Mark Twain famously wrote that “Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.” It’s been a while since I had a week like this one, full of work that doesn’t seem like work, full of work I actually want to do. But it means I haven’t had quite so much time to linger over this blog. So, in no particular order, here’s a Friday Top 5 made up of stuff other people have done.
Gerry Rafferty’s iconic “Baker Street” always makes Alex at Clicks and Pops think of the Sex Pistols. Meanwhile, it’s got Ted at Boogie Woogie Flu thinking about music that didn’t get nearly as much airplay during the “Baker Street” summer.
When I got back into radio in 2006, I worked for the Lake, a classic-rock station with a deep and wide library, whose format was based on that of a Chicago station that calls itself the Drive. The Lake passed into history a couple of years ago, but the Drive endures, and it will celebrate its tenth anniversary on Friday, January 14, with an all-day, locally produced history of rock and roll. It’ll be streaming online, too.
Over New Year’s, radio consultant Dan O’Day put up a piece called “A Brief, Incomplete History of Radio” on his blog. Anybody who got into radio for the love of the way it was will find a lot to remember in it, some of which had me laughing out loud in recognition. Anybody who knows radio people and wonders how they got to be the way they are will learn a lot from it too.
I know some of you don’t like my politics, and many of you don’t care about football. If you are in either of those categories, run along and enjoy your weekend. If you’re interested in either subject, this post continues on the flip.
A right-wing talk-show host in Milwaukee lost his mind over the fact that a high school choir from Green Bay sang “Aquarius” at our new Republican governor’s inaugural this week, calling it “a hippie song” and accusing the kids of trying “sandbag” the new governor. (Honestly: Do conservatives really believe liberals think that way?) Understanding our contemporary political struggles is easier when you think of them as pitting the 60s counterculture against Nixonite reactionaries—even after 40 damn years.
When I wrote for Best of the Blogs, I used to do extensive NFL playoff predictions every year. They won’t be quite so extensive here, but in case you care:
New Orleans at Seattle. The kerfuffle over whether Seattle should be allowed to host a playoff game, or even be in the playoffs with a record of 7-and-9, got tiresome even before it started. It was the first time in NFL history that anybody won a division with a losing record, so let’s not overreact until it happens a few more times. Besides, New Orleans will set things right. Saints 30, Seahawks 7.
New York Jets at Indianapolis. Apparently Jets coach Rex Ryan started woofing at the Patriots yesterday, who would be the Jets’ next playoff opponent, having forgotten that they destroyed his team 45-3 a few weeks back. Rex is entertaining, but he shouldn’t be writing next week’s check before his team has to cash this week’s—which I don’t think they will. Colts 28, Jets 20.
Baltimore at Kansas City. I know next to nothing about the Chiefs, because we kept getting Colts games on TV up here even after the Colts started losing and the Chiefs started winning. And I don’t expect to get any extra time to learn much more about them. Ravens 21, Chiefs 13.
Green Bay at Philadelphia. Whenever I pick the Packers to win, I am never sure whether it’s based on actual football knowledge or my lifelong allegiance to them. But since I suspect I’d pick the Eagles to beat almost anybody else, I think this one is probably an allegiance pick. Packers 35, Eagles 31.
I am also rooting for at least one game to go into overtime, and for the newfangled overtime rules to create some sort of controversial firestorm. The NFL is famous for doing almost everything right almost all the time, but the potential for debacle with this change seems pretty high. Who tests a new rule during the playoffs? Stay tuned.