That bidding war over The Marketplace of Ideas keeps not starting, so I’ve been looking for public radio jobs. Something tells me the ongoing mass exodus from NPR might stiffen the competition at the other outfits, so I work extra hard on my résumé. Whenever I step back and take a good look at it, I bask in the glow of my own pure invincibility. How many of those ex-NPR hopefuls can claim experience as booker, producer, host, engineer, editor, and web manager? How many of them can claim to have interviewed Clive James, Momus, and Peter Bagge?
Yeah. Thought not.
Nevertheless, this has yet to actually work. But hope springs eternal, and I keep an eagle eye on the listings for either a public radio position relevant to my interests and where I wouldn’t have to move to someplace cold. Failing that, I can pursue a host of other jobs: raconteur, provocateur, tastemaker, enfant terrible, cultural icon. I have not, of course, ruled out a life of crime, or a life in the boxcars and on the rails — a form of a life of crime. E-mailing with a public radio insider about my prospects in the industry, I received this reply:
Learn hobo signs (soft touch here, bad dog, etc.) and how to play harmonica. You will find these skills invaluable as a gentleman of the iron highway.