Nye: Rx for Insomnia

I have this little app on my mobile called Tunein Radio. Allows you listen to radio programs from Africa  to Antarctica to America and everywhere in-between.

Art Bell no 1

Vintage C2C AM
So I’m listening to *The Very Best of Art Bell* (yes, I like the King of Nye). This must be a show from the early ‘90s.  Art and his guest are taking unscreened calls; his guest is a hacker “Cap’n Crunch,” a then-young American computer programmer and former phone phreak, who went  to federal prison for his talents. Inventor of the “Blue Box” – no not the recycling thing. Callers, mainly other hackers, act as if the Cap’n is a demi-god.

It’s a trip down Memory Lane, a side road of — remember this ickyism? — the  Information Highway. They’re talking about computers and phone security, tapping, etc. Art is asking the Cap’n what these things called cookies are all aboutLater a caller accuses Art’s own website of attaching  cookies, and Art goes ballistic, citing his legendary Webmaster (remember Webmasters? bwoohahaa) Keith Rowland’s reassurances.

Now Art is talking about his how his website has just crashed AOL.  Ay Oh Ell<>Oh Em Gee!  (Art reveled when his enormous fan-traffic would take down a website) or when a phone died mid-call and he could claim he was being tapped (he probably was),  or when he’d get knocked off air by some satellite malfunction and he’d claim the powers-that-be didn’t want his audience to hear what his guest was revealing.

Art knew how to create controversy and conjure drama.

Art the Ringmaster
He was always a Ringmaster extraordinaire. At its apex, his show *Coast to Coast AM* had 500 affiliates and 20million listeners. It aired from 1 to 4AM in my time zone.

Art owned the Night in the ’90s.

He broadcast from his home studio in Pahrump, Nye County, Nevada. There were classic shows his alumni still talk about. One night about 2AM, he thought he saw something in the sky. Art Bell left 20 million listeners waiting with the dreaded dead air (he didn’t care) for about 5 mins. while he ran outside to check it out. I may be conflating two shows, but I think that’s the night he also fell off his porch and drama ensued – at which he excelled.

Art chats with the Anti-Christ
Another night he invited “Anti-Christs” to call in on his Anti-Christ Line. One of the Anti-Christs had a voice so deep it was deeper than that hole Art featured on another show (“The Sounds of Hell”).  One “Anti-Christ” took Art to task: “How dare you imagine to know what the Anti-Christ is?”  Art knew not to gut off a guy like this – instead he apologized and asked the caller to tell him what the A-C was like……

Art Bell 2

Friday night was Open Lines Night, some of his most brilliant work. Art could take the most tiresome caller-in and turn it into brilliant interview with his questions.


20M listeners making up their own minds
Art interviewed astronaut Edgar Mitchell; he interviewed Terrence McKenna; he interviewed a guy, John Titor, who claimed to be a time traveller from 2036; he interviewed witches and a guy from Vietnam who claimed to be an ET. He interviewed everybody who had something weird to say.  So, occasionally, did mainstream media–but they generally ridiculed those people.

Art didn’t ridicule them. Instead, he drew them and their stories out with skilled questioning. His hallmark was that he trusted his 20-million strong audience decide on a guest’s veracity and mental status.

Alien in the Freezer2The Alien-in-the-Freezer story
One of the best events that went on for a long time as it supposedly unfolded was the “Alien in the Freezer.” As Art said, “It’s a helluva story.”

Art cross-examined this Dr. Jonathan Reed on his story over several interviews (at one point Reed vanished and later said he’d had to go underground for a time for his personal safety.) Some later said The Alien-in-the-Freezer was a hoax: if so, Reed was an extremely accomplished impromptu liar. As always Art asked the telling questions then, then he’d just be quiet and let the guest talk and his 20M listeners decide for themselves what they thought about it.


Memory Lane on the Info Highway

On this old show I’m listening to, a caller boasts about AOL and how it gives him 3MB of storage on each email address. 3 megabytes,wow!  We get 15 gigs across the Google platforms now. Someone starts to mock AOL and Art jumps on him: “There are internet snobs. AOL brings people into the Net that otherwise wouldn’t be there.”  AOL!!  It’s still there.

Art and the Cap’n have spent quite a bit of time in this show on how you can tell if your phone is being tapped and also how hard it is to get the phone co. to tell you where a call originated from. Remember The Time Before Call Display?  Some Bell Tel “Operators” have called in talking about PBX-hackers. PBXs – do they even exist anymore? And when’s the last time you had a telephone Operator? The Cap’n cites the book Takedown as describing ways you can find out yourself if your phone is tapped, but he can’t mention them on-air or he’ll be back in the slammer

“Dealing with the phone company is a little bit like dealing with government, isn’t it?” Art opines and laughs that room-filling laugh of his; his guest and caller agree. Fun to think that a decade hence those guys would be dealing with the ISP companies, the mobile phone providers and their phone plans and all the stuff we have to navigate. Dealing with a phone company seems like small potatoes in the 21st century.

Someone just mentioned their laptop and had to say “portable computer” after laptop so people would know what he was referring to. Ah, the Nineties: we forget how far we’ve traveled (some of us in chain gangs) down the ol’ Info Hwy.

Cap’n Crunch talks as if he so cool.He gives out his web address and it’s full of forward slashes, an address that today would be the apex of uncool. Crunch’s website is hosted by The Well.  The Well!—remember The Well (“Birthplace of the online community movement”)? Be still my heart, I’ve just time-traveled back to 1985.  And I just checked – The Well is still there.

Next thing they’ll be talking about DOS or cassette players.

Art Ramona Bell
Art with Ramona Bell, on-air
doing Coast to Coast AM at
New Year’s

“Wanna take a Ride?”
Art Bell has had a roller-coaster of a radio career since he started Coast to Coast AM. He’s resigned a few times and done dramatic comebacks. He interviewed witches like Evelyn Paglini and Harlot (“The Self-Proclaimed Witch”) and his beloved wife, Ramona, was a witch. She died suddenly and tragically.

Art Airyn BellWhen, about a year later, Art announced that he was marrying a young Filipina woman, the judgment was ferocious. Art moved with his wife Airyn to the Philippines for a time and his network so valued him, that they worked things out so he could broadcast from the home-studio he built in Manila. Airyn and Art had a beautiful little daughter they named Asia, and moved back to the States eventually, and are still together in Pahrump.Art Bell hospital 2016

Art was last heard from in July this summer:

Thursday 7-07: Update From Art –

I am now home after five days in what must be one of the greatest hospitals in the world, St Rose. I am not in good shape, so weak I cannot dress myself. I want to publicly thank my wife Airyn who never left my side and helped every moment day and night and still is. I went through every test known to man. Had a hole punched in my lung, MRI, PET scans, X-Rays, more blood tests then could be counted, was on Morphine the whole time. Had so many IVs running it started to get hard to find a vein. If I make it I will have the best wife in the world to thank as well as the best hospital. Can’t really type more now but that is the current situation, more later.

Absolutely one-of-a-kind
Art Bell on the radio, broadcasting from The Kingdom of Nye, especially talking about any of his high-strange topics is better than melatonin or any sleeping pill for that Middle of the Night insomnia. I miss 3AM with Art Bell and Coast to Coast AM. I miss his voice, his creativity, his absolute genius at conjuring the un-conjurable, at opening up our minds to possibilities, to the unbelievable  — but never telling us what to think or believe.

I’m not ruling out his return. Yet.




Cap’n Crunch, John Draper:  http://www.webcrunchers.com/

Some classic Art Bell shows on YouTube:

Online radio – stations around the world:

  • Tunein Radio: tunein.com
  • U7 Radio online: u7.org

How to hear Art Bell today
Art has been ill recently and had to give up his show Midnight in the Desert that he launched a couple of years ago.  Midnight airs live M-F 9pm-midnight Pacific.





(c)2016 margo lamont


Much Ado About

I called a friend on Salt Spring Island today – which is in Elizabeth May’s riding. After catching up, we got to the Elizabeth May press gallery speech incident and she cried out, “It was us!”


MayElizabeth_GP“She was with us on Friday night. She spoke at our event. She mentioned she’d just come in from Ottawa, was still on Ottawa time; had gone to bed at two, was up at six and she was with us. After our event, she missed the last ferry, so she went to Sidney by some kind of private boat – on her way back to Ottawa.” We speculated she’d probably grabbed the redeye on to Ottawa, thence to the press gallery dinner that evening. That’s a lot of flying in two days.

Definitely physical overkill. But no doubt trying to not let anybody down.

Probably wrote that bit on the plane.

And it was a schtick. It was quite subtle, perhaps too subtle for the conservative press gallery news folk to grasp after they’d had a few drinks.  She began by outing them for not mentioning that they were standing on First Nations territory with her acknowledgements — in two First Nation languages — and an apology to the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations,Perry Bellegarde, who was in attendance. Good on her.

She moved into a complicated kind of thing about her continued exclusion (“I’m honoured to be here, among my colleagues, allowed to speak…”) in the election debates by the other leaders. It included a little pirouette about hair: you know how commentators always talk about women politician’s hair and makeup. May did some commentary on the hirsutian managment machinations of Harper, Trudeau, and Mulcair which was wrapped around a little bit about Freud and envy.

She seguéd into the climax, just as Conservative Cabinet Minister Rait came and tried to stop her because she was going over-time and literally tried to drag her off. Had she been, as accused, “drunk,” I’d love to know how she managed to keep talking while Lisa Rait was hands-on trying to move her off the mike, while May simultaneously manipulated her cellphone so it would play the Welcome Back Kotter theme while simultaneously doing a little derringdo play on words around ‘Kotter,’ and delivered her zinger that Omar Khadr has more class than the whole effing cabinet … all the while being yanked by Rait.

lisa-raitt-elizabeth-may-speech-press-gallery-dinner-may-9-2015If May had been drunk, she would surely have fallen over the way Rait was pulling her sideways.

Then, May was onstage singing a few minutes later, so the drunk thing seems a pig in a poke. The whole speech, that the news sticks in Ottawa called “awkward” was playful. It was a bit.

On the video it looks like a fair bit of physical effort was put into trying to end May’s speech before she would bring up Khadr.

I think it was an edgy bit that bombed.

Had it been someone like Dane Cook trying out a bit that didn’t work, there’d be no issue whatsoever. And yes, May is not a professional comic, but the press gallery dinner is an event where politicians are encouraged to try to be comics for the night, to step out of their day to day parliamentary roles.

Very disappointed at the way one NDP MLA in BC and another former candidate dog-piled May on Facebook with their pejorative comments.

Apparently some are actually calling for her resignation over this.


I wish May hadn’t felt the need to apologize, but I think I understand why she felt she had to explain to the uninformed how the press gallery evening works and do some damage control, given how judgmental so many have been.


Nellie McClung

Wish she could just have pulled a Nellie McClung: “Never explain, never retract, never apologize. Just get the thing done and let them howl.”

But perhaps she feels there is too much of that attitude coming out of Ottawa already.

Let’s Outsource the BC Government

They’re expensive. And there has to be a better way of getting the job done faster and cheaper.

Why don’t we apply the model to the Provincial Government that they’ve applied to everyone else? Let’s downsize, re-structure, contract-out, outsource.

Elections-schmelections – rule of law?  Can you say E-80?  What Charter Rights? If the Government doesn’t pay mind to what the top courts in British Columbia say – why should anyone?

Some first steps going forward:

  1. Let’s start by outsourcing the Premier’s job. I say we approach the Dalai Lama or Desmond Tutu, see if they want to make a few bucks on an ongoing contract. They’d make wonderful leaders.
  2. For Education, let’s restructure along the Swedish education ministries. Or – Malala.  Malala
  3. Social Services > End Legislated Poverty.
  4. For Finance, we could outsource that job to the Finance Minister of Norway.
  5. For the Revenues, let’s contract that out to the Government of Venezuela – they certainly know how to finance things.
  6. Downsize that Provincial Cabinet: 19 of them!
    Should be able to get that down to four not counting the Premier position. Just need to follow the template:  (1) redefine the jobs, (2) combine five into one portfolio, (3) lower the salary and at the end of the day, (4) re-post the job and get some of the existing ministers to re-apply at a lower salary.
  7. Environment Minister – outsource that to Greenpeace and let’s get the job done. First order of business – take care of Mt. Polley arrests and clean-up; then the salmon (sub-contractor:Alexandra Morton).
  8. Outsource to the German labour minister. The FRG manages to give their worforce six weeks holiday a year and still top the GDP charts.

Privatizing the BC Liberal Government could give us a much more efficient government, a lean tax-saving machine.

Down with Don’ts

I propose we take the apostrophe out of don’t.

Yes, on my part, it’s pure laziness. It’s texting. It’s my phone. It’s having to go to a separate symbols screen to pick up the apostrophe. I often do it because I contracted that Editing Virus years ago, but I resent it every time.

It’s time. We’ve evolved. We dont need it anymore. (Did you have any trouble understanding that? No clarity issue there.)

Everyone knows what don’t means. Dont. There. It’s fine. Just like that. Yes, it’s a lovely old English contraction of do and not. But who cares? Dont works fine.

Plus if we get rid of that irritating little apostrophe, we also solve the Don’t’s Constant-Mis-use Problem in one clichéd fell swoop. Whew. Gone. One less nit-pick. The new plural becomes donts and, apart from the fact that it looks a little like donuts if you have visual processing issues and your scanning, it’s just fine

Oh my goodness. According to the Oxford English Dictionary it’s based on bad grammar to begin with:

Don’t is a contraction of do not. It is often used informally, especially in speech, as the equivalent of does not—as in, for example, she don’t drink tea—but this is not standard English and should be avoided in writing.

Goodbye apostrophe. That seals it then. Down with “don’t.” Dont use don’t no more.

©2014 Margo Lamont

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