The Sacred

I remember once, we were sitting on my front steps watching ants.

The Sacred [1]
Somewhere Out There
Original Broadcast Date
February 25, 1996
Joe Frank
Serious Monologue, 57 minutes
Preceded by: Pledge Drive, 1996-02-12
Followed by: The Road To Calvary

The Sacred is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Somewhere Out There. It was originally broadcast on February 25, 1996.


Joe and Justine watch ants on Joe's cement walk. Joe notes that they care about what they're doing, he doesn't. They pick out which ant each is most like.

5:20: Joe recounts being down in Florida. He went to buy flowers for his mother, was attracted to a teddy bear, feared getting 'attached to it in an unhealthy way'.

9:30: Joe can't sleep, wonders why we sleep, what purpose it serves.

11:50: Joe talks about night.

14:20: Joe tells of sitting in a house in West Hollywood with people disabled by accident or disease. The man, John, tells of his river raft trip and his skiiing trip. He tries to get a woman interested in such adventures; she demurs.

16:40: John describes the motorcycle accident that paralyzed him.

17:00: John tells of Vietnam veterans who came back broken.

17:40: John tells of a young man whom he met at Anaheim stadium. The young man had caused an auto accident that paralyzed his friend, asked John what he could do. John told him to visit him.

19:40: John tells of a friend who tried to jump a chasm on his motorcycle while drunk, was paralyzed.

20:00: The woman, who had been paralyzed by polio, was angry at people who disabled themselves by drunk foolishness.

20:40: Joe says people are disabling themselves all the time, perhaps we're all cripples.

24:00: 'Some people say that what happens here doesn't make any difference...'

24:10: Joe challenges god to prove himself with a miracle.

27:20: Joe, sitting next to a woman in a bar, asks about her clothes, her favorite things.

32:50: Joe asks us whether we really believe that church services bring us closer to the sacred. He thinks not.

35:30: Joe talks about the Blues, Robert Johnson[1] , Billie Holiday, Buddy Bolden[2], how much and why he likes it.

40:20: Joe tells us about his mother. She just had a stroke, but has kept her sense of humor about her disability. Because she wants to get out of her hospital gown, Joe undresses her; he gives her her bedpan. He comforts her with physical contact.

45:40: Joe recalls running on the golf course where his mother lives when he's in Florida. He runs through 2 rows of young trees, talks to them. He feels connected to them, keeps track on their growth on his visits. On one visit he doesn't have the feeling of kinship with them, is sad about it.

53:10: Joe recalls flying back from Florida; it's always night. He sees all the lights, thinks about all the people.

Legacy Synopsis

Watching ants and thinking about their sense of purpose and individualism. Falling for a teddy bear in a store and being afraid of going mad. Sleep monologue: who needs sleep, sleep is a delusional state, there's no reason for sleep, insomnia as a blessing and entering into a state of alert meditation. Discussion in a room with two people in wheelchairs: river rafting, injuries v/s illnesses, slow motion chronic suicide. Joe challenged god to show himself. Asking a woman about her favorite things, sandals, seasons, etc. The sacred cannot be proven. Tragedies of blues and jazz musicians and sadness about America. Joe's mother is upbeat after a stroke, he cares for her in the hospital. Running and communing with trees on a golf course during his mother's illness. People viewed from an airplane.


  • The music is based on "Bumpin'", with added samples and Judith Owen replacing the lead guitar, likely produced in-house

Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "The vocalists were Judith Owen and Karen Craft. Music looping by Bob Carlson. This program was recorded, edited, and mixed by Theo Mondle. Special thanks to Kristine McKenna and Jennifer Ferro."


  1. At about 36:00 Joe says of Johnson, 'His life was all about music, pussy, and booze. The pussy got him in the end.' Some versions remove 'pussy'.
  2. Wikipedia disagrees with Joe's story about Bolden bursting a blood vessel in 1910; Wikipedia says he was in a mental institution after 1907.