Return To The Wonderful And Strange
I originally wanted to write a rant about the now old news Art Bell/Dark Matter controversy on Sirius/XM and about how his return to “radio” inspired me to go back to reporting on the paranormal on The Fedora Chronicles. But before I say this let me put out this one disclaimer – I consider Art Bell a friend of the family on two fronts.
First and foremost I was turned on to his show in the early 1990’s and I re-arranged my work schedule to be able to listen to his show when it was on the local AM radio stations, specifically when I was living in Fremont California. His coverage of the Oklahoma City Bombing was the best there was, bar none. He told his listeners things about what was really going on during the investigation that the mainstream media wouldn’t touch.
He introduced me to Janna Davis from Oklahoma City, her story is absolutely incredible and it’s unfortunate that so many people will not hear her version of the truth for reasons she’s chronicled in her own work. She has pieces of what really happened before, during and after the bombing of the Federal building that are essential to the full picture, but you don’t want to hear it because it’s inconvenient to the official liars in Washington and the Main Stream Media.
On the second front, he’s a Ham Radio buddy of my dads – apparently they talk via amateur radio and swap stories about everything and anything.
Art Bell is considered the foremost in paranormal reporting for the simple fact that he’s non-judgmental and unbiased. He allows anyone and everyone to talk. He’ll interview people who have perspectives that are so far out of the main stream and might even contradict his own beliefs. He wants to put it all out there. His agenda isn’t so much “the truth” as it is giving everyone with a passion for the unknown to have a place to be heard.
Has Art allowed people on the air with bat-shit ideas and who were complete phonies? Sure he has. Has Art Bell allowed more than his own share of crackpots more time than they actually deserve – you be the judge. But Art Bell’s only fault is that he’s given people too much rope to hang themselves and given them the venue to do so.
My wife and I were excited to hear that Art Bell was going to be on Sirius/XM since we are subscribers now and really enjoyed listening to his show during long drives back home from parts unknown here in the North East. It’s amazing how much we learned about each other while entertaining “what-if” ideas and was a perfect way to find out how much bull she could tolerate and where she drew the line.
Seriously, want to find out something about the person you’re with, listen to Art Bell for a little while and see how she reacts. You might be surprised. I digress…
I was willing to continue our subscription to Sirius/XM just so we could listen to Art Bell’s Dark Matter while we were on the road on long over-night drives. I would even buy into a plan that would let me listen to his Sirius/XM on-demand… that’s how much we enjoyed his show and wanted to continue to do so since he announced that he was coming out of retirement.
The few shows we did hear were amazing – I have fond memories of my wife and I driving home after a night out with the kids and thinking – yea… he’s back… he’s really back. It didn’t take long for him to get back into the swing of things.
It wasn’t before too long that we were surprised by this announcement – and I quote…
We are sorry that Dark Matter on SiriusXM has come to an abrupt end. We’ll examine our options and may be able to return in a different format and medium. In the mean time, ArtBell.com will still operate as long as financially possible, hoping for a workable solution to bring Art back to you, soon. Keep checking back here often.”
There are a lot of theories out there trying to explain why this happened. Some folks said that it’s because the corporates heads of Sirius/XM didn’t like the content of his show, others said the cancelation of his show was because of overwhelming technical problems. My favorite theory is that he just wanted to do his own thing, unrestrained by the restrictions of Sirius/XM and wanted to do everything though his own website or that the brief stint on Satellite radio was a stunt to draw attention to his on-line ventures.
Doesn’t matter, he’s back and that’s all that counts. I am disappointed that Sirus/XM has replaced his show with a watered down version of Coast-To-Coast with a different host… It seems to miss the original spank of Art Bell, as if the current host doesn’t want to get too close to the edge in fear of falling off the cliff. I understand that and sympathize.
Personally, I would love to pick up the mantle even if it would be for just once a week. If Art Bell himself called I would strongly consider it… heck… I think I would jump at the chance with a couple of conditions.
First and foremost I would love to see what more I can do with a weekly podcast with more resources. What could I do if I actually had the money to upgrade everything including equipment to handle higher-quality audio for interviews over the internet. I wouldn’t mind being able to travel to places with my recording equipment and go on location.
T here’s a couple of things that I wouldn’t change – I would want to continue to do this as “The Fedora Chronicles Radio Show” since it’s a brand I’ve built over the past 10 years. I would stick with some of my favorite bumper-music but I would stick with the original format of the original show or shows… so if anyone from Sirius/XM are reading this, let’s talk!
What I want to do is that now that I"m done with College (for the time being) I want to get back into running my website full time. I originally wanted it to be a website not for "Indy Fans" but a place where someone like "Indiana Jones" would actually go... or where Fox Mulder would go if he was a retro. I want to focus more on book and movie reviews and explore "X-Files" type stuff if people are interested. I don't want to waste my time doing more work on that realm if people aren't going to enjoy it.
I also want to get back in creating pages for other people and their adventures/activities, giving people parts of The Chronicles to call their own. I want to get back to making content for everyone. More on that later.
Just as a quick informal survey – how interested are we in The Supernatural and/or The Paranormal besides the artifacts that were in any of the IJ/Raiders movies? Are you really into topics in that realm and are there others that you’re interested in? So far I’m covering Ancient & Lost Civilizations, X-Files type stuff like UFO’s, Alien Abductions… what am I missing? What are you more interested in? Feel free to add your comments below or if you’re an Electric Speakeasy member, post here.
Don't Forget to change the URL for the Facebook Widget!