Dear David, August 20, 2020.

Dear David,

Thanks for your letter.

Ah, music. On Sunday evenings, Laura and I listen to 3WS (94.5) the local oldies station for the rebroadcast of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40. In the morning, they air an 80’s version and in the evenings, a 70’s edition. Laura is seven years older than me so she typically remembers hearing the music live on the actual radio whereas I do not – she was born in 1963 and I was born in late 1970.

The music itself is good, of course, but it is full experience to listen. The memories of where we were during those days, the “OMG, I forgot about that song” moments, and Casey Kasem’s unique patter, filling us in on history and music trivia and so much more. Yes, there’s nostalgia but there’s also a lot of messaging and history embodied in these songs and their singers, remembrances of terrible times gone by and clues for our survival of these terrible times.

This past weekend, they aired a very early episode from August 1970 – before I was born. It was like unexpected time capsule into this precise window of time before I existed, but filled with narratives that would shape my life. There was a moment where Casey was talking about “a hit on this day in history” and played something from I think dating back to 1957 and it hit me very hard –  1957 was closer to my date of birth than 2020.

This isn’t about getting old. It is about realizing how much of an impact the mid-20th century had on my entire life. Of course, I knew that intellectually. But something about this particular fusion of music and history and time frame data as a performing art moment is worth considering. I tend to think of the music I liked as a child in the 1970’s rather than the adult music that was shaping and reshaping and interpreting the world.

During the week, Laura is in the kitchen working so she gets to pick the tunes – usually WYEP. If I go upstairs, I occasionally tune into NPR but rarely music. If I do listen to music, I opt for 3WS because that’s the station with the best reception. Our poor wi-fi (FIOS) is taxed with the work-from-home load so no internet streaming radio for me.

I do have Google Music streaming in the bathroom for one of the foster cats – she currently likes Female Indie Songwriters, but was previously a fan of Air Supply. Music does sooth the savage beast, right?

A sports chatter guy was fired from his Cincinnati baseball job because he used a homophobic slur on the air – his mike was live before he could compose himself into acceptable polite man talking decently status, I guess. All of the MSM bleeped out the slur when reporting, but he said “one of the fag capitals of the world”

We don’t know the city he was referencing. I bet it was not Pittsburgh although that would be a “most livable title” I could get behind. Part of his consequences should be having to reveal the city!

Brennaman did an apology tour, but come on … No one just suddenly starts talking about fag capitals in casual conversation.

He got caught. He paid a price and will probably have to become a rightwing shill on the lecture tour to pay his bills, but oh well. He’ll be fine. I guess plucking out the homophobes, one by one, is better than nothing, but this ongoing narrative that these are outliers, not part of the everyday culture of any workplace, is patently absurd.

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is cracking down on LGBTQ asylum seekers even after getting smacked down in federal court for rolling back transgender protections in healthcare regulations. A local restaurateur was caught – again – posting transphobic slurs about Dr. Rachel Levine on the business social media. Can you imagine what that guy talks about around his employees? He’s probably a Cincinnati fan.

Speaking of crappy media coverage of homophobia and transphobia, I’m supposed to tell you about Marty G at the ice cream shop. I looked it up in my Facebook timeline – it was July 2016. It was Antney’s. He and his wife and kids were seated on that little pseudo ledge wall to the left of the restaurant, near the chiropractor’s office. He was wearing a dress shirt and tie with shorts.

It was just an ordinary moment and could have been any family with Dad taking time for an ice cream break with his kids. Obviously, I would not take a photo of his family or interrupt their outing because I’m not a jag. Laura wondered if he had any clue I was standing there and I’m sure he did not. We’ve never met and I’m basically just very-occasional fodder for his on-air rants, not a thorn in his side. I don’t want to meet him because he is a jag.

I was asked by GLAAD to consider going on his show or participating in a group meeting with him to discuss his behavior. Ha. I said if he came to a neutral space alone without a camera or microphone, allowed us to record him, and he just listened AND he could never speak about on his show. If he agreed to do the work without a hint of the glory, well … nope, I still probably wouldn’t do it unless KDKA wrote a very big fat check to multiple organizations and fired Wendy Bell and never ever again relied on the Delta Foundation for anything.

In fact, now if I did see him in public, I would feel an ethical obligation to confront him, regardless of his entourage, about his disgusting transphobic behavior. The great thing about ice cream parking lots is that it would be simple enough to trip and let my ice cream slip onto him. It would be a waste of ice cream, but a well-timed sacrifice for the greater good.

And the band played on …

Yours truly,

Sue

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