I changed jobs this week. I went to work for one of my heroes. Perhaps you've heard of him, his name is Stephen King. Lots of folks like his books. He's more than an author though. He's a guy who gives a darn about his fellow man. A simple web search will tell you about the many soldiers, students, athletes and regular Joes he's helped over the years.
There's a quote attributed to Mr. King -- it explains humanity's most powerful ability: "love is what moves the world, I've always thought... it is the only thing which allows men and women to stand in a world where gravity always seems to want to pull them down, bring them low, and make them crawl..."
Hopefully our new radio show will spread a little of that empowering love around to the folks that are on their knees right now and help them get back on their feet. Our first day on the air, we'll be collecting gift cards for our "gas and grub for our guys and gals" promotion via the Wounded Warrior Program. Seems our returning injured fighting peeps are unable to buy food or get to doctor's appointments and they need some love. Oh, and this show is progressive talk radio so pathetically inhumane realities such as this and the elected officials who legislated them will be getting a little good-natured bashing in the process.
Suffice to say that Mr. King's got a vision going forward of a daily tongue-in-cheek radio broadcast where love is the central motivational force and sticking up for -- and empowering -- the little guy is the end result. I know that's his vision because this week when a reporter asked him what his vision for his new radio program was he answered, "Whatever Pat's vision is for it." And well, quite frankly, that's it.
You can read more of Becca Gregg's interview with Stephen King at the Carlisle Sentinel. That's the hometown paper for the homeless shelter where I used to work. That's where I got my secondary degree in the school of hard knocks. Not to mention where I got daily practice sticking up for the underdog.
The grimmest truth of all, here in the US of A, is that as a country we don't live up to our potential. We've prioritized killing in other lands, while our own people are faltering.
Too many Americans have accepted the rhetoric that innocents have to die so that we can clobber a bad guy or two that might be in our midst. That's the same logic used by Timothy McVeigh by the way.
Still, the biggest problem facing a daily four-hour program that exposes the pitfalls of our society is that the buzzkill potential is overwhelming. So we plan to make listeners laugh at the bad guys instead of just hating them. At the end of the show we want empowered listeners walking away with the necessary mirth in their hearts to get stuff done.
It doesn't seem at first glance that anger and good cheer belong together, but my new boss wrote in his book Bag of Bones, "Humor is almost always anger with its make-up on."
So yeah, while it's infuriating that -- as comic genius George Carlin once said -- "I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed," best describes the 2008 elections. We're not going to let that stop us. Every weekday morning we'll just apply another of Carlin's maxims, "it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
If you want to prep yourself for our show, I suggest you watch Carlin's rant on the American Dream. We're going to give the power brokers of this nation just what Carlin says -- in that video -- they don't want, "They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests."
But it's in our interests. And as the most powerful nation in the world, it's in the world's best interests. And thanks to Stephen King we'll be pursuing those interests starting September 12th at 6 a.m. If you'd like to listen live on line, go to zoneradio.com and click the Pulse "listen live" icon. And then we'll give you our toll free number, so that we can have your input.
Here's the last word from Mr. King, when he spoke about the morning show at our press conference last week, "We'd like to burn some feet once in a while -- make some people a little bit angry." Because, King added, "There are some people who deserve to be taken to the woodshed from time to time."