»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, July 8th, 2016

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01 — Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! Just barely, I'm afraid, listeners: Your doggedly genial host here has succumbed to a URI. The cause looks to me to be cooties in the central air system. We started using the damn thing when the heatwave got going this week, and we've been coughing and sneezing ever since.

Woody Allen said, quote: "Not only is there no God, try getting a plumber at weekends." End quote.

He thought he had problems. Try getting A-C maintenance in the middle of a heatwave, when you've stopped your service contract with the firm that installed your system, on the grounds they weren't very good.

Ah, the problems of the homeowner. These petty inconveniences of course pale by comparison with the horrors visited on the U.S.A. Thursday night this week.

As everyone surely knows, on Thursday evening citizens of Dallas, Texas were holding a demonstration in that city's downtown, good-naturedly chanting "Pigs in a blanket!" and "F— the police!" while the city's police department was out in force to keep order.

Suddenly there was shooting from a high building nearby, targeted at the cops. By the time it was over, five officers had died and seven others were wounded. A gunman, identified as Micah Johnson, a black man aged 25, was also dead, killed by police. As Radio Derb goes to tape we still don't know if there were other shooters.

What to say about this? Well, I have plenty, for as long as my voice holds out.

Let's start with the original demonstration. What were those citizens demonstrating about?

02 — Cops shoot blacks.     What they were demonstrating about was, black people being shot by cops.

There were three cases in recent days: one fairly straightforward, the others more ambiguous. I'll take them in turn.

Case number one:  In the wee hours of Monday morning, July 4th, 37-year-old Delrawn Small of Brooklyn, New York was shot by an off-duty police officer.

It was a road rage incident. Small thought the cop had cut him off. He followed the cop for about seven blocks to a traffic light. Then he got out, ran to the cop's car, which was unmarked, and started punching the cop through the open side window. The cop pulled out his service revolver and shot Mr Small, who died at the scene.

We have video on this one but it hasn't been released as we go to tape. The cop's name is Wayne Isaacs. I assume he's white, but I haven't seen that confirmed anywhere and can't find an image.

Case number two:  In Baton Rouge, Louisiana early Tuesday morning another black guy, Alton Sterling, also 37 years old, was confronted by two white cops responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun. The caller said he'd asked Sterling for money, whereupon Sterling pulled a gun on him.

The two cops apparently tried to arrest Mr Sterling, he put up a struggle, and it ended with him on the ground and cops kneeling over him, but his hands still free — free, that is, to get out his gun, or grab one of the cops' guns. At this point one cop shot him, it's not clear why. Sterling died at the scene.

We have two videos on this one, but neither is dispositive as to what caused the cop to shoot Sterling.

Case number three:  Wednesday evening in the Minneapolis suburbs, 32-year-old Philando Castile, a black guy, was pulled over by cops because of a BOLO alert issued the day before. BOLO stands for "Be On the LookOut," and it's a routine cop thing.

This particular BOLO alert had been prompted by an armed robbery at a convenience store, July 2nd, caught on store video surveillance. Philando Castile resembled the robber. So at any rate one of the cops thought.

So, he pulled Castile over. We have dispatch recordings of the officer deciding to do this, then doing it. He gave his dispatcher the license plate number of the car; it was indeed Castile's.

Something then happened, we don't know what, and the police officer, name of Jeronimo Yanez, shot Castile.

Castile's girlfriend and a four-year-old child were in the car with him. We have no video of the shooting, but the girlfriend made a video right afterwards from the passenger seat, as Castile lay badly wounded next to her. Castile died half an hour later.

In that post-shooting video, the girlfriend made at least two false statements. She claimed they were pulled over for a broken tail light; but Officer Yanez is clear on the dispatch tape that it was a BOLO pull-over. Plus, the girlfriend said Castile was holding a concealed carry permit for a handgun he owned; but the County Sheriff denies Castile ever ever applied for a concealed carry permit from his office.

Those are the three cases making news on Thursday, and inspiring the Dallas demonstration. There have of course been protests, demonstrations, candle-light vigils, and the rest of the race grievance theater in other locations. The Black Lives Matter organizers were working overtime. Al Sharpton was on the move … you know the script.

So far as these three shootings are concerned, the first thing to say is the inevitable cliché: Let's wait and see what investigations turn up.

On the sketchy information we have, including the fragments of video, it's possible that all three shootings were justified; and it's also possible that none of them was, or that some were but not others. You don't know, and neither do I; neither does Al Sharpton, and neither did the demonstrators in Dallas on Thursday.

The specter of Narrative Collapse hovers over all these kinds of incidents now. The Narrative favored and promoted by black race activists and media goodwhites is of heartless white authority figures doing violence against helpless, harmless blacks. The media do everything they can to reinforce that narrative. That's why the most-publicized photograph of Trayvon Martin, who was 17 years old when George Zimmerman shot him in 2012, the most-publicized photograph was one taken when he was twelve years old.

In all too many cases, however, that initial media narrative of evil whites persecuting harmless blacks collapses when all the details come in.

That doesn't necessarily happen; but it happens often enough that when you're looking at three cases, the chance that none of them will undergo Narrative Collapse is very small. No Narrative Collapse is not the way to bet.

Of the three dead black guys here, two were in any case not harmless. Delrawn Small had a long rap sheet listing 19 arrests. He served three prison terms between 1996 and 2010, for attempted robbery, attempted drug sale to an undercover cop, and a stabbing. Not harmless.

Alton Sterling likewise had a rap sheet showing felony arrests. His court-appearance history across the last 21 years includes battery both simple and aggravated, public intimidation, carnal knowledge of a juvenile, domestic violence, burglary, receiving stolen goods, robbery, theft, drug possession, resisting arrest, possession of stolen firearm, sound reproduction without consent, and failure to register as a sex offender. Not harmless.

The third shootee, Philando Castile, does seem to have been harmless: a regular working guy with a good job as school lunch supervisor. His only criminal offenses, so far as I can ascertain, have been low-level traffic misdemeanors. He did have a handgun on his person, though — you get a glimpse of it in the girlfriend's video. And according to the County Sheriff, he didn't have a permit.

Did he have a permit from some other jurisdiction? Maybe. Who knows? These are things remaining to be determined. Why did Officer Yanez shoot him? Who knows? Perhaps the officer saw the gun and thought he saw Castile go for it. Perhaps something else. We'll have to wait for the investigation.

I'd have to say, though, that in the case of Philandro Castile, I hear a creaking and a rumbling that sounds awfully like the early stages of Narrative Collapse.

So let's wait and see. We're working with very limited information.

03 — Waiting for Narrative Collapse.     The underlying issue here is the very high levels of violence and criminality among blacks.

The differences are really enormous; and government and the media do their best to play them down for fear we badwhite peasants will march on the ghetto with pitchforks and flaming brands; so that ordinary citizens are startled, even disbelieving, when you show them the numbers.

My colleague Ed Rubinstein has crunched those numbers, and you can read them for yourself, with references to official sources, in his booklet The Color of Crime. I'll quote some more of them from another researcher, Heather Mac Donald, later in this podcast.

Here's a couple at random from Ed's researches: In 2013, a black was six times more likely than a non-black to commit murder … A black person was 27 times more likely to attack a white person than vice versa … etc. If you remove Hispanics from the non-black category — which is hard to do, as the authorities would prefer you didn't — the differences for homicide are even greater.

In a society where blacks are living among non-blacks, it's natural and reasonable for blacks to be regarded by the rest of us as dangerous. This isn't as much a factor for us middle-class types moving among well-socialized middle-class blacks; but for cops, who have to deal with the underclass, it's got to be on their minds in every encounter. No wonder they're on a hair-trigger in arrest and traffic stop situations.

There isn't much to be done about this. Black populations have, on the average, lower intelligence, lower impulse control, and higher levels of interpersonal violence than nonblack populations. Cops have to cope with that, way more than the rest of us do.

In particular cases, might a cop do a dumb thing or act incompetently? I'm sure it happens. There are a third of a billion of us in the U.S.A., close to a million of whom are in law enforcement. It would be astounding if there was not an on-the-job screw-up now and again.

If the screw-up is white cop on black perp, of course all hell breaks loose because of our national neurosis about race. Plenty of screw-ups go the other way, though, with nobody much noticing.

You can figure that by scaling up from ordinary everyday encounters with cops. Some cops are jerks; and the majority of cops who aren't jerks occasionally act jerkish, just as the rest of us occasionally do — self excepted, of course. When this happens to a white citizen, he thinks: "This cop's a jerk. Better act meek and polite or I'll never get home in time for dinner."

When it's a white cop being jerkish to a black citizen, though, the citizen thinks: "Here's Whitey, still trying to keep the black man down!" It makes him mad, on a scale that doesn't happen with a white citizen. The idea that the cop's just being jerkish doesn't cross his mind. The Narrative he's been fed all his life, from kindergarten on up, through movies and TV, all the institutions and media, is one of white malignity. That's how he sees it.

So overall, I have to say, cops have my sympathy, even when they're being jerkish.

As for these three particular cases, I'll wait and see what emerges. If there is no Narrative Collapse at all in any of them, I shall be very surprised. Not the way to bet.

So much for the incidents leading up to the Dallas demonstration Thursday evening. We all know what happened then; or at least, you know as much as I do as the podcast is put to bed.

I'm going to try to be constructive here. What's to be done? Is there anything to be done? There darn well better be. I don't want my kids to have to live in a society this divided.

04 — Pols talking gibberish.     So what do we do about all of this?

I'll offer my own modest suggestion in a moment. First, though, here are a couple of things not to do.

The image in my mind here is Mark Rylance in the 2015 movie Bridge of Spies. Rylance is playing the part of a Soviet spy. He's been arrested and will be tried. Tom Hanks has been assigned as his attorney. The Rylance character is calm, totally unflappable. Hanks is puzzled by this. He points out that his client could face the electric chair if convicted. Isn't he scared?

Rylance: "Would it help?"

In that situation, of course, being scared wouldn't help. In our situation there are likewise things that, while they might relieve our feelings, wouldn't help. Here are a couple of them.

First thing that won't help is, paying any attention to establishment politicians.

Here for example was Mark Dayton, the Governor of Minnesota, a former Senator from that state, a Democrat, and the living, breathing embodiment of the Midwestern Nice style — a style which, as I have opined before, may one day be the death of us all. He was holding a news conference Thursday, before the Dallas killings, about the Philando Castile shooting outside Minneapolis on Wednesday. Quote from the Governor:

Would this have happened if those passengers were white? I don't think it would've. So I'm forced to confront, and I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront, [that] this kind of racism exists.

End quote. The Governor is surely right on his first point. If Philando Castile had been white, he would most likely not have been shot. Listen to the cop's voice on the post-shooting video. He's scared. Probably he was scared when he looked in and saw he'd pulled over a young black guy with a gun.

He was right to be scared: Young black guys are far more dangerous than any other kind of driver — more impulsive, more aggressive, more likely to be armed. Again, just look at the crime stats. Cops live with those stats. They know them. They know to be scared of young black men.

Governor Dayton calls that "racism." Use any word you like, Gov; For a cop to be extra scared, extra nervous, and yes, extra error-prone when confronting a young black man is ordinary common sense and self-preservation. You would be too if you were a cop … which of course you're not. You're a career politician.

Here's another establishment pol, this one from the other party. Friday morning on Fox and Friends they had Newt Gigrich to comment.

Newt has a reputation as being smarter than the average congresscritter on the grounds that, one, he taught college, and two, he was instrumental in Republicans getting control of the House of Representatives in 1994, for the first time in decades.

Sorry, no sale. Newt's assistant professorship was in History and Geography, which, with absolutely no offense to anyone, registers on my academic respect-o-meter as a tick or two above Media Studies. His reputation as a political genius crashed and burned shortly after takeoff, in the government shutdown of 1995, when Bill Clinton obliged Newt to bend over and squeal like a pig.

I must have spent an aggregate couple of dozen hours across the decades listening to Newt opining on something or other on some TV show or other, and I have no recollection of him saying anything that made sense. The one time I was across a table from him asking him questions about immigration, I got back nothing but empty flapdoodle.

Newt's glib, I'll allow that. He has an answer for anything, which he'll give you smoothly and confidently. There just isn't anything there. In ratio of style to substance, Newt is off the charts: all style, no substance. If you could divide by zero — which, trust me, you can't — the ratio would be infinity, if that were a number — which, trust me again, it isn't.

So it was on Fox and Friends Friday morning. Newt blamed the current situation on, quote, "policies that have kept too many black Americans in poverty." What policies, exactly? "Big bureaucracy, big government, big spending …" Uh-huh.

Hey, I'm a small-government guy. The federal government especially is way too big and bossy. Should we cut back the size of government and privatize lots of its functions? Yes we should. Where the race problem is concerned, would it help? No it wouldn't.

Blacks didn't get dependent because government got big. If anything, the arrow of causation goes the other way. A lot of government bloat is necessary to keep a lid on the boiling black pot: make-work government jobs, welfare programs, feelgood social and educational initiatives, and of course law enforcement and incarceration.

Newt's an idiot; and he's by no means the worst of the political bunch. Listening to these pols won't help.

I've got more that won't help. New segment …

05 — Hacks scold white Americans.     Here, as promised, is another thing that won't help: listening to bigfoot commentators and public intellectuals.

Notice how I qualified the word "commentators" there. What, you think I'm going to call down fire on my own position?

My diffident self aside, there are actually plenty of commentators that Americans would learn a great deal from listening to — Jared Taylor, for example. Unfortunately no mainstream outlet will touch Jared with a ten-foot pole.

So instead we get lectures from licensed hacks on how white Americans need to improve their attitude. I'll take the current New York Times as illustrative. It's a pretty authoritative voice in the hacketariat.

Here's Michael Eric Dyson, professor of sociology at Georgetown University — the needle on my academic respect-o-meter just barely twitched there — and, says the Times, quote, "one of the nation's most visible public intellectuals."

Dyson's written a shelf full of books, and you can see them all on his Amazon.com page. First few subjects listed: the politics of race in America, Tupac Shakur (some kind of black pop singer), Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Hip-Hop (some kind of black pop music), Marvin Gaye (another black pop singer), Martin Luther King again, … etc., etc.

Executive summary, just to save you the trouble of reading any of the books: Blackety-blackety-blackety-black, black black black black black black black black blackety-black, blackety-blackety-blackety-black. This is a full-time professional black guy. Nice gig if you can get it … which I, of course, can't … not until transracialism really takes off.

So what's he got to tell us in this week's New York Times Sunday Review?

Title: What White America Fails to See. It's all our fault, you see? But you knew that, unless you've been fast asleep the past forty years.

Sample quote. Dyson is addressing white people at large here:

At birth, you are given a pair of binoculars that see black life from a distance, never with the texture of intimacy. Those binoculars are privilege; they are status, regardless of your class. In fact the greatest privilege that exists is for white folk to get stopped by a cop and not end up dead when the encounter is over.

What a crock of poop. White people get shot by cops all the time. Here's one from June 25th: white guy Dylan Noble, 19 years old, shot and killed by cops in Fresno, California.

Proportional to their numbers, do blacks get killed by cops more than whites? Yes, but that's because — go back to the crime stats again — that's because they're more lawless than whites. Cops go after lawlessness. That's what we pay them for.

Another sample from Professor Dr the Reverend Michael Eric Dyson, Jr, quote:

You demand the Supreme Court give you back what was taken from you: more space in college classrooms that you dominate; better access to jobs in fire departments and police forces that you control. All the while your resentment builds, and your slow hate gathers steam. Your whiteness has become a burden too heavy for you to carry, so you outsource it to a vile political figure who amplifies your most detestable private thoughts.

End quote. Just look at the logic there, the implications of agency. Stuff was taken from us: college places, cop and firefighter jobs.

Yes, those things were taken from well-qualified whites and given to less-well-qualified blacks. Naturally we feel resentment.

Who did the taking, though? It was our fellow whites — liberal white judges, politicians, college administrators. Those are the people we resent. Nobody much resents blacks, that I'm aware of. Nobody much thinks about them at all, though blacks — the world's greatest solipsists — find this impossible to believe.

This is the Cold Civil War, goodwhites against badwhites. Blacks are mostly hor de combat. Blacks don't make anything happen. Whites make everything happen. All whites, on both sides, know this. Nobody's killing blacks out of "resentment."

The worst of the commentariat bunch, at the time of going to tape, is Tim Stanley in the Daily Telegraph. Stanley is in fact so egregiously bad, I'm giving him a segment all to himself so I can work up a good head of spittle.

06 — Lies from a Brit.     So, Tim Stanley in the Daily Telegraph. Yes, that's a London newspaper — it used to be a reliably conservative one, back in the dear days thirty years ago when I was reviewing books for them.

Brits have their own problem with blacks. Ten percent of the British prison population is black, while only 2.8 percent of the general population is. That means the average black Brit is 3½ times more criminal than the average nonblack; and that's probably an underestimate, as Britain's police are even more race-whipped than ours, deeply reluctant to arrest blacks, or even confront them in any way, for fear of the career consequences. It's actually surprising there are any blacks in British jails at all.

You might think this would make British commentators cautious about throwing stones across the Atlantic from their own glass house. You might especially think that when you reflect that the U.S.A. was born with a big black population, and has always had to struggle with the issue as best we can, while the Brits stupidly — and against the advice of elder statesmen like Sir Winston Churchill — created themselves a race problem from scratch seventy years ago, working from arrogance, greed, imperial sentimentality and misplaced idealism.

No, these fools have no shame, no self-knowledge. Here's Tim Stanley, honking away self-righteously in the Telegraph, July 8th. Headline: A democracy as racist as America will never be at peace. Sample honk:

Last year, US police shot at least 102 unarmed black suspects dead — five times the rate of unarmed whites.

End honk. Two minutes googling would have brought Mr Stanley — a highly-paid and prominent British Op-Ed commentator — what it brought me, a mere ink-stained wretch: the Daily Wire's July 7th summary of Heather Mac Donald's analysis of the actual data on police killings. Main bullet points:

  1. Cops killed nearly twice as many whites as blacks in 2015.
  2. More whites and Hispanics die from police homicides than blacks.
  3. Unarmed black men are more likely to die by the gun of a cop than an unarmed white man … but this does not tell the whole story. Mac Donald's data tells it. For example, blacks are more likely to try to grab an officer's gun. In one occasion last year, three officers were killed with their own guns.
  4. Black and Hispanic police officers are more likely to fire a gun at blacks than white officers.
  5. Blacks are more likely to kill cops than be killed by cops — 18½ times more likely.

Elsewhere in his piece Tim Stanley just lies. Sample:

There are poor whites — far more of them are on food stamps than African-Americans.

End lie. Here are the actual numbers on food stamps in 2013, according to the Department of Agriculture tables [Table B.10 here].

The nationwide distribution of food stamps was 40.2 percent to non-Hispanic whites, 25.7 percent to non-Hispanic blacks, and 10.3 percent to Hispanics of all races. If you want to count all Hispanics as whites, the white recipients outnumber blacks by almost twice — white-black ratio 1.96. Whether that can fairly be called "far more," given that whites as so defined outnumber blacks by seven to one, is I guess a matter of opinion.

If you remove the numbers for Hispanics and just count non-Hispanic whites with non-Hispanic blacks, the white-black ratio for food stamp recipients is 1.56. Whites are getting 56 percent more food stamps than blacks. Given that, on the same basis, whites are five times more numerous than blacks, I'm going to say that Stanley's "far more" is a bare-faced lie.

"The search for dignity …" I'm quoting Tim Stanley's appalling, ignorant, dishonest piece again, "…  is exceptionally difficult when society constantly asserts that you don't have it," end quote.

Not a word of acknowledgment there for the endless efforts in Amerian media and education to promote blacks as the very epitome of dignity and forbearance. Probably most Americans born since 1980 believe that God looks like Morgan Freeman, that Harriet Tubman was a major historical figure, that Martin Luther King was a perfect Christian gentleman, that Nelson Mandela was the distilled essence of human goodness and wisdom, and so on. That's what they've been hearing and seeing since kindergarten.

That wasn't worth a word in passing, Mr Stanley, you sneering self-righteous nitwit?

Sorry, I'm losing it here. Too much stupidity. As Professor Dyson would no doubt say: My resentment builds, and my slow hate gathers steam.

Let's get back to the main theme. If listening to politicians and bigfoot commentators won't help, what will help? Permit me a suggestion.

07 — Against the mass delusion.     I'm going to fall back on my early training in mathematical logic and the Propositional Calculus. Please don't be alarmed.

Here are two propositions. If I were going to be traditional about this, I'd call them P and Q. Instead I'll use "R" and "L" to make it easier to remember which is which. "R" stands for "race," "L" stands for "Law." You ready? Here we go.

Proposition R:  Every human race has precisely the same statistical distribution as every other on all human traits of behavior, intelligence, and personality.

That's the proposition R, R for Race. Its negative I shall call, in traditional fashion, "Not-R."

Here's my second proposition, Proposition L.

Proposition L:  In law and administration, state and federal authorities should treat all citizens equally, without regard to self-identified race.

That's the proposition L, L for Law. Its negative will be "Not-L."

OK, we've got two propositions and their negatives. Now we can make a sketch of American ideological history.

For the first 180 years or so of our republic, common opinion and law in most of the U.S.A. amounted to Not-R and Not-L. The generality of Americans thought races do not have precisely the same statistical distributions on all human traits of behavior, intelligence, and personality.

We further thought that law and administration need not treat all citizens equally without regard to race. There was of course a high-level commitment to due process, security of property, and so on; but at the ground level, legal segregation, exclusion from office, voting rules, et cetera were commonly accepted over big regions of the country.

After WW2 we switched — not all at once, and not with equal speed everywhere — to a different national ideology. We changed our collective mind on Proposition R, abandoning the negative for the affirmative. We stuck with the negative on Proposition L, though. Affirmative Action, Disparate Impact, contract set-asides, all kept the proposition Not-L alive, although now of course the inequality favored blacks.

So the new ideological configuration was R and Not-L. Listeners who know their Propositional Calculus will be able to write that in symbols.

Our commitment to Not-L in fact got more intense as time went on into the 21st century. Having committed to R, and having performed all kinds of judicial conjuring to twist the laws and rules in favor of blacks, the fact of continuing black failure could only be explained by assuming that we hadn't taken Not-L far enough. There needed to be more Affirmative Action, more Disparate Impact rulings, more racial set-asides, more diversity quotas.

It's not working out very well, though, is it? With Proposition R now one pillar of the national ideology, continuing poor outcomes for blacks can only be interpreted as the fault of America at large. We're not doing enough!

Read this weekend's broadsheet editorials and Op-Eds; listen to the politicians. We must try harder!

Here for instance is a New York Times Op-Ed that Charles Murray tweeted about. I'm obliged to Dr Murray for directing our attention to it. Headline: Internships Are Not a Privilege by Darren Walker, July 5th.

First sentence, quote: "Talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not," end quote.

In regard to thefirst four words in that sentence, "talent is equally distributed," Dr Murray tweeted as follows, tweet from him: "How could an editor allow these four words to open an article in the paper of record?" End tweet.

My answer to Dr Murray's question would be: mass delusion. Our entire non-scientific intelligentsia is in thrall to a theory about human nature that makes no internal sense and contradicts the common experience of human beings across several hundred centuries.

And of course, so long as Proposition R is one main pillar of our state ideology, blacks hate whites more than ever, since their collective failures can only be our fault. Knowing that they hate us, and how impulsively violent too many of them are, we fear them more than ever, and the whole rotten cycle goes on.

So once again I ask, what can be done?

Well, here's my suggestion. Let's flip the state ideology right round, into a configuration we have never tried before: Proposition R together with Proposition L, no negatives …

[Added when archiving:  Thus, as spoken in the podcast. What I should have said was "Proposition Not-R together with Proposition L." Moral of the story here: Don't attempt manipulations in the Propositional Calculus while stoned on DayQuil.]

 … Let's dump the idea that there's some way to get all races showing identical outcomes, and then also dump the idea that laws and rules have to be twisted to favor one race over another.

Let's make our legislators and jurists and administrators treat all citizens equally. Bring back competitive written examinations for Civil Service jobs. Let's have meritocratic promotions in our agencies and corporations. Forbid public colleges accepting students by any other than academic criteria. Let's start treating people equally, a thing we have never done before.

And let's accept unequal group outcomes as a natural feature of the world, which they surely are. Then we can stop blaming them on ourselves, or on invisible swirling magic vapors of "racism" or "privilege."

Couldn't we just give it a try? If we flipped the ideology once, why couldn't we flip it again?

Would it help? It might.

08 — Signoff.     That's all I can manage in my current depleted state, ladies and gents. Thanks for listening, and may you stay safe in what may be shaping up as a long, hot summer.

Cue our signout music. Long, long ago, on Easter Sunday 1960, your humble commentator here was at H.M.S. St. Vincent, a Royal Navy shore establishment for the training of sailors in Portsmouth, England. I was there as a Sea Cadet, on an Easter vacation training course. That was where I heard the news: and who that heard it will ever forget where he was and what he was doing when he heard?

As a matter of fact, I have forgotten precisely what I was doing. It was most likely polishing my boots or cleaning some other item of kit — that was what we mainly did in the Sea Cadets, according to my recollection.

Well, there I was, not quite 15, fresh off Church Parade in my Number Twos at H.M.S. St. Vincent, when I heard about Eddie Cochran's passing. You never forget those moments.

Sing it for us, Eddie. And there'll be more from Radio Derb next week.

[Music clip: Eddie Cochran, "Summertime Blues."]