A few months ago, station manager Ken aired his annual "State Of The Station" address (Real Audio), during which he called listener-bloggers to arms in the hopes that some would help contribute to Beware Of The Blog. Compelled by a force beyond my control, I e-mailed him asking if I could help in any way. I anticipated a non-response (just like that time I applied for that Podsafe Music Library Director job at WFMU!), or a "Sorry, we've received more responses than we expected" form letter, at which point I would simply stand up and walk away from my laptop feeling somehow like I'd done my part to help. I never thought Ken would say, "I'd love to get you blogging..." That's when the fear began to manifest itself.
"Fear?" you ask. "What fear?". Well, you see, I run a music/culture blog called Swan Fungus, which is really very immature, vulgar, and tact-deficient. Furthermore -- like the most-awfulsome episodes of Seven Second Delay -- every post inevitably turns into a trainwreck. I already have enough stress in my life trying to write new and unique daily blog posts for my pathetically-small audience of "indoor kids" and collector scum. Blogging for WFMU would require me to be informative and intelligent enough to impress the brilliant and erudite audience of the nation's longest-running free-form radio station. How discouraging.
The fear had overtaken me, and I considered not responding to Ken's invitation. But then I had something of a revelation. I was visited in a dream by the ghost (even though he's not dead) of J. Martin Kohe, who told me, "Evan, you can overcome discouragement!"
"But I don't even know you! And until you showed up in my dream I had no idea you even existed!" I yelled back at him.
"You will soon..." he retorted cryptically. Then he turned into a coyote, but his face was that of my old dead childhood housekeeper Dolores. In her thick, Jamaican accent Dolores the coyote kept repeating, "You're a bad boy, Evan. A bad boy!" as my surroundings melted into a scene like that of Joan Miró's "The Tilled Field" (JPG). She continued on like that until I awoke the next morning. Aren't dreams the weirdest!?
Two days later, while processing a record collection at my record store job, I stumbled across a rather large cache of self-help LPs, one of which was called How To Overcome Discouragement. To my surprise, the record was credited to J. Martin Kohe! His prophecy had come true! I took the record home with me to give it a listen, and wouldn't you know it, it inspired my first official blog post for Beware Of The Blog.
The author's note on the back cover of the LP promises, "You have the power within you to conquer your disappointments, to deal with your depressions, to overcome your discouragements. Learn how to use this power, and find a happier, more useful way of life." Suddenly, I realized that I needed to share the magic and inspiration imparted by Dr. Kohe with the entire world...wide web.
Listen and enjoy, my new friends. This recording may very well help you out at some point in your own life, whether you're worried about that record-setting swim across the Pacific Ocean you have tentatively scheduled for next year, or if you just need help deciding whether or not to eat that past-date yogurt you found in the back of your fridge this morning. Dr. Kohe is going to change your life. I should know, without him I wouldn't be writing this blog post!
Dr. J. Martin Kohe
How To Overcome Discouragement
Success Motivation Institute Inc., 1961
01. Introduction by J. Martin Kohe (MP3)
02. Being Your Better Self. (MP3)
03. Fear Is Uncertainty! (MP3)
04. The Right Mental Attitude! (MP3)
05. People Think Differently! (MP3)
06. Criticism Can Help! (MP3)
07. Live And Laugh! (MP3)
08. You Can't Please Everyone! (MP3)
09. Don't Quit Too Soon (MP3)
10. Something Can Always Be Done (MP3)