Stills from Off The Charts, a PBS documentary about the weird underground world of vanity song-arrangers and their batty customers. This is the home and studio of a “song shark” called Ramsey Kearney, who earns a living by setting amateur lyrics to music and cutting souvenir records for people who half-believe they’ll get famous one day. Watching this film gave me a few shudders, an “anxiety of proximity” combined with a more empathetic sense of recognition; as one fish-faced codger sitting on his porch with a far-away look in his eyes puts it: “I’ll continue writing songs and poetry I guess as long as I live because it’s a part of me and it’s in my heart to do these things.”