Current Essays

Me at the Mike

Here is a repository of the texts of my wireless essays together with some readings of them.

The essays were broadcast by WXXI 91.5 Classical of Rochester, NY on Salmagundy each Saturday at 9:35am Eastern Time, from the beginning of time (1985) till May 2009 when Entropa (evil Goddess of Change-for-the-Worse-or-Possibly-the-Worst) troubled the minds of the WXXIites and they retired Simon and Salmagundy, and Rochester went into a terminal decline---for ever.
But I do continue on that brilliant bastion of all that's good and kultured, on WCLV's syndicated Weekend Radio on many (mainly NPRish) stations traditionally on the first and third weekends of the month, though your weekendage may vary, (these are archived for a couple of months).

Richard Howland-Bolton

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Language: Unsatisfactory On:2013-05-26 10:00:00
[sings---sort of]
I cannot get any satisfaction.
I cannot obtain any satisfaction.
And I have tried,
      and attempted,
            and endeavoured,
                  and I have striven.
I cannot derive any satisfaction.

Language: Name's in a What? On:2009-02-19 16:45:57
I believe that Shakespeare once wrote something along the lines of:
"A nose by any other name would smell,
"So Romeo would were he not Romeo called".
And, any considerations of personal hygiene or the lack thereof in sixteenth century Verona aside, he was right you know: re-naming something doesn't make a ha'porth of difference!

Language: The Groping of Groups On:2008-09-26 04:19:25
XenAchi.jpgzenoTort.jpgAs you've probably noticed I have a slight (and I'd like to take this opportunity to emphasize that word---slight, really slight, really really slight)  a SLIGHT tendency to get worked up about things that do not similarly exercise some people (and I'd like now to take this other opportunity to emphasize that in logic absolutely anything less than all, than everyone, than the totality; is some---for example, some Ancient Greeks didn't give a damn about how much faster than Achilles the tortoise was , nor how the cute crusted little thing could keep his small beak ahead of Achilles' big one, nor yet that Achilles was perhaps being a bit of a heel when took on a poor tiny tortoise in the first place, almost all of them indeed preferring exercise especially, since they were Ancient Greeks, in the nude----where was I ---Oh! Yes...)

Language: Bopp! Rapp! Kersplat! Gak! On:2008-09-04 17:20:40
When I was young and naïve, I loved to study languages, then as I (sort of) matured I discovered how much more interesting it was to study the history of languages. Then at last with wisdom came the realisation that the study of the history of the study of the history of languages was the most interesting of all and even more fun and, as it turned out to my absolute delight, much noisier and more onomatopœic.

Language: 191 Times 7 or Elect the Elite in 1337 On:2008-01-04 04:09:09
I learned, just the other day, how to roffle my woffle, and before we go any further let me reassure you that that dancing was not involved, I kept all my clothes on, and (to reassure you even further) poles were not involved either (to any great extent)---however the number thirteen-thirty-seven was.

Language: The Recorder Devil On:2007-03-08 17:02:30
The deepest sort of evil manifests itself (almost by definition) at the oddest, most unexpected times; as when the sweet little girl’s gently spinning top turns out on closer examination to be her head rotating as she projectile-vomits both verbally and ectoplasmically; or again as when evil rears its (in this instance not necessarily rotational) head on an internet mailing list devoted to that loveliest, most dulcet and least devilish of musical instruments, the recorder.

Language: Those Evil Sexy Genders On:2007-02-02 04:40:06
Right! Now listen up, you lot! I’m going to tell you this, and I’m going to tell you just this once “Words have gender: people (if they are lucky) have sex!!”

Language: Hore-head On:2006-10-13 04:40:19
It has come to my attention that no one currently alive in the United States of America, and precious few even in England, can correctly pronounce the word “forehead” any more.

Language: Kiss Rocks On:2006-10-05 05:00:14
kiss rocks leftkiss rocks rightThis essay is entitled Kiss Rocks, and it might be of interest to see why I chose that particular title. You see the sentence ‘Kiss rocks’ is open to two wildly different interpretations, depending on whether the hearer was around and conscious in the early 70’s and was more at home with the pet rock or with the glam rock crazes. If I say “Kiss rocks”, with perhaps no particular emphasis on either word, it means one thing; and if I say “Kiss ROCKS!!”, with a lot more on the last one, it means quite another: the former no doubt encouraging a perhaps inappropriate intimate interaction with your lithic pet, and the latter an equally misapplied enthusiasm and a total misunderstanding of pop musicology. The beauty of these conflicting construals being that the noun in one becomes the verb in the other and vice versa and doesn’t that just make one absolutely ...glad that English is not a more synthetic language!

Language: Rhinoceros-Front Riding On:2006-07-14 04:31:03
You will see in a moment how much it pains me to admit this, but I have to tell you that the other day I traveled by ... um ... public transport; though, I hasten to reassure you, it was merely on a DART railway train so it isn't as bad as it could have been.
And so it fell out, that other day, on the most decidedly non-U Dallas Area Rapid Transit, and whilst pausing in the relative quiet of one of their stations I heard an American girl talking about going, as she described it, 'horseback riding'---now this immediately piqued my interest because in England, where we very much subscribe to the theory that 'less is more', if you do it, it is always just 'riding' (I mean you pretty-well know what part of which animal is involved!) While our young Americanette was perhaps trying to be pretentious about her activities (she was talking unusually loud, even for an American) our English term way outdoes her efforts because it is a perfect example of a particularly English form of aggressively anti-pretentious pretentiousness: a form which is to other sorts of pretension what passive-agressive behaviour is to kicking the ... well whatever out of whomever.


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