BBC on flash mobs

BBC: “Participants were told to stare fixedly at the store’s giant animatronic dinosaur for three minutes then fall to their knees and react to its roars by moaning and cowering for another four minutes.”

Lydon online

In the middle-late 90s I would sometimes listen to a radio show called The Connection. At the time I remember thinking, this is too good.

The topics were thoughtful and provocative. The guests were world class. The callers, everyday people, were just as sharp and, in their own ways, just as world class as the guests.

More than anything else, host Christopher Lydon made The Connection extraordinary. It’s hard to put one’s finger on how exactly. But something Chris wrote in a recent weblog post helps to explain. He disclaims in this first weblog-themed interview, “I think of myself as a journalist and all-purpose searcher, not at all a techie.” It is probably that searcher characteristic that appealed to so many of us. We could hear the wonder and impatience in his voice. We participated in it. We sought and discovered and learned and made connections together.

The Connection’s pace was incredible at ten new episodes per week. I always felt little guilty that I didn’t have the time to take in every episode. This is too good to last.

It was too good to last, as it turned out. A few years ago The Connection’s creators had a falling out with management and parted ways.

The good news is that Chris Lydon & co. have continued to do what they do so well, with the results often appearing on line. Here are a few pointers to recent activity:

Weblog-hosted interviews:

The Whole Wide World:

Archived broadcasts from 2001:

New Radiohead album

In case you missed it, Radiohead’s new album, Hail to the Thief, was released about a month ago. It’s moody and beautiful and spooky. I keep having these visions of a hypothetical video for the bouncy “Backdrifts”. It is a splicing together of various video clips of pop-culture icons, dancing: Michael Jackson doing that kick-thing he does in the “Billy Jean” video, Elvis in a Hawaii-themed movie number, etc etc.