Bad Faith

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Bad Faith [1]
Original Broadcast Date
March 15, 2005
Larry Block, Lester Nafzger, Joe Frank
Category:Serious Monologue, 58 minutes
Preceded by: Debi Mae At Burning Man
Followed by: Goodbye

Forty three mutilated bodies in varying stages of decomposition have been found on the property of a postal employee in Ohio.

Bad Faith is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Online. It was originally broadcast on March 15, 2005.

First made available online in March 2005, this one hour program includes a combination of serious, occasionally absurd monologues, interspersed with telephone conversations with Larry Block and Lester Nafzger.


0:20: Joe describes a serial killer in Ohio, a postal employee, who killed 43.[1]

1:20: Peruvian conjoined twins separated in Washington, DC.[2]

2:00: Joe tells of the woman who killed her 2 boys to have a relationship with a man.[3]

2:30: Joe tells of Roman Catholic priests who have molested children protected by the church.[4]

3:20: Joe tells of the 'DC Sniper'[5].

3:50: Joe tells of the California congressman who had an affair with an intern; she was discovered murdered; he was suspected. [6][7]

4:20: Joe tells of 23 illegal immigrants, bound to work in a Houston factory, are found dead of heat stroke in a cargo container.[8]

4:40: Young Russian women lured to the US with promises of good jobs are forced into prostitution.

5:00: Larry and Joe talk about their favorite lines from Frost poems.

8:50: Joe tells of the nightclub fire that killed 100.[9] says that there were others' in Japan and Argentina and elsewhere around the world'.[10] He talks about the callousness of the reporters who cover the stories.

10:10: Joe tells of the toddler entered in beauty contests, her murder.[11]

10:40: Joe tells of the young woman kidnapped by a cult leader.[12]

11:00: Joe tells of the murder of a pregnant woman by her husband.[13]

12:10: Joe tells of the woman in a coma, fought over by her husband and parents.[14]

12:50: Larry tells the story of his daughter accompanying her friend, whose mother in Chicago just had a massive stroke, to visit the mother. Larry and Joe compare their ills.

14:30: Joe says his mother told him, when he was being treated for bladder cancer in 1991, that it's worse for her than him.

14:50: Joe tells of the teacher who had an affair with a 12-year-old student.[15] wishes he had had an older lover when he was a boy.

16:00: Joe tells of the fellow who parked his car on the train tracks to impress a lover who jilted him.[16]

16:40: Joe tells of the trial of a pop star tried for child molesting.[17]

18:20: Joe tells of the earthquake in 2004 that caused a tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands.[18]

18:50: Joe tells of dealing with the aftermath of the Rwanda genocide.[19]

19:10: Joe tells of the Darfur conflict.[20]

19:40: Joe tells of the westerner beheaded by Arab insurgents.[21]

20:00: Joe tells of suicide bombers in mosques.

20:10: Joe tells of injured veterans at Walter Reed.

20:40: Joe contrasts the $15K bonuses offered for enlistment to the luxury of the wealthy.

22:40: Joe mentions the dangers of avian flu, holes in the ozone layer, global warming, destruction of the Brazilian rainforest, nuclear waste, al Qaeda terrorists.

25:00: Lester Nafzger tells Joe about a game he played in school, 'Smear the queer'[22]. Lester says he's against self-deprecating jokes.

26:30: Joe tells Lester about his 'date' with Ariana Huffington. They go walking. Joe took 2 valium, couldn't keep up. She never called him again.

34:40: 'Each one of us in his or her life has taken small imperceptible steps that added together in the aggregate have changed us profoundly - millions of steps...' Joe talks about the steps we take in life, their significance.

38:30: 'The first chief rabbi of Palestine in the 1920s, before the Holocaust, said that in the face of the suffering in this world, to not contemplate atheism is itself almost sinful.' Joe says we want the transcendent, tells of a rabbi who spoke of 'theological pointillism', that one has to look at the larger picture, not details.

39:40: 'I've had a few experiences which I would consider genuinely religious where I felt the presence of something beyond myself...' Joe talks about why he doesn't participate in organized religion, questions practices of Evangelic Christianity and Islam.

41:40: Joe suggests that if Jerry Falwell had been raised in Qum, Iran, instead, he would have been as passionately Muslim; that Khomeini, raised in an Evangelic Christian family, would have been as passionately Christian.

47:30: Joe tells of having Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs for the first time since he was 16. An old friend from high school calls him, mocks him for his age, says he's probably eating Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs.

50:20: Joe tells of seeing the store 'Tuesday Morning' while driving on Santa Monica Boulevard[23] to St John's hospital[24][25] to visit his mother just as the DJ on KCRW announces that it's Tuesday morning. He finds the coincidence significant. He stops in on his way back from the hospital, finds it full of kitschy junk.

52:30: Joe wonders if the 2 coincidences are significant, that something is going on, imagines it's his late father, asks Lester what he thinks.

54:00: Lester says he thinks it's because Joe is concerned about death, that, if he looked carefully at other events in his life, he'd find similar coincidences, worries that saying so may harm the comfort Joe gets from feeling that someone is looking after him.

Legacy Synopsis
  • Distressing news stories that reflect a world in chaos, serve as a repeated motif throughout this program.
  • Monologue: distressing news stories. Washington DC snipers, pedophile priests protected by the church, the Condit/Levy story, dead immigrants, Russian women in slavery.
  • Larry Block: discussing Robert Frost: "good fences make good neighbors".
  • Monologue: deadly fires in nightclubs. Insensitive press. JonBenet Ramsey. Laci Peterson. Terri Schaivo.
  • Larry: his daughter goes to the hospital to comfort her friend's family after a stroke. Joe tells Larry a story of his mother when Joe was hospitalized with bladder cancer in 1991. She tells him it was harder for her to watch him suffer than for him to battle the cancer himself.
  • Monologue: the schoolteacher who seduced her student. The attempted train suicide. The Jackson trial. Tsunami. Rwandan genocide. Darfur refugees. Decapitations in Iraq. Suicide bombers attack mosques. War disfigurements and the insane wealth of corporate leaders. Alarming stories of environmental disaster brought on by corporate and government irresponsibility. Worrying about terrorists. The news is terrifying. "It's the stuff of nightmares. It surpasses belief."
  • Lester Nafzger: "smear the queer", renamed "tackle the guy with the ball". Joe tells Lester a story of his awkward walking date with Ariana Huffington.
  • Monologue: the innumerable steps that make up and change our lives, taking us inexorably towards death. Metaphors on time, progress and death. Atheism vs. longing for God. Evil: can it be seen in perspective? Seeing God as the unknown. Joe on his own religious outlook. Rejecting the "join us or face eternal damnation" concept behind organized religion. Upbringing as a source of religious conviction.
  • Joe talks to Lester about facing his own death: twice he has fought cancer. Extreme coincidences in his life suggesting an unseen force; these experiences are comforting to Joe. A heartfelt conversation concludes the program, Lester is skeptical about the coincidences but reluctant to hurt his friend's feelings or shake what little faith he has left.



  1. I can't identify this person. It sounds like John Wayne Gacy, but his details were different.
  2. I can't find this story. In recent accounts Peruvian physicians separate their conjoined twins.
  3. Susan Smith
  4. Catholic priests' sex abuse scandal
  5. Lee Boyd Malvo
  6. Chandra Levy
  7. but wasn't guilty.
  8. I can't find this story; I know of Chinese immigrants in a container in NY harbor who suffocated and immigrants in box cars in Texas who cooked to death.
  9. Station nightclub fire
  10. List of nightclub fires
  11. JonBenet Ramsey
  12. Elizabeth Smart
  13. Laci Peterson
  14. Terry Schiavo
  15. Debra Lafave
  16. Juan Manuel Alvarez
  17. Michael Jackson trial
  18. 2004 Indian ocean earthquake
  19. Rwanda genocide
  20. Darfur conflict
  21. Daniel Pearl
  22. Smear the queer
  23. 901
  24. 2121 Santa Monica Boulevard
  25. so Joe's going away from the ocean