Like Mulder, I want to believe
If you've never driven cross country and discovered yourself out of listening material because you already burned though all your books on cd, and in desperation turned on the radio at two am just to keep yourself awake and by chance happened upon a conversation between two people that goes a bit like this.....
guest: well, I've been working on the black box for years now, and I feel like the more I know the less I know
host: can you tell us what the black box does?
guest: I can't really. I can just tell you that it has dimensions and worlds inside of it, that it is powerful beyond belief, and that I can't really talk about it
host: well, you've written a book about it
host: and did you talk about it in the book?
host: and can you tell me about the book?
guest: it is powerful beyond anything that has come before
and my work is just beginning
....well, then, I feel sorry for you, because it is a life changing experience. That remarkable conversation is how I discovered the radio show 'Coast to Coast'.
I've been listening to it off and on for about twenty years, and it NEVER gets old. Sometimes the guests are certifiable geniuses, and talk brilliantly and charmingly about incredibly complex issues in an easily understandable manner, and other times, the times I hold dear, the guests are certifiable. They are nuts in the best sense of the word. Some of them have a sense of humor, some don't. Some believe in ghosts, and will talk about their ghost stories, some believe they've been abducted by aliens, and will happily share that experience at length. Some of the callers are very, very smart, and ask sharp, perceiving questions, and others believe in elegant, beautifully laid out conspiracy theories and are utterly convincing as they argue their cases as compellingly as any top firm lawyer. Other callers are entertaining because they are so utterly mad they often stop to howl at the moon in between questions.
Lest it seem like I'm making fun of Coast to Coast, let me assure you I am not. I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but love to hear about them. I don't believe in ghosts, but am always listening for them. I don't believe in aliens or abductions or UFO's except the experimental military kind, but, with all of it, all of the paranormal and unexplainable and mysterious, like Mulder's poster, I want to believe.
Alas, I just do not. At all. This show gives the enormous gift of believing for me.
It is my sincerest hope that this show never goes off the air. I can't think of anything more entertaining or educational than the next sixty years of their guests and callers. I'm so glad that I can listen to people who are able to suspend disbelief and overly rooted practicality. They delight my cautious, cynical world.
If you struggle with insomnia, or loneliness or feel bereft of magical thinking, you should track down some podcasts and be prepared to be amazed. If you're ever desperate to hear alternatives to the ever respectable BBC or the never respectful political and religious radio hosts, you should tune in.
And if you happen upon Coast to Coast one night while driving the endless dark road of America, and you have never heard of the show, but suddenly someone is talking spiritedly about a new dimension they've discovered and a man with a warm, soothing voice replies with belief and enthusiasm, well, you, my friend, are in for it. You lucky, lucky bastard.