Sometimes I think that without my husband and kids, my non-literary entertainment would probably be limited to book research, playing the piano, watching endless reruns of Poirot, Midsomer Murders, and listening to whatever non-comedic random radio show is playing on Sirius XM’s Radio Classics (and I only have Sirius because it came with my car, and who knows how to discontinue it…). Husband has a voracious mind. He’s an early adopter of every kind of technology, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of films, film history, and literature. As soon as podcasts became a thing, he was listening to them. I stumbled along a couple of years later, but I still don’t really know how to get feeds I don’t listen to anymore off of my devices, including a Canadian one that puzzles me because I think it’s supposed to be funny, but I don’t get the jokes. That sounds kind of sad, doesn’t it? No worries, though. My family keeps me well-supplied with popular culture. Though my son draws the line at my car-dancing to K-Pop in his car. But if he plays it while we are driving in mine, all bets are off.
Everyone in our family loves to hear a good story, no matter what the topic, no matter its veracity. It’s one of the reasons I listen to radio drama, or talk radio when I’m in the car. I like narrative. Narrative frames the world in ways that help me understand it better.
Our latest enthusiasm is a podcast called Mysterious Radio. Maybe sometime in the last few decades you heard Art Bell’s Coast to Coast AM overnight radio program (current version now hosted by George Noory). It always had a wide scope of subjects and guests. Everything from world events to space anomalies, alien abduction stories, conspiracy theories. Listeners could call in and were allowed to share their own stories. Mysterious Radio is different in that the podcasts are primarily pre-recorded interviews with a single guest (or pair of guests, in at least one case).
The show is hosted by a woman named K-Town, a wildly gracious, butter-voiced veteran of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. But as wonderful as her voice is to listen to, she talks little during her interviews, rarely interrupting her guest after she asks a question. It’s refreshing when a host doesn’t work to occupy the spotlight. She is also astonishingly agreeable with her guests–and they often have outrageous things to say. She only responds with, “amazing,” or “that’s incredible.” She never condescends or editorializes. Sometimes I’ll find myself laughing out loud, or saying, “that’s insane,” or “no freaking way that ever happens.” But K-Town is always encouraging, cool, and polite.
In any given episode, there are usually several “no way that happened” moments. Here are a few of the episode titles: The Shocking Truth: Hollow Earth; Plan to Enslave the World; Ghost Lights, and Vanishing Into Thin Air; Alien Antichrist; A Family Tormented (Tennesee’s Bell Witch); The Great Deception–Flat Earth; No One Died at Sandy Hook (and other false flag events).
Yes, you read that right. No One Died at Sandy Hook. All the other stories have their share of exotic oddness, but the Sandy Hook story made me feel almost sick to my stomach because of the violence of the subject matter. I gather there are questionable pictures online and spokesperson statements on which the guest based his theories. But the whole story is so repellent that I found it very hard to listen to. I did finish, though. It’s the only episode that provoked such a reaction from me. The rest have been fine.
Mostly I listen for the stories. My favorites are, of course, stories about hauntings. I’ve done plenty of book research about how spirits ostensibly operate, but by listening to these programs I’ve become more adept at putting together the language and disparate theories. Also, I don’t worry so much anymore. Spirits aren’t particularly organized, and I refuse to have a Ouija board. There are common elements to all the ghost stories: cold spots and trances, objects lost or out of place, the possible attachment of a spirit to a person or family.
Right now I’m listening to the first Hollow Earth Theory show. Both Hollow earth and Flat Earth stories show up frequently, as do alien abduction stories. But along with ghosts, I’m particularly fascinated with theories of multiple dimensions. Though the idea of there being an infinite number of universes, meaning infinite numbers of you and me, makes me a little nervous.
There are many things I like about this show, and others like it. I love the connections that people make. They take stories and legends and experiences from all over the world and put them together in fascinating ways. The facts and suppositions and theories live side-by-side, stitched together by enthusiasm and (sometimes ostensible) rationale. Even though some of the interviews cover dark subjects, the guests often shine with passion. And if that passion looks a little like madness, does it matter? We are all passionate about something. Only some people are braver about sharing theirs.
What about you? Do you enjoy tales of mysterious things?
March 28th Words
Journal: 0 words
Long fiction: (Edited 70 pages, printed out 420)
Short fiction: 0
Non-fiction: 0 words
Blogging: 875 words
Exercise: 90 minutes exercised bike