It's a very quiet and enjoyable Sunday afternoon here on East Mountain. The skies are darkening, the wind is kicking up, the temperature is dropping and the sound of thunder is in the air. A brief but refreshing summer storm is bearing down upon us and it should be raining in moments.
Things quiet down here during the summer months. The university students are gone and there's less traffic on the roads (yea!). Summer activities are in full swing though. On weekends folks seem to flood out of town to the lakes, rivers and favorite campsites. But in the world of Goth, there's really not much going on. As for my own personal life the last event I'd been looking forward to, The Vore 20th Anniversary Show is now a couple of weeks behind me. I don't mind; and as a matter of fact, I always enjoy these quiet times. Still, there is one opportunity that now presents itself that is both very exciting and disturbing at the same time. I'm really sitting on the fence over this one and it's a situation that only an introvert such as myself ends up in turmoil over.
There is a non-profit organization here in town that has for years, talked about getting the rights to operate a low-power FM radio station. Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave approval to some 2,000 organizations to operate such broadcasting facilities. The local group has both received approval and chosen a frequency. They are waiting for the FCC to complete certain paperwork and the issuance of their call letters. After that, they'll be cleared for broadcasting.
Low-power FM stations are licensed to broadcast with a power output of between 10 and 100 watts. When you consider that our local public radio station broadcasts at 100,000 watts with a signal that reaches well into Oklahoma on the west and Missouri to the north, and way below the Arkansas River Valley to the south, you can begin to appreciate that 10 to 100 watts is not very much. The signal strength must be adjusted according to the height of the transmitting tower and how well the signal is able to bypass neighboring hills, buildings, etc. All things considered, Fayetteville's new all-volunteer community radio station will have a signal that should serve all of our community and will likely be one capable of extending outward for a few miles, thereby reaching, at least partially, into neighboring towns as well.
Community radio stations determine their programming according to the needs of their respective communities as well as according to the interests of those actively involved with the station. At this point in time, it looks as though Fayetteville's community station will be focused primarily on talk and discussion shows. There will be a smattering of musical venues, which may include cool jazz, bluegrass and heavy metal.
Heavy metal you ask? Yeah, that's me. Back in April I signed up to do a metal show and since that time my mind has been working overtime in terms of how I'd like to not only mix the music, but also incorporate the occasional horror theme into the programming. As I mentioned a bit earlier, this whole thing is, in many ways, a very exciting prospect. I love mixing music and I feel confidant that I'm capable of creating an excellent program--all with a classical but spooky touch.
All I want to do however, is have a two-hour weekly program and otherwise, slide back into life as usual. After all, it's not like I don't have important personal projects and other responsibilities. But when I attended last week's open house I quickly came to realize that if I want to do this show, it's going to take a much bigger commitment than I'd bargained for. Before I knew it, I was on the programming committee; and although I'm not even sure what that will entail, I was asked to sign a skills list. Do I have construction skills? Got a truck? Can you write news or do web work? How about getting into fundraising or public outreach? By the time I left the place I was already free-falling into a funk--in other words, a depression.
There are three meetings set for this coming week that by all rights I should attend. I have to mention here that years ago, I swore off meetings and promised myself that I'd never attend one again. I absolutely loath them and truly don't like being thrown into groups of people that I'm suddenly supposed to become close to and work with.
I'm sure you can see where I'm going with all of this. If I want to do my metal show it's going to take much more of a commitment than I was expecting. I don't mind helping out a bit, but jeez!
The rain has ended and the sunshine has returned. It's probably like a steam bath out there but I think I'm going out for a pale ale and a cream stout. I have a few more days to sit on the fence and put off any decisions. I'm still in the information gathering stage. I'll let you all know how things turn out somewhere down the road.