Monday, November 30, 2015

BREAKING: Gordon Keith Wins Major Journalism Award

I don't know if he'll receive a leg lamp, but this is still pretty cool:

Gordon was awarded First Place for General Interest Column Writing in the annual Best of the West Journalism Competition.

From the Best of the West website:

Gordon Keith takes first place for his portfolio of columns, including “Shell of a former self,” “Missing the mark,” and “Slow dancing in their dreams.”

“Gordon Keith of The Dallas Morning News took my breath away. The heart of his stories beat lively in a reader’s mind. He distills the larger-world experience of being human – public ridicule, failing health, loss of a mother – through storytelling zest and insightful facts. His use of dialogue in columns – a man’s slow paralysis, or why Keith’s mother saved a shell from his boyhood – consistently hits an emotional bullseye,” the judge wrote.

The website also features a photograph of a shell that illustrated the piece about his mother.

Hope we hear more about this on The Musers tomorrow (if it was on today, I missed it).

Congratulations to Gordon.   He just missed the Pulitzer brass ring last year, and it would come as no surprise to see that honor following on this one in the not-too-distant future. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015


A quick one for for you:

The Hardline is great this morning.  Funny, sharp, goofy.  Not smarmy, not snarky in the snide way that has sometimes wears.

I'm thinking:  Maybe the reason the Hardline has declined is that Mike is just tired by the time 3 PM rolls around.  Maybe the show would be better if he were operating on the front end of a good night's rest.

There is no chance of this, of course.  But they started talking about the sound of today's show and remarked that the show this morning was as silly as it ever gets, and they weren't talking about it like it was a good thing.

"Silly" may not be the right word for "good Hardline," but there is a patina of craziness on the showgram today that has been missing from the PM drive for awhile now.  I wish they could feel that and get that spark into the sundown hours.

Although I could have done without the rerun of "Thanksgiving Loves the White Man" and the references to violence against women.  At least they remarked on it with some remorse.  And no, the times weren't "different" when Corby wrote it.

Anyway, a good listen today.  Wish they could bottle that goofiness and uncork it afternoons.

Have a thankful day and don't drink and drive.

"If you see two of me, pilgrim, I'll take those keys."

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sorry and Thanks

I've been neglectful of the site, although trying quickly to review and approve (most) comments.  Working every day and evenings, just hard to get away from the plow long enough to get something worthy up for the Confessor.  Regrets.

So I'll just freshen up the thread with a giving of thanks to everyone who continues to tune in and keep the hits at historically high levels.  Thanks also to the faithful corps of those who post comments suitable for publication.

Hope to be back with something of interest soon.

"I'm getting pretty sick of these lame MTC posts.  This site doesn't liven up pretty soon I'm going somewhere more .  .  .  Red."

My only Great Thought for the day is:

I'm trying to remember if Gordon has always mispronounced "Hitgzes" as "Hitchges," or if that is only a recent thing.  I didn't think Gordon had been getting it wrong, but I could be misremembering.  But if I'm correct that he's now adopted George's scandalous and long-standing mispronunciation of the beloved senior host's name -- bit or not? Remember, we're talking about Gordon here.

Thanks again, and all of you guys and dolls be safe.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Morning Quick Hit

Yow.  Jake and Sean are really on it this morning with their 7 AM start. 

You may disagree with what one or both of them is saying or how they're saying it, but it is sharp, solid conversation and no punches pulled -- including a few jabs at one another.  Good radio.

We all need to step back before launching bombs.  I include myself in this caution.  One can disagree with what a host says but before we issue an opinion that isn't tied to something in particular we've heard on a showgram, at least consider whether it's thought-provoking, entertaining radio -- whether you'd rather be listening to, or doing, something other than listening to The Little One. 

I punch out sometimes during the week or JV time when I think things are getting a little too fatuous or smug or repetitive, but I almost always re-punch before too much time has passed.  I've sampled the competition -- in fact, I'm thinking of doing a multi-week Ben & Skin immersion and reporting -- but I think it's very difficult to deny that The Ticket, for all its occasional sour notes, is still the greatest radio any of us has ever heard.

Even with bedhead, it's worth getting up early to listen to That Shake Joint Thang.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Confessor Brad Gilbert somewhat anticipated this topic in his comment to the last post so thought I would go ahead and throw it up here.

Every once in a while you will hear something on The Ticket that will make you go "hmm, is this sincere or are they (or "is he") doing a bit?" 

The most recent puzzler is the series of ads featuring the hosts claiming to be P1s, swearing that they listen all the time and even identifying some favorite segments.

There are several possibilities here:

It could be sincere, more or less, in its entirety.  It would not be hard to believe that hosts tuned into the station during their listening time, in the car, doing whatever it is they do when they can also be listening to the radio.

The first thing that struck me as odd was Mike's statement that he simply had to tune in to the 8:40 bit everyday.  Had some trouble picturing Mike up that early, and if so, targeting that particular segment.  Still, made some sense.  Could be we are supposed to take it entirely seriously.

It should come as no surprise that Dan is the one most obviously lying -- in a way intended to be amusing, of course, and it is.  His first clue is actually somewhat sly, as he identifies the Muser segment in question as "Gordon's [not 'Gordo's] Corner."  This is clever – it is just the most subtle hint that he is pretending to know about a segment that he in fact never listens to as evidenced by getting the name just a little bit wrong.  In the one I heard this morning, he describes Junior's "Top Five/Bottom Five" lists as the most important thing ever on radio.

Bob gets into the act by expressing uncertainty as to whether Gordon has an Observation "Deck" or "Desk."

And yet we have Norm, George, and Craig more or less playing it straight in their claims of actually listening to the station.

Yes, I know this is a repeat. 

So what we're left with is a promotion that pretty much undercuts itself.  With Bob and Dan being funny, it calls into question whether all of the lavish mutual admiration is sarcastic.

This really isn't intended to be a criticism; I get a kick out of the commercials, and Dan's remarks are amusing.  But the schizophrenic message robs the spot of any kind of persuasive power. 

On balance, though, I think the ad was intended to be sincere and that we are intended to believe that the hosts tune in to one another with regularity throughout the listening day.  So while the spot is not effective in conveying this message, my vote on this one is:

Not a Bit.