Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Friday, May 12, 2006

John Gibson: Underappreciated Fox News yahoo

Poor John Gibson. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to escape the B-team of Fox News' corps of right-wing pundits. He wrote a book about the war on Christmas, but Bill O'Reilly stole his thunder. He sucks up to the prez any chance he gets, but Tony Snow got the press secretary job. He has cultivated a wondrously stiff, lecherous persona, but Brit Hume did it first.

Well, with his latest "Big Story" commentary, John Gibson has officially become an Under 30 favorite. Ladies and gentlemen, we have found a new mascot. John Gibson is Fetus Mach II.

Gibson's commentary is entitled, "Procreation Not Recreation."

Make more babies. That's the lesson drawn out of two interesting stories over the last couple days.

First, a story Wednesday that half the kids under 5 years old in this country are minorities. By far, the greatest number are Hispanic.

Know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority population is Hispanic.

Why is that? Hispanics are having more kids and others, notably the ones Hispanics call gabachos — white people — are having fewer.

Now in this country, European ancestry people — white people — are having kids at a rate that sustains the population, even grows it a bit.

That compares to Europe where the birthrate is in the negative zone. They're not having enough babies to sustain the population.

Consequently, they are inviting in more and more immigrants every year to take care of things, and those immigrants are having way more babies that the native population. Hence Eurabia.

Why aren't they having babies? Because babies get in the way of a prosperous and comfortable modern life. Peanut butter fingerprints on the leather seats in the BMW. The Euros in particular can't be bothered with kids.

To put it bluntly: We need more babies. Forget that zero population growth stuff of my poor, misled generation.

Why is this important? Because civilizations need populations to survive.

So far we're doing our part here in America, but Hispanics can't carry the whole load.

The rest of you: Get busy. Make babies.

Or put another way, a slogan for our times: Procreation not recreation.

I can't decide which is more offensive: the idea that white people need to overtake Hispanic people in the procreation department, or that the words "John Gibson" and "sex" are now linked in my mind.

Who wants to see Rick Sutcliffe get wasted?

For this week's Under 30 rip-off from the funniest sports blog on the planet, Deadspin.com, we have video of former Chicago Cubs pitcher Rick Sutcliffe's drunken meltdown during a Padres/Brewers game on Wednesday.

Moment to look for: "George Clooney?"

Here's a story recounting the gory details:

Sutcliffe, who used to broadcast Padres games for Channel 4 San Diego, dropped by the broadcast booth late in Wednesday night's game and was warmly welcomed by announcers Matt Vasgersian and Mark "Mud" Grant, a former big league pitcher.

The trio first talked about golf and actor Bill Murray, who was with Sutcliffe at the game. The conversation turned to Sutcliffe's daughter, who, the pitcher said, has been accepted to Harvard Medical School.

That's when Sutcliffe began to meander.

"She's on her way to Africa tomorrow," Sutcliffe said. "How about that? Over there on one of those missions, man. George Clooney — you been reading about all that, you been seeing that?"

To which Vasgersian responded with surprise: "George Clooney?"

"Yeah, he's up there with the Congress, he's trying to get everybody to go over there and solve that thing."

Sutcliffe then said: "I'm getting yelled at from Bill Murray in the back. I need to go. I'd much rather hang with you guys."

Grant thanked Sutcliffe for joining them.

"Mud, you're the best, man," Sutcliffe replied. "Anybody on Earth that doesn't like Mark Grant, they've got problems."

Sutcliffe then asked Vasgersian, "Matty, what are you still doing here in San Diego?"

Vasgersian tried to steer the conversation to baseball, but Sutcliffe persisted.

"No, no, no, Matty — everybody on Earth has been trying to steal you — the Dodgers, the Cubs, ESPN. What are you still doing here?"

Sutcliffe's microphone apparently was cut off then, because a voice in the background can be heard saying: "They turned it off."

Sutcliffe couldn't be reached for comment on Thursday, although ESPN read an apology from him on its late-night SportsCenter show.

Like you would act any differently after hitting the links (and clubhouse bar) with Bill Murray.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

American idiot

Am I blogging too much today? I'm feeling slightly OCD when it comes to Under 30 blog today. Hope it's not bugging you.

Anyway, my good friend Tom Roz inspired me to comment on the latest media coverage of UW-Whitewater super super duper senior Johnny Lechner, who just decided to continue college for another year. In case you aren't familiar, Lechner is a 29-year-old student who has been attending college since, like, the Clinton administration. This has made him a minor celebrity of sorts.

Tom, who works for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, is a tad peeved that Johnny Lechner (you can't make a name like that up) is still soaking up the spotlight. Here's part of what he wrote on his blog:

Please. Someone tell me. What is the story here? Yes, I realize that "features" aren't meant to break new ground in journalism, but the way I see it, we have a guy who thinks he's a celebrity because he is making the conscious decision to stay in college when he doesn't have to. His reason? He's somebody at UW-Whitewater. He scores easy-to-bed chicks. Gets to do keg stands. Loves to sleep in a puddle of beer flavored drool. Blah. Blah. Blah. So what's next? Are we to celebrate the unemployed loser who has spent the last 12 years dropping spare change at the video arcade? Maybe there should be a feature on the jackass who neglects his 6-year-old daughter because he's been playing in three rinky-dink softball leagues the past 14 years while still dreaming of a shot at the pros? Or how about the dude who has slept until noon everyday for the last 10 years before watching porn until bar-time? Where's the freakin' story?

Full disclosure: I recently received a press release from Lechner promoting his totally awesome slackerdom, and suggesting a story. I deleted the e-mail almost immediately because the Lechner story has been so done to death.* But I don't fault The Journal Sentinel for doing it. Again. Obviously, Lechner is somewhat interesting. After all, we're talking about it, aren't we? I also like that Johnny comes off as pretty pathetic. (Though not as pathetic as this. Ugh.)

My favorite part of the story:

Michelle Eigenberger, an editor at The Royal Purple, said Lechner's celebrity image is deceiving.

Most students think Lechner is a loser, she said. They are tired of his celebrity stunts.

"It's getting old," Eigenberger said. "For the sanity of the rest of the campus, we want him to get out of here."

I also like this:

Lechner said this spring that he planned to use his graduation as an opportunity to finish writing the TV show based on his life.

So why did he decide to stay another year?

"I realized that if I went one more year, I could study abroad," Lechner said. "That's one thing I haven't done."

By study abroad, I think he means studying some place outside of Whitewater, like Platteville. Very exotic, dude.

*UPDATE: Turns out I didn't delete the press release. Here it is. Enjoy!

After 12 years. I’m finally going to graduate from college (because I have

My name is Johnny Lechner and I have been in “Higher Education Heaven” (getting the grades, throwing the biggest parties, falling in love once a month, and living the good life) since 1994 at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The state of WI actually created a law (AKA: the Johnny Lechner Law) that forces non-traditional students like myself to pay double the tuition because I could have graduated years ago. Basically, I'm really just your average 'underdog' musician type who decided that I loved college so much that I didn't want to graduate. Unfortunately, unless I win the lottery, it appears as if my college adventure is finally coming to an end after 12 incredible memory-filled years.

If you’re interested in finding out more about my story, please check out

The site features a blog, outlines my current situation, summarizes the last
12 years, provides some great quotes and pics, and reaches out for help and advice.

Please pass my story (and website) onto anyone that may be interested in
it…and I’m here if you want to do anything with it yourself!

Johnny Lechner

A slacker with a press release! How aughties!

Check out the Wandering Sons

You heard it here first – the next Wandering Sons album is going to be a monster.

The Appleton band has been hard at work in a studio in Rockford, Ill., for the past six months working on "Little Bird," its first full-length release as the Wandering Sons. (The band previously recorded under its former name, Breathing Machine.)

Just as 2005's "Darken Your Door" EP was a quantum leap forward from the band's previous records, five new songs played for me this week by singer/songwriter Cory Chisel show the Sons continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. On standout tracks like the Sam Cooke-style soul ballad "Gettin' By" and the lovely folk shuffle "In the Spring," they transcend their obvious influences (Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, to name a couple) to create an indelible musical identity all their own.

The songs, in a word, are awesome.

Working on "Little Bird" has been a rewarding experience for Chisel, who hopes to distribute the CD locally at shows by the end of July while the band shops it around to record labels for national release. Chisel, guitarist Dan McMahon and bassist Rick Setser have been joined in the studio by an all-star cast of musicians, including Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos, percussionist Devon Evans (a sideman for Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff) and keyboardist Augie Meyers (of the Texas Tornadoes, and a co-conspirator with Dylan and Waits).

Carlos joined the fold because of the band's relationship with manager and producer Miles Nielsen, son of Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen. Both father and son have taken a strong interest in the Sons. (Nielsen wore a Wandering Sons T-shirt during Cheap Trick's appearance on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" Tuesday.)

Meyers, who lent his distinctive organ to Dylan's "Time Out of Mind" and "Love and Theft" albums, came aboard after Bob's nephew Luke Zimmerman slipped Chisel the man's cell phone number. (Guess it helps to know people.) Meyers is all over the new album, also playing piano and accordion, among other instruments. "Hang Your Head Down," another terrific new Sons tune, sounds like a "Time Out of Mind" outtake thanks in part to his spooky tinkling.

If all of this isn't enough to get you excited, Chisel hinted the studio band might join the Sons on a tour. Can you say special homecoming show? I know I can.

In the meantime, Chisel is trying to keep the band's heady studio experience in perspective. "I hope it's not a once in a lifetime thing," he said. "But I'm trying to soak it up like it might be."

Once in a lifetime? Sounds like it's just the beginning to me.

Learn more about the Sons and check out songs here.

Shameless self-promotion, Part Deux

Today's Under 30 column is on my proposal for a new National Anthem. It is made up of the best parts of classic rock songs

Here it is in a nutshell:

What kind of music sounds best when sung by tens of thousands of people in a stadium or arena? Duh, it’s classic rock! Notice how bored sports fans look when forced to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the umpteenth time and how excited they get when the opening riff to “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones fires up on the P.A. for the umpteenth time. Why shouldn’t the national anthem cause Americans to raise their lighters, too?

My proposal for a new national anthem consists of the best parts of several classic rock songs. I’m not really a songwriter, so my anthem isn’t perfect. It’s also about 20 minutes long. But, man, it rocks like a son of a gun!

The song begins with the awesome instrumental introduction to “Baba O’Riley” by the Who, the greatest opening to a song ever. (Dum! Dum DUM!) Then it segues into the fist-pumping opening lines to “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC. (“She had the sightless eyes/Telling me no lies/Knockin’ me out with those American thighs.” Who isn’t proud to be an American after hearing that?)

Now that we have a killer opener that will get everybody’s attention, let’s slip in a little “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. (“In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream/At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines.” That’s what I call inspirational poetry, Francis Scott Key.) Then let’s add “What I Like About You” by the Romantics. (Because America, among other things, keeps you warm at night and never wants to let you go.)

This might be excessive, but I’d love to add the drum solo from Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick” at this point, just because drum solos sound cool in stadiums. (We can say it recreates the sound of rockets red glare or something.) Then, the ultimate classic rock closer: The climactic guitar duel from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird.”

Read the whole thing here.

A history of booing

I love stories that explain stuff we take for granted. Like booing, for instance. So, thanks Slate.com.

While people have expressed displeasure publicly since ancient times, the English word boo was first used in the early 19th century to describe the lowing sound that cattle make. Later in the 1800s, the word came to be used to describe the disapproving cry of crowds. Hoot, another onomatopoeic English word, was used as early as 1225 to describe the same phenomenon. (Ancient Greek and Latin both contain words resembling boo that mean "to cry or shout aloud," though there is no known etymological connection to the modern English word.)

Remember: They are not booing, they are saying Boo-urns!

Shameless self-promotion

Here is our P-C Weekend cover story on the Top 10 things we wish the Fox Valley had.

I posted part of the list on the blog earlier this week. If you read that post you might notice I changed the one about singles slightly at the request of my editor, who found it a tad mean. I guess I agree, especially since I prefaced it with "Not to be mean..."

"Who Bats 1.000?"

The Washington Post has an interesting story on male college students having trouble, um, performing in the dorm room after dark. Along with usual suspects -- drug and alcohol abuse, anti-depressants, lack of sleep -- The Post pinpoints an unlikely culprit for the missing mojo: Sexually liberated women.

Apparently, some dudes can't get in the mood if the girl is in the mood.

It seems that for a sizable number of young men, the fact that they can get sex whenever they want may have created a situation where, in fact, they're unable to have sex. According to surveys, young women are now as likely as young men to have sex and by countless reports are also as likely to initiate sex, taking away from males the age-old, erotic power of the chase.

"I know lots of girls for whom nothing is off limits," says Helen Czapary, a junior at the University of Maryland. "The pressure on the guys is a huge deal."

Combine performance anxiety with binge drinking and the abuse of drugs on campus and it's no wonder that problems are showing up at college clinics in numbers that give the lie to the adage that impotence is reserved for the old (Bob Dole) or crazy (Jack Nicholson in "Carnal Knowledge"). The younger models who now appear in commercials for Viagra and its pharmaceutical clones reveal that the drug makers know (hope?) what the rest of us don't: Some members of the Game Boy generation are losing their game.

There's a lot of semi-clever things I want to write, but since this is a P-C affiliated blog, I better keep my mouth shut. Instead, check out this rebuttal from Salon.com.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thoughts on geezer protest music

Neil Young’s “Living With War” has been described as the first blog album, and that sounds about right: It is a passionate, hastily written, inflammatory and Web-centric work with little chance of having any lasting value.

And not only because songs like “Let’s Impeach the President” and “Shock and Awe” are so obviously tied to this moment in time. Young got specific after the Kent State shootings with “Ohio” and ended up with an anomaly, a topical song that stood the test of time. What makes “Living With War” ultimately disposable is the generic guitar rock Young wrote to go along with his undeniably heartfelt lyrics. With the exception of the album-opening “After the Garden,” “Living With War” just isn’t very good.

Unlike rock albums, blog posts aren’t meant to be looked at more than once. Repeat viewings make plain the typos, the gaps in logic and the lack of depth. You admire the writer’s spunk but wish he had an editor.

In the case of Young, who rushed “Living With War” out to stores (mostly online) a few weeks after writing and recording it, somebody should have suggested ditching the 100-person choir that drones tunelessly over his fired-up vocals on most songs. And what’s with the out-of-tune trumpet bleating in out of Neil’s still-wondrous guitar solos? (It renders the title track an unlistenable embarrassment.) Another month in the studio might have convinced Young to pare down the musicians to his core power trio, and the songs to a powerful EP.

But Young would have lost some immediacy in the process, and immediacy likely is more important to him. Besides, it’s not as if most people are receiving “Living With War” as a mere rock ‘n’ roll record. Rolling Stone gave it four stars, and while such things are subjective, I can’t believe the left-leaning magazine would have been so kind if, say, Toby Keith put out a passionately sloppy pro-war album.

I respect Young for speaking his mind. I just wish he had better hooks. That’s the secret of great protest music: Polemics are fine, but catchy polemics are better and stick with people longer. Bruce Springsteen heeded this on his new geezer protest record, “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions.” By cutting classic folk songs live and loose in the studio with a roomful of more than a dozen musicians, Springsteen achieved the communal spirit Young strives for but in the service of memorable tunes.

Springsteen, who made one of the bleakest party-hearty classic rock albums ever with “Born in the U.S.A.,” marries desperate lyrics with celebratory music better than anybody. One of my favorite songs right now is “O Mary Don’t You Weep,” Springsteen’s rollicking adaptation of a Negro spiritual about inevitable Armageddon on the horizon. “God gave Noah the rainbow sigh/‘No more water but fire next time’/Pharaoh’s army got drowned/O Mary don’t you weep.” Kind of makes “Let’s Impeach the President” sound trite, don’t you think?

("We Shall Overcome" could go down as the most universally-liked album of the year. I'm amazed at the number and range of people who already own and love it, everybody from teenagers to 50something baby boomers.)

Springsteen hasn’t sounded this vital on record in nearly 20 years, and even Young is a lot more exciting than he has been lately. Perhaps this explains why the latest protest music is coming from rock’s old guard. When Pearl Jam, the Dixie Chicks and Bright Eyes rail against the war, people get turned off. When Young and Springsteen do it, it reignites the public’s interest in aging millionaire rockers. Compare media attention for “Living With War” to what Young’s last few albums received. Who knew being courageous could be so commercial?

Suck/lame: David Blaine

We continue our mission of clearly defining those people, things, ideas, thoughts, actions and other nouns and verbs of questionable lameitude with that crazy stunt guy, David Blaine.

Seriously, what’s the deal with this guy? Is he a magician? A lunatic? A professional dare taker? Whatever he is, Blaine has a way of convincing the public to care about his insane shtick. About 10 million people watched him fail to break the record for underwater breath-holding this week. (Yep, there’s a record for everything, isn’t there?) That’s not a huge amount of people compared to the audience for, say, “24,” but it’s about 9,999,998 more people than watched you that time in 5th grade when your friends dared you to drink pickle juice spiked with peanut butter and mustard. So there. And while Blaine didn’t break the record of 8 minutes 58 seconds, he did hold out for 7 minutes, which is impressive in a really, really stupid way. Ultimately, the question with Blaine is, “Who cares?” Yeah, we couldn’t do what he does. But we also aren’t capable of walking down the street with our pants around our ankles. Should we put that guy on TV, too?

So, is Blaine a media-savvy entertainer, or a dope that gets too much attention? In other words, is he lame? Vote by noon Friday.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"The nonalcoholic beer of porn"

Andy Selsberg has written a ridiculously fascinating examination of 1980s teen sex comedies for The Believer.

I can't tell how serious Selsberg is about this. His approach is very scholarly; his subject is perhaps the most disreputable of all film genres. Either way, the man obviously has given "Porky's," "Screwballs" and "The Last American Virgin" a lot of thought.

An excerpt:

Teen sex comedies—each of those words defined incredibly loosely—blossomed from 1982 to 1985.[1] These movies burgeoned in the cultural airspace cleared by ’70s porn, back when porn thought it needed plot. Usually structured around a crude story about a group of high school or college students who want sex, and featuring plenty of nude or near-nude female bodies but no close-ups of genitals, sex comedies are like the nonalcoholic beer of porn. Twelve-year-olds may get intoxicated, but that’s about it. With a lose-our-virginity-or-bust belief system, the films and their characters pole-vault over ethics to get at sex—like they could crash maturity as they would a party. In the mid-’80s, the pole snapped. The movies didn’t have enough heart to make it, though the formula came out of retirement in 1999 to execute one improbably graceful vault in the form of American Pie.

Teens, sex, comedy: sounds like a new holy trinity of American popular culture. But these teens were, as sex-seeking robots, too one-dimensional to be sympathetic. And their ideas about sex were off-balance—a mixture of debauched aggression and deep weakness (even the repeatedly uttered goal of “getting laid” ultimately implies passivity). It’s sex without a connection—male-female relations as a grudge match. And it’s hard to appeal to the groin and the funny bone at the same time; the movies are, with a few exceptions, witless.

Sadly, most of these films haven't made it to DVD yet. This story makes me curious to see them again. As it is, my only memory of 80s teen sex comedies comes from frustrating late-night viewings on USA Network where I cursed the gods for cutting out the good parts. Ah, puberty!

"While Blaine did not achieve what he had set out to do, people watched him.”

I made a mental note to watch the David Blaine TV special last night, just in case the idiot drowned on national television.

Alas, he didn't. (And I didn't watch. Oops.) Did anybody watch? Was it any good? Can I have a report?

I'm kicking myself about missing it. I'm sure it was dumb and boring, but I heard Stu Scott from ESPN was the host. Sadly, he didn't perform any of his slam poetry. However, he did make the following non-sensical statement:

“While Blaine did not achieve what he had set out to do, people watched him.”

Yep, after a week in a water tank, Blaine achieved what the crazy dude outside the bus stop with poop in his pants achieves every day. Well done!

A Pink Floyd story that doesn't mention drugs

Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" just celebrated its 1,500th week on the Billboard chart, a pretty mind-boggling achievement any way you slice it. And while I'd love to play the jaded 20something hipster, I gotta say "Dark Side" is a pretty mind-boggling record. I mean, it sounds AMAZING, still, to this day. And for all its pretentions, it's also a pretty solid piece of songcraft. The Beatles (especially "Abbey Road") are all over that thing. So is Al Green. "The Great Gig in the Sky" is a pretty sexy tune. The whole album ain't bad to get, um, amorous to.

Roger Waters talks about "Dark Side" in this interview with Billboard. Here he sounds off on what has made the album endure.

I think the answer is twofold. Musically, this thing has really stood the test of time. There was something about the symbiosis of the musical talents of the four of us that worked really well.

But also, I think, in terms of the lyrical content, philosophically it holds an appeal to each successive generation because it feels like it gives you permission to question things, maybe, which is something that is very appealing to us as we hit puberty and drift beyond it into real life. Musically, the record expresses the concerns that there are in the lyric about basic fundamental questions about human existence.

That's a fine answer, Rog. It's also wrong. Sure, "the symbiosis of the musical talents of the four of us" maybe had something to do with it. But if the world's marijuana supply disappeared tomorrow, so would "Dark Side of the Moon." Sorry, but that's a fact.

Monday, May 08, 2006

"Chinese Democracy" coming soon to a record store near you ... maybe

If Samuel Beckett were a Guns 'N' Roses fan, he would have called his play "Waiting for 'Chinese Democracy.'" (That's right, I just led a GNR blog item with a semi-snooty Beckett reference. Snap!) The oft-delayed album has become a Spinal Tap-style joke. "Chinese Democracy" could be the most famous album that might not actually exist ever.

But thanks to Sebastian Bach, of all people, we might finally have some answers to the "CD" connudrum. Bach called Axl on his cellphone during a radio show this weekend to get the lowdown on the record. Somehow it worked.

Quizzed on when the near-mythical album would come out, Rose said, "Sometime this fall or late fall." His band could be heard rehearsing in the background. "It will be out this year."

Plans are currently in the works for Rose to relaunch his comeback by playing four shows at New Yorks Hammerstein Ballroom over the next 10 days, then head to Europe to play several music festivals.

Rose said the band at the Hammerstein shows will be similar to the one that played the 2002 tour, except for a new lead guitarist, whom he declined to identify except to say it's not an old GNR member. Buckethead left the band in 2004.

However, later in the broadcast, Rose seemed to contradict himself when he said hes been hobnobbing with former GNR guitarist and songwriter Izzy Stradlin, and strongly hinted that Stradlin may show up for the Hammerstein shows.

Former GNR guitar maestro Slash may end up back in the band as well, but probably not before the Hammerstein shows.

So Izzy and Slash might end up back in the band. Or they might not. Or Axl might marry the Olsen twins and hole up in a Mexican hotel with enough cocaine to choke Tony Montana. Who knows?

Anyone have odds on whether "Chinese Democracy" will be any good? My guess is every song is 10 minutes long and has about 56 different players on it. In other words, um, no.

For another interesting take on "Chinese Democracy," read this.

A wishlist for the Fox Cities

This week's cover story for The P-C's Weekend section is a wishlist of entertainment-related stuff for the Fox Cities.

Here is our top five wishes. Read the rest of the list on Thursday.

5. An all-ages music venue: Kids love seeing bands. Bands love playing for kids. But in the Fox Cities, kids can’t see bands on a regular basis at a regular venue.

Places like The Monkeywrench in Appleton and Rock ‘n’ Roll High School in Green Bay did well for a while, but bottled water and Mountain Dew don’t pay the bills as well as beer and booze. It’s too bad, because some of the area’s best bands (and music fans) aren’t 21 yet. And they appreciate live music more than us geezers. Give the kids a place to rock.

4. More attractive singles: With a name like Fox Cities, you would think this area would be crawling with hotties. But looking for attractive singles in northeast Wisconsin can be like hunting for sharks in the Fox River. Even with a lot of patience, you probably won’t be successful.

Not to be mean, but most of the singles we see in bars make joining the priesthood look like a sexy alternative. Maybe they are trying too hard with their designer clothes, expensive haircuts and fake suntans. Then again, we would rather stare at these people than talk to them. Not that the office politics of the insurance company where you work aren’t fascinating, but still. All we want are cute, funny people with good taste in beer and music (not necessarily in that order). Is that too much too ask?

3. A radio station geared toward people who actually like music: Unless you work in a dentist office, you probably find local radio a little borrriiinnngggzzz.

Sorry, we dozed off there. Look, we don’t have a problem with country, “soft favorites” from the 1980s and 90s or Top 40 if that’s your thing. But there’s this new music genre called hip-hop that’s mildly popular outside of northeast Wisconsin. Might be nice to hear it on the radio again. We would also kill to have a station that plays indie/alternative rock. And we’re not talking about Shinedown or whatever crap band that bald guy from “American Idol” likes.

2. A movie theater that plays good movies: The biggest fans of local movie theaters are local video storeowners. Thanks to the limited selection of flicks on the area’s big screens, movie buffs have to wait to see non-mainstream films on DVD.

In a way, we’re cool with that, because going to a movie theater usually entails dealing with some jerk yammering on his cell phone and kicking your seat. Who wants to suffer through that? But it would be nice to see all these cool independent and foreign films we’re always reading about in magazines the same year they come out.

1. More people who “get it”: For any of the things on this list to become a reality, we need more people who “get it.”

We’re talking about people who didn’t giggle every time Jake Gyllenhaal looked longingly at Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain.” We’re talking about people who have never seen an episode of “According to Jim.” We’re talking about people who want to plunge ice picks in their ears when Nickelback, Staind or some other awful band is booked again at a local venue. We know you’re out there, people who get it. Please reproduce among yourselves.