“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:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91681-when-am-i-dead/
http://www.radiolab.org/story/91680-after-life/

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.

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“Radio-Lab” AFTER-LIFE on NPR

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