Monday, August 29, 2005


Week-opening, season-ending thoughts

Good day and welcome to the end of summer. If I could tell you more on the subject, I would, but just like you, this is the first and only end of summer for 2005, so I remain motionless. I can, of course, ask you to join me in the turning of another season and celebrate. For as Pete Seeger sang, “there is a season” and as Donovan reverberated, “there is a mountain.” Of course Donovan’s mountain disappeared –“then there is not mountain” but it came back –“then there is.”

In the world of alternative broadcasting, we are not concerned with mountains. Come to think of it, seasons mean little, either. So, you see, when September comes around, one only ponders the time and puts away the swimming trunks. Unless you are from Down Under. There, of course, summer readies to sway and dawdle, just what Aussies want (swaying and dawdling dates back to the 1600s in Australian culture).

Summer Down Under and winter Up Over, it all goes to prove one thing—we are one race divided by seasons. It is often said that if you dig a hole deep enough in Texas you will dig to China. But what about digging a hole in Ohio? Where do you wind up doing it there? And who dares to finance such a venture? After all, why not just fly to China, if that’s where the tarnation you wish to go for whatever reason?

Now, on with the toil, the trouble, the joy and the madness, the agony and the ecstasy, the wind and the willow, the Hope and the Crosby. This is the stretch run of 2005, the warm September of our years. What dies is replaced by what is born. What gives depends upon who takes. And, of course, nothing that changes will ever be the same.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


No getting over the underground

Our Aug. 25 show features a conversation with urban archeologist Julia Solis, who is also a writer and photographer. She explores and documents New York City’s enormous subterranean labyrinth, as well as abandoned psychiatric hospitals and other decaying institutional structures across the country. Ms. Solis has published two books related to these explorations, and has helped found the artist collectives Dark Passage and Ars Subterranea, Inc.

Dark Passage is a magnificent Web site showcasing the urban ruins of New York City and elsewhere. An abandoned hospital, a deserted jail, a hollow subway tubes ... all are subjected to Soils's "exercises in forensic archaeology." Smithsonian magazine recently published a profile of Solis.

"These places contain the residue of the many souls that have passed through over the years," she says. "The less a place has been explored, the better, because the air hasn't been diluted and the soul marks are fresh."

Join the conversation on the network version of the show, 9 p.m. EST. Check the station list below for live and re-broadcast venues. The Dressing Room Hour begins at 8 p.m. with news, music, commentary and conversation.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Intellectual design is a mental case of complexity

Recently I gave a short speech at a national institution, that has asked to remain nameless, about the touchy subject of intellectual design. Being an expert on the subject, having read all the major religious dogma as well as a cookbook by Dom DeLuise, I offer the text of that speech.

At the heart of the debate over intelligent design are these questions: Can a scientific explanation of the history of life include the actions of an unseen higher being? And if so, why would an unseen higher being give an owl’s throat what the definition included?

The proponents of intelligent design, a school of thought that a lot of people these days insist should be taught alongside evolution in the nation's schools, say that the complexity and diversity of life go beyond what evolution can explain. So, kids should consider a large invisible man, usually drawn with a beard, who lives somewhere in the sky, as an alternative.
Biological marvels, they say, point to the hand of a higher being at work. However, the question arises why a higher being would have to work. And just what does a higher being who can create anything need with a career?

But let’s face it, a complex biological phenomena like blood clotting could not have arisen through evolution, could it have? But could the same big, deep voice that came to Moses with ten rules for a good life be the same guy who took time out to develop the human blood-clotting system? Why should someone with such talents have to design anything? A master of all that is should just be able to snap his fingers. Did I just write “his” fingers? Is it a guy? If it is, we surely know he doesn’t care. What guy cares about anything?

It is an argument that appeals to many Americans of faith, the same people who have made reality TV shows so popular. But mainstream scientists say that the design approach suffers from fundamental problems. For one thing, these scientists say, invoking a higher being as an explanation is unscientific, although it has created some fine holidays. Science, after all, does not allow miracles. Science explores how the material world works and says nothing about why we are here, how we should live or who is responsible for coming up with the name Haystacks Calhoun. And in that quest, science says, there is no need for otherworldly explanations. So what do we teach kids? This is the subject of my next speech, sometime in the future, God willing.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


The name of the game

P. Diddy drops the 'P'
NEW YORK - The artist formerly known as Sean Combs, Puff Daddy and Puffy has added P. Diddy to the formerly known-as list. The rapper, fashion designer and producer told the press that he simply wants to be known as Diddy.
"One word. Five letters," he said. "I needed to simplify things."
Diddy said he made the decision because people were confused by all his name changes and didn't know what to call him.
"I even started to get confused myself and when I'd called someone on the telephone it took me a long time to explain who I was," he said. "Too long." He said he was also concerned about the way P. Diddy sounded at concerts. "Let's just say the name P. Diddy didn't quite flow. I realized immediately I had a problem."

Cotolo becomes 'Do Wah Diddy,' etc ...
GRANTVILLE, Penn. -- Frank Cotolo, only known until now (and hardly known at that) as Frank Cotolo, told the media that he simply wants to be known as "Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do."
Cotolo said he made the decision because he said people were bored by his name and didn't know what to call him that was hip and hopped up.
"I even started to fall asleep myself and when I'd called someone on the telephone it took me a long time to explain who I was," he said. "No style." He said he was also concerned about the way Frank Cotolo sounded on his programs over the net and on iPods. "Let's just say the name Frank Cotolo didn't quite flow. I realized finally that I had a problem."

(a.k.a. Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do Chronicles)
9 p.m. EST, Thursdays
Check all stations individually for live or rebroadcast schedule.

Tokyo - 10:00 a.m. : Sydney - 11:00 a.m. : Los Angeles - 6:00 p.m. : Chicago - 8:00 p.m. : New York - 9:00 p.m. :London - 2:00 a.m. : Baghdad - 5:00 a.m.

Monday, August 15, 2005


A title in the present tense

So, the ongoing controversy, which continues on and further than onward, concerns the word “The,” specifically with an upper case “T” as to the title of this blog, which, of course, is identical, or should be, to the title of the program of which this blog is a spin off. All right, a deep breath. (Pause.)

Now, it should be made official, in a very casual way, that the title of the show in question (though there should be no question since we have already answered the question, “What is the title of this show?” by indicating that this blog is the same title as that program) does not have a “The” in it, and for good reason.

The Cotolo Chronicles indicates a noun, a physical thing that is the chronicles. That is, something spoken, written or translated as a chronicle would be. But the meaning of the title Cotolo Chronicles is, without the “The” a present-tense sentence, albeit short, with a subject and a verb.

Cotolo is the subject. He or she or it, as the case would be, in any event, the person, the noun itself, that will be doing the action the verb commands. The verb is “chronicles,” which is an action, not a noun, not a physical document written or otherwise. To chronicle is the verb. Its definition is: To record in or in the form of a historical record. This makes Cotolo “the chronicler” and thus puts the entire theme of the show in a less-than-formal theater of chronicle.

I hope that explains why Cotolo Chronicles is not The Cotolo Chronicles and never has been and never will be. Of course, you can call it that if you want, just as the Spanish call it, Los Chronicles de Cotolo.

Friday, August 12, 2005


It's the list you can do

Thanks again to Paul Williams for an engaging trip into pop culture and a further examination into the fiber of our individuality. By the way, my 20th-century-greatest-hits-list is coming along well. I will soon be writing some essays on each entry and I continue to encourage all of you to send in your lists. E-mail them to and I will forward them to the author of the book, Mr. Williams, who asked to see all that are sent.

Also, following up on the e-mail scam about buying stock, the suggested stock we are following, China Digital Media, has dropped to $2.13, having gone up no further than $3.20 from the projected $7 to $8. So, tank city, friends. Don’t be listening to stranger’s e-mails touting stocks. Even though we have no idea what they get out of the tout, there is no evidence of reputable source in this spray-and-pray gimmick.

And, anyone who can prove that Mars will be bright in the night sky soon, displayed in a spectacle as we have never seen it before, then prove it, because I am tired of getting e-mails about this “upcoming event” and seeing nothing about from any news source.

Now, here is a link to one of our favorite blogs -- J-Walk Blog Link Experiment. I cannot link to the article specified (I still don’t know how to post a graphic on a blog), so just go to the blog and read up a storm.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


20th century fix

Paul Williams is in the spotlight on our Aug. 11 program as we focus on the energy and concept of his book, The 20th Century’s Greatest Hits. Paul will be reading an essay from the book and we will be looking at some other lists, as generated by listeners and staff.

Publisher’s Weekly wrote: "Williams compels readers to start brainstorming their own lists and revisit the various forms of art that have struck a vital nerve in them most deeply. It is Williams's goal to motivate his readers to pause and reflect, and he achieves it."

The network feed begins at 9 p.m. EST and you can wander and cajole at The Dressing Room Hour at 8 p.m. (not all affliates pick up this hour, so check our listings on this page). If you still want to send in your greatest hits list, email it to before 6 p.m. EST on Aug. 11.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Good grief

I used to dislike Peter Jennings because he was a Canadian who made it big in America, something that was illegal to do the other way around. In Canada, the law demands that Canadians be hired before any other nationality. And Mr. Jennings stayed a Canadian citizen until 2003, something he said he did for his family. So, it seemed unfair that no American could go to Canada and become a top primetime newscaster, no less get work as a paper boy if in competition with a local who, for all we know, could have far less talent or ability to do the job.

Such are the ways of a country where two-thirds of its land cannot support humankind.

But this isn’t about bashing Canada, the only country left in the world with an identity crisis. No, this is about Mr. Jennings, who died on this day.

Whenever anyone I know personally or know of dies, I don’t just feel bad, I feel responsible. I always expect the police to arrive, accuse me, arrest me and take me away. It has always been this way with me, even though I could put an animal down quicker than it took to cancel Tony Danza’s talk show. So it is no wonder that I am ridden with guilt about everything I ever said against Peter Jennings now that he is dead and as I wait for the police to knock on my door.

Granted, I didn’t kill him and nor did I watch him do the news (I was a Brinkley-Chancellor fan, and don’t even ask how badly I felt when those guys bought it). I didn’t care for his style, approach or demeanor, but he is dead now and death changes everything. Not just literally, as is obvious. Dead men tell no tales because there are no stories to tell. It’s quiet time and the dead deserve their peace.

Besides, mourning is good for the living soul. We should all mourn and we should all feel guilty to still be alive while others die. We should also all feel at least a little responsibility for any other person's death. And it would be great if others felt that way so that when we become eternally quiet, we will have left something behind. A ripple, a grazing on all humanity.

So goodbye Peter. Rest in peace, I hope. Because if there isn’t peace on that side, then there ain’t no such thing.

At the end of each year, Cotolo Chronicles honors all celebrated persons and some not-so-famous persons with a special two-hour show that elaborates on the importance of everyone’s short time on a small planet.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


The night has a thousand ears

The mind boggles at the possible subjects to arise on the Aug. 4 program. Just how many make it on the bill remains to be heard. At 9 p.m. (EST) you can hear the mind as it brews its boggling blend …

Dangerous monkeys on the rampage in Puerto Rico … Blogs are being born at a Biblical rate … Cocoanut Grove doomed …China Digital keeps scam alive … Mars will not look normal in the sky this year … Napster’s incarnation is as the opposite of its original character … Who is Waldon Waldo Robert Cassotto? … The dirtiest joke ever proves the world is still afraid of words … Digital screens a money issue in the theater world … Who was Frances Gumm? … Why will everyone soon want a Gibson guitar? … The Von Ronk voice echoed in prose …

Oh goodness, that is without touching the soundtrack of my mind, which launches sidebars and soundscapes from the past. Do be with us to be dubious with us …

Monday, August 01, 2005


Step lightly unto the August night

It is now August.

August, named after the great Roman dictator, Augusto Aromorous. Or was is Augustus Andromedus? You remember? It was some guy they just called Auggie.

Well in any event and, in fact, in every event, here are the very popular days in August that you may wish to celebrate, as complied by our crack team of compilers, each one an IQ point smarter than the next.

Aug. 2 is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
Originally served warm, it took a number of years for this day to catch on. Then, in Berlitz, Germany in 1867, Franz Goodhumor, who later came to America to be a dentist who specializes in molars, suggested that it be served cold.
Aug. 6 is Wiggle Your Toes Day
You will just have to trust those who celebrate wearing socks and shoes.
Aug. 8 is Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night
This evening of festivities has incited a movement to launch Cook The Zucchini That You Will Later Put Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day, since at last report no one was placing zucchini onto any neighboring porches on this date’s evening. Last year, in fact, the integrity of this day was blemished when at least 405 people were arrested for displaying lewd behavior with their zucchini in public. That is illegal in 34 states.
Aug. 12 is Middle Child's Day
Long forgotten as a member of a family, the “middle child” is recognized on this day without the support from anyone famous, since a middle child never made anything of his or herself in history.
Aug. 13 is Blame Someone Else Day
This day is, of course, all your fault.
Aug. 18 is Bad Poetry Day
Yes, bad poetry can be recognized and can be registered at the Department of Literal Affairs. Once the bad poem is implanted with a special buzzing device, any time anyone recites it they will receive a shock to their lower lip that should, for all due purposes, bring them to their knees.
Aug. 22 is Be An Angel Day
This is a controversial day because for some reason more suicides take place on Aug. 22 than on any other day of the year.
Aug. 25 is Kiss-And-Make-Up Day
No need to have been in disagreement before you act upon celebrating this day. However, be aware that use of your tongue can result in a lawsuit.
Aug. 29 is More Herbs, Less Salt Day
In 1915, Herbert Vestibule hosted the Most Popular First Name Contest, since the name Herbert won and he had founded the contest. Herbert had five boys, all named Herbert and he encouraged use of the name for all boys born, as well as he campaigned for years to have men change their names to Herbert. The Herbs Movement, as it was called, ended in 1921 when Herb Vestibule’s head exploded at a rally. His doctor, Dr. Herb Holstein, said the explosion was due to a monstrous salt intake over 30 years. The doctor then launched this day for the sake of public awareness and a chance to have his name printed in the local newspaper.
Aug. 31 is National Trail Mix Day
So, happy Trail Mix Day to you until we meet again.

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