I thought today would be a good first day to publish a GIF. :)
Falmouth by Silken Photography on Flickr.
I wish I had captured the actual moment in the poem below, but I was sans camera. This image from Falmouth captures the essence of what I saw (minus the boats, and the england part)
Standing, slick, in the shower
in the grey of April
one of those bugs
the kind I always smash
appears on the misted glass.
I reach out to end it
but the light is clear
a benign stalk,
and a mouth like two petals; and I see
this creature will do me no harm.
This new thing, its end stayed,
sips mist off the pane;
its kisses leave puckered circles
in orderly lines
that could almost be letters.
And I remember
how this creature and its kind
huddle under my lamps at night
when the garden is too cold.
And I recall
how they hover above my bed
without the buzzing of flies,
or the dangling menace of spiders
whom I know not to kill, thanks to Charlotte.
So many mist-sippers
before I took the time to see
they were not mosquitos.
Some penance is due,
for those lost moments,
in the shower,
in the lamp-light,
And how many other mist-sippers,
in other forms
have I smashed,
without listening to their music.
When it comes to legendary radio personalities, I’m not an impartial critic; when it comes to documentaries, I don’t fall easy, but I fall hard.
So it was my great joy to see ’Radio Unnameable,’ a new documentary about Bob Fass, who’s been on the radio for nearly fifty years.
I can’t say it better that A.O. Scott, or any of these other fine reviewers, but this is a wonderful film and you should go see it.
Filmmakers Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson have crafted a moving story about a man whose voice was, and still is, a beacon in the night for New Yorkers. The movie is bursting with humor, pain and passion—and with the music that defined the 1960’s (and often debuted of Fass’s show).
Bonus for LA friends: If you go to go the Arena Theater in Hollywood this weekend, Bob and the filmmakers are doing Q&A.
Making a movie about radio is a daunting task; I kept imagining an editing timeline filled with gaping holes that taunted the filmmakers: “Just try and cover me!” Wolfson and Lovelace succeed admirably—using poetic footage of New York that enhances, but never distracts, from the voices.
As someone who is currently employed by the ‘internets’, the film is a gentle reminder that the concept of shared social connection through media did not begin with Mark Zuckerberg, or even The WELL.
Hosts on WBAI created their own web of listeners, loonies, musicians and activists who showed up at fly-in’s instead of meet-ups and swept the city streets instead of ‘flash mobbing’ them.
The movie also spoke to me as a veteran of the overnight shift—drifting through the days like a ghost, eating too many breakfasts, laughing with the other nightsiders as we begged the Irish bar up the block to open at 10am instead of 11. Watching Fass turn the key in his car at whatever god-awful hour he goes to work—I’ve felt that conflicting brew of resignation, determination, exhaustion and possibility.
And of course, this movie spoke to me as a daughter—for more than thirty years my heart has swelled, broken, and runneth over for another WBAI radio personality who sent his voice into the ether to find listeners who couldn’t stay up quite as late as the cabal, but needed a beacon of their own.
In the end, whether you listened to ‘In the Beginning,’ ‘The Outside’ or ‘Radio Unnameable’, (and especially if you’ve never heard of them at all) this is a movie about family—the family that finds each other in the darkness and holds on through the decades. Today, when ‘unfriending’ is just a click away, that enduring social connection is worth supporting—and celebrating.
‘Radio Unnameable’ is playing at the Arena Cinema Friday April 5th-Thursday April 11th at 7:30 and 9:15pm with an additional 5:45pm screening on Saturday and Sunday. Q&A with Filmmakers and Bob Fass opening weekend.
This long-winded post was brought to you by The Radio Foundation Studio, where you can practice the art of radio for a reasonable hourly rate—bagels included.
“No man is a failure who has friends.” on Flickr.
Hot Dog! on Flickr.
6000 feet up Mt. Hood in January. on Flickr.
A favorite from long ago
After the rain, and after the filters! on Flickr.