Warning; you may be wasting your time, or at least putting yourself into a position of Déjà vu. It’s very likely that you will hear a version of this soapbox at some point on the RAD Radio show in the next few days; it all depends on mood. My mood, the team’s mood, the audience’s mood, the mood of society, and the news of the day as a whole. We’ll see.
The RAD show has been off for a couple of weeks and is now back, for a little while…and then we’ll be gone on our previously scheduled Summer Vacation, and then we’re scheduled to be back. We’ll see.
That’s right; we’re still taking our Summer Vacation as scheduled despite an unwanted and unwelcome couple of weeks off in late May. The reason we’re still taking our vacation is simple; if we don’t, you may never hear the show again.
Sound ominous? Good.
There are actually many reasons that the show has been off for a while and I’m going to share one of them with you now; it’s hardly the main reason, in fact, I’d currently rank it as the fifth-greatest cause for our absence. That’s right, there are at least five and this is a distant fifth to be sure, but it allows me a way to address some of the questions and concerns that have arisen lately.
Coming in at number 5 on the countdown of the causes for the show’s absence the last two weeks is…you!
Well, that’s not fair, really. I hope and have to believe that the people I am about to discuss with you don’t read or listen to the soapbox, naïve as that is. I need to think it’s true right now, and I’m going to.
This is quite a thing we’ve built together, this Maggot Army of ours. We’ve had some amazing moments together, particularly over the last few years. Brine-a-Palooza 2021 was one of the most gratifying and emotional events I’ve ever been a part of. The flood of every known feeling to mankind was palpable and overwhelming as nearly 2000 of us got together for, in some cases, the first time in almost two years at a major public event. It was truly magical. We have another live event coming up this weekend as we’ll gather with 300 maggots to day drink some Tahoe Blue Vodka and just hang out with good people. Because these days, perhaps more than ever in most of our lifetimes, we need only that. The truth is that if we hadn’t already scheduled, planned, and sold tickets to that event, you almost certainly wouldn’t have heard the RAD show live again until mid-July.
Sounding dire? Good.
I’d estimate, as the guy with the most direct access to this information that on the whole, a total of at least 90, and maybe as high as 95% of the maggot army is comprised of good people, many of you much more than that. Between phone calls, both on and off the air, live events, random public meetings, emails, and even the wretched cesspool that is social media, I’m convinced that fewer than 10% of you are anything less than kind, decent, warm, caring, and generous. I have seen it in so many ways that you will never convince me otherwise.
It’s that lower 5-10% that bears a very small part of the responsibility for our recent absence…and before I actually give them any credit, let me be clear that they actually had nothing to do with it, I was simply in a place where I allowed them to. It’s on me, as most things involving RAD are.
Last Monday, when the top 4 reasons were swirling all around me and I had to make the call to cancel that day’s show, I was in a very bad place emotionally. I was overwhelmed with the weight on my shoulders and the events that had caused the show to already miss a week prior, and the reality still lingering before me in regards to what had to be done to mitigate those top 4 reasons. I did the right thing and I pre-empted the show. Literally minutes after the announcement was made, emails began flooding in, and they weren’t pretty, nor kind, nor caring. To be candid, we’ve been spoiled by the love and support of our audience, and I do the best I can to keep everyone, including the army, insulated from the wretched vermin who sneak their way in occasionally. I don’t look at any social media posts, although I am briefed when there are those that are concerning and need to be investigated by our security team. Side note; how sad it is that a talk show needs such a team, but believe you me, now more than ever, they are vital to our ongoing ability to be on the air…when we can.
In the days that followed, the 90+% showed up in droves via messages of concern and well-wishes, so I am sure that the early Monday morning crowd was just a fluke of timing, but in hindsight, it was a welcome one, for it cleared my eyes and made a very difficult decision quite easy for me. In the minutes after I started reading emails demanding to know why we were off the air again, arguing that we “owed” an explanation, asserting that we had an obligation to explain the reasons for our absence, my blood began to boil knowing what I knew were the causes.
The audacity, arrogance, and entitlement of people demanding that their FREE radio show (believe me, people that pay to be members didn’t write any of these, we already cross-checked our databases as we added to our freak file/watchlist) explain their absence incensed me at that moment. I reached out to Brandon who concurred that he was demoralized by the response in the immediate and I saw red…and that’s when I knew I had made the right decision to not air Monday’s show…and that’s also what made it so easy hours later to realize we’d be missing another week.
I’ve been dealing with idiots for over 30 years…not the playful kind, in the 90% where we all get it; we all understand I’m screwing with you and many of you actually wear it as a badge of honor to be ripped apart by me. Some of you even intentionally write idiotic things to see if you can get me to go off on you, often succeeding, bravo. I’m talking about genuine idiots, dangerously stupid and wretched human beings. I’ve dealt with almost every form of threat, from hollow to real, and every form of hateful, vile, subhuman hate speech you can imagine. It’s just part of the job; and even when you hear me “lose it” on the air towards what seems like one of them, I’m in complete control. We get much, much, worse emails than you have ever heard read on the air. Those get sent to our team, and we maintain the aforementioned freak file on them, watching for them to escalate and doing whatever we need to do to maintain the safety of RAD.
But they never get to me. I never flinch, inside or out, I just accept it. As I said, it’s part of the job, and I know how to deal with it; at least I did until last Monday. When I felt my reaction inside I knew I belonged nowhere near a microphone and I had made the right call; and when the people I love and trust the most suggested later that day that we needed another week off, it was beyond easy to agree thanks to that 10%.
Anyone who is talking about movies this weekend is talking about Top Gun 2: Maverick, and they should be. It’s extraordinary. I have no words for what an incredible job they did, but I’d like to reference a different Tom Cruise Movie from 30 years ago called “A Few Good Men.” Towards the end, there is an epic and iconic courtroom scene in which Cruise is questioning Jack Nicholson’s character and one of my favorite cinematic moments plays out. As I seethed last Monday I heard Nicholson’s words in my ears…”I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!”
Imagine; keyboard warriors sitting at home, upset that their radio show wasn’t on the air, but showing no regard for all of the possible reasons we might be missing. You see, to the bottom dwellers, we’re just dancing monkeys, here to entertain. We have no real-life issues, problems, or challenges and there’s absolutely nothing unique about being in the public eye that in any way should cause or even allow us to not be there to dance on cue for them when they need an escape. As they pounded out their angry, hateful, in some cases vaguely threatening messages, they never once stopped to think about why this show that they love so much and that they know loves and takes seriously being on the air every day might be gone, because they didn’t care, and they probably wouldn’t even if we told them the various reasons. They never cared to consider that perhaps someone on the show had gotten some horrible medical news, or had to deal with a suddenly dying or dead loved one. Maybe someone on the show has been privately already dealing with a serious issue that they chose not to share, which is their right, and they took a turn for the worse. Perhaps someone is getting divorced, is in legal trouble, or realized that they have a demon they need to slay with the help of the rest of us. Maybe the show was under threat, maybe someone on the show had been attacked, or maybe three or four of those things were all happening suddenly at once to more than one member of the team. Maybe it’s something else, or many other horrible things I didn’t even mention.
Absolutely none of that is far-fetched and I promise you that a form of more than one of the things I just listed are in the top 4. But the gutter scum doesn’t care. Usually, I pity them and laugh at them…to be so disgusting, depraved, and heartless is their hell, not mine. On Monday, I let it be part of my hell for a little while, and that was my failing.
We’ll be back this week and we’ll be at our best, and we’ll do what we do every morning: We’ll give you more of ourselves than any other show on any other platform in this country does. We’ll share more about ourselves, our experiences, each other, our families, friends, and significant others than anyone anywhere. And we’ll keep to ourselves the little bit that we each either choose to, or have to for various reasons.
Disturbed? Perplexed? Angry? Distressed? Good. Me too…that’s why we’ve been gone, and that’s why we’ll be gone again in a few weeks, with the hope that by Mid-July the world will be back on its’ rightful axis, at least what passes for such in 2022 America.
As for sharing further details, I make no promises, nor do I feel any obligation to do so. The physical and mental health, the well-being, the safety, and the dreaded work/life balance of my team and I are paramount to me above all else, and I will do and not do whatever needs to be done to protect those things first and foremost, and I will never apologize for doing so. In the process that often means that you will be frustrated by not knowing what’s going on, which I understand, but I also know this…if I may once again pull from that same Tom Cruise movie “A Few Good Men…” as it relates to some of the top 4 reasons we’ve been gone: You can’t handle the truth.