I love being the only person on my floor of the building. The rest of the place is dark, and I feel like I'm the night watchman at the Library of Congress or something.
Anyway, it's been a busy last few weeks, so sorry to whichever readers I have that I haven't posted much. I want to give you a few tidbits that have caught my interest lately.
I've been a fan of her show pretty much since I started listening to liberal radio here in Madison. Funny, topical, smart, and very listener-responsive, Stephanie is a really good alternative to Air America, which is either a little too center-left sometimes, or loudly conspiratorial (not a complaint, mind you) at other times. She's a hell of a lot better than Ed Schultz, who I usually cannot stand. I'm crabby that the local affiliate dropped Randi Rhodes back an hour to broadcast Ed Schultz live. Replacing the smartest person on liberal radio with the dumbest is no way to program, in my opinion.
Anyway, Stephanie earned some karmic points for coming back to the show on Tuesday, a few days after losing one of her dogs to sudden illness. Listeners will know what her dogs mean to her, and how they inform her on-air persona. She was understandably upset, and broke down on a number of occasions. But it was a brave thing to do, and I'm a bigger fan for having heard her deal with her grief in such an open way, and for allowing her listeners to help her in recovering. If you don't have a carrying affiliate in your area, she's available for download on iTunes.
For those of you who might be in the Madison area, or visiting, this is becoming an indispensable resource for how to cram stuff in your face. I don't know if it's true that Madison has more restaurants per capita than any other city in America, but it feels like it to me. I can only imagine what it must look like to stare down all those restaurants, alphabetically arranged, and be determined to visit all of them in that order. And yet, that's what JM and Nichole are doing at their site, as well as providing reviews and a handy letter grade. It's got franchise potential; I feel like I should ask them if I can do a similar site for my own hometown area (the Fox River Valley, Wisconsin). Anyway, even if you're not in the area, it's a fun read.
3) Freethinkers, by Susan Jacoby
I just started reading this book, released in 2004, so I can't tell you it's a great book from front to back, but just reading the Introduction got me all fired up.
"Secularism teaches us to be good here and now. I know of nothing better than goodness. Secularism teaches us to be just here and now. It is impossible to be juster than just. ... Secularism has no 'castles in Spain.' It has no glorified fog. It depends on realities, upon demonstrations; and its end and aim is to make this world better every day--to do away with poverty and crime, and to cover the world with happy and contented homes."
--Robert Ingersoll, Works, vol. 8, pp. 393-94.
As we creep (lunge?) towards theocracy, I think this book will have continued and significant relevance. Give it a try.
That's what's keeping my attention right now. I'll see if I can't get back on track with the ol' blog. You readers can always inspire me to write more by, say, COMMENTING NOW AND THEN. Sheesh.