#106: Loveline

Eucalyptus, thin branches, overhanging sky view, obscuring white modern buildings.
The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA

My last night in California. DB is here from New York and tomorrow we start driving toward New Orleans, and I’m exhausted from the day so I’ll keep this short.

I’ve been queueing up some podcasts for the road and one of my new favorites is Classic Loveline. My friend Max introduced me to it in Chicago and if the name doesn’t ring any bells, Loveline was a late night radio show popular in the late nineties and early 2000s. I remember hearing it when I was in high school, and watching it from time to time after MTV made it into a show. Loveliness listeners – mostly teenagers – would call in seeking advice from the hosts, one a doctor and the other a stand-up comedian (and usually joined by an interview guest).

The podcast has been rebroadcasting old episodes of the show, and listening to them as an adult is a total trip. You get a sampling of teenage America just before high-speed internet access. They’re asking advice about sex and love and relationships from disinterested grownups who are (very importantly) not their parents, and they’re doing it out in the open. There was a relatively short period of time when this medium and this format was the best way to reach and affect, for the better, a large swath of teenagers in this country. And now I get to re-experience it in a surreal kind of parallel time(!)

I’ll end this letter with a question: What podcasts are you listening to?