Sunday, July 14, 2013

More Gordon Exegesis -- Wherein I Get to the Point I Started Out to Make, or Some of It

So let me get to the pronunciamiento that's I've been meaning to pronunce now for a couple of years, teasing the Confessor quite rudely in the meantime:

Gordon Keith is The Great Ticket Moderate.

See, unlike a lot of his critics who deride what they perceive to be his pseudointellectualism, I believe that Gordon is, in fact, an intellectual.

Before I get pounced on by the many, many Confessors who think Gordon is only a pretend sophisticate who just reads some popularization of the latest pop-psycho trend, let me tell you what I mean by "intellectual."

I've spent some time in the academy among people who most would regard as "real" intellectuals, and I have to tell you that if that's the case the state of our intellectuals is pretty, pretty sad.  The academy, much of it, is in the grip of ideology, of "theory," and I wouldn't give you a nickel for the opinions of the lot of them on The Way the World Really Works, or Should.

He may not have a lot of university book-larnin', but I will stack his analytical skills up against pretty much any of today's liberal arts faculty. He's a perfect spokesman for Half-Price Books. When I call him an "intellectual," I mean he has a thirst for learning, and when he acquires it, he digests it in a very non-ideological way. He sometimes plays the Muser Liberal, but I'm not buying it. If you really listen to his (admittedly rare) serious broadcasting on issues, I daresay you would have a difficult time pegging him as a liberal or as a conservative. Hell, he's even had some kind words for Rush Limbaugh, recognizes what is powerful and appealing about the man (and what is bombastic and offensive). He's skeptical of government, the control of the many by the few, but exhibits what I, at least, hear as sympathy for those whose unfortunate condition is out of their hands. Gordon is what I would call a "classical liberal" -- remember, the Enlightenment philosophers behind the American Revolution were "liberals" -- as opposed to today's "social liberal." I don't know who the guy voted for, but I sure don't hear much admiration for Obama, nor did I hear much contempt for Romney. I really do think that if you make a serious effort to discern what Gordon "really thinks," you're going to find a guy who listens to all sides and uses plain old common sense to make up his own mind.  Unlike many of today's "real" intellectuals, academics, pundits, those types, Gordon is not in the grip of ideology.

This, I think, is the foundation of his comedy.

I used the word in the previous post: Gordon Keith is observant. He is a watcher, a listener. He soaks it up and writes it down, without judgment. The whole world is fodder for his voice and pen. This may sound obvious and treacly -- all comics are observant -- but Gordon couldn't do what he does, certainly not in the volume he does it, if his mind only bent a certain way.

And now I'm going to go out on a limb (surprise).

I think Gordon's bottomless curiosity has a price.

I sense a deep but distinctive streak of melancholy in Gordon. It doesn't come out, often, in his comedy. As I write this, I realize I don't really have much in the way of evidence for it. But the observer who is also a reporter (I mean a reporter through comedy, not a Muse/News reporter) with Gordon's wide range of subjects can find it difficult to keep contacts with any of the many worlds he mines for material:  male/female, right/left, black/white/brown, young/old, rich/poor.  His humor, because it is so wide-ranging, so "moderate," if you will, isolates him.

I know nothing, absolutely not one thing, about his personal life.  But I would be surprised if he does a lot of palling around with palsy-walsies, belongs to organizations, has a whole bunch of close friends.  I don't mean he's a complete loner strange-o, yeah, he has friends, sure.  But I think his intellectual and comedic restlessness manifests itself in restlessness generally -- and what we know to be a certain lack of personal organization, an unwillingness to plan ahead.  And not exactly a fear of commitment, but a wariness of what commitment to anything or anyone means -- it means drawing a curtain across a window to observation, blocking off a comedic avenue, settling on something that needs continuing evaluation.

So I would invite the Confessor to give Gordon a break.  I thank those commenters who have observed that with Gordon the P1 has been given a very great gift.   We don't have to like everything he does, and I don't.  But what he does is hard work, he does it incredibly well most of the time (and again -- at an extraordinary pace) and, I am suggesting, he performs it at a considerable psychological cost.

I think Gordon Keith is a good guy.  I consider it a privilege to hear him every day and read him every week.

*     *     *

Do I have a second?  All in favor?  Hearing no objections, I declare Gordon Keith Week at a close.  

*     *     *

I will be away all week.  Take good care of the joint.  I'll be checking in probably once daily to chase away the babyarm people but other than that not back for a bit, maybe toss in a comment.  Anything dramatic happens on the air, please let us know. Be kind to one another.

And hey, you Gordon-dislikers.  Your opinion is respected here.  All I ask is that you keep things civil.

*     *     *


Cristobal said...

I think that's spot on. One of the things that has always drawn me to Gordon is the sense that he is able to think about issues in a manner almost completely free of bias (which is how I address things).

He refuses to be put in a category, which is how we should all be. In my opinion, anybody that classifies themselves as a democrat or republican, a liberal or conservative, an idealist or a pragmatist, is a fool. Nobody fits neatly into those categories (or many others) if they are actually thinking for themselves.

For those that think Gordon can be preachy or sanctimonious, I will posit the following theory: I think it is how he makes peace with his buffoonery. We all know about the proverbial "sad clown". Countless comedians have succumb to their demons, whether it be through overdose, suicide, or other tragic means. The pressure of being the funny guy gets to them, and eventually crushes them

Gordon has found an outlet for that stress. Being serious now and then takes away some of the pressure of having to be funny and in a great mood all of the time.

Like all of us, I don't know a damn thing about Gordon's personal life. This is all conjecture on my part. Based on what I know about me, and what I think I know about Gordon (which could be horribly wrong), I'll stand by my theories.

YOKOYOLO said...

I also think Gordo is a good guy. His positions on things--i.e., his political leanings--have changed as he's gotten older. For example, he used to make fun of the gun crowd (even though he was raised in a family of hunters and outdoorsmen) until he discovered sport shooting. From there he got into hunting. You can apply that anecdote to many things in Gordon's public life. I do believe that you read too much into his personal life. He does have a sort of immature melancholic streak in him, for sure. But you're wrong about friends and organizations. He's a part of a sort of hipster local writer's wine and cheese crowd. I know many of them (not one of them). I do see streaks of not what I would *now* (see below) call pseudo-intellectuality, but that are definitely shallow or surface level understandings of certain ideas/views. But that's what happens with most all autodidacts--which, at heart, Gordon is. Tied in with this is that for many of us who have followed him since The Ticket's inception we remember that he used to personify a psuedo-intellecxtual. It can be hard to see growth when you've been that close to someone/thing for that long. For that reason, I can see why some still think as such. IMO, Gordon is definitely not a pseudo-intellectual. But that neither makes him a scholar, and contrary to what Pman claims, nor does it mean he's a better "natural thinker" than your average philosophy PhD. In fact, I can guarantee you he isn't. Not sure what departments of the academy Pman has been around. Must be what passes for the English Dept. these days. If that's the case, then yes, agreed. But not only is Gordon a real intellectual vis-a-vis most Eng. profs,'s my grade school niece! Well, except the Univ. of Dallas. That's one stout Eng. Dept. They do it like it used to be done before "theory" took over. Actually, there's a nice article in last Thursday's WSJ on this very subject. Pman, are you "borrowing" here????

Finally, I think what you see as a certain sadness and fear of commitment as related to comedy is off-key. First off, Gordon likes to do what is easiest. He admits this on-air a lot. Second, his lack of organization, etc., is not due to having his head in the clouds pondering ideas, life, etc.. It's because he's allowed to get away with it. Someone always "understands," is willing to do it for him. Again, it's easy; it's easier to just do what you want. Third, some of his "eccentricities" and "afflictions" are not exactly what he makes them out to be. Only last week he admitted that his long time battle with insomnia (one he's talked about on-air for years, and has made it out to be some debilitating curse) isn't really insomnia. It's just that he stays up too late and has to get up early (but not as early as either Junes or Jub because he doesn't start until 6:00...more on this). But he has no problem falling asleep. In fact, he said that as soon has his head hits the pillow, boom, he's out. And he's always been like that. As someone who actually suffers from chronic insomnia, I can tell you he doesn't have it. Honestly, when he said this it pissed me off a bit. Upshot is that Gordon exaggerates things. Which turns people off, and which brings me to the point that many do not like those who get special rules. Gordon is legend at the station for that. From getting to start the day later than his partners to his life being off limits unless he brings it up and others lives not so much.

You started off weak, Pman, but you've finished GKW strong. Thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Cristobal, aren't you boxing yourself in with your theories? After all, to have a theory means to have an angle, a bias. But you say that you (and Gordon) are "almost completely free of bias."

Human nature is messy. So no one fits neatly into any one category. However that doesn't mean that a category doesn't fit. To say that to identify with a category is akin to not thinking for oneself is to identify with a category in itself. It's like saying there's no absolutes, absolutely. Your entire comment is biased. Just like this one. Just like all comments. So let's tap the brakes on the enlightened individual stuff, bud. Not trying to bust your balls, just giving you some friendly advice.

Anonymous said...

Gordon is almost always participating in the 530 segment so not sure why you think he doesn't show up until 6 YokoYolo.

YOKOYOLO said...

The Muser shift begins at 5am with a 20 or so minute Dick Hicks Ticker. Following that is the 5:30 segment where either Junes or Jub lays out the day's plan. Following that is the 5:40 bit, which is a replay of the previous day's 8:40 bit. Following that is Gordon's first time on the air. Obviously you either don't listen that early and are full of it, or you're too groggy or hungover to know what is going on. So as the traffico-traffico reporters like to say...stick it up yer tailpipe.

Anonymous Ron said...


There must be something wrong with my radio. On my radio the Ticket Top 10 plays until 5:30 (unless there had been no Top 10, then it is Yahoo Sports Radio). Then comes the mother of all Ticket Tickers, followed by the appearance of the Musers at about 5:35. For many years, they replayed a segment from the day before and then did their first live segment at 6. But a few years ago they went live at 5:30 and Gordon is usually there. (I remember at the time wondering what Gordon's reaction was to having to be on air thirty minutes earlier).

Russ T. Nail said...

I don't think Gordon could have written a better fluff piece about himself. Plainsman, you certainly see the Gordon as something much more "intelligent" than most, or even other Gordon lovers.
Everyone has their own take, and I respect that.

So P'man is on vacation this week...isn't Gordon on vacation his week? Are they vacationing together, perhaps?

Enjoy Plainsman, and thanks for this weeks nugget to chew on before you take a little much needed R&R.

Shaggy said...

Yeah, they replay the 8:40 bit at 6:40, not 5:40. After they lay out the run sheet, they have a 7-8 minute topical discussion, followed by a break, followed by a tiny segment, then a break and then a normal segment.

Anonymous said...

I think you have your hours off by one, but you are right that Gordon doesn't enter into the show until about the 30 or so minute mark. But that doesn't mean he's not there, either. Overall your comment on Gordon is fairly accurate. I'm a D1P1 and I see what you're getting at.

@Russ T. Nail
You nailed it. I'm with you in thinking the Pman seems to see Gordon as something much more than he is. I think he's a smart and funny guy. The thing is, nearly every comedian that has even a modicum amount of success is smart and funny. Yes there are exceptions, but even some of those who you'd think are dumb asses are in fact not. I shit you not, I know a guy who used to be friends with Carrot Top. Now you want to talk about a dumb ass, right. My friend used to swear up and down that he was the most razor sharp witted and astute observer of others that he'd ever been around by a mile. F'n Carrot Top!

birq said...

You know, Russ, I don't ever remember seeing Gordo and The Plainsman in the same place at the same time...

Plainsman, I think you crushed this one. I strongly agree with your take on Gordo, and I'm glad you finally got around to posting this piece that you've been baiting us with for so long. I think your point about what makes Gordo an "intellectual" is a good one: He's a rabid reader, a knowledge sponge, approaches subjects in agnostic a manner as possible (even those that are nearly impossible to approach that way) and is self-aware enough to know that he's as full of crap as the rest of us. That's better than you get from an overwhelming portion of radio blowhards. I appreciate what he brings.

On a completely unrelated note, I was blown away by Norm's epic penalty-kill of a morning show today. When I headed in to work a hair before 8, he was welcoming Eddie Sefko to talk Mavs off-season. Fair enough, but I could only take so much before I tuned over to KXT. I switched back over a couple songs later and Sefko was still on, so I found something else to do. I was almost to work at 8:30 and he and Sefko were STILL talking Mavs. Dear god. It's not really that exciting a subject after the first couple minutes. It was like a bad joke. I can see why Norm is so comfortable in the 10-noon shift.

Anonymous said...

Bob and Dan had on Daryl Hannah as a guest this afternoon. The boys gave it a valiant effort, but I was ready to ram a pencil in my eye socket after hearing her talk. Now I understand why there is not a "Mr. Daryl Hannah" in the abode/tepee.

Anonymous said...

In the Pro Bowl yesterday . . .

Anonymous Ron said...

BTW, I was a P1 of Gordo's TV show. Too bad WFAA couldn't keep it going.

Anonymous said...

There ought to be a post on cirque show this week. Not too bad.

BBQ said...

Gagreed on the Sirloins. I don't know when or how it happened, but I now, FINALLY, can tell the two apart when they're speaking. Not sure if they've been heeding advice from Cat, Dan Bennett, listener e-mails, or even us folks here at MTC, but it seems like the message which runs along the following lines has been received and acted upon: that is, to s l o o o o w d o o o w n and stop acting and sounding like a frenetic bunch of 22 year olds on Adderall who have been misdiagnosed with ADHD. That and to differentiate yourselves from B&S: stop with the self-referential inside jokes, etc. Perhaps after checking out B&S's latest incarnation and getting some feedback, they took a look at their show and thought "hmmm, maybe there is some validity to that point" and made some tweaks? Whatever happened, I sure am glad it did. CdS has been a pure pleasure this week. NOW. For the first time. I can see this show as an eventual weekday replacement for one of the legacy shows. They just seem so much more in control. Even the show opening has been pared down some. Which means, I guess, that they've reined in Machine a bit? Moreover, there hasn't a lot of too many voices in the room issues. Something that has plagued CdS from its inception. Mike and Cash are in control; they are the hosts; and it's paying off. No more (and a hearty Norm-inspired "no offense here") It's The Machine Show or some such. Again, it's Mike and Cash. Solid sports talk (thought the British Open segment was awesome), perhaps the best interviews on The Ticket, and just enough hijinks to mix it up a bit.

Fantastic job, fellas.

cactusflinthead said...

If I have to tolerate the inevitable Jerry Jones filibuster tomorrow afternoon to get back to the regular line up that is a fair trade. I can't take another morning of waking up to an interview. Love me some Uncle Norm but I need him in smaller doses.

I don't mind the Cirque. Mostly kinda meh towards them. I don't love them or hate them.

This dry dock line up has been utterly forgettable for me. At least I am gonna try.

Anonymous said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed this week.
No Gordon throwing out land mines and backing away, pretending he didn't do it.
And none of Corby's spontaneous statements about things the he absolutely knows nothing about.
I have enjoyed BaD in the drivetime slot, and what little of the Cirque that I caught was good.
I love Norm, but he is perfect in the 2 hour mid morning slot. 4+ hours a day is just too much.

Anonymous said...

Norm or Shake Joint

I would listen to that lineup over any other sports station in this market in a heartbeat. Meaning. Find another AM Drive show that can cut the mustard, and The Ticket can dominate for years to come. And one more thing. After listening to BaD this week with the additional hour----IF they would have gone over to The FAIL----and IF The FAIL would've been smart enough to make them their PM Drive show-----then The Hardline would be in second place WITHIN 6 months. I almost wish it would've happened. Think about the radio chaos that might've ensued. Yeah, The Ticket is set for a long long long long time. But they have to find a Muser up and comer replacement. Right now at least, there is not even a remote candidate in the JV ranks. And don't anyone say The Shake Joint. Damn fine show that will only get better. But it's too polarizing and too strong in opinion to fill 5+ hours of morning "Here I go again fighting traffic to get to my bulsh of a job and now here I am at said bulsh job" banter. I'm a Jake and Sean P1, but even I see that neither dude is someone I want to experience with the daily--- from barely functioning to where the hell am I to this is what I've made of my life?--part of the daily grind with.

Shaggy said...

Another No-Orphanage Saturday.

Anonymous said...

In the last month, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, The Orphanage has been cancelled twice and has been Danny-less once. Leaving one actual show in one month. A show, mind you, that airs 2 hours, once per week. Surely it's only a matter of time before an announcement is made, yes? It can't be easy to own and run a bar, be there till 3-4 am then get up for a 2 hour talk show. If you think Danny's not imbibing while working, at least a bit, and specially once the doors close after a hard night of work, you're nuts. So put all of that together with already working a full time day gig, and something has to give. I think The Orphanage is the casualty.

TO is far past its due date anyway. Give TC or some other JVers a shot. Guys who are happy to be there. Guys who don't, even if in jest, constantly say how much they hate the show/doing the show/how much they suck.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody used the Sports Day Talk app to stream the Ticket?

DA said...

"Anonymous said...

Has anybody used the Sports Day Talk app to stream the Ticket?
July 21, 2013 at 11:08 AM "

1- It does not seem to be available on GooglePlay, so I will not have it.

2-The concept is still a bit behind in technology for both the Belo whom owns the DMN as well as Cumulus.
That new app is trying to be that the Denver Post and radio partner is actually trying to do, but with less emphasis.

More detail:

3- Yes, CBS sold their Int'l Outdoor (advertising) Unit to Tom Gores for $225M. To keep it sports, Gores owns the Detroit Pistons and Palace of Auburn Hills.

As I have written here since late 2012, reports have indicated that Cumulus is still going to buy CBS Radio soon.

The Plainsman said...

Back. Thanks to all for keeping the place cool.

Gor-- uh, Mrs. Plainsman and I had a lovely time in New Orleans following the LHO "Trail of Pathetic Fair Play for Cuba Pamphleteering."

Will get something fresh up as soon as I can.

Anonymous said...

DA nails it. The deal is that Cumulus is going to buy CBS Radio, and it's gonna happen soon-ish. And that's why you heard Dan allude to THL and BaD being together again, what did he say?, something like a year from now. It's also why you don't hear a lot of sniping at The FAN anymore. Ok, part of that is due to the demise of RaGE. But mostly it's due to the very real possibility that some of those hosts (and some of their old bunkmates) will once again be colleagues.

Mark it down. This will be the next time this site blows up like Roman candle.

Anonymous said...

I can report that the Sports Day Talk app works much better for streaming the little Ticket than I Heart Radio.

Shaggy said...

What's wrong with iheartradio? I use tunein so I can record--never have problems.

Dan's Beach Towel said...

I have had issues with Tune In since the last two updates. the pause function does not work properly and if a phone call comes in while streaming anything broadcast during the call is gone.
I've complained to TuneIn with no luck so far.
Iphone 5

Dan's Beach Towel said...

Does anyone else not buy the fact that Gordon got the Governor's suite at the Stephen F Austin hotel for a regular room rate over vacation?
He probably paid full price and the only way he could talk about it on air would be to say he got a deal on it.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of buffering on I Heart.

The new Sports Day app also has the Top 10 clips that are included on the podcast available to stream.

Anonymous said...

I don't "buy" anything Gordon says, he is a disingenuous hack. If he promotes something on-air or in a love spot (JRs Steakhouse comes to mind), I won't go there because Gordon is such a fraud. If he is promoting it, I do not trust it.

terry tynsedale said...

Seeing how there hasn't been anything put up since this last one, I'm going to continue along the Gordo line of thought.

It seems like there's many out there who see Gordo in extremis. It ranges from those who buy into the Plainsman's darn near hagiography of a tortured artist/genius who somehow musters the strength to fight against his own self-loathing, self-destructive tendencies, and with the sensitivity and brilliance that only a true artist can conjure, finds his way to true center of humanity, by means of transcending its very limitations. . . . . .To. . . . . The sheer bile that is nothing more than the drowning in one's own insecurities and envy as ejaculated by 2:03.

I like birdie's take. I like it because I too have been a D1P1, and so, I have also seen Gordo mature. Yes, I still see much of the baloney within him, but I also see a dude who is trying to figure it out on the fly, and in a public way. So for me, he's not a fraud, he's not a pseudo-intellectual, but he's neither some tortured, tragic comedic-artist-genius. Gordo is a talented guy who is interested in a lot of things, and who is a pretty smart dude. And he, like all of us, has some aspects of his personality that are less than appealing. The thing is, his are put on display for all to see. But that's his choice. Can we now please move on to something else? Please?

Anonymous Ron said...

The video stream from the web cam sucks.

Anonymous said...

The only time I ever post here is to dispell the Cumulus/CBS rumors. NOT happening. If it was, do you think that information would make it's way to the hosts? No effing way. Many on this board assume that hosts are in the inner circle at the station, they're not. There's a VERY small management pod that is privvy to info like this, and it by all means does not include hosts. But again, 542, this merger/buyout/teammate is a gangland myth.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and we're supposed to believe you, Mr. or Ms. Inner Circle. Dispel away.