Radio 59, side A, track 16: “The Amazing Night Guy”

djOh, Vic St. John, I apparently recorded every little thing, didn’t I?  This one makes me a little sad, mostly just because I don’t like change.  Because now you were “The Amazing Night Guy”, but before that you were “The Crashman”.  I loved The Crashman.  The Crashman was the first DJ to get me really excited about the radio.  But now here you were, The Amazing Night Guy.  I mean, I enjoyed when you said “the amaaaazing night guy!” and all, but even at the tender age of 14, this smelled very much of corporate bullshittery.  Clearly you got a memo telling you you had to change your name for the new “The Heat” format, and as a guy who appreciates when someone sticks it to The Man every now and again, it was said to see The Crashman humbled so.  The Crashman would never bow to The Man, right?  Right, Vic St. John?

No judgment, Vic St. John.  You gotta eat.  And it’s not like I’m exactly taking any giant stand on anything.  Other than my love of the music of They Might Be Giants, that is.  It becomes more of a struggle as I approach. . .I was going to say “approach middle age”, but I done approached it, Vic St. John.  Lately I’ve been thinking that I need to try to move on up the corporate ladder.  But I don’t know if it’s because I genuinely actually want to or if I just feel like I should.  I do know that I find a lot of it suspect.  Many moons ago, I went through a “leadership training”, and I grew skeptical very quickly when the trainer showed us a clip from “Dead Poets Society” when everyone was standing up on their desks and yelling out “O Captain, my Captain!” as Robin Williams sadly walked out of his job, and he asked if Robin Williams’ character had been an effective leader.  My answer was that obviously yes, he was.  He was the heart of the movie, after all.  But I was wrong, according to my instructor.  Under Robin’s watch, one kid got expelled, one killed himself and the others were standing up on tables and tearing pages out of their textbooks.

So maybe the guy had a point.  But I was very uncomfortable with the fact that they were using this as a “bad” example of leadership.  It smelled very much of fear to me.  Fear of nonconformity.  Fear of having an opinion that went against the status quo.  Look, Vic St. John, I get it.  I’m a man of structure, and as much as I’d like to believe I’m a nonconformist, I totally get that I’m not.  And I also totally get the need for rule-following at a job.  I just really don’t like people knocking “Dead Poets Society”.  Plus we had a whole training specifically on how to answer a question without actually saying anything.  For serious.  And I’ve caught myself doing it.  And I don’t like it.

So here’s to both of us, Vic St. John, whether we’re Crashmen or Amazing Night Guys or just some schmuck with a blog.  It’s nice to believe we’re rebels at heart, but we gots to get paid, ya feel me?

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