all you do to me is talk, talk.

On an uncharacteristically somber note, I want to put this here so there's a chance I'll remember to look at it more often. I didn't know Bob Lassiter, I don't like talk radio, and I didn't know why this grabbed me in the first place until I listened to it again and found myself re-grabbed. Even now I'm not sure I can articulate my fascination with it, so I won't waste too much time with an attempt.

But should someone find themselves with time on their hands, you know, the kind of Internet Time where you can somehow justify to yourself sifting through someone else's detritus for a couple of hours instead of creating your own, here are some entry points.

I found out about him through WFMU's obituary-slash tribute, here. There are many links there to MP3s of Lassiter in action, but the two that I find engrossing are ones that I can't find online anymore, only my copies:

1) This incredibly direct interrogation of an unfortunate high school student who made the mistake of calling to air his politically conservative "views" without actually knowing why he had them.

2) This equally direct examination of a heckler who waited 25 minutes on hold to toss some puny insult Lassiter's way. Lassiter seems to really want to understand why someone would want to waste his time doing something like this when the caller must've known that it wouldn't bother Lassiter in the least.

These calls are not relaxing listening. I find them incredible, though, in part because he says exactly the things you would want to be able to say to those not only mean but also stupid people who feel compelled to befoul you with their malevolence...but also because he does it with such humanity. As misanthropic and cynical as he must have been, he sounds as fascinated as I feel by the absurdity of it all. Most importantly, there's something as yet indefinable by me in his voice that compels me (and apparently many others) to listen.

Anyway, the somber part is here, the journal of his last days. Tough reading, but it seems valuable to me.


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