I want to start off by saying that I don’t watch TV news. It is my goal to be done with paid TV by the end of the year. However I am very well informed of the unparalleled, distressing, and traumatic times we have lived through over the past week. Through videos, photos, first hand accounts, discussion, as well as my own research and insights — I develop a perspective on life. I normally would not touch a matter that is seemingly political in one of my weekly briefings, but the matter at hand squarely intersects with my domain — technology and its use or misuse.
Like many of you, I have gone through a whole gamut of emotions since January 6th. Ultimately, I have tried to draw connections to the past and develop a balanced perspective. Reflecting on the past week and really the past four years, I wrote what amounted to a 6-page essay over the weekend. The problem is that it is not at the extreme end of either current major political philosophy and therefore, I don’t think anyone would publish it. The problem with our TV news is that “Network A” only likes to pander to their viewers to mainly report on the extreme elements of the philosophy (and its practitioners) that they disagree with. “Network B”, likewise, only likes to pander to their viewers to mainly report on the extreme elements of the philosophy (and its practitioners) that they disagree with. It’s ratings driven. It’s sensational. By and large the American people eat, sleep, and drink it all day long. I need to be on a diet, but that’s not the diet I want to be on.
The past four years of our American lives have been an intensely political time with strong emotions. This may surprise you if you have never had these interactions with me, but I would say that in this stretch of time clients have expressed some sort of political frustration 30 to 40% of the time. I have learned to be a good listener. At an appointment a client just said to me today, “I should just lay on a couch when you come over. You are like a computer psychologist.” Sometimes I just smile and nod. I try to make clients feel comfortable. Such a response should not signify agreement (from me or anyone in life), but I want to say that I am grateful for hiring me and I accept you sharing your frustration and pain. A little under 10 years ago, I was accepted to a Professional Counseling Master’s program. I ultimately dropped out, but I think I would have made a very compassionate psychotherapist. I try to incorporate those therapeutic skills and the heart of a teacher (another career I didn’t quite succeed at LOL) in my client interactions whenever possible. It’s what makes our relationship so unique. I want to leave a legacy of changed and improved lives.
It takes two to tango. The tides flow in and out. I think to have true healing in unity in this country (or even a country like Indonesia where there is also a lot of division right now), we have to take time to listen to what others on the completely opposite side of the spectrum have to say. We need to break bread and have meaningful dialog. The organizing and actions of mob violence in all forms that we have seen on the American landscape over the past year are illegal and should be prosecuted. However, when you step away from the fringes of both political extremes, you see neighbors, co-workers, and family members who just want to peacefully live their lives. On numerous fronts, there a lot of hurt people out there. (Something I learned from the therapeutic arena is…) Hurt people, hurt people. I’ll say it again: hurt people, hurt people!
So we have to decide, what do we want our legacy to be? One thing is for certain, I am not letting mine be defined by the fringes of society or any TV network.
Thank you for letting me share this message. I’ll step off my soapbox now.
What I really wanted to do today is give you some technology encouragement. I was asked what I do recently. Very simply, I said, “I help people improve their lives through technology.” Even considering all of its flaws, technology makes our world a better place. It allows us to see pictures of loved ones easily and promptly, even from far away. It allows us to communicate using a medium that is convenient for us on flexible time schedules. Computers and computer like devices cater to our physical limitations as well. Technology has given us chance to expand our intellectual pursuits, serve others through community outreach, and pursue new careers. We feel less alone, we learn, and we grow. There is no need to fear trying new devices or services. There is a process of trial and error. If something doesn’t work, there is probably a new solution right around the corner. The experience can and should be personal and customized to our needs. If we get frustrated, we can always put down our device for a few hours or restart it. Quirks work themselves out. Through endurance new possibilities abound.
Bruce Williams, our man on the radio for so many years, is thinking of making a COMEBACK. His new show will likely not be on the AM/FM airwaves but “stream” onto your computer and mobile gadgets. No one is more excited than me. You may remember his nearly 30 years of broadcasting business and consumer advice, which ended in March 2010. Bruce was a pioneer in talk radio. He and Sally Jessy Raphael launched the first daytime nationally syndicated radio programs out of NBC’s Rockefeller Plaza in 1981.
Bruce Williams has meant so much to my growth as a person and a businessman. I began listening to Bruce when I was 9 years old. He inspired me to think of starting a business in my early teens and eventually start this business when I was 17. Bruce was with me through the tough times of my life it is the lessons that Bruce taught me that drive me to want to start new businesses in the future.
Bruce Williams sent out this letter to his loyal listener list today (below). If you remember the warm fatherly voice of Bruce Williams and would like to hear him on the air again — please email him at the address found below. Well here it is firstname.lastname@example.org
If you could just drop him a line like this, I would really appreciate it and I know Bruce would too.
Hi Bruce — I am writing you from _______________ I enjoyed listening to your show in the past. I would love to have you back on the air again, streaming live over the internet or as a “podcast”. I miss your perspective in talk radio.
If you never listened to Bruce, please ignore this message. Otherwise, thank you for helping to get Bruce back on the air.
Take a minute and read about the price many of the men who walked with Jesus paid for their faith.
1. Matthew. Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.
2. Mark. Died in Alexandria , Egypt , after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.
3. Luke. Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.
4. John. Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos.He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos . The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey . He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.
5. Peter. He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.
6. James the Just. The leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club. * This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.
7. James the Great, Son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian
8. Bartholomew, also known as Nathaniel. Was a missionary to Asia .He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey . Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.
9. Andrew. Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: ‘I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.’ He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.
10. Thomas. Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent
11. Jude. Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
12. Matthias. The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.
13. Paul .Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire . These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.
To the many of you who have gotten to know me over these past 13 years, you have come to know how important radio is to me. In fact I seldom watch TV and would much rather to listen to my favorite programs or streaming music over the internet (and occasionally on traditional AM / FM dials). For those of you who have become acquainted with me more recently…..you may be surprised to know that my favorite radio programs ARE NOT political, but consumer advice shows instead. For more than 20 years, I have listened to the nationally syndicated Bruce Williams program and for the past several years I have been a faithful listener of the Tom Martino Troubleshooter Show out of Denver, CO. These two programs have been constants in my turbulent life.
A lot of my dreams in life, my desire to be an entrepreneur, my interest in the fields of business and law — stem from me listening to Bruce Williams as a little boy — a 9 year old — after weeknight Red Sox games on WTIC 1080 here in Hartford. Over the past 10 years, local stations around the country have dropped Bruce in favor of either political or highly bizarre programming. It’s been a good 5 years since Bruce has been on WTIC, but I have picked him up live on the Internet or on Podcast (tape-delay) often since then.
I am listening to Bruce’s last show right now, as I type. Tears have welled up in my eyes. Mr. Williams was like a radio-father to me. Below I have pasted Friday’s article from the Tampa Tribune recognizing Bruce’s lengthy career in the business. Before Rush, there was Bruce. He and Sally Jessy Raphael were the first daytime nationally syndicated hosts in the country — starting back in the Fall of 1981.
From TBO.com, Tampa Tribune 03/05/2010
By TOM JACKSON
“Tried to talk about it, but I broke down,” Williams says. “Had to go straight to commercial.”
Tonight, who knows? Tonight, from a converted upstairs bedroom overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in his Gulf Harbors home, Williams broadcasts – presumably – his last show, shutting down a broadcasting career that spans five decades. “Every time a door closes, another one opens somewhere,” he says, “but I’d say this is probably it.”
Already, those most closely affiliated with Williams’ program (with the notable exception of Williams himself) are operating on the razor’s edge between denial and outright blubbering.
“You should have seen me typing the (announcement) letter to the affiliates,” says longtime aide Beth Richards, who runs Williams’ “Media Personalities” office in New Port Richey. “I couldn’t stop crying. It was awful.”
Understandably so. Tonight’s dimming of the AM dial results from a sudden and measurable loss of intelligence and savvy. The promo that used to run on a former local affiliate still applies:Bruce Williams – he knows more than you do.
Nonetheless, things have grown increasingly rocky for Williams’ brand of thoughtful advice-spreading. He’d been all but squeezed off satellite radio after the Sirius-XM merger, and his affiliate stations hovered in the mid-80s.
As recently as 1999, his affiliates numbered about 400, and it wasn’t unusual for stations to air an instant rerun of his three-hour live show, for which long-haul truckers and certain exhausted fathers driving their families home from Disney World sent up silent hallelujahs. Williams could make no-load mutual funds sound exciting, and his takedowns of knuckleheads who got “upside down” on their personal vehicles, owed more than the car was worth, were livelier than double shots of espresso.
The opinion was widespread. At the height of his popularity, Williams’ show was being aired somewhere in the world 24 hours a day.
Head of the class
Before there was Rush, there was Bruce Williams. Before there was Sean, before there was Glenn, before there was Laura or Mike or Randi or Neal or Howard … and way before there was Schnitt, there was Bruce Williams, coast to coast.
This is not to endorse the implied leap –post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after this, then because of this). A failure of logic is, after all, a failure of logic; fans of his long-running radio show know, above all, Williams rejects such sloppy thinking.
For nearly 35 years, callers guilty of the same have endured the brunt of the host’s tough, if sympathetic, love: “I don’t mean to pick on you, tiger,” he says, and the fun begins.
But if, as history reports, Rush Limbaugh saved AM radio with his mix of conservative politics and irreverent shtick, it was only after Williams had plainly identified the abundance of unmined gold remaining on the dial even after the music and music listeners fled to FM. Then again, locating and exploiting underappreciated opportunities has been the hallmark of Williams’ professional career.
Turn, turn, turn
Who else would have thought to buy up whole warehouses of old newspapers that were slated for the landfill as major and medium dailies turned increasingly to microfiche? Well, somebody else may have thought about it, but it was Williams who pulled the trigger. Now he’s pretty much monopolized the souvenir newspaper industry.
Similarly, arriving at the dawn of the modern information age, Williams demonstrated how listeners could be attracted to talk-based programming that presented hosts who were knowledgeable, nimble and engaging. Williams’ expertise – business, finance, entrepreneurism – presented with unfailing decorum in his clipped New Jersey accent, delivered whopping numbers of listeners who, importantly, also paid attention to commercials.
That was then. The edginess that marks the angry divide between the political left and right is today, and Williams, who still prefers giving expert guidance on practical matters, was either unable, or unwilling, to grow quills.
“This was coming to an end whether I liked it or not,” Williams says, waxing ecclesiastical. “Everything is in its own time. Everything comes to an end.”
A tsunami of e-mail swelled from the Richter-rattling announcement that went out to his affiliate stations and was posted on his Web site, a welter of correspondence from around the globe that reminded him how much has changed since that first Sunday afternoon in May 1975 when he debuted on a single Philadel
“So many ways to listen now,” he says. “Computers, iPhones. It’s amazing.”
For the addicted, brucewilliams.com, offering archived listening, will remain active for at least another six months. After that? “I’m not making any decisions anytime soon,” he says, following his own advice: “Act in haste, repent at leisure. I’m not doing that.”
Instead, along with wife Susan and the Boston terriers, Pistol and Biscuit, Williams means to find out “what regular people do” between 7 and 10 p.m. most weeknights. Besides yell at their televisions. Not to worry. “I’ll find something to do,” he tells friends. “I’m not going to die sitting on the couch.”
For the determined prospector, there’s always another mine full of gold … if you know where, and how, to look.
Thanks for all of the memories Bruce….
I can’t let this day pass without making a remembrance of this day. 9/11 is always a very hard one for me….often the most difficult day of my year. I cried several times today contemplating the events of 9/11/01 — a day that changed my perspective on the world. Rather than writing an article for you on why I know Islam is not a religion of peace and raise your level of alarm even further, I am going to leave you with the words of Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. We are still in a time of war. The long term picture is not a war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but a war of of ideology and global domination. Those who carried out the attack and their supporters would love to do it again and are not relaxing their vigilance because there is a new sheriff in town or a new party in power. Some forces cannot be reasoned with and seek no common ground. 9/11 was not an accident or an anomaly — it was an attack.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Today’s Topic: Recapping Service Sunday
Without getting preachy with anyone, I wanted to share this photo with all of you from my experience volunteering at the Salvation Army in Hartford on Sunday.
My church canceled services this past weekend. What, huh? Yes …. we had NO CHURCH SUNDAY or Service Sunday as some called it. We decided to go out into the community and literally “be the church.” It was a very meaningful experience. Not everyone participated but, about 50 to 60 of us got involved in 7 service projects that sought to better our community.
I led a small team to the S.A. Citadel Corps on Washington Street in Hartford. We served 72 meals for their guests at 3 PM.
I was very thankful for this opportunity and to make contact with Captain Celestin (the pastor) of the Citadel Corps, so that people who aren’t able to volunteer with me during the week at the Hartford Rescue Mission may have an opening to do so on the weekend.
Enjoy the photo (click for full size),
Dec. 23, 2007
I felt led to write this because of conversations (even some arguments) I’ve had recently with others on what a successful life really is. Some of these discussions contained elements such as: Did you know so and so is buying a house? I can’t believe he doesn’t want to buy ____________ ; surely he has the money. I want to have _________ just like they have.
To me, our own personal gifts (talents) and gifts we give to others are key factors in the quest for success. This whole theme ties in very nicely to the Christmas time of year.
Having more than you can possibly imagine and only using what you really need;
Being willing to share and reach out, even though it means you’ll have less;
Letting happiness come naturally — without faking it;
And Being told light shines from deep within you.
Not thinking that more stuff and more money will always make you happy;
Not a number with many zeros after it or how well you cheated on your taxes;
Not believing all problems will go away when you earn or obtain something;
And not being ungrateful because someone has more than you.
Jumping and dancing with joy because that’s what you feel inside;
And not because you’re in a dance club and/or high on drugs.
Serving others before yourself;
Seeing the lives you’ve changed, whether they thank you or not;
Knowing you have a purpose in life and living like it;
Demonstrating that even the smallest deeds can change and save lives.
The people you’ve helped;
The ones that you’ve fed;
The depressed that you’ve listened to;
The sad that you’ve hugged;
And the empty that you’ve filled.
Success Is …
Closer to you thank you think;
You don’t have to reach some level on a measuring tape to achieve it;
Because most TV shows, movies, magazines, and celebrities have no clue what it is;
Success is your impact on the world.
It’s your legacy;
Who and Whom you’ve served;
Loving until love wins out;
Giving because it’s the right thing to do;
Understanding that it’s not you against the world;
But you with like minded individuals who can give others,
A hand up without it feeling like a handout,
A moment to see true beauty within,
A chance to see that they too have a place and a part in this life.
Merry Christmas 2007!