Cargo Cult: Opening Credits
This episode represents the first in a project that stretches back into last fall. Cargo Cult Seasons One and Two are a collection of conversations built around my love of travel, transportation, and, most of all, movies. Last year's episodes tie some of our favorite films to trucking and transport through the structure of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, and then the programming shifts into 2023 by looking back at the year 1973 with its amazing lineup of motion pictures. Scattered throughout are a series of interviews with stuntmen, directors, and authors who graciously spent the day talking their passion for movies as well.
If you listen to RadioNemo of North America's Dave Nemo Show and/or Dave Nemo Weekends (now The Weekend 34) on SiriusXM's Road Dog Trucking Channel 146, you know I host the first and co-host the latter through a filter of movie references, analogies, and trivia. I compare the sentience of truckers around bad drivers to Captain Quint in Jaws knowing the shark is out there before it surfaces. I liken truckers' frustrated umbrage at armchair drivers to Rodney Dangerfield's Thornton Melon exasperated with a know-it-all business professor in Back to School, and I continually use westerns as a way of reminding my listeners that the cowboy way is still a mode of organizing a life. I have a pair of parents who raised their kids through the same filter. My mother told me and my brothers to admire and emulate Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird while my father wanted us to be as tough as Gene Hackman's Popeye Doyle in The French Connection. While I am sure my dad might reconsider his particular role model these days for this one, he and mom have never stopped watching, talking, and loving the stories they continue to share with us to this day. Pay closer attention to my analogies, and you'll also hear that love of storytelling has an additional metaphorical filter of movement, travel, and transportation. I come from a family that was saved from The Depression by transportation. My dad's grandpa and his kin carved out a living in the railroads, and his larger family rose to civic prominence through a commitment to public works and transportation. I'll put it this way: when my dad wasn't barking out Popeye and Buddy's quotes from the William Friedkin classic, he was singing The Wabash Cannonball. My co-host Justin Welborn cooked up an idea to move listeners through a journey about journeys. His background is in acting not transportation, and so that approach seemed the perfect crossover for both our sets of interest. What better structure to tell stories of the road and travel than Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey? That classic model of objectives, obstacles, and tactics tracks the search for adventure from its Luke Skywalkeresque farmboy isolation on Tatooine all the way to its transformation of Ellen Ripley going from a hesitant, tentative second-in-command into a full blown heroine. The road is where people become, and these movies are all about becoming the best version of ourselves. The final element is trucking itself. Not just movies and not just movies that take a trip, but a focus on movies that are either about or speak directly to the men and women who inhabit that profession. From cinematic classics like The Wild Bunch and Easy Rider to cultural phenomenons like Convoy and Smokey and The Bandit, Cargo Cult irreverently discusses motion pictures to explore one of America's most iconic but misunderstood cultures. We take a lot of exit ramps, but we always find a way back to friends behind the wheel. You'll find complete and detailed credits as a part of each episode, but I also wanted to use this first posting as a way of saying thank you to those who made all this possible through their own hard work. First, Nick Dimeo is not just the voice of our opening and closing imaging but is also our sound engineer and project manager. He allowed us to begin Cargo Cult and continues to put the finishing touches on this project. Onsite producer Russell Wolff genuinely contributes to each episode on mic and behind the scenes, webmaster Sidney became a secret weapon for pulling it all together, and the incredibly gracious and helpful Sasha Geonzon at SiriusXM provided us with both scheduling availability and the talents of Sam and Oscar. Those two men have saved our ass on more than one occasion. All of those folks cannot only be heard throughout these episodes but are the biggest reason the technical quality and its presentation sound and look as good as it does. That tough, gritty, and perfect logo is courtesy of Morgan Biggs' Webtyde marketing firm that I highly recommend, and finally, without Dave Nemo, Michael Burns, Rory Belfi, and especially Neil Golub it never happens at all.
Justin and I hope you enjoy following the journey as much as we did making it. Maybe it will inspire you to make some of your own.
Jaws 1975: Out To The Ocean + Shark Hunt
Back to School (1986) - Thortnton Talks Business Scene
The Wild Bunch - Let's Go (1969)
To Kill a Mockingbird - Your Father's Passing (1962)
The French Connection - Cleaning Up the Bar (1971)
The Verdict - Frank's Closing Statement (1982)
Johnny Cash - "Wabash Cannonball"
Binary Sunset Scene - Star Wars: A New Hope (Force Theme)