Free Shaggy: Why One Now-Former News'er Wants to "Run Topless Down the Street"
Dallas Morning News insiders and the merely curious have no doubt spent the better part of the day watching the comments pile up on the DMNcuts blog, which has documented the layoffs taking place inside 508 Young Street. Condolences have been extended, tempers have flared, those let go have said their good-byes, Bush has been bashed, job openings elsewhere have been mentioned, and even Rod Dreher's made an appearance to assure those so interested he's not the one behind the blog. In all, grim business.
(Also, one can't help but note the paper's story about today's Neiman Marcus layoffs, while one concerning its own firings is conspicuously absent. I have asked Jim Moroney for comment concerning the impact of and specifics about today's actions. Update: Moroney has responded: "Understand your interest [but] we're not releasing that data which is consistent with past layoffs.")
But an old friend has forwarded along her adios, which comes laced with a deep sign of relief. So, after the jump, please offer a kind Friend of Unfair Park welcome to the musings of now-former Dallas Morning News employee Nancy Moore, who some of us will forever think of as "Shaggy," host of the late, great Pajama Party on KNON-FM waaaaay back in the day. And to think, she was this close to having Molly Ringwald play her in the movie version of her life story. By the way: That quote in the headline? She said that too.
The Dallas Morning News employed me for almost a decade. As of today, no more. The Dallas Morning News and I have parted company (it happened once before and didn't stick -- the 2004 layoffs).
Some Dallas folks know my byline in the Guide section -- and a couple or three times in the ... what did we used to call it ... GuideLive print edition (now called Guide Daily). Many others may recall my days as the host(ess) of KNON-FM (89.3) The Pajama Party back in the 80's. And some may recall that particular May 1985 cover story in Texas Monthy, with yours truly as the cover girl.
How appropriate is it that this coming Saturday night the Dallas band the Nervebreakers will have a reunion show at Club Dada? The Nervebreakers song "Hijack the Radio" was the theme song of The Pajama Party. You can bet I will be there singing (yelling) my throat sore.
The song tells the fictitional story of a band of punk rockers taking over a commercial radio station -- not for some ransom or demand, but because corporate media plays sucky music, which is not the music of the people. And the band of punk pirate-radio patriots are there to right the ship -- to "make 'em play somethin' worth listenin' to."
In my days at The News, I was awarded recognition for story suggestions about McMansions and teardowns, about the Texas court's blocking of the "Par Value Law" (which would have ensured employees without bank accounts the full value of their paychecks) and about the commercially marketed "lifestyle" that comes with the purchase of a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
But somewhere along the line, the awards and recognitions stopped. I didn't quit suggesting stories. There was just "radio silence" on my submissions.
My radio silence is over. I'm ready to talk ... in public ... about any issue or topic that I choose. And I haven't forgotten "Hijack the Radio."
Also, you may have seen that I released a CD in 2003. These Are Real was -- and will be again -- available ovn the Web. And now that I don't have to worry about saying the wrong -- or, for that matter, any -- political thing in public without being fired for doing so, I can release my second CD, These Are Deep, which contains politically seasoned songs that a corporate media company would not approve of one of their employees releasing into the public realm.
I have one question for myself: What took me so long?
Answer: A girl will sacrifice a lot to pay the bills, and feed her family and care for her elders.
Challenge to the public: Let's rock. Let's rock the vote. Let's rock City Hall. Let's rock the status quo. Let's rock Saturday night at Club Dada with the Nervebreakers.
P.S. The Cartwrights are having a reunion show that night too at Allgood Cafe. See you there!!!!
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