Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Road Home

“We all have our time machines, don’t we? Those that take us back are memories…And those that carry us forward, are dreams.” – H.G. Wells, The Time Machine


here comes the sun

One last thought about Rush: he always said that people always remember when they first heard him on the air. Ze’ev Chafets, author of the wonderful bio Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One, and I share the same “first time” story:

For Zev Chafets, it was in a car in Detroit, driving down Woodward Avenue. Limbaugh's braggadocio, the outrageous satire, the slaughtering of liberal sacred cows performed with the verve of a rock-n-roll DJ-it seemed fresh, funny and completely subversive. "They're never going to let this guy stay on the air."

I too heard Rush for the first time, in 1988, while driving down Woodward Avenue. I was still a young-ish executive and my radio was still tuned into WJR, Detroit’s go-to morning drivetime show with JP McCarthy, another radio giant.

My initial reaction to Rush was amusement, followed quickly by a flush of guilty pleasure. I’d already been conditioned by corporate America to eschew politically incorrect humor – Femi-Nazis indeed! But smile I did, as it was such a dead-on caricature of a lot of women I knew. Aside from that 10 minute exposure I didn’t hear him again for another year or so when Raj and I bugged out of town early one Friday to head north for a ski weekend. Raj was already a diehard fan, and I was so happy to be getting away for the weekend I didn’t care what was on. But after 15 minutes I had shed all semblance of political correctness and never looked back. For that I owe Rush a huge debt of gratitude.

“People who dismiss Rush Limbaugh as an entertainer, a pitchman or a hot-air balloon are very wrong. He is a brilliant and tenacious advocate, a major political and cultural force who can't be wished away or shouted down or sniffed into irrelevance. Smart liberals will listen to his show, even if they hate what he has to say. The easily outraged, will be. Those with a sense of humor will find themselves laughing despite themselves. But nobody will fully understand American politics and media culture until they get who Rush Limbaugh really is, what he does, and how he does it.”  - An Army of One

Rush, Army of One, created an Army of Davids. As Rush becomes a memory may we carry on the dream.

tumblr_228619004f9d2d735c12f862dcb22566_bd072746_1280The road home