.  I don’t fault them for all of the missteps.  Who would have thought Gil Gross could be such a disappointment?   You know I have to mention the Friday wife with Gil!  Can any program be designed to irritate people more than this?  It should be banned as a torture device.  Stay away from Friday to keep your sanity intact.

But I do fault noTalk for the disastrous afternoon programming that has driven many listeners away, you know the program, the two selfie sticks talking nonsense and making jokes that make even Gil’s humor sound less awkward, trying-too-hard.  ugh!

I don’t know if that annoying lady yelling commercial is still on the air because that’s when I stopped listening to noTalk.  That, and the selfie-stick programming, drove me to conservative talk.  I don’t enjoy hearing all of the conservative political talking points, day after day, the same talking points on every program using the exact same words.  It is tiresome, but at least there are callers and interviews that bring in both sides of the argument (probably fixed to make the liberal side look foolish, but, hey, there is a discussion and disagreement).  When that gets to be too much, then I always fall back on BBC.  I can expect to find some interesting programming, music or documentary or podcast that adds something to the experience of online listening.

 

One recent podcast on BBC Radio2 I’d recommend others to listen to before it expires in 20-something days: John Lennon’s Last Day.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06f5508

 

Steve Wright in the Afternoon is another BBC Radio2 show that is easy to listen to with a mix of music old and new and celebrity interviews.  He has an interview with Robert De Niro who responds to his interview questions.  If you’ve ever watched De Niro mumble through Late Night shows then you know that’s quite rare to get impromptu, coherent answers out of him.

Here’s a link to Steve’s page on BBC Radio2:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wr4r

 

Don’t forget about Simon Mayo Drivetime and his Confessions podcasts:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p2dfq

 

Of course, I’ve mentioned it many times, the one program I try not to miss during the week day is New York station WOR’s Mark Simone show.  I love that guy.  I don’t agree with many of his opinions but that’s not the draw of the show.  He really is Mr. Personality who has fun with the callers and his guests.  Yes, he takes calls every day and he makes it entertaining.  There is even a New York lawyer guest on his show periodically who is like Len Tillem’s lost twin with his loud talk and level of crudeness that flirts with offensive.

On a recent Simone show, the lawyer, Lionel, spoke about a subject that we in the Bay Area deal with everyday, the homeless and transient issue.  You have to hear this:

Mark Simone show – guest Lionel, on from 20:40 to about 31:15 on the podcast:

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/mark-simone-show-90315-hour-1-26325790/

I have experienced this same zombieland in the Bay Area.  Too many times I’ve walked past men who whip it out and pee on public buildings or in trash cans, or who crouch on the sidewalks with full exposure of their backsides on display.  I’ve stood on a corner waiting for a bus and some crazy exiting from a bus across the street runs over to chase me.  Or, a crazy who stood near me and told me, in a threatening way, to stop looking at him (I wasn’t).  Another guy and his buddy pass by sometimes and they are like the walking dead who stumble around and one speaks in a cracked, groggy, scary-deep voice that only a horror movie director would love.   Once, a disheveled guy walked close behind me and said he could attack me in a minute and no one would get there in time to stop him.  That was on a busy street with plenty of people around.  Creepy instances like that.  I’ve had to sidestep many young men who scream nonsense and throw things around in a rage.  And, who has not seen the disgusting patches of feces hanging off the sides of buildings everywhere?

Emptying the day rooms, indeed.

Lionel nails it.  Listen to him on that podcast.

WOR-710AM has been growing in the ratings.  They are now the #1 New York talk station.  It’s not a big number, but they are experiencing growth in this supposedly dying medium.  They are keeping the ‘talk’ in talk.  They don’t have hours upon hours of one person talking and talking and talking to be followed by another person or two, untalented amateurs, talking and talking and talking to themselves.  That is boring, lazy programming.  No station grows by offering stagnant content.  No listener stays around to hear it.

And no real former listener returned to support the Dick-eys 50,000 watt station in the Bay Area and now the Dick-eys are out of the top spots.  Finally.

There was one interesting comment I’d never read before about that blogger guy on the Facebook page of No More KGO.  Don’t know if it’s true.  It was posted by some guy who usually defends the Dick-eys and their decisions, so keep that in mind.  It sure explains a lot if it is true.

 

Anyone out there into programming and code and game design?  Even an amateur can get into this and have some fun with it.

Unity 5 (a game engine) has partnered with Visual Studio 2015 (Microsoft’s integrated development environment) and offers an import package of Visual Studio 2015 tools to be used for Unity scripting.  It includes IntelliSense for C# and, I think, Javascript but I haven’t tried that yet.  I prefer coding on Visual Studio so I love this.

A beginner can download both Unity game engine and Visual Studio Community for free with unlimited use.  It’s a great way to learn how to code and it’s fun to learn how to create a game.  Both sites offer plenty of help getting started.  Unity has extensive training video and manuals available on their site:

http://unity3d.com/

Poke around the Learn tab and you will see what I mean.  There are many tutorials on YouTube as well.

 

Visual Studio 2015 offers a free version and there are many YouTube videos on how to get started coding basic C#.  Also, they have online support on their Microsoft Developer Network that includes all levels of learning to work with Visual Studio 2015.

Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN):

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd831853.aspx

Visual Studio:

https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/download-visual-studio-vs

Download the Community version for free.

If you try out Unity 3D, then you have to start with the terrain and adding trees.  It is so amazing.  The best thing to do is find a good YouTube tutorial on Unity 5 (game engine) and working with terrain.  The creation is easy and the results are unbelievable.  There are many free assets offered in Unity’s Asset Store and they include a free Standard Assets package to get you started.

Look at the trees in that package.  Wait until you see them in the Unity Game Player in 3D.  Incredible.  Unity assets include creations from Speed Tree, a 3D animation toolkit.  There are some free and pay-a-fee versions in the Unity Asset Store.

If you’re curious about the 3D modeling of trees, this 2012 video explains how it works:

Speed Tree is not free.  There is, at this time, at $19 charge that is good for one month.  All assets created can be used and stored after your paid subscription ends.

You do not have to build your own trees on Unity 3D, they have fully created trees ready for use to populate your landscape.  Try it and you’ll see.

 

So, there’s plenty to do, lots to see, and podcasts to hear.  Get to it!

I’ll get back on the blogging track next month when it won’t be as busy at work now that the holidays are around the corner!

Enjoy the week and see you next time.

In my previous post, Type about Talk, a comment submitted by Bruce K. contains many layers for discussion.  I will reprint the comment here for anyone who missed it.  If you want to respond and interact with Bruce K. then Reply to his comments on the Type about Talk post (the post prior to this one) and add to the discussion.

By Paramount Pictures [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Here is the comment in its entirety:

Lately I have been thinking about talk radio and how much I miss it. Oddly enough I started looking for videos on You-Tube to keep up with Bernie Sanders. Then for some reason thought about Bernie Ward and what a disappointment and embarrassment Bernie was to Liberal. I really liked Bernie a lot when he first started on KGO, and even some of his shows before he was a regular. Ugh.

But then I went to thinking about John Rothmann who I used to listen to all the time on that late night weekend slot, and all the other talk show hosts. But virtually any reminiscence of talk radio has me thinking back on what a great diversity and selection there used to be in the Bay Area.

It’s ironic that when I first moved to CA in 1970 KGO to me was an right-wing old man irritant that I never could listen to. Always yelling down the callers, insults and idiocy … a lot like what we hear today after everything has been cut.

There used to be great talk shows on the rock stations, sex advice shows, psychologist shows, political talk shows, science fiction, etc. I could literally be in my car driving and have a selection of very good live spontaneous entertainment and education. I must have spend thousands of hours listening to talk shows. And they started getting better and better.

With a couple of Liberals on KGO finally I felt a little more like something other than right-wing nonsense was being broadcast. The solid middle of the road of Ron Owen, who runs a pretty good show, that is too early for me to listen to very often. But there was Gene Burns, who whether he was Liberal, Libertarian, or whatever could really hold and intelligent conversation. Gene was one of my favorites. And John Rothmann, who I still think is a Republican still used to have really good conversations and let peolpe talk. Same with Pat Thurston, and others.

It has been a very long time since they shut down KGO, and I can only give that Orwellian causes, because there days there is nothing any longer. There used to be all kinds of good TV shows as well, and even speakers in local venues. Almost all of that is gone. There is very little talk radio anymore, and where there is there is about 10 minutes of talk for every half hour.

-Bruce K.

 

In response, I can say many of us miss the talk radio format with interactive live calls from listeners.  The current format of reading Facebook comments or email from listeners is about as exciting as reading the back of a cereal box.  The format lacks forward motion since the host just inserts his or her own talking points again into the discussion after reading the comments and there is no one there to engage deeper into the conversation.  Boring!

The excitement and surprise of live calls is accomplished through the exchange of ideas and hearing reactions to those ideas and the occasional change of perspective as a result.  So many times I’ve felt one way about a subject and then after a phone call or two about it, I could see the other side of it.  I used to enjoy the cops who called in to a show and gave more insight into breaking news stories.  There were always a few listener calls that offered a unique viewpoint of a topic, based on a vast knowledge of the subject.  One host does not know it all.  One host brings preconceived ideas into a subject and has no one to challenge or change them.  It’s all a big YAWN!

A talk radio host can tell us numerous times how times have changed and they have to do things differently now, but listeners know it’s a talking point fed to the hosts by management.  These so-called executives seem to think if they force the hosts to say it enough times we’ll believe it (a bad habit from conservative talk radio).  We know what we hear.  The new format is not working and no matter how many times they try to push that explanation, we know it’s not valid.  After awhile, we give up and walk away.  Everyone who walks away takes ratings with them.

I was encouraged by Ed Baxter and Spencer Hughes.  When Ed was a fill-in host on noTalk910, he supported listener calls and encouraged people to call.  The moment he was given the job as full-time host, he suddenly changed his mind and thought the new format of no calls served listeners more and he explained it with the tired talking-points of management who seem to have no clue how talk radio works.  Then, Spencer, again as a fill-in host, gave long, impassioned speeches about his love of talk radio and how the listener calls are the reason it works.  After filling in for a few weeks, he suddenly changed his mind over a weekend and decided he wasn’t going to take calls after all.  He then gave the same tired talking-points of management.

How can the passion for caller-based talk radio change so suddenly?  Two hosts, who’d said they supported calls,  changed their belief in a short period of time after the promise of a full-time gig.  Gee.  I don’t think it’s the water they drink over there at noTalk.

I have more to say in response to Bruce K.’s comments, but will have to continue next week because I don’t have the time at the moment.

 

Before I go, I wanted to mention a good audio source of music history from the ’50s to the ’60s.  It’s from a post by David Kaye at Google Groups ba.broadcast.  I’ll provide the link, but that forum in general has been overrun by one troll who is stinking up that site as if it was the streets of San Francisco.  Too bad.

Here’s a link to David Kaye’s post:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/ba.broadcast/8jDfi2I5gpM

And, here’s a link to The Pop Chronicles, by John Gilliland, archived by UNT (University of North Texas):

http://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/JGPC/

The Pop Chronicles on UNT is not listed in chronological order so you have to look through the list and choose the audio segment.  There are full and partial songs in the audio mix along with comments from the artists.  The series consists of 55 segments total.  Have fun!  And, thank you, David Kaye, for mentioning it.

See you all next week.

 

 

By Tokyoship (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve given up on local talk radio.  I know I’m not the only one, just look at the ratings.  As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been listening to WOR710-AM in New York and BBC Radio 2.  WOR710 is going up in the ratings so I wanted to find out more about the station.  There is a site that discusses all things radio, radiodiscussions.com, and it includes all major markets in the forums.

There isn’t a lot of activity in the San Francisco forums, but that’s not surprising given the lack of listenable talk radio content in this market.  No one would listen by choice to most of the programs offered.

Some discussions in the forums on radiodiscussions.com address the same issues about our local choices:

Thread topic: Talk Radio Fans

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?664915-talk-radio-fans

I too, am a big talk radio fan, but I’m afraid it’s a dying genre. Younger people don’t care for it, and what’s left of “talk radio” is more “monologue radio”, not taking any callers but just a host talking. I’m extremely disappointed in Gil Gross’ show on 910 for that very reason. I miss true talk radio.

-finatic

 

There are other general topics overall:

Thread topic: Production Standards

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?687602-Production-standards-%28or-lack-of%29

… Attention is radio’s product and it is not in a broadcaster’s interest to degrade the product to make a quick sale. It also explains why blue chip “customers” no longer buy radio.

The phrase “the customer is always right” was coined by Harry Selfridge and he was was talking about customer service in a department store. He did not sell shoddy good nor compromise the integrity of his operation to pander to a customers’ whims.

-Oscar Madison

 

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?687602-Production-standards-%28or-lack-of%29/page3

Are you quoting the Ferengi “Rules of Acquisition?”

The line between “business” and prostitution is so fine, most people in radio can’t see it – or refuse to. Either way, it’s a key factor in radio’s current state of distrust and irrelevance.

-Oscar Madison

 

Thread Topic: How Many Hosts Are Left?

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?686098-How-many-hosts-are-left/page2

Terrestrial radio still has the advantages of ubiquity (with a small u) and convenience. Not so true for AM due to decreasing signal viability and lack of am receiving equipment, but it’s generally easier to turn on a radio than to search for stuff on the Internet. You can tune radios all over the house to the same station without latency issues — try that with Internet streams. You don’t need Internet, WiFi or a phone data plan. But we’re training people — especially young people — to avoid radio because, when they happen to tune in, it sucks.

-wadio

 

Thread Topic: An Investigation Regarding Talkers

This discussion dismisses the idea that radio stations purchase fake callers, but others continue to disagree.

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?683933-An-investigation-regarding-talkers

 

There are a few threads about Limbaugh, and one comment describes what I hear when I listen to him.  It’s especially fitting, I read it as I watched the Simon and Garfunkel concert in New York that aired on KQED-TV last weekend.  I didn’t see the entire show, only the segment where they sang the song mentioned below.

 

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?687040-Limbaugh-on-WOR-lost-half-of-his-WABC-audience-share/page2

Aside from the political monotony and maybe as significant, Rush today sounds like a cranky old man. His voice is hoarse and strident — he sounds like the guy in the nursing home clip at the beginning of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Old Friends!”

-wadio

 

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?687040-Limbaugh-on-WOR-lost-half-of-his-WABC-audience-share/page5

That’s an interesting thought. One of the characteristics of GenY is they prefer interaction to a lecture. One way to lose Gen Y is to talk AT them. It’s a big issue among educators. This is a generation that’s used to call & response, pushing a button and seeing a light come on. Talk radio, by definition, doesn’t work that way. Talkers need to learn from music DJs who conduct interactive shows on social media, while using their on-air show as the punctuation point.

-TheBigA

 

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?687932-Talk-Radio-Scoreboard-for-Major-Markets-June-2015

Rush’s search for a home in Boston has been finalized. He’s moving from 50,000 watt WRKO, Boston’s top Talk Radio station, owned by Entercom, to iHeart’s 5000 watts by day/1000 watts by night 1430 WKOX. iHeart is switching the station from Latin Hits to Talk, where Rush, Hannity and Beck will have a home in Market #10. But no local weekday shows will be heard. It will be all network Talk except mornings and overnights when iHeart doesn’t have any of its own shows available.

-Gregg.

 

Okay, enough about Rush.

Here are the New York rankings:

http://ratings.radio-online.com/cgi-bin/rol.exe/arb001

 

There is one reason I listen to WOR710 – the Mark Simone show.  I love that guy.  His show is a mix of callers and news and celebrity phone guests.  It gives me my talk radio fix for the day.  They have some fun calls on that show.  You never know what to expect.  Mark Simone plays with his callers and his callers play back.

Of course, it’s hard to hear the conservative talking points fed to his show and he does have his detractors as I found in this New York forum thread:

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?685447-Mark-Simone-King-of-New-York-Talk-Radio

I agree about the prehistoric guests — especially Dick Cavett — but on the whole I enjoy Simone. Aside from those interviews the show is quick paced and fun. Simone has a good sense of humor and I think what some people see as rude and condescending is just part of his act. I don’t get the fault a lot of people find with him.

-wadio

 

Overall, I’m not a fan of talk radio. But the times I tuned him in on WABC (and when he did that Saturday Night Oldies show) he was an easy-enough listen. On one occasion it was he on WAEB who kept me sane while I was part of an historic Allentown traffic jam on the way to catch a plane for my Dad’s funeral a few years ago.

I can’t say one way or another I’m a fan of his WOR talk-only show. As I said, I don’t listen to that much talk radio except for a half-hour, here and there, of a sports-talk. And WOR doesn’t come in here that well, whereas his old WAEB gig was a loud signal. Strict ‘talk’ may or may not be his truer metier, but whoever said that being the heavy hotdog in NYC doesn’t have as much prestige as it used to was spot-on.

-Steve Green NEPA

 

That was back in March.  Recently, Simone mentioned that he can’t walk down the street without people stopping him to say ‘heard the show today’ or ‘great show today’ so he knows people are listening.

 

hmmm, just saw this thread in the New York forum about the Library of Congress searching for content to archive from local radio:

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?671953-Library-of-Congress-launches-local-radio-archive-project

 

I would love to see Bay Area local radio archived with the LOC.  Then, I could hear some Gene Burns shows and listen again to Pete Wilson.  sigh…

 

I spoke too soon.

I was encouraged when Spencer Hughes welcomed callers and told heartfelt stories about generations of listeners connecting to talk radio.  Spencer said most of the passion listeners have for talk radio comes from hearing diverse opinions of listeners who call into the show, and that one host talking for hours, with one viewpoint, makes for boring radio.

Talk got to Spencer.  I now hear that he’s happy to just talk and talk and talk without calls, unless a caller is brilliant.  Yep.  You have to be brilliant, now, to get on his show.  So, what do we get?  Another person who talks and talks and talks.  Just like the rest of the line-up on noTalk910.  It’s not the best line-up either.  Let’s see, what do we have during the day?  Two guys who have nothing to say stumble through a show from 1:00pm-3:00pm.  Two big selfie sticks blabbering away.

Then, of course, there’s Gil, who allows only Politico correspondents on his show or a call or two from his dreaded wife with the shrieking voice.  For some unknown reason, he thinks it’s a good idea to bring her on the air with him every Friday.  Again, who tunes into that disaster of a show on a Friday?  People tell me she’s still there, with her oh yeahs and screeching in a dog whistle trying to get a point across, and many don’t bother listening to it again.  I haven’t listened to that Friday show for a long time now.  BBC Radio 2 is just fine at that time.

I admit, I stopped listening to that station when I had to keep turning off that yelling lady commercial that aired every ten minutes.  That was it for me.

I was going to go into Spencer’s original point about how calls from listeners are what makes talk radio work.  I was going to defend the listener call-in and ask why would talk radio eliminate the one factor that works?  I thought I’d look up what others say about talk radio without real talk.  That’s when I was reminded it’s probably not real talk we think we hear anyway.

Fake calls have been a staple of radio for some time now, according to these articles I found online.

There’s even a service that provides radio stations paid actors who will pose as callers, as noted in this article:

http://gawker.com/5778740/talk-radio-is-fake-now

 

Do you enjoy those crazy morning zoo shows?

They should have their own radio show awards for phone actors:

http://gawker.com/5779701/your-favorite-wacky-morning-radio-show-is-a-festival-of-lies

 

This guy thinks talk radio is the same as pro-wrestling:

http://www.adweek.com/news/press/michael-smerconish-says-talk-radio-pro-wrestling-fake-149136

 

Do you ever read sfgate for the comments?  I found an interesting column about online publications and the lessons that can be learned from talk radio:

http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/241945/how-talk-radio-listens-to-its-audience-provides-lessons-for-online-publishers/

 

This is an extensive article that discusses CTR (Conservative Talk Radio) and women callers:

http://ejas.revues.org/10513

 

Hate CTR?  This article is for you:

http://www.republicanradio.org/

 

Finally, this is an article about two real callers who taunted a radio station for years, then revealed themselves:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/cuba-boys-radio-callers-who-taunted-wbai-come-forward/?_r=0

 

I understand why hosts prefer email or tweets, it’s easy to sort through written correspondence and there is more control over the content of the message.  It’s also easy to create fake messages.  So, who knows what’s real any more?

 

I’m still listening to New York station WOR710-AM and, although it’s conservative, there’s one host who makes listening to radio entertaining again.  I’ve mentioned him many times now.  It’s the Mark Simone show.  What I enjoy about his show, when he’s not bashing liberals, is his on-air ease.  His opinions can raise an eyebrow, but he has a huge personality and loves to have fun with people.  His conservative slant is tempered by the news guy, who disagrees with many of the things Simone says.  Callers are welcome on his show.  I have to say, they sound like real callers, not the fake ones.  They sound timid or tongue-tied or just want to voice an opinion.  It’s a nice mix of calls and Simone interacts in a friendly, humorous way.  I’ve mentioned before how he sometimes pretends he can’t hear callers, or tells them to get to the point before his listeners go to sleep.  Always with a laugh.  He never sounds annoyed at having to take calls.  He sounds thrilled when the phone lines light up.  His show has the right mix of calls and guests.  He knows many of the celebrity guests who have interesting conversations with him and then, at the end, sell whatever they have to sell.  It’s unobtrusive.  His show page is full of video clips described by Simone in such a way you want to watch them.  That’s talent.

Then there’s Rush.  ugh.  For a few months I had been listening to an hour of him on WOR while waiting for Spencer’s show to air on noTalk910.  I don’t understand his supposed popularity.  Limbaugh coughs up phlegm and wheezes and scrapes his hands together and taps his pen on his desk or slaps his hands as he talks about how everyone is talking about him.  He even plays clips of himself!  He refers to women as info babes and then tells his audience to just sit back and let him think for them.  huh? The article I listed above about CTR and women includes excerpts about Rush’s show:

 

CTR is indeed a male-dominated field characterized by a tradition of macho chauvinism. When Limbaugh “reinvented” talk radio in late 1988, it was obvious that women were going to be systematic targets of his misogynistic, scathing remarks. As early as his pre-syndication days in Sacramento, he coined the portmanteau word “feminazi” to refer to women adhering to the core values of Second Wave Feminism.

Consistent with this view, The Thirty-Five Undeniable Truths of Life which he enumerated on the air in February 1994 include pronouncements such as “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

 

In the same way, Limbaugh does not refrain from flattering the caller when it serves his purpose, as was the case when Tiffany begged to disagree:

Tiffany: Just because I don’t agree with you on a couple things, my God.

Limbaugh: No, Tiffany, no, you misunderstand, Tiffany –

Tiffany: – partisan politics is that we get labeled for no reason –

Limbaugh: Tiff – Tiffa – Tiffany. Take a breath. Don’t torture me here.

Tiffany: I’m trying not to, you’re so great. (laughter)

Limbaugh: Tiffany, you know, I – I love you. You have to understand this, I love you and I want you to be right. I don’t want you to sound like a kook. I don’t want you to sound like a typical Democrat kook that is coming to define the Democrat mainstream.

Instead of debating the callers’ arguments by explaining his own, Limbaugh chooses to be overly condescending (“I love you and I want you to be right”) and tries to persuade her to change her opinion for her own good (“I don’t want you to sound like a kook”). In other words, he is shifting the discussion away from the rational and the argumentative to the personal and the emotional. Such a rhetorical strategy betrays the host’s representation of women as individuals that can be mollified by a few deceptively flattering words and that are devoid of debating skills.

 

In the short time I’ve been sampling Rush’s show (thanks to noTalk910 and their poor programming choices) I’ve heard Rush refer to feminazis and info babes on his show, and I’ve always been surprised and puzzled when women call his show to praise him.  It didn’t make sense until now, when I’m reminded calls are most likely phone actors.  Limbaugh denies it, but just because he says it doesn’t mean it’s true.  Think about it.

Another thing I’ve noticed is Limbaugh will talk about something early in the day, and Hannity brings up the exact same talking points later on his show.  Even Mark Simone has the same script.  It’s like they’ve all had coffee together and designed a daily plan against liberals that they repeat and repeat and repeat until the listeners know what they’re supposed to think.  That’s explained in the two gawker articles posted above as well, how it’s all scripted beforehand by a service and distributed to conservative hosts.  Yep.  Even Limbaugh, who claims to think for everyone, is probably letting some service think for him, reading words someone else wrote.

So, I give up on my expectations that talk radio will thrive in this new media environment.  Fake callers, fired locals, yelling commercials, amateur hosts, one person’s viewpoint for hours at a time, and a host’s wife with a horrible voice who is allowed air time all make cringe-worthy, yawn-inducing radio.

What keeps me tuning in every day to New York’s 710 WOR to hear the Mark Simone show?  It’s the callers, and their interaction with a host who obviously enjoys hearing what they have to say. Don’t take my word for it.  Listen to it and make up your own mind.

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-marksimone/

 

And, here are a few clips from his show page:

In this one Ralph Kramden dances Gangnam style:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/the-greatest-dance-video-ever-ralph-13799341/

Is that an iPad in the 1968 film ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’?

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/a-scene-in-the-1968-film-13796437/

13 days of Jimmy Nicol:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/at-the-height-of-beatlemania-ringo-13795551/

Amazing card trick.  I can’t figure it out:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/an-amazing-card-trick-this-video-12836716/

Rodney Dangerfield on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/tbt-rodney-dangerfield-and-some-of-13774355/

 

Don’t let anyone silence your voice.  Have a blog or website or radio show that allows you to say what you think?  Let people know and let these noTalk stations know we’re not buying what they’re selling.