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Explorations in Communication

"Channel Cat in the Middle Distance"

Edited by Edmund Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan 1960

ISBN #ASIN: B000RL1308

Copyright: 1960 - Simon and Schuster

"Channel Cat in the Middle Distance", a transcription of a Shep broadcast from WLW. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript of a recording, selected at random, of a disc jockey on WLW: But here it is on a quiet February night time to listen and time to sit, time to wait for the next channel cat to make the bend, time to wait for the next starfish to reproduce its kind, almost impossible to kill a starfish, you know, almost impossible even to understand a starfish. I once knew a starfish living just outside Hamilton, Ontario. And if we cared to note we would see a tiny figure tattered and torn who seems to be having a few of the difficulties that he called upon himself and a few extra, too but then the machines were all well-oiled, you see a few of them needed extra bearings an occasional headgasket was there to be replaced, and a few of the valves needed grinding, too, but these things all in good time all indeed in good time it takes a little and it takes two. Jean Shepherd: records, transcriptions and it really does take that you know it really takes that and a few things extra, too. The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous as far as I'm concerned. This is the first time I've been ill really the first time I've spent any time at all concerning myself with medicine but nevertheless the business of being ill is an extremely interesting one and for those who haven't tried it for some time, there are certain things you should pick up before you make a serious attempt to create a small one for yourself getting back into business for yourself after you have been ill for awhile is much more interesting than being ill itself to begin with, a large number of people didn't even know you were any place at all disappointing an extremely disappointing thing I remember seeing a cartoon Charley Brown on telephone calling girlfriend at party saying he's ill and won't be able to come to the party girlfriend answering: that's O.K., didn't even know you weren't here Charley Brown hanging up telephone, looking quietly into the middle distance there are many things to be seen in the middle distance didn't even know you were gone Monday night, yes, it's a Monday, sort of a Monday night off into the middle distance, strive and continue to strive, the three of them, each one of whom has pulled the shortest straw of the group. And again it's the golden touch the inescapable, the always present, the all-encompassing golden touch a few years ago, going out into left field, the old man made the mistake of allowing those in the dug-out allowing them the brief luxury the realization the knowledge that he wasn't going to make it you see, you've got to always give them the impression - you've always got to keep it up keep the footprints high, well up on the front of the cushion keep them moving. Again the usage of the number 3 3A Sable Brush future use, future reference card size itself is most important the stories and the scores upon scores of them that were told in the time that passed were not necessarily stories of truth nor were they always stories just a few words an occasional period and once in awhile a CAPITAL letter. And while all the thoughts were being compiled and all the words were being put down on 3 x 5 file cards a few typewriter ribbons were being changed and occasionally someone took the time to oil the fielder's mitt there were things to be written, things to be said and things to be done and there was a quiet Monday night a few people were listening a few people were looking a few stars were being watched a few moons were being examined a few sand dunes were being understood as, in fact, had ever been understood in their brief period of sitting before all the elders. It came to pass that the writing was good and we've been reading and we've been looking we've been cleaning windows, washing glasses and smoking cigarettes and from time to time changing typewriter ribbons. We have been clipping fingernails and we've been listening to recordings. We have been eating hamburgers and we've been eating auriomycin. We've been doing a thousand things and there have been one hundred moments that have passed and gone some of them were good and most of them were forgotten and that's the most important of all, I suppose most of them were forgotten just beginning things that passed. There seems to be too much smoke and it also seems the rugs are a little threadbare the walls are not painted the right color and that's another one of the small troubles. This is their way of going their way of disappearing and this is the thing students ten thousands years from now are really going to work upon going to understand only vaguely and are going to make definite attempts to re-create but these attempts are just exactly that just attempts. I think this is going to be one of the wonderful things we have to offer above all things. This is probably a much recorded sentence and when I speak of a sentence I mean a sentence in man's eternal struggle to create a chapter of himself rather than a paragraph, a line or perhaps a phrase but this particular sentence this particular sentence which could be called a century this time this period has been recorded ten million ways they've even recorded the disadvantages of keeping bananas in a refrigerator they've recorded the advantages of liver stimulants of one kind or another and the voices of presidents and cabinet ministers they've also recorded the voices of little people speaking to one another on the street and there shall be a few of these conversations discovered, too and it shall be the moment of discovery that will prove the small turning point in many a small scholar's career this moment of discovery that was the way these people spoke this is the way they talked and this is the way they sounded and really this is the way they were and a small partial moon went scooting out over the curving river it picked up speed and it picked up momentum and it picked up a few forgotten thoughts as it moved a small partial moon just a part an example of life an example of shadow an example of creative thought but it was just partial, you see it wasn't complete it never would be. We have many nutcrackers to work with but no small picks which leads us exactly nowhere because that's exactly where we intended to be there's no waiting and no wishing step right up and 7 times over, 3 times down there are 17 chairs, absolutely no waiting everybody will be taken care of in time AU Ice Cream Manufactured on the Premises. It was a good, easy Monday night the crowds were even more interesting than usual but the old man was coasting more or less - coasting in between and in betwixt what used to be called a liquid or even a solid in suspension, floating between the surface and the bottom sort of in between just floating in a colloidal suspension I had difficulty with that one time and I was ready to surmount the difficulty and here we are floating again and the surface glimmers and sheens there's much to be said for surface tension, but that, too, will have to wait till after one o'clock when Grandma has put her knitting away and gone to bed. Yes, there will be a full field inspection at 0300.


Copyright: 1960 - Simon and Schuster

4445 (1960mmddB1)