My daughter Annalena and her friend Hannah’s community radio program, “Our Funky Cheese Shack,” sounds like the conversations that happen between teenage girls when the bedroom door is closed. They’re often manic, sarcastic, and silly, but last fall their conversation took a touching philosophical turn. Here is the October 9, 2009 transcript.
H: Hey, you’ve reached the Funky Cheese Shack. This is WBCR-lp, 97.7fm.
A: And I’m Annalena.
H: And I’m Hannah.
A: And this week we are kind of doing a throwback to our old ways with some accents and stuff. I don’t know why. Hannah just told me about it.
H: I don’t know why. I just thought it would be a good idea.
A: I don’t know.
H: So, but anywayz…
A: So, you’re gonna hear… lots of different things.
H: I have an announcement. Because it says, ‘please announce’ so I’m going to announce it.
A: That’s very nice of you!
H: Today, yeah, today, October 2nd, is Live Strong Day, the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s one-day initiative to unite people affected cancer in raising awareness of cancer on a global level, and in communities across the country. As a show of your support, consider wearing an item of yellow clothing today. For other ways you can support cancer awareness, you can visit livestrong.org, and this, today is the anniversary of the day, thirteen years ago this year, that Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer. So…
A: So, wear yellow!
H: It’s kind of late during the day to wear yellow, but you can still wear it during the night.
A: What are we doing tonight? Well… what am I do doing tonight? I am going to the Freshman Welcome Dance at Monument Mountain. Uhm… which is always fun if you like that sort of thing, which Hannah does not.
H: I do not personally like it.
A: See, Hannah and I… this is where Hannah and I become true opposites. Because, while she like, hates dances, school dances are like my, my thing, like my prime like…
H: They’re just so not fun for me, I just can’t understand why anybody would find that fun.
A: I think it’s so fun! I don’t know why.
H: But, I, like, I mean I guess I could see why the concept would be really fun. But for some reason, I just don’t personally think it’s fun.
A: Loud music, crazy lights, sometimes there’s smoke machines, and it’s all your friends.
H: It’s like my dad’s house, only at school.
A: Her dad has the craziest club lights; they’re amazing. Uhm, OK, we’re gonna start you guys off with a song. We’re usually a half-hour long, which is 4:30 to 5, but today you’re getting your Funky Cheese Shack
A: Extravaganza! Bonanza!
H: We just literally got out of school.
A: We ran out. We ran to the car. We ran out of the car. We ran into the station.
H: And now we’re on the radio, and we haven’t done anything… yet… like we haven’t even had time to get a snack, which we usually do.
A: We usually…
H: Which is sad, but whatever.
A: We’ll make our friends go get us food.
H: Yeah, uhm, but it’ll be fun anyway…
H: And we’re gonna be on ‘til 5, so …
H: Here ya go.
[“Rock ‘N’ Roll High School” by the Ramones plays]
A: Sorry, that was really bad quality. Alright, we just kicked off with some Ramones. And in case you did not hear, this is a Funky Cheese Shack Extravaganza going from… well, it’s 3:10 now and we’ve been on air about five minutes, going until 5pm. So two hours of craziness, and we have no plan, so it should be pretty interesting. I don’t know. We don’t normally have a plan, but we have a half-hour show, so, I don’t know, perhaps it was unwise to not plan, but this was kind of sprung on us. Anyway, I came to a really horrible realization yesterday, because my Internet has been down for two days [at home], and it won’t be back up until Tuesday. And it really never occurred to me how much I use the Internet, because I always thought of myself as like kind of sort of a computer-disconnected person who, like, didn’t really… I didn’t just really sit in my room for hours on the computer. But I totally am. And it’s the saddest thing in the world, because I am DYING without Internet. And it’s not even just like Facebook OK, or whatever else I do on the Internet. It’s like for serious things, like, Sparknotes for homework and stuff. It’s like, I’m seriously starved for it. But anyway, I wanna play some Beatles now. We’re gonna go with like the classics for now. At least for a little while…I don’t know, Ramones, Beatles. So here is like the “Yellow Submarine.”
[“Yellow Submarine” plays]
H: OK, so we’re back.
A: What have we been up to lately, Hannah? Any new passions? Any excitement?
H: You know what I noticed?
H: That it seemed like this week went by really fast.
A: Yeah, this week…
H: Like, it seemed like yesterday was Monday.
A: Yeah. I definitely agree. It’s been a very long week, I mean, short week.
H: Even when I try to think about it, it just seems like short week, like everything runs together, I feel like it’s a Wednesday.
A: Yeah, so do I. And, uhm, the week before, it went by soooo slow.
H: Soooo slowly!
A: And it was like the week out of, like, “The Never Ending Story.” It was awful.
H: Never Ending…
A: I don’t actually know what “The Never Ending Story” is…I know that…
H: It’s like about this guy, and this little kid, and something, I don’t even know. He rides this like magic flying dragon… I think.
A: Oh, that’s cool.
H: I’m not really sure if that’s true. I don’t really know.
A: “The Never Ending Story.” Hannah just completely made up “The Never Ending Story.”
H: And then like, he gets to this place and he’s between these like… I don’t really know. If you know what “The Never Ending Story” is about, you can call in at 528-4114.
A: And please call in. If you have been wanting to call in, but never have done it, you need to call in today. Because today is the day that we need you seriously. So… uhm… there are things going on in the studio that I just don’t know what to do. Uhm… and our music isn’t loading. This is kind of a problem. Anyway… and Hannah just walked out on me. I am just so frazzled. Uhm, ‘Safari can’t open page’… oh my God, this is no good. Uhm…OK, so, anyway, let me tell you guys a really funny story…
H: Guess what?!
H: After our friends go out to eat, because we usually get out of school and go out to eat… so, after they go out to eat, they’re gonna come and come on our radio show, and they’ll be tons of fun.
A: And who are these friends?
H: Uhm… Rowan…
A: You don’t have to shout.
H: I don’t feel like I am… oh maybe this is really loud… Rowan, Mina, Elizabeth, and Suzanna. And Suzanna’s like in love with the radio show.
A: Yeah, she’s really funny. She like really likes…uhm, so Hannah, we have a problem.
A: Safari cannot open page.
H: What are we ever gonna do?!
A: I know! And I just talked about how dependent I am on the Internet. And this is…oh my goodness.
H: Why would you ever say that? Never say that again! OK, try to restart it. Just restart Safari and quit it.
A: OK… No Mom, it’s fine. I can handle it, don’t worry about it. [Mom off mic.] My mom is like freaking out. Actually Mom, we might need your laptop…[Mom off mic…] OK, Mom. OK, Mom. Alright, Mom. OK, out of the studio. Bye, Mom.
H: Thank you for the offer.
A: My mom just comes and…alright…anyway…uhm.
H: So try to restart it…not…well you didn’t quit it all the way.
A: I did.
H: No, you didn’t.
A: I pressed Apple Q.
H: But the black arrow is still there… so now it’s working, so perfect.
A: I don’t care… I don’t care.
H: Never mind!
A: (In accent:) Anyvayz, we were going to talk in accents today.
H: Ve vere. Vat is the weather today?
H: Vat kind of accent? I don’t even know.
A: I don’t know either.
H: It’s the Annalena accent. Annalena pretty much made that accent up. OK, what day is it today?
A: Today is the… uhm…
H: The 2nd? OK, so today… tonight, the rain is likely with precipitation chance of 80%, and it’s going to be 54 degrees. Which, actually, is not as cold as it has been some nights. But it’s still pretty cold. Let’s see…
A: Yes, I…
H: Oh, in two days there’s gonna be a full moon. Or two nights.
A: Really? That’s exciting. All you werewolves, get ready!
A: Seriously. Oh! I took a survey today, someone was just handing them out in the hallways, about my religious views, and I realized that I really don’t know what my religious views are. Like I cannot make up my mind. What are your views Hannah?
H: I don’t know. I feel like I’m just not a religious person.
H: But that’s only because I don’t, like, go to church or synagogue, I don’t go to any, you know, any like, ‘meet this day every week and talk about that’…
A: I would say…
H: But I don’t know if I’m like completely atheist.
A: I would say that I’m spiritual, but not religious. Does that make sense? Because I believe that there’s some kind of higher power; I don’t know if it’s ‘God’ though. I actually find the Bible kind of offensive, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that on air, but like, just the way the Bible looks at women, and the way the Bible looks at men. You know, it just like, kind of upsets me, because I feel like that can’t possibly be the way that it should be, because, as a woman, I feel like I am just as powerful as a man, and the Bible, I feel like, doesn’t really acknowledge that. So, perhaps a Bible-following religion is not for me, I don’t know…perhaps I am Buddhist. I don’t know.
H: I don’t know either. I don’t believe in a higher power saying like, ‘Oh, this is what’s going to happen in your life. This is your fate. This is what’s going to happen.’
H: Which is, everything happens because of a reason, like ‘I control everything.’ I think it’s more, I guess it’s because I’m afraid of what would happen after death. I can’t even have… I can’t even comprehend the concept of just not being anymore.
H: Like, I can’t comprehend how you just die. And then what happens to my life? You know? You just stop thinking or something. But I just feel like …
A: How can that be possible? And I feel like that’s almost a reason why there’s so many theories about the afterlife. Because people are so uncomfortable with the idea of just not existing anymore. Like, their soul has to go somewhere. Otherwise, you can’t grasp it.
H: I just… I don’t think… I’m not uncomfortable with the fact of myself not living. Or like my soul that it has to be transferred on to something. I’m just uncomfortable with the fact that, I don’t, I just like… because I can’t comprehend it. Nobody can. That it’s just like an uncomfortable thing. So I just don’t…like…know how to, or what I think about it.
A: And I almost feel like it’s pointless. Because no one’s ever gonna know until we get there, you know?
A: So, it’s like, why do I need to know right now. Because, if I’m wrong, then I’ll be wrong. And if I’m right, then like, whoop-ti-do. Because no one can ever know.
H: Right, and it’s just weird.
A: It is weird.
H: I have no idea, do I just like, when I die, I just die. But like, that’s so weird. What’s it gonna be like?
H: You know? Like when you actually… not like the pain of dying or if not pain… but what’s it actually gonna be like once it happens. It’s just so impossible to comprehend.
H: It’s just impossible.
A: And the concept of eternity, like, I can’t imagine being in heaven for eternity. Like, that even sounds boring, to be quite honest.
H: I know. If it’s all good and no bad.
A: Then ‘good’ loses meaning.
H: Face it. Most of our lives are around things that are ‘good vs. bad.’ If we don’t have ‘good vs. bad,’ then everybody’s just gonna be neutral, and then we’re just gonna create a ‘good vs. bad.’
A: Yeah, because, no matter what, I feel like people have to kind of find something to compare themselves to, otherwise, if you have nothing bad to compare to, then why…
H: Then what’s ‘good’? Good isn’t anything if there’s no bad.
A: Yeah. This is weird. I don’t know why I’m saying this, but a rich man can be just as happy as a poor man—there’s different standards, you know?
H: Right. Like, I don’t know, it’s just…
A: But you always have to have something to compare to.
H: And just every… I feel like we have to put everything in a ranking order, just as humanity. Everything has to be in ranking order, so we can’t just have everything be neutral. That’s just impossible, and if that… I don’t even know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, to have everything be not good or not bad. What would happen if everybody was equal, and every thing was equal?
A: Yeah. Like, if there was no pain, then what would poets write about? And like, if there’s was no…uhmmmm…..
H: It’s just like, if there was no good, if there was no bad, there can’t be a good, because that concept would never have existed.
H: And if there’s no ‘this’ there can’t be a ‘that’ because the concept hasn’t existed…
H: So they’re like reliant upon one another, so it seems too hard to like…block it out.
A: And for all of eternity it’s just neutral, just like happy singing, and fluffy clouds. This is what I picture when I picture Heaven. I picture people walking on clouds in togas, like eating grapes. That’s what I picture. And like, yeah, that might be nice for a week, but all of eternity? I can’t imagine.
H: Yeah, like, what do you do?
A: Yeah. I don’t know. I’m not like particularly read up on the Bible, so maybe I sound really ignorant right now, because I don’t actually know what Heaven is supposed to be like in the Bible, but I …
H: Or in anything, you know?
H: I don’t know. I think that if, OK, this is really lame, but if any of you have seen the episode of ‘Sponge Bob Squarepants’…
H: … where like, Squidward moves away from Patrick and Spongebob, and he goes into the community of just squids…
H: And everything looks exactly the same, all the houses are the same. Everything. And he goes in, and he thinks it’s perfect, because it has everything he’s always wanted, everyone’s always like, everything’s in order, everybody looks the same, everybody…
A: Everyone’s a squid!
H: … acts the same. Everybody has the same house. And then he thinks it’s the best thing ever. Because he’s just used to having Sponge Bob, who he thinks is really annoying, as his… neighbor…
H: OK, think of this as a metaphor for life…
A: This is getting waaaay to indepth!
H: Yeah. Just think of this as a metaphor for life. Just try. And anyways, then he ends up finding out that it’s not as good as… it seemed… to be. And he misses…
A: And he misses Spongebob, because he misses his disturbance, and his, you know…
H: And it soon disturbs him that everything is so perfect.
H: Because he just does the same thing over and over and over…
H: And like, how it would be horrible to live the same life, like the same day like over and over.
A: ‘Ground Hog’s Day’?
A: Even ‘Ground Hog’s Day,’ there was an end to it. I can’t even… even reincarnation. I’ve heard people talk about it, and it is so convincing. People who… I don’t understand how people can be so set on something, like, and have it all be still a hoax. There are so many Christians in the world, and like, what makes them all believe in this same thing? And I know there are lots of different kinds of Christians, but it’s like kind of crazy how many options there are out there. It almost seems like none of them could be true, because…
H: And it also seems like, but I mean, I get the fact that, you can’t, it’s usually you can’t, what is it? Believe it ‘til you see it. But then also you can’t see it ‘til you believe it, but I’m just saying, like, I just feel like… there can’t just… nobody can actually know. Even if it is just believing so you can see it, nobody can actually know. That’s still not knowing. You are just being convinced of this thing, and you’re seeing it and you’re seeing why it’s logical, but you’re not taking into account why things are… other things would illogical, or why yours would be… logical… wait. Or why other things would be logical and the viewpoint that somebody has taken on would be illogical.
A: But I also, I really disagree that science can prove everything. I really don’t think that’s true.
H: Mmmm. I don’t know. Like, when I see, like, OK, in high school. So there’s like the really mean girl, and then like the really nice girl. Just picture it, likes one’s mean and one’s nice.
A: Basically me and Hannah. I’m the nice one.
H: Excuse me! Yeah that was very nice Annalena! OK, so just picture a very typical mean girl, and a very typical nice girl. So, like, the mean…
A: You know what’s funny? When you say that, I picture the mean girl as overweight.
H: I picture them as like, really skinny and really popular, like sort of deceiving, but actually a mean girl.
A: I picture like a big bully.
H: Well, we’re doing, in psychology class, we doing like, uhm, Freud’s interpretation of the mind. I’m just picturing like one of his… like one way of that thing… so I guess that’s what I’m picturing right now. So there’s the mean girl, the typical mean girl and the typical nice girl. And I just feel like the typical mean girl, like, why are they so mean? I feel… like, this is weird, but I feel like there’s a reason they are mean. Not because of like, something that’s happened, not because it’s just… .I feel like it’s just something more than just them.
A: You mean, wait. So you’re saying that like, not that they are angry people due to like their home life or whatever the cause may be, you’re saying like, because something is controlling them, or something…
H: No. Not because something is controlling them. I just feel like, like they… like something must have happened so that they become mean.
A: Oh, definitely. I think everyone is a product of their environment.
H: Yeah, like… not… but you don’t have to be controlled by somebody to be…
A: So it’s not their fate to be mean. Something has occurred to make them mean.
H: Yeah. And like, the good person… it’s not… somebody wasn’t like, ‘OK, this person is going to be a good person.’
H: It’s more like, this person is a good person.
A: You know… but I’d be curious to know, like, why was Hitler, like, what was he… did he have a bad home life? What can we find in his life to…
H: Or was it just born in him? But if it was born in him, I just feel like it wasn’t somebody being like, ‘this kid is going to turn out’…
H: …’to be this.’ I feel like, I don’t know, it’s just…
A: I definitely agree with that.
H: Because, how could somebody so powerful and so almighty and stuff, have the time to go through each child that’s being born…
H: …and be like, ‘This one will be nice. And this one will be mean. And this one will do this in their life.’
A: And why would you ever create the Holocaust? Or like, what…
H: Or like… yeah. It just doesn’t make sense that there could be so many things, like… and how could they plan out how everything was going to go? Why would you even do that? It’s like, a project.
A: Yeah, then we’re all like a story book, and we spend our lives trying, no matter what I do. Like, it’s not my choice to pick up this pad of paper right now?
H: Yeah, this is my ‘fate.’
A: It’s not my choice to say what I’m saying right now?
H: Yeah. It was our fate to talk on the radio. Things, everything in our lives led up to the time… like, it was our destiny that we were going to be able to talk on the radio.
A: Yeah. I mean like, then…
H: It just seems very hard to believe.
A: … that sucks the meaning out of life for me then, because I’m just like a little doll in a dollhouse.
H: Yeah. It’s like, if you can’t make your own decisions, and if everything’s already pre-planned out for you, then why even try to make decisions?
A: Yeah, why do I bother doing well in school if it’s my destiny to be like… you know?
A: There’s no point for me to strive to do anything, because I’m just gonna do what my role says I’m gonna do.
H: Right, so it just, it just seems like very hard to believe, at least to me…
A: Mm hmmm…
H: …like, that, everything in my life could be planned out to be… that in 30 years, like something or someone knows what I’m going to be.
H: Or something or someone has planned out what I’m going to do.
A: And actually, I was having a conversation a little bit similar to this with my mom. And she said… I was like, ‘I don’t believe in luck. I believe in good fortune, but I don’t believe in luck.’ And she said, ‘I believe that people make their own luck.’ And I’ve been thinking about that. And I actually, I think I agree with her now. Because I definitely believe in karma, and I feel like things do come back to you.
H: Yeah, I believe that to. I feel like… but it’s just… I believe that, well, if you’re a bad person… I don’t know if I actually believe that bad things will come back and get you, I just, I think I want to believe that.
A: Yeah. That’s true.
H: It’s more like wanting to be like, if this person is a good person, no bad things should happen to them.
A: But I think it makes sense that if you do good for the world, the world will do good for you.
H: Yeah, but I’m not sure if that’s… like I feel like that, but I’m not sure if that’s actually what I believe, or what I want to believe.
H: I can’t tell, like the difference.
A: I think like… maybe I’m just relying on this, but to me, I’ve convinced myself that that is true. But the bad person thing is definitely interesting. Because I’m sure there are so many … but then, what defines a ‘bad person?’ Right now, I can look around the school and say, like, that person is really mean. I think they’re…
H: A person that…
A: … a bad person.
H: …makes decisions that might not… like, I guess, everybody defines it by themselves. There’s no one definition for bad and one definition for good.
H: Except for, I just feel like bad people make bad decisions for everyone.
H: And like, they just don’t… I feel like bad people cheat at life, is what I feel like.
H: It’s like, you know, cheating at life, I don’t mean like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna cheat on this test.’ I mean, that’s a bad thing to do, but it’s not… it’s immoral.
A: But it’s…
H: But it’s not like a big thing. A bad thing as in like, something that’s really gonna hurt somebody else, you know?
A: Yeah. Or like, enjoying hurting someone else.
A: Seeking to hurt others.
H: Yeah, yeah. Like, it just seems…
H: … wrong.
A: Right. Uhm… mmmm. I just had something I was gonna say. It’s seems wrong. Uh, yeah.
A: Basically. We’re gonna play more Beatles now.
A: We will return with this riveting conversation. OK. Oh dear, oh dear. Oh no.
H: Apparently, we’re not going to… karma!
A: Yeah… what did we do to deserve this?!
H: Why is this our fate?!
A: It is such a bummer though.
H: And like, we’re not trying to poke at, or make fun of other religions or people who believe other things, we’re just saying what we feel like.
H: We’re not trying to be like, oh, these people are completely wrong. But we’re saying, to us, it seems improbable, it just doesn’t seem right, for us. Right?
A: Yeah. I’m perfectly cool with people who are religious.
A: However you justify, like… I don’t think anyone can really question someone else’s belief, like, I probably sound crazy to half the people listening right now.
H: Yeah. It’s like, everybody… again, like, going back to the whole like, everything is fated out.
A: Faded out?
H: FaTed… Fate. Fate-Ed.
A: Yeah. Gotcha.
H: OK, whatever. Like, if everybody has the chance to do… to believe in what they believe in. And I feel like if there was one person that’s like creating our fate, why would they make… if there was one person, one God, or one higher power, how could they make so many different religions? Why would they do that? Wouldn’t they want everybody to believe in them?
A: Yeah, that’s totally true.
H: And wouldn’t they want everybody’s fate to… like… help, or promote themselves? I feel like, if a human had that much power over everybody else, they would do it in a selfish manner, because that’s just how human’s are. Not all humans, I’m not saying that. But most humans, if you have that much power, to like control everybody else.
A: Well, I’d say it’s definitely not… it’s definitely not a human power.
H: Yeah. But still, I feel like, why would they create this diversity of beliefs that… and some beliefs that are so strongly against them?
H: Like why would they create something, or somebody who could do that?
A: It’s totally true. And the thing that’s been coming up in my mind lately is, uhm, how humans…define the line between human and animal. Because I’ve always thought throughout my life that humans are animals.
H: I’ve thought that, too.
A: And it makes me so angry when people say like, ‘What, do you think I’m like a…dog?’
H: (in unison) …dog. Yeah.
A: Because it’s just so … we are…
H: And this is another example of us ranking things…
A: Human experiments only go so far as things the human brain can understand. And we have no concept of what goes on in na, na na na…
A: …in an elephant’s brain. Like, maybe they have…
H: …different ways of communicating that we can’t even begin to comprehend.
H: So we’re just… and all the other animals are really thinking like, we’re the weird ones.
A: Yeah, maybe they have trust funds for their kids. We just don’t know.
H: Or like, yeah. We just can’t…
A: So, to assume that we’re like all knowing and be like, ‘our brains are more advanced than an elephant’s.’ And be like, yeah, you can study it in science as much as you want, but you’re never actually gonna know, ‘cause you’re not an elephant!
H: Yeah, you can’t talk to an elephant…
A: That’s why I think that science can’t prove everything, ‘cause we are only humans. Our sciences may be like, so not advanced.
H: And we use, I think it’s like only 8% of our brain.
H: Something extremely low like that. I’m not sure if it’s that low, but something lower than you would expect.
A: That’s really amazing.
H: And, you know, if we had used that other how ever much percent, what could we accomplish?
A: Right. Right.
H: And then, you think… this is completely off topic, but I was on this website, and it’s like a website where you just click a button and another random website pops up, so it like, I don’t know, or like a funny picture or something like that, it’s just like random…
H: …and this thing came up, and it was this huge… it was a picture of the universe, it filled my whole screen, and it said, it pointed, there was an arrow, a white arrow, and it pointed and it said, ‘one-sixteenth of this pixel in this computer represents, like, our solar system…
H: Like, our solar system.
A: That’s so amazing.
H: And then, you think, everything we know, or everything that matters to us, is like one billionth of that pixel on that screen.
A: It’s so incredible. And if, I… I cannot grasp that. What on earth is out there? And it has to end at some point, like, what is after eternity? There has to be… like, why can the… there has to an ending point? Like, why is there not an ending point?!
H: But maybe that’s just the way humans are. Maybe we just think that like, a race has to have an ending point. This has to have an ending point. Education… well, maybe not education…but …
A: It’s definitely the way we’re programmed.
H: Everything has to have an ending point. They have to have a start and an end, and they both have to be clearly defined.
A: And maybe elephants are wise and know that there is eternity…
A:… and they can like understand the eternity.
H: Like in dolphins. Dolphins in, uh… ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.’
H: See. They knew…
A: Predicted the world’s end…
H: They knew that the world was going to end, and they were trying to communicate it to us, but we… all we thought was, oh, they’re just doing tricks for us.
A: That’s such a great movie. I love that movie.
H: Yeah. It’s so good. But seriously, like everything that other animals could be doing could be trying to warn us, but they just don’t… and they’re like, ‘how could they not be comprehending what we’re trying to say to them?’
A: Yeah. They all like, congregate… I was… this is weird. Objects, and like how things can live within objects. You know what I’m saying? Like, I don’t know.
H: What do you mean?
A: Let me try to phrase this in a way that would make sense. Inanimate objects that we claim have no life, right? But then there are other cultures, like the Native Americans, who believe that like, spirits would live in, like, this medallion. Or some things were cursed, or possessed.
H: Mm hmm.
A: Not like how a spirit can be ‘trapped’ inside an object, but like, how the object itself can have some sort of power. And I think that’s really cool, because, I’m not sure if I agree with it or not, because, something that is man-made, I don’t know, I think you’d have to like, do something to it, because the energy itself doesn’t come directly out of the object… Is this making any sense?
H: I’m not really sure. But I’m just gonna go off of it, and say, like, we were trying to define ‘life’ in biology class, and it’s impossible to, because you cannot find an adjective to describe…
H: Life. Living things move, I think that was one of the things we said. But, like…
A: We don’t know! There’s sooo many things we don’t know.
H: Other things move, we just, like, consider, like, move on their own. Well, sound waves move on their own.
A: Mm hmm.
H: Are they alive? We can’t actually, like… do that.
A: Yeah, that’s totally true.
H: We can’t define life. And we, as people, we need to. Like, people… like, scientists probably spend their whole lives, trying to define life.
A: And what’s the point?
H: Well, we’re obviously living and…
A: What’s the… why do people bother? This always gets to me. Why would you bother to break dreams down into molecules and like, cells, when it’s a dream. It’s this magical thing, and we work so hard to break it down into this concrete thing.
H: And, we could be completely wrong. We don’t know. We should just enjoy having them. Like, they don’t need to be defined.
A: They don’t need to have a purpose even.
H: And analyzed. They don’t need to have a purpose, they don’t need to be analyzed, they don’t need to be anything other than what they are.
H: And you don’t have to put, like, this is your dream, this is what… you don’t have to do that.
A: But as humans, we feel this urge to break it down into this concrete thing so we can wrap our brains around.
H: So we can comprehend it, but like…
H: …we don’t. How do you know that you actually are. You can’t actually know. But we like, try to.
A: And that always makes me angry in history class especially. Actually, I love my History classes here.
H: I love history.
A: In past years, I’ve always been frustrated by the fact that, I know that history books will be rewritten in like 20 years, and everything I’ve worked so hard to learn will all have changed. People who learned Pluto was a planet, like, ‘Oops, sorry! Everything you learned about Pluto doesn’t matter anymore.’
H: ‘Just kidding!’
A: ‘Because it’s not actually a planet.’
H: Turns out…
A: And so like, that report you did in 5th grade, that you stayed up all night doing? Sorry, that was pointless?
H: That thing you majored in in college… Nope! Turned out to not be true.
A: So, I definitely think that science and history are both very important things, but I would have trouble spending my life on them.
H: I also have trouble in history class because there are so many accounts of history. And history, you cannot find the thing that actually happened. In the beginning of the year, we read a packet by Gordon…
A: Someone Gordon?
H: John Gordon? And Howard Zinn?
A: Steel Gordon?
H: I think it’s John Gordon and Howard Zinn. And they wrote about the exact same period of time. But what they chose to write about, and how they chose to write about it, gave off a completely different impression.
A: So different.
H: You could legitimately, it’s… you could get a completely different view of what happened in the same year.
A: Right. And it really depends on… Gordon was the more conservative and Howard Zinn was obviously the more liberal.
H: But they just had two completely different accounts of history in general. So, it’s hard for me to do history, and my teachers are like, ‘This is what happened. And these are the facts you need to know for your test.’ But how does anybody really know that those are the facts?
H: Nobody actually knows.
H: And everybody has their own interpretation.
A: So, the conclusion that we’ve come to is that humans really don’t know much about anything, and we should all just really chill out!
H: I really think that’s good! We really do stress out way too much.
A: I know. It’s true. So on that note, I want to play you ‘Supercalifragilistic’ if it will let me, which I kind of doubt that it will. Oh, yup, what do you know!
H: We’ll just keep talking…
A: This is so irritating. I’m sorry, I wish that we could give you guys a musical interlude from our non-stop talking, but the computer won’t let us.
H: We need one right now.
A: This is so awful!
H: Maybe we could use…
A: The CDs?
H: Yeah! Yeah!
A: Uhm, I’m gonna put on automation really quickly…
H: And we’re gonna find some CDs.
A: Just so we can get some CDs.
[break…no music recorded]
A: We just did that so strangely…OK, we are back. The Internet is still not working. But I did find a pretty cool CD! It’s called, ‘We Wanna Rock’ and it’s got a T-Rex on the front, actually that says “The ?? Rex’ but I don’t know what that means.
H: It looks like a Wiggle that’s all alone.
A: You know that show ‘The Wiggles’? So, I think we’re gonna play you guys some of this! Oh wait. I already put it in. So, anyway. We got a very nice call from a fellow programmer saying that she liked our show, and if you want to call in as well, you can call 528-4114. Whether you want to partake in our discussion, or whether you wanna just say whatever… whatever you wanna do. So, here is… one second.
H: The thing she had picked out. How did you find this? How did you find this?
A: I looked for children’s songs. Because I’m not, like, I don’t know any of the CD’s that are in the station, so I don’t want to like play something and have it be not radio appropriate. So, here we go. This is ‘We Wanna Rock.’
H: CD one?
A: Yeah, CD one.
H: OK, play.
[“I Don’t Want to Go” by T Rex plays]
A: OK. Nope, nope. I didn’t wanna torture you guys anymore with any of that. The first song was definitely pretty good. That was called ‘Dinosaur’s Rump.’ Actually, it’s called ‘Dinosaur Rumpus.’ Yeah. But like, the second one with the church and school or whatever, uhm, I don’t want to go,… not so hot, Mr. Thaddeus Rex. Anyways, in our time of need, we have decided that playing a record would be fun. So we looked through the record collection and we found a certain Tom Jones, and we’re gonna try…
H: We’re not sure what song is gonna come up, but we’re just gonna try to get to the beginning of a song…
A: We don’t actually know how to work a record player…
H: What did you expect? Seriously, we’re like 15 years old…
A: In a month…me. In a month, I’ll be 15. So… actually, around two weeks.
A: So here we go.
H: It might take a little while…
A: You’re gonna have to bear with us, because, uhm…
H: I forgot how to…
A: We get really excited when we play records, and sometimes we like scratch them, we’ll do it once during the song, but it will be subtle, we promise…we did a whole show where we played records, and we literally, we just sit there like, like messing with it.
H: Which probably sounded so bad.
A: And it probably sounded so bad.
H: But that’s OK, because we did it on like the ‘Muppets Disco’ thing. I don’t know how many other people in the station are actually even using that, but, maybe,
A: Does anyone actually use records in the station?
H: I don’t know. I don’t know why they wouldn’t though.
A: It’s so fun.
H: It’s so cool. OK, we’re gonna try to do this. We should probably leave our microphones on, so it’s not like dead air.
A: Yeah. OK. Here we go. Uhmmm…
H: Well wait. First we gotta turn this on.
A: Yeah. Yes, that’s a good idea. There we go! It’s working!
[“She’s a Lady” by Tom Jones plays]
A: Oh! How I love me my Tom Jones! Anyway. So that was our first little adventure with the turntables. Hannah’s settin’ up the next one, which we picked at random. Should be quite exciting. I don’t know what it’s gonna turn out to be, and neither does anybody else. And here come some lovely ladies. Perhaps the lovely ladies would like to say something.
Elizabeth: Hello. I’m Elizabeth.
Mina: I’m Mina.
A: Hi. What have you guys been doing?
E: We have been getting Hannah her water. And just gettin’ food, hanging out.
A: Yeah, no one can hear you though, because you talk so softly.
E: Oh, sorry!
M: We were just hanging out in town.
A: Cool, cool. Oh, I know why I can’t hear you. Try now.
E: Can you hear me now?
A: I didn’t have you guys on live, my bad.
M: Thanks, Annalena!
A: Well, you know Hannah usually does that part of the operation. I’m just the… I’m just the …whatever you wanna call me. Anyway, so how was all of our days at school?
E: It was like, OK.
A: Do you guys agree this has been like the fastest week of weeks?
E: It has been like the longest week at school.
M: It’s been sooo slow.
A: Really?! Hannah and I had the fastest of weeks ever.
E: It’s been so long for me. Mr. Mooney) today did not help it.
M: I feel like I was just up until like 1am every night doing homework. It’s really not healthy.
A: It’s not. I am like strongly not OK with the way our school system is set up. We should obviously go to school later, because obviously people are sleep deprived, and cannot learn things when they’re falling asleep and drooling all over their desks.
H: That’s just the way teenagers’ brains work.
A: No, I was actually talking to Bridghe who works at the garden, and she said that it’s been scientifically proven—and this kind of contradicts what we were talking about earlier Hannah—but it’s scientifically proven that teenagers need to go to bed late and wake up late. It’s, like, something in our bodies needs that.
H: I actually had a school conversation about that.
M: Because we’re still growing, you know? There’s a lot of things going on right now. We’re in our early years.
A: I thought it was especially interesting that we had to stay up late. Because, I mean, I sometimes don’t need to stay up late, but I often find myself at 11 o’clock like rip-roarin’ ready to go.
H: Yeah. I’m just like not tired whatsoever.
M: I can agree with that.
H: Yeah, and it’s not like I woke up like 7 o’clock the previous morning because I had to go to school.
H: So it’s not that I slept in late. Every single week night, I go to bed at 11 or later.
E: I try to go to bed early.
H: I wake up at 6:30 or something like that, and I’m just not tired.
M: I sort of have to force myself to go to sleep.
A: Yeah, no, same. I go to bed anywhere from 10:30 to 11:30, or like 12 some nights. And then if I have homework, tons later.
H: It’s hard.
A: I don’t know. Anyway, we’re gonna give this puppy a go.
H: A try. I’m not sure.
A: Puppy a go. Interesting expression Annalena.
H: OK. Try it.
A: May not work. Ooo! This is cool.
H: It worked.
[“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong plays]
H: OK, So I think I have got the hang of it, of how to play a record.
A: I quite like it. I think it’s really great.
H: I like the little crackly sound they make. It think it’s really cute.
A: I know.
H: It’s so old.
A: It’s old-timey. Really nice, like when you watch old movies, and it’s all crackly on the screen? Old movies, old records, old people. They’re all crackly. Just crackly.
H: They’re crackly.
A: I’m gonna write a poem about that. Anywayz, well, I don’t know. I’m quite excited for the dance tonight, I think it’ll be a good time. I don’t know what else has been going on. Oh yeah. Shakespeare has just started up. First rehearsals have been going on.
H: Are you doing it?
A: No I’m not doing Shakespeare. I know a bunch of people who are. Which is exciting. Yeah. So, yup.
H: I’m not doing Shakespeare. But I’m not a very big theater person. We used to be theater people.
A: We used to lead in the 8th grade drama play. No!
H: Or NOT lead in the 8th grade drama play!
A: Yeah, but my role was super more embarrassing than your role.
H: I was the Empress.
A: Yeah, Hannah was just like this lovely princess.
H: We had a lot of scenes together, just you and me.
A: Yeah, and it was so hard to not crack up, because we were both like, we would just be like, ‘Oh God, this is awful!’
H: We were like, ‘And what about this fine blue and green!’ And I’d be like, ‘Oh, it’s so shimmery and deep.’
A: We are still like the nerdiest kids… but it used to…
H: We are soooo nerdy.
A: But we used to take it to the extreme. I mean, like, drama club? That is prime. That is almost amazing.
H: It’s not like drama club in high school, where it’s cool awesome scripts.
A: It was legitimate drama club.
H: You had to make up…
A: Yeah, like we don’t even get props, it’s just like…
H: Yeah, seriously, OK, when Annalena first walked up to the castle, I greeted her, like that would ever happen, like the Empress would ever greet someone at the gate… but I opened the shutters, and the shutters were people. They didn’t even get like a piece of wood.
A: Yeah. 5th graders had really bad parts. They were the shutters that Hannah opened and closed. Like the nicest little girls, and we were just like, ‘Oh, oh, hi!’
H: Yeah, right. We could have gotten a piece of wood and gotten them a different part.
A: Yeah, a piece of wood for shutters. Whatever. But Ms. Swiatek was the woman in charge of that, and that was like amazing. Really amazing. And uhm, if any of you who are listening have her as a teacher, which I’m sure none of you do, but just a heads up, you’re not gonna like it at the time, because she will grade you so harshly, and you’re gonna be like, “God this fickle woman.”
H: But she’s like the best teacher in the middle school.
A: She taught me how to write. I would not be able to write what I can now what I can if she had not taught me.
H: She taught me how to write a proper essay. In middle school, if you had a different teacher – I’m not sure because I didn’t have them, but no other teacher taught me, really, how to use a quote, or how to use this…
H: Or how to make it all flow into one continuous paper.
A: It is so amazing, like, reading back to my essays. Like now my essays are, like, I understand them now to the point where I feel like I can write a decent essay.
H: And get my point across.
A: And get my point across… as Hannah… if you can hear her. OK, we’re gonna give Mr. T-Rex Man another go. This is track four, so it might be a little bit better, I don’t know… here we go… if I can get it to work while Hannah’s doing whatever she’s doing.
[Fee Fi Fo Fum Fiddlesticks…music plays]
A: OK. We are now going to play you a nice song off a record. It is going to be called… uhm…what is it going to be called Hannah?
H: ‘Love the One You’re With.’
A: Yes, ‘Love the One You’re With.’ Here we go. OK.
A: God, I love Aretha. We’re just gonna keep going with Aretha, because it is just SO good. Alright, here we go.
[“Love the One You’re With” by Aretha Franklin plays]
H: Hello. It is Funky Cheese Shack on at our normal time. A little bit late, but we’ve been on since 3 o’clock.
A: Three o’clock! And if you didn’t tune in earlier, we’ve been discussing… we got into this really deep discussion about religion, and the universe, and what happens after death… and…
H: And blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…
A: And that is cool. And then we’ve just been playing music. And unfortunately, the Internet’s down, and that’s usually how we access our music. And so we’ve been rooting around the studio trying to find anything we could find.
H: Like, good CDs.
A: And so we played some children’s music, which was, eh, so-so, it was kinda like ‘The Wiggles,’ but then we’ve been doing some records, so we played Tom Jones a little bit earlier, and we’ve been playing Aretha Franklin.
H: And that guy that sang ‘What a Wonderful World’ or something…
A: So good, so good. I love records. I think they’re so cool.
H: I love the little crackly sounds.
A: I think that when I’m older, I’m gonna make it a goal in my life that I have to own a turntable, and I have to have a beautiful vinyl collection.
H: I would LOVE to have a vinyl collection.
H: That would be so cool. They’re so pretty too.
A: Yeah. They’re awesome. They’re so much more amazing than CDs.
H: They’re also so much more interactive. Like CDs, you put it in the little slot and you don’t know. Like what goes on in that little slot. It’s magical.
A: On the turntable, you can watch it.
H: You control it. And you control where in the song you go.
A: It’s sweet. And you can like see the needle bouncing up and down on the rivets.
H: Yeah. And if the record’s not completely flat, it goes up and down.
A: Yeah. It’s really cool. I really, really like it. And the crackling, the sound quality is much more, like I think it’s cooler, it’s much more authentic, because of the crackles.
H: I love the crackles. In old movies, there’s always the crackle, where they like play, you know in like romantic movies, where they go into like a little obscure place and play a record and …
A: Yeah. Records are romantic.
H: And you like blow the dust off of it. And it was like the song they played at their wedding or something.
A: I feel like you’re thinking of one specific movie right now.
H: I’m really not.
A: I understand what you’re saying.
H: But like something like that. Like something really romantic, and it’s so cute that…
H: that… you know.
A: I actually got in a fight with my English teacher the other day, because he told us that things lose beauty over time, and I said, I raised my hand and I said, ‘I disagree! Some things like gain beauty over time. Sometimes you don’t get tired of things, like, really, believe me.’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, right, whatever.’ And I was like, ‘oh, well you’re just a grumpy old man.’ But anyway, my point is, I feel like records are one of those things that like, like the crackles, they just get more beautiful over time. I don’t know.
H: Mm hmm.
A: Anywayz, I think we should just keep going with the Aretha Franklin. So here we go.
H: I think so, too. Good deal.
A: Here we go.
[Aretha plays – several songs.]
A: OK. I hope you enjoyed our Aretha Franklin. I certain did. Uhm. Let us see.
H: Am I on?
A: Elizabeth is with us.
H: Am I on now? Am I on now?
A: Yes. Elizabeth, how many times have you been on the radio with us?
Elizabeth: A lot. It feels like so many.
A: Like, every week. We should just make you like a permanent Cheese Shack girl. And you too, Mina. You’ve been on like how many times, roughly?
M: I can’t count.
A: Mina also did the middle school show with moi in 8th grade, or 7th grade, or some grade.
M: Something like that.
A: How does our radio show compare to that radio show?
M: Uhm, OK. So the school radio show basically went down like this.
A: It went down like this…
M: We’d spend about 45 minutes bringing together a plan. We had like, it would start off like this, and we’d talk about this, then we’d talk about this. It was all organized, we’d have everything planned out. We even wrote like a script. And then when I come to these radio shows, it’s more free-flowing.
M: And like, we still basically talk about the same issues, it’s just not that like…
H: I feel like it’s different. The couple times I went, like twice or something, you guys had like written out…
A: And we researched topics.
H: Yeah, like researched, and you did something about dinosaurs, or something…
E: I like us not having to have like a certain subject to talk about.
H: I think yours was researched, and that’s really different than what we do. We don’t plan at all… at all.
A: Yeah, like we’ve been on for two hours and it’s all just been like, ‘Okee dokee…’
H: Actually the first hour was like very, very…
A: Yeah, we talked the whole first hour.
E: What did you guys talk about?
H: Life, and death, and…
H: Religion… life, like…life. I don’t know.
E: I took a survey today about religion. Is that how it came up?
A: Yeah, that’s how it got started.
E: I also took a survey for Malcolm.
A: Do you guys have, do either of you, like, are you guys positive about what your religious views are? Because Hannah and I both like, are confused.
E: Not at all.
A: Do you have anything you want to say on the subject?
E: I think it’s great for people to have a religion, and something for them to, like, have there for them.
M: Yeah, like something to rely on.
E: Yeah, but like, I don’t think it’s for me.
M: Something to go to… and something to go to. Yeah. I come from like a half Christian and half Muslim family, and we practice both religions. We have the Christian holidays, but like we still kiss the Koran, and we, I don’t know…
A: That’s cool. What’s it like having the two different… do you feel that you connect more strongly with one rather than the other, or are they both just kind of equally a part of you?
H: I know, for me, we celebrate, we call it ‘Christmas,’ but it’s more like because our, like, everybody can get together at Christmas, we call it Christmas, and we exchange gifts and everything, but it’s not like we do anything that’s particularly Christian. We just spend time together and we just eat together, and you know, that kind of thing.
H: I don’t know how it is for other people.
M: Well, we even like sing before each meal, only when I’m with my grandparents, because they’re more Christian, they go to church, and they sing in the choir. I also go to the Berkshire Choir with them, and that’s mostly a Christian setting. It’s in the church. But uhm, we sing before each meal, and they do, they have their influences on me, but from my standing, I feel like I’m not decided yet, and I don’t think that I have enough, uhm, I guess experiences that could change my way of thinking of what religion I want to commit to, or not commit to any at all.
A: Right. Right.
H: That is cool.
M: I mean like, I feel like… like, I don’t believe in ‘God.’ I believe there’s a higher power, a higher source of something.
E: You just don’t know what.
E: I think that’s where a lot of teenagers stand. And a lot of people in general.
A: Yeah. It’s kind of… I don’t feel as though I’m missing out on something because I haven’t decided what religion I want to follow, or if I even am religious.
M: Even though sometimes people are like, ‘Well you don’t know what you’re missing out on, like, this is great. I can connect with God, I can do this and this.’
A: Yeah, but I mean that’s …
E: That’s them, it’s not necessarily you.
A: That’s what I don’t like. This is where religion crosses the line for me, is when people come after you and they try to make you believe what they believe. That I feel like is crossing the line where it’s like, you can believe what you believe, but don’t try to make me believe it, too.
H: That’s almost a very personal subject. I mean, I think it is a very personal subject. I mean almost as personal as like things like, you don’t really want to tell, like, it’s kind of like your own…
E: Little secret.
A: Little secret!
H: Like you know how people don’t talk about money, like, you’re not like, ‘how much money do you have in the bank?’ It’s something that you don’t talk about. And I feel like it’s one of those things that shouldn’t be talked about.
E: It’s a personal preference. It’s nothing that someone else can influence.
A: As we’re talking about it on radio! Oh, OK, the phone is ringing.
E: Oh, OK. Well, I’m gonna turn Annalena’s thingie off.
E: I am going to read a Public Service Announcement. “Delicious Classics.” Does that say delicious, or did I just make that up?
M: That says ‘delicious.’
E: OK. ‘Delicious Classics, a piano trio concert. It’s on Saturday, October 10th at 7:30 pm at the Christian Community Church on Route 71 in Hillsdale, NY, near the Mass/NY border. So it’s gonna be … OK. I’ll get back to this. I think somebody’s trying to get put on air.
A (in background…): So, we have a man who would like to …
H: Annalena, wait. You gotta go on.
A: Hello? Hello? Wait, where’s the telephone? Hello? Can you hear me?
Man: Yes, I can hear you.
A: Alright, so what would you…you…?
Man: I was listening to your show, and I was just thinking exactly what, and I’ve even mentioned to a few people, I can’t stand when I see these billboards that say, ‘Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation.’ I have no problem with those people believing that for them, Jesus is their way to salvation. But don’t tell me ‘my’ way to salvation!
E: Yeah. I agree with that completely.
A: Yeah, I agree.
Man: So, yeah. I think that you guys are… I like the way you are all thinking. The open-minded inclusiveness, whatever, you know people’s beliefs are, that’s great. And if you want to be more religious, great, more power to you, but don’t shove it down my throat… your religion down my throat. Let me choose what I want to believe.
A: That makes a lot of sense.
M: I think that’s a really good way to think about it.
Man: Yup. OK. Very good show! I’ve never heard you guys before, but very good.
E: Thank you.
A: Funky Cheese Shack.
Man: You might have a new listener.
A: Yes. We love new listeners! Alright. Thank you for calling in. Bye.
H: OK, so. That, yeah, I think that that’s a very good point. That people can have their own opinions and you don’t need to force your opinion on someone else. It’s like a very sensitive topic to be talking about, but I just think it needs to be done.
H: But, we have reached the end of our two hour straight…
A: Our extravaganza!
H: And we’re usually on for only 30 minutes.
A: A half hour!
H: From 4:30 to 5. And we’ve been on for so long right now. So, I think we’re about ready to go off.
A: Thank you so much for listening.
H: Thank you so much for listening. We’ll be on next Friday at 4:30.
A: And thanks for bearing with the whole music issue. We pulled it together at the end though. OK.
E and M: Bye.