by Serge Bielanko

I have many dreams for my daughter. I have four savings bonds so far and way more cutesy outfits than she'll ever be able to wear. On the bookshelf by the tv await copies of Hans Christan Andersen, Brothers Grimm, Aesop's fables, Little House On The Prairie, and The Wind In The Willows.

Ahem, on this other bookshelf over here we have this twelve volume edition of The Definitive Journals of Lewis and Clark which cost me over a hundred bucks and which Monica still thinks I bought for myself. Why would you think that, baby? You seriously think I'd wait til you announced you were pregnant and then immediately order something like that? And that I'd make the foolish buy pretending that it was a gift for our daughter who was still nine months away from being born, let alone much interested in the discarded crumbs of a long ago journey across America? Honestly? Jeez. You really don't know me at all.

So anyways, as you can see: I got her entire future mapped out just fine. Mapped out. Hmph...that's kinda Lewis and Clark huh? Fuckin brilliant.

One thing I wish I could give her years from now though, I won't be able to. The Howard Stern Show. In all my years of music listening and movie watching and book looking and seeing paintings and watching very intense installations of David Beckham sleeping like an angel fallen to Earth from The Glory Cloud( what a wasted fuckin afternoon that was) all those years of mopping up my corner of culture's dusty floor...nothing has ever made me more giddy, or happier, or so overcome with joy and laughter than the King of All Media and his radio show.

Since I was about 15, its been there on my radio. And if what you think is that I was intoxicated by the sound of strippers moaning into a mic, let me tell you the truth: I already had like eight video tapes with that sort of stuff. From the beginning The Stern Show, even at its perverted peaks, has always been way way more than that to me.. Sex and sexism. Race and racism. Laughing at and laughing with. This thing, this radio show has helped me to understand better than, dare I say, anything else, that life is beautifully messed up. And that you need to sit with people you aren't familiar with and share some simple wasting time with 'em before you can seriously judge them. That may sound like an inflated boast, or some very warped stretch of a plug for this particular show, but I stand by it with everything I got. Plain and simple: the Stern Show helped me to learn what it is to be a liberal-minded person who sometimes wants to run over dumb-ass people in his car, but probably shouldn't.

The art of conversation is dying. It just is. Technology reigns and if we don't dig that, then we too fade away. I really really hope to be able to have family dinners with Violet as she gets older, talk about our days out in the world. But chances are we'll be lucky to have that every now and then rather than each night. With Stern and his greatest pageant ever given, me and Monica have had weird connections even when we're not together. Something happens on the show and we both nearly piss our pants with laughter... together but in different places. And often, its the first thing we can't wait to talk about when we hook up again. So, you might think I am a shitty dad for actually wishing that The Howard Stern Show would last forever, so that my daughter could one day listen in. But you'd be wrong. By laughing for so long at the things we aren't supposed to laugh at, I have learned to love what is so drastically different than me, that others want to stomp it dead with Biblical Doc Martens. Fuck them. I want Violet to know that laughter and all the wisdom hiding out inside it.