“Radio-Lab” AFTER-LIFE on NPR

emily_strange_guitar   saint_louis_statue

Hey, y’all–

A miscellaneous-post, today– no more “off-topic” or tangential than usual, but I wanted to relate to you something I heard on the radio over the weekend.

I don’t know if you ever heard of it, but one of their weekend shows: “Radio-Lab” was on. Think of it as intelligent storytelling usually a spooky “theater of the mind” as they mix-it-up with topical radio mysteries with narration, sound effects, and eerie ambient pauses as they delve deeper into “strange & unusual” territories with scientific and philosophical angles.

For me, it was just one of those lazy Saturday’s up in the grungy kitchen, grilling a toasted-cheese sandwich over a hot stove. Maybe you would think of a touch of Beetlejuice, himself padding-around his digs with wild, tangled hair– holding a tasting spoon above a boiled pot of bugs as it simmered to perfection. No, just mortal-fare but the mood was sleek and black, the sun covered with clouds unto humidity and a touch of thunderstorms.

I was listening on the ancient portable radio, hinged like a paint-spattered tool-box of vintage make & model as NPR crackled through the speaker as usual. You could hear the ghostly sounds of a haunted subway-car, as the show kept-up its edgy, urban motif. . . . . and how the audio stretched-out like strange, uncanny physics– leaving you in a lurch of expectation, staring-out into the misty-fog of what was to follow.

Death & Dying. . . . . . the thematic undercurrent– as the broadcast combined two older shows and spliced them together, to fill the hour. They can be found here:


The reception was spackled with static, as if a small voice was coming from a great distance and verged on the nail-biting precipice of terror. All sorts of themes, or little vignettes exploring “the end” and its scientific, moral, medical, and artistic implications.

How life or info-knowledge may be a set of algorithms or sort of inflected rules and thermal/electrical capacities that dictate behavior– and how a tape-recording of somebody, really– a chain of character and knowledge– carries-on, if living inside the listener’s head as language is a virus, memory a re-creation chamber, and ghosts living-on as ideas– like tape-loops. Maybe we’re not really “gone” so long as people keep thinking of us.

For what is the weight of the soul– or impression we leave? Remains live-on in the form of fossils and archeology, left on as evidence for the living to figure-out. Forensic and medical science as the vital energies are a strange thing, and how the mystery dogs-us for all of our days– and whether we graduate up unto higher-levels of existence, go into “the tunnel of light”, or like that Far Side cartoon– a trick played on us by anesthesiologists with flashlights.

Either the brainless or heartless state that defines “the end of life”, kept-alive by machines as yes– this blog continues through dips of readership. We’re not on life-support yet and this blog will keep going with all things, “Beetlejuice” and musings, therein. Keep the faith, and on we go– another day closer to all that may be.

“Radio-Lab” AFTER-LIFE on NPR

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