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Saturday, July 17, 2010

How I Became A Fearmongering Nutcase On Interstate 5

...Listening to gospel music on the colored radio station  ... Thank you Jesus, Thank you Lord - Lyric snippet from Faraway Eyes by the Rolling Stones

In my world, there is no such thing as a colored radio station, so I guess that's why this verse stuck in my brain as "AM radio station" and somewhat explains my fondness for listening to AM radio when driving long distances, like those that can, and occasionally must be driven on Interstate 5. (Careful not to miss to fork after the Grapevine, or you wind up in Fresno. Yup, It happened to me.)

I feel the need to explain why I was listening to AM radio despite a seething disdain for it (which I now recognize to be radio wavelength bigotry) instilled in me by years of living in the San Francisco Bay Area and 4 years of higher education at UCSC - you know - Santa Cruz - the one without grades and a banana slug as a mascot. With such a background, I really should be a full-on Progressive, espousing nonsensical gibberish on a wide variety of topics I know nothing about. Or maybe I actually did get an education at Uncle Charlie's Summer Camp, because back in the day there were still people at those bastions of knowledge who understood their mission was to teach people to think, rather than to crank out armies of Progressobots programmed to respond with the phrase "Social Justice" to every inquiry made of them.

What would you like for dinner, dear?
Social Justice.
I don't feel like cooking, mind if we just pop some in the Microwave?
Yes, Lets.

So there we were, cruising up Highway 5 at some odd hour of the night, listening to AM radio. I think the program was Coast to Coast with George Norey, an interesting show in that it explores everything that is not considered mainstream. It gives the newly-hatched, the far-out and the far-fetched a chance to dance, and is always a reminder that true diversity is alive and well in the USA, if you ever care to explore it. (You may be shocked to hear people express opinions that do not correspond to their skin color, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs... and as such can be considered radical and not for the faint of heart.)

The guest of the evening was Neil Howe, one of the co-authors of The Fourth Turning, an American prophecy. Now, many people tune out when they hear "prophecy" thinking they are about to get predictions foretold by Nostradamus, Mayan Indians or oddly garbed fortunetellers equipped with a deck of cards and self-professed connection to spirits and other worlds. So, in an effort to convince you that not a single crystal ball is involved, I give you Neil Howe's condensed bio: Howe grew up in California, received his B.A. at U.C. Berkeley, studied abroad in France and Germany, and later earned graduate degrees in economics (M.A., 1978) and history (M.Phil., 1979) from Yale University.

Plus, I have seen videos of him on youtube, and he is always wearing a suit. He also comes across as the type who thinks more than he speaks.

Anyway, after listening to this interview, I purchased and downloaded the Fourth Turning on audio book and listened to it. Then I spent about a month moping about in general hopelessness and depression, until that got old and I decided I had better start getting ready.

Subsequent events, especially those occurring in the economy and political arenas, have only served to bolster credibility of Howe and Strauss in my view. I have also started subscribing to a variety of newsletters which provide me with second opinions and interpretations of world events. In case you are interested, they are: The Trends Research Institute newsletter written by Gerald Celente. The National Inflation Association, and Independent Living.

Note: I do not make any money from any of these organisations and have no relationship to them other than I have subscribed to their newsletters. Both the Trends Research Institute and the Independent Living subscriptions are paid subscriptions. I forked over money to them, they send me their newsletter. Independent Living most likely sells its client list to similar companies because I have started receiving lots of people's  newsletters in my mailbox, which I put into a special file called "solicitations". As far as I can tell, the others don't. Again, merely my opinion formulated entirely in my own head.

See you in the funny pages!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Reena Nadler and I work with Neil Howe at LifeCourse Associates. Glad you enjoyed his Coast to Coast AM show and The Fourth Turning! Thought you might be interested in checking out Neil's blog at, or following us on twitter, @lifecourse