Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ask Not...

by Robert Jevne  
   I was born on a blustery night in Chicago in 1958 to the songs of Fats Domino, Gene Vincent, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Elvis Presley and Marty Robbins coming over the radio and the sound of rain beating on the metal roof of the Yellow cab…OK, that’s not true but it sounded good didn’t it? And that’s what radio is all about. I’m not suggesting that radio is a lie, but it is a theater of the mind. The stories we tell about ourselves can transport and transform, tell something of the truth about us, and can, at times, play with that truth (especially during fund drives) and open a different door to how we look at ourselves. Radio is a bit of a magic act. Or at least the physics part of it is somewhat unreal to most of us. There are these waves ( Are they waves? We might as well be talking about pixie dust). Anyway, there are these waves traveling over the air always in the process of being created and simultaneously disappearing, waiting for somebody to glom on to them before they go and listen, just listen, and in that moment connect with what’s being played out in our community, and connect with a community of fellow listeners in a shared experience and it happens all over Northern Minnesota, every day courtesy of KAXE.

   I was having a hard time writing this essay. There are so many good things I’d like to say about KAXE but everything I wrote came back to ME until finally I came to the conclusion that KAXE is all about me…in a way. In the same way that its all about you. Let me break a rule of radio and pull back the curtain to prove my point. I’ve been writing essays for Between You and Me for about a month now. A couple of times Heidi introduced me by saying “Robert Jevne is an area writer and volunteer programmer at KAXE” and so on. Maybe it was a slip of the tongue or force of habit, either way, I won’t bore you with the details of what I do for a living, but suffice it to say it doesn’t involve being an “area writer.” I’m a working stiff and I’m proud enough of it, but does that reality make the other part a lie or a bit of theater? Maybe. Or maybe after a long day of pushin’ broom, I come home and leap into the nearest thing resembling a phone booth (which in these parts is most likely an outhouse) and tear off my shirt to reveal…an “Area Writer” And that’s the magical part of what KAXE can do. And it can do it for you too. Get involved an find out for yourself.

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