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Article Archive >> Community

Daze of My Life: Now You Know

Daze of My Life
Now You Know

I know what I know, but more importantly, I know what I don't know. I also know that I probably know a lot less than I think I know. In fact, I'm amazed at how much I don't know. That being now known (as if it wasn't already), am I the only person who listens/watches programs on radio and television on subjects with which one has zero knowledge and even less interest?
A few radio examples: Goss' Garage. This is a radio program concerning cars and trucks. Its host, Pat Goss, knows more about the subject callers' question than I could ever know--or care to know--in a thousand years.
Mike McGrath's "The Garden Plot of the Day" as heard on WTOP radio. Mr. McGrath discusses gardening and landscaping, and lawn, tree and shrubbery maintenance in the same excruciating detail as Mr. Goss discusses cars and trucks on his program. Their understanding of the do's and don'ts as well as the potential solutions and preventive maintenance concerning their respective subjects seems beyond the comprehension of mortal men (maybe just this mortal man).
Certainly there's more to their story than I could ever articulate but, listening to people so knowledgeable about subjects so foreign to me (and subjects which I could really care less about) is almost entertaining and maybe even a bit stimulating. Listening as I do, to discussions about these subjects is, I suppose, in a peculiar kind of way, like rubber-necking on the Beltway: You don't really need to look but, frequently you do; drawn to peek, for whatever record your keeping.
As for television examples; occasionally I watch hunting and fishing programs, the ones where there are studio hosts discussing their specific subject, "breaking down" the issues (and the film, as available) just like the ESPN experts do for the four major sports. The subjects range from rod to reel, bait to tackle, guns to ammo, clothing to camouflage, etc. Watching and listening to these hosts, many of whom have hands-on experience, literally, discussing the tools of their respective trades with similarly exacting detail as does Mr. Goss and Mr. McGrath, almost makes these programs interesting, but not quite. Not that I would ever fish or hunt--in nature--as they do but, I can certainly appreciate their commitment, their sincerity, their perspective and of course, their knowledge.
It's almost overwhelming to me how much thought and preparation must go into these subject-specific endeavors: the advertising, the branding, the props, the guests, the anecdotes, etc.; these shows don't produce themselves.
Granted, I'm not a detail-oriented person, nor would I ever want to be, but the individuals who appear on these programs have so much information so far outside of my realm of cultural exposure that watching and listening has become sort of a humbling indulgence.
Whatever I thought I knew, I may very well have known, but the little knowledge I have doesn't go nearly as far as I thought it did. Moreover, I can certainly appreciate how what you don't know can hurt you so, I watch and listen to these shows, not to learn necessarily, but more to remind: there are plenty of people out there who know a heck of a lot more than I do. But knowing that makes me their equal.
I know my limitations, do you?

Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.

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