The PopCulteer
September 25, 2020

The Domino Effect of Being Powerless

Your PopCulteer had a power outage for five hours last Tuesday, and it’s amazing how such a thing, when perfectly-timed, can have a domino effect that throws off your entire week. Let me share with you some behind-the-scenes dirt on how PopCult works.

The original plan for this week was for yours truly to get up early Tuesday, record the announcing parts for two episodes of The Swing Shift, and post a PopCult item about The AIR schedule in this blog. Normally I would have had The Swing Shift and Radio Free Charleston recorded over the weekend, but I slacked off a bit because my Myasthenia Gravis was acting up. I planned a repeat for RFC so I could focus on the two special “100 Years Of Swing” episodes of The Swing Shift scheduled for this week.

I had the shows completely laid out and had already prepared the playlists and even had the post written. I was working on the graphics when the power went out.

So I had a bit more than five hours to sit around and do nothing. It didn’t help that these five hours fell during what is normally the most productive time of my work-week.

The power came back on around 1:30 PM, and I scrambled to get a PopCult post published that gave all the details on the new episode of Psychedelic Shack that we had scheduled to run on The AIR at 2 PM, but I was definitely off my game.

We decided not to do new episodes of Beatles Blast or Curtain Call Wednesday, because I’d lost so much prep time, and after the power outage it took a couple of hours to get all the electronics in the house restored to working order. Normally we record those shows the night before they air, but I didn’t have time to properly lay them out and choose the music.

Since I still needed a post for PopCult on Wednesday, I went ahead and ran my review of the new Aquaman collection, which I had planned to run in October. Yesterday I told you about Gotta Go Flamingo (left), which was a last-minute substitution for a toy review that will require a photo shoot that I simply didn’t feel like conducting this week after the major disruption. Hopefully you’ll get to see that review next week.

Then we come to this post, which you are now reading. Every Friday I do a blog post that acts as an old-school newspaper column (the name is a tribute to Jim Dent’s “Gazetteer” column from days of yore). I don’t always know at the beginning of the week what will wind up in the Friday space. Sometimes it’s a photo essay. Sometimes it’s a single-topic essay. Sometimes it’s two or ten short items. Flexibility is my motto. It’s weird doing a column within a blog, but it works for me, and has for over eleven years now.

Most weeks I prepare The PopCulteer on Thursday. Some weeks I do it earlier than that. Other weeks, I get up early Friday and try to crank out a coherent essay of some sort, either because am buried under other work, or I just don’t know which of several fluid topics will still be worth writing about.

This would be one of those weeks. It’s Friday, not quite 9:30 AM as I write this, and what was supposed to have been a brief introduction to a handful of items has turned into a behind-the-scenes explanation of why I may seem a bit off my game this week.

I had planned to write about Halloween, but I’ve done that already here way back in early August, and I can probably wait a few weeks, closer to the holiday, before revisitig the topic. I toyed with the idea of commenting on the current political situations in the country, but aside from being outside of my normal journalistic jurisdiction, I’d get so angry and intense that I probably wouldn’t have this PopCulteer finished until late in the afternoon. I don’t think my readers come here for 6,000-word essays that basically amount to anger over how stupid and evil one third of this country is.

I do chime in on politics from time to time, but I also like to provide a safe haven from reality for my readers who actually live in the real world, and not the twisted fantasy land of certain despotic leaders.

With any luck, things will be back to normal next week. The plan is to debut a new episode of Radio Free Charleston, loaded with new music, plus we’ll premiere episodes 101 and 102 of The Swing Shift and have loads more new programming for The AIR. And I’ve got all our regular PopCult features on tap, The RFC Flashback on Saturday, Sunday Evening Video, Monday Morning Art, plus that toy review I told you about.

Let’s just hope the power stays on. I wasn’t even able to enjoy any down time Tuesday because every time I’d get relaxed, the phone would ring with either a telemarketer or someone conducting a survey (or push poll), for the upcoming election.

And that is why you’re getting this PopCulteer today. It was easier to complain about my week than it would have been to research and write about other stuff.

MIRRORBALL Returns Again

It’s our last chance to drop a new episode of MIRRORBALL, hosted by my lovely wife, Mel Larch, in September, so we just had to open the show with that Earth, Wind and Fire classic. This is our eleventh edition of MIRRORBALL what debuts Friday afternoon at 2 PM on The AIR. and that’s followed by two great encore epsodes of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat.  You can hear all this good stuff on The AIR website, or just click on this embedded radio player…

As I mentioned, this week we open the show with Earth Wind and Fire and the month-appropriate song, “September.” The rest of the show is chock-full-o classic dance tracks of The Disco Era.  Check out the playlist:


Earth Wind & Fire “September”
Andrea True Connection “Fill Me Up”
MFSB “K-Jee”
Diana Ross “Upside Down”
Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive”
Sister Sledge “Lost In Music”
Chic “Everybody Dance”
Giorgio Moroder “I Wanna Rock You”
Gloria Gaynor “Honeybee”
Tony Wilson “I Like Your Style”
Close w/Donna Summer “Dim All The Lights”

You can tune in at 2 PM (Eastern time) and hear the latest edition of MIRRORBALL. The plan is to drop a new episode roughly every other Friday afternoon, until Mel gets tired of doing it, or people stop listening. Later today, it will go up in the Podcast section of The AIR website, so you can listen on demand.  MIRRORBALL will also be replayed Friday night at 10 PM, Saturday at 7 PM (part of a mini-marathon), Sunday at 11 PM and Tuesday at 1 PM. We’ll probably sneak in a few more airings during the week.

And that wraps up this largely self-indulgent PopCulteer.  Check back for fresh content every day, unless the power unexpectedly goes out again, then we’re screwed.