Is 2020 the Year for Festivus?

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hello, all – Happy Grievances! Welcome back to the show. This week is our holiday episode for December, and we're decorating the pole — with nothing! This year has already had its ornaments of bullshit and insanity, no need for glitter or decorations. I'm having a Zoom party for one over here. It's Festivus! The good holiday that Seinfeld made famous. And in so many ways it is the perfect holiday for this year. In a year like 2020, Festivus is a good natured outlet to just let the grievances out. All holidays have their moments where they become more substantial. Columbus Day wasn't anything until he came back with all those slaves, Thanksgiving was nothing until the genocide of American Natives, and Christmas was nothing but a birthday before Thomas Nast invented our modern Santa Claus.

All these holidays made use of their moment to become a permanent part of our collective experience, and few years set a better stage for Festivus to become a genuine and real event to process the insanity of our current reality. Festivus is officially on December 23, incidentally. But in honor of the most ridiculous "pick your grievance" year, I'm suggesting it go full-bore, with bank closures, no mail delivery, even shut off the Atomic Clock for the day. You have a problem any of that, include it in your grievance list! If we can have Daylight Savings Day, which many people complain about for months, we can certainly have an officially recognized Festivus, where many people would only complain for a night.

To acknowledge the new federally protected day of grievance, this episode is partly a tribute to Jonathon Wolff, who invented the world's cheapest (and perhaps most lucrative) sitcom theme, composing the Seinfeld theme in half of an afternoon. With regard for that slapping fake bass note, learn about envelope following, which turns any signal into control voltage (a pitch envelope and a gate) and hear how something as identifiable as a sitcom theme can be used to control synthesizers and drum patterns in undetectable ways.


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Thanks and have a very good holiday, Ethan