Archive for September 30, 2004


September 30, 2004

Muni was on the air, playing a Chuck Berry song, when the new general manager summoned Chernoff to his office after hearing the opening riffs.

“Why are we playing this nigger music?” Coughlin demanded to know.

Chernoff couldn’t believe what he’d just heard and asked his boss to repeat the question. He did so without hesitation, and Chernoff, still reeling, asked that he convey his feelings to Scott Muni directly. Mark retrieved Scottso and marched him back into the office. Coughlin asked the question again, without rephrasing.

Muni and Chernoff looked hopelessly at each other. Scott merely said, “You keep stepping in shit, don’t you? Do you realize what would happen to us if what you just said became public? You can’t be serious.” He turned on his heel and headed back to the studio.

“I feel like some Motown, Fats,” he told his engineer upon arriving. “Pull out some Supremes, Temptations, and Four Tops.” Those groups comprised the next few sets on the air.

–Richard Neer, FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio


September 11, 2004

God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night with a light from above
From the mountains
To the prairies
To the oceans
White with foam
God bless America
My home sweet home

As he followed her inside Mother Abagail’s house he thought it would be better, much better, if they did break down and spread. Postpone organization as long as possible. It was organization that always seemed to cause the problems. When the cells began to clump together and grow dark. You didn’t have to give the cops guns until the cops couldn’t remember the names…the faces…

Fran lit a kerosene lamp and it made a soft yellow glow. Peter looked up at them quietly, already sleepy. He had played hard. Fran slipped him into a nightshirt.

All any of us can buy is time, Stu thought. Peter’s lifetime, his children’s lifetimes, maybe the lifetimes of my great-grandchildren. Until the year 2100, maybe, surely no longer than that. Maybe not that long. Time enough for poor old Mother Earth to recycle herself a little. A season of rest.

“What?” she asked, and he realized he had murmured it aloud.

“A season of rest,” he repeated.

“What does that mean?”

“Everything,” he said, and took her hand.

Looking down at Peter he thought: Maybe if we tell him what happened, he’ll tell his own children. Warn them. Dear children, the toys are death–they’re flashburns and radiation sickness, and black, choking plague. These toys are dangerous; the devil in men’s brains guided the hands of God when they were made. Don’t play with these toys, dear children, please, not ever. Not ever again. Please…please learn the lesson. Let this empty world be your copybook.

“Frannie,” he said, and turned her around so he could look into her eyes.

“What, Stuart?”

“Do you think…do you think people ever learn anything?”

She opened her mouth to speak, hesitated, fell silent. The kerosene lamp flickered. Her eyes seemed very blue.

“I don’t know,” she said at last. She seemed unpleased with her answer; she struggled to say something more; to illuminate her first response; and could only say it again:

I don’t know.

–Stephen King, The Stand