At The Border (Remix)

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At The Border (Remix)[1]
The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, Sound Effects, 55 minutes
Preceded by: Black Hole (Remix)
Followed by: In The Dark (Remix)

"One evening, I walked up to a beautiful woman in a restaurant and said, 'tonight you will fall insanely in love with me."

At The Border (Remix) is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on October 28, 2001.


The first 27:50 comes from At The Border, the next 23 from Thank You, You're Beautiful, the last 4 from At The Border.

Joe walks up to a beautiful woman in a restaurant, tells her she will fall madly in love with him.[1]

Joe, manic for walking, walks from LA to Vancouver, writes a book about the psychopathology of tramps, mentions the Russian religious sect the Wanderers.[2][1]

3:20: 'Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.' - Nietzsche. Joe recalls Bolkonsky's death at the battle of Borodino in 'War and Peace.'[1]

3:50: 'The famous writer once asked… are we any more significant than microbes under a microscope?'[1]

4:30: Last Christmas, Joe's landlady, dreaming that a mad dog was attacking her, threw her baby daughter against the wall, killing her. She found it droll, began to doubt reality, got her nose trepanned.[1]

5:30: Joe used to go out with a woman whose father had lost his nose as a child to a fungus, had a variety of prostheses. Joe describes her beautiful mother, her dress and manner. The daughter was nondescript so Joe stopped dating her.[1]

7:30: Joe asks if all our past experiences form our present state or if we can be free of them.[1]

8:10: Joe tells the story of Odysseus returning from Troy, hearing an account of his travails, cries for the first time.[1]

8:50: Polish Jews tried to pass themselves as gentiles when the Russians occupied. Eastern European immigrants to the west passed themselves off as nobles.[1]

9:40: 'Snowflakes under a microscope, a desert caravan with camels on a horizon, rain on a railroad coach window, pebbles in a mountain stream, moonlight over the jungle, old photographs, summer lightning, cool white sheets, a crater on the horizon, people with umbrellas.'[1]

10:50: Joe describes a construction site on an old potters' field. Apparently Joe is the architect, sees that the house will not match his plans.[1]

11:40: Joe tells a story from Czesław Miłosz about a Soviet soldier killing a German POW for his sheepskin coat. This story is nearly the same as the original, which is in The Parallax View.[1]

13:40: Kierkegaard on despair, apparently an accurate reference.[1]

14:10: Joe talks about the movie The invisible man, observes that he had to put clothes and bandages on to be seen, asks what we expect people to see in us.[1]

15:10: Joe says that wild animals are comfortable with themselves, aren't self-conscious.[1]

16:20: Joe asks what we think about TV talk shows that see both sides of every issue.[1]

16:50: Joe tells about going to sort-of-church last Sunday.[1]

17:20: Joe tells of a Russian sect that worshipped holes, drills a hole to worship.[1]

19:00: 'Oh, wondrous void, eternal nothingness. I offer myself so that you might cast your inscrutable dear silence upon me. Oh lustrous hole, symbol of the greater glory of absence, darkness, and mystery beyond the realm of human thought. Let me ask for your grace and forgiveness in the knowledge that I shall serve you all the days of my meaningless life.'[1]

19:50: Joe talks about the ambiguities of life, how facts become obsolete, that complete understanding is impossible.[1]

23:00: 'The Bible says, in the beginning was the word. But which word?…'[1]

24:00: Joe describes a surreal trip on a horizontal elevator, calling his father for help; he smokes a pack of Chesterfields in the phone booth all at once.[1]

27:50: Joe tells about his father, the famous surgeon, who blamed his patients when they died under his care, sued them for undermining his practice. After a distraught husband of a patient who died killed him Joe searched for his murderer for so long he forgot what he was searching for.[3]

29:10: Joe's in a railroad station, tries to buy a ticket to Denver, after an absurd exchange he drives. Absurd events follow.[3]

30:20: Joe's in a cemetery.[3]

31:40: Joe tells about rich man who died, his body was taken to Darjeeling to be burnt, but rains put the fire out, then the man revived.[3]

32:20: Joe tells of being the king of Kabala (sp?) whose power correlates with the phases of the moon.[3]

34:10: The Roman army of Aelius Gallus lost its way in north Africa, miguided by his Nabatean guide, eventually made war on an inland sea.[4][3]

35:10 Joe visits Monte Carmel (sp?) monastery, torched during the revolution.[3]

36:20: Joe saw a new play at the Hollywood Bowl, all scenes based on the Bible, all the actors dressed as concentration camp prisoners.[3]

37:20: Someday we'll discover that our real mission on Earth is to host microbes.[3]

38:10: Guy with south Asian accent sings 'What the world needs now'.[3][5]

41: The truth about a person is what he or she hides...[3]

41:20: Joe's uncle is trying to get into his home, physician has just helped his wife deliver twins.[3]

42: Child's sense of time is different.[3]

42:40: Dutchman who fought in Indochina contracted tropical disease, saw people as skeletons.[3]

43:20: Joe thinks about all his right hand does for him.[3]

43:50: 'A blind power could not create an amoeba...' Joe argues for Creationism.[3]

45: Joe drives across the country, finds things the same everywhere.[3]

45:50: Joe loves the morning fog...[3]

46:40: In 1900, remains of ancient civilization of Crete were found,[6] Imagines a future archaeologist stumbling across a buried Los Angeles.[3]

47:20: Joe has dream in which he understands everything, forgets when he wakes up.[3]

49:00: Joe narrates aggressive, rude driving.[3]

51:00: Joe tells of his farmer father, who lost it to debt. They moved to the city where he took a job at a screw factory, got caught in the threader, was threaded to death.[1]

52:10: Joe took his place, was attracted to the woman who worked next to him. They walked a mountain path to a cliff, looked out over the empty quarter.[1]

53:50: 'Oh, wondrous void, eternal nothingness, I offer myself so that you might cast your inscrutable dear silence upon me. Oh lustrous hole, symbol of the greater glory of absence, darkness, and mystery, beyond the realm of human thought - let me ask for your grace and your forgiveness in the knowledge that I shall serve you all the days of my meaningless life.'[1]

Legacy Synopsis

An early reading of the "compulsion to wander" bit, story of end of WWII, Russian hole worshippers, drill (again the early version), nice absurd lost bit, honking at building to move, rich man becomes wise man after his funeral then recovers his memory and sues everyone to recover his past life, bible scenes played by actors in concentration camp outfits.


This is an incomplete record of the music in this program. If you can add more information, please do.

Shared material


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 originally aired in At The Border
  2. I can't find this. There were wandering monks in 19th century Russia, not a sect. See 'The Way of the Pilgrim'
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 originally aired in Thank You, You're Beautiful
  4. According to Wikipedia Aelius Gallus was Roman prefect of Egypt 26-24 BCE, undertook an expedition to Arabia (not north Africa), did lose.
  5. 'WHEN FRANK returns to the studio, the actor, Harvey Sachs, is waiting.

    '"You're not what I thought you'd look like," says Sachs, a muscular man with an intense smile.
    'Frank steps back. "What did you expect?"
    '"Someone taller, with sunken eyes, and 10 years younger."
    'Frank lowers his gaze; he's 48. The age nerve seems to be a touchy one.
    'Because Sachs does a convincing East Indian accent, Frank asks him to sing "What the World Needs Now" in the accent.
    'Sachs happily agrees.
    'Frank says: "I want you to talk some of this. We don't need another Caruso." He leaves Sachs in the performance studio and moves to the control booth.
    'From the booth he can see into three other studios. In one of them, KCRW's assistant musical director, Ariana Morgenstern, a young woman with a helmet of short dark hair, a Romanesque profile and graceful, pale arms, is eating green grapes. For the past year and a half, she and Frank have been steady companions. But today, at work, they give no indication that they're aware of each other.
    'Frank cues up the syrupy music. "Don't be nervous," he calls to Sachs. "This is radio. You cannot fail because we can always tape it again."

    'Five takes later, Frank sits on the floor facing the monitor, head cocked like the RCA dog. "It's not working," he says. He lies flat on the carpet, lacing his fingers and resting them on the top of his head. He closes his eyes. "He's gotta talk it." And although Sachs hasn't heard him, the actor suddenly says, "Lord… the tone of voice of a man chastising a grandfather who's brought his grandchildren 200 Twinkies, "… we don't need another mountain." Frank sits up. "This is good." He laughs and calls a lunch break. Sachs and Frank return to the big table in the performance studio bearing take-out boxes of marinated vegetables, tofu and tuna. Sachs sits down; Frank purposefully walks to the opposite end of the table, clears it, and takes a seat 12 feet away.'

    from Radio Noir : 'On the Air, a Voice Like Dirty Honey Tells Stories Grim as Nightmares. If You Think Radio Is All Top 40, You Haven't Heard Joe Frank.'

  6. Knossos was discovered in 1878, first excavated in 1900.