Remarkably Not Awful

Today, July 11, 2012, is the eighth anniversary of this blog. If I had timed it better, this could have been the 1,500th post in its history. As it is, it’s #1,498. In keeping with anniversary tradition, here’s a rundown of my favorite posts since last July 11th.

Over the past year, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about insider radio stuff:
AM stations signing on and signing off with the seasons
a national test of the Emergency Alert System
talking over the introductions of records
local sportscasters doing what they do

We talked about the big stuff, like what the purpose of radio really is, and the small stuff, like dining in the studio.

Another frequently revisited topic involved unusual editions of American Top 40.
the one where Casey counted down the top albums instead of the top singles
the one where Dick Clark filled in
the one that was remarkable in its awfulness

Clark was one of those we eulogized over the past year, along with several others:
Don Cornelius
Donna Summer
Whitney Houston
Donald “Duck” Dunn
Sophie
a friend of mine you never met

On the subject of friendship, there was a post about the Elton John/Bernie Taupin score for the movie Friends, and an e-mail interview with one of my Facebook friends, David Shaver of the group Starbuck.

There was our usual amount of historical research, spanning subjects as wide as disco and a particular waltz. We looked into some historical turning points involving Saturday Night Live and Bruce Springsteen’s politics. The latter post sparked a bit of totally unexpected political bickering. The one that got the most reader response involved explicit lyrics, which was a lot more fun.

We went off-topic entirely now and then with some reruns from another blog I used to write. My favorite of the off-topic posts described an incident from 1980, in which a small college awakened to the then-shocking news that there were gay people in their midst, and an equally shocking post from 2005 in which I found out that according to the Reverend James Dobson, I might be gay, too.

On more serious subjects, we did our usual amount of philosophizing, about the songs that allow us to see our lives as they really are, and about the terrible importance of every moment.

I can’t pick a single favorite post of this past year because there are two. One is about a famous storm that struck southern Wisconsin on November 11, 1911—11/11/11—and yes, there was a musical angle. The other looked at the front page of two newspapers from the same city, both published on December 24, 1969, and tried to decide which one was more truthful.

And for an eighth consecutive year, we have badly overused the editorial “we.”

Sometimes I wonder what I would have done with the time I’ve spent at this if I hadn’t spent it at this, which is the most fun I’ve ever had doing anything. I intend to keep doing it until I run out of stuff to gas about. The most rewarding part of it is your feedback and your friendship. As ever, I am grateful to all.

(You can see the lists of favorite posts from other years here.)

10 responses

  1. Happy anniversary. Eight years of remarkably not awfulness is quite an achievement.

  2. Congrats. Your virtual outpost is one of my favorite destinations and I’m looking forward to the next year’s worth of reading material.

  3. I don’t go a day without checking your site. Keep it up!

  4. Here’s to many more! I raise one of my Rowhouse Reds in your general direction.

  5. Congrats! I’m think this evening, I’ll toast you and your not awful efforts – a must-read for me for six years or so – with the Kentucky Breakfast Stout I have tucked away in the fruit cellar. It’s only fitting . . .

  6. Congratulations on your “Great 8.” Your blog posts are not only entertaining, but they are also educational. Wish we had all this great information 30 years ago.

  7. Like Porky, I rarely go more than a day without checking your posts. Since we seem to be about the same general age, much of what you write about I also experienced firsthand, and it’s made for a great hodgepodge of memories — a few bad but most very, very good. And I particularly enjoy your missives about 1976. Some years deserve to live on forever.

  8. Thanks, everybody. Your kindness means more than I can describe.

  9. 8 years…amazing! Congrats to one of my favorite daily reads!

  10. Hey! I was on vacation, unplugged, when this anniversary passed by, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to say, “Congratulations!” And keep going, as long as you’re inspired. It’s always a pleasure to check in and read what you’re up to.

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