Archived entries for radio

“Now, Zach,” you might say to me, “you talk a lot of shit. You say a lot of bad things about people in the public eye. Things that would be incredibly rude if said to their faces.”

“Yes, yes, I do.” I’ll admit. “But,” I’ll say, “I only do it after they’ve said something first.”

Do you know the old adage “It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt”?

The same goes with political speech, especially hateful speech.

Today on the way home to pick up lunch, I stopped my radio on a talk radio station, foolishly assuming it was some kind non-biased news summary, I left the dial where it was. (Remember when that was the sort of thing you could take for granted?) Over the next few minutes, I was bombarded with pure, uncut, unmitigated hate speech.

“Homosexuals are a disease vector. Their illness is a sign of their unholy lifestyle. They are all on drugs.”

These were all things that the pundit on the radio was sending out over the public airwaves, and there was no one stopping him. He was free to say completely untruthful and inflammatory things on airwaves that you and I own.

And I utterly lost it. I screamed bloody murder there at the stoplight. Screamed so loud the lady next to me rolled up her window thinking I was probably some kind of mental case.

But, no, I wasn’t the mental case. The fucking morally-righteous-but-really-moral-bankrupt asshole on the radio was the mental case.

Those are the sort of people I talk shit about.

Because they fucking deserve it, and because they did it first.

Back in April 2009, just before Tax Day, I wrote a rather hasty one-off tirade about the Tea Party. Called, rather uncreatively on my part, “Fuck you stupid idiots and your fucking #teaparty“.

Ahem. Needless to say, I wasn’t going for the subtle. I thought then, and I still think now, that the Tea Party is a hodgepodge of bad ideas with no direction and no mandate. The only reason it’s managed to reach this point is because certain media outlets have been using their considerable influence to give them legitimacy.

(The same media outlet that’s been recently outed as spying on private citizens and government officials in England to generate news leads. Personal freedoms? Pfft!)

On the whole, I think the whole thing reeks of “I’m taking my ball and going home” now that Washington is trying to play a different game than they were for the first 8 years of the 21st century.

(Which in, full disclosure, I’m not thrilled about. Obama really hasn’t hit anything out of the park and has proven his inexperience time and time again. I refer to him as President Pussy now.)

The last time that I wrote about the Tea Party, I pointed out that one of their main support groups in that nascent stage was the American Family Association. Which I called then, and still call now “One of the great moralist cesspools in America.”

And what should I hear this morning on NPR as I’m getting ready for work? This:

Tea Party Supporters Debate Movement’s Direction

Morning Edition is taking a closer look at the groups that make up the Tea Party. Steve Inskeep talks to Toby Marie Walker, lead facilitator for the Waco Tea Party, and Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association. Walker says the Tea Party’s issues need to remain strictly fiscal. Fischer says that if the Tea Party doesn’t incorporate social issues into its agenda, it runs the risk of dividing the conservative movement.

Listen to that. Listen to the AMA open its maw, put the Tea Party between its teeth and growl “If you fuck with us we will KILL YOU. We made you, we can end you just as easily.”

It almost makes you sad for the Tea Party. This lady, who I’m sure has some legitimate, if misguided and probably far-fetched, complaints with the government is basically being beaten with an inch of her political life by a crazy man who thinks that homosexuality is criminal, all Muslims are dangerous and that you should have to be of a certain kind of Christianity to hold office.

And you know the saddest part? He’s right. All the Christian Right has to do to kill the Tea Party is say that they are trying to erode the morality of the country and the Tea Party is done. Just like that.

That NPR bit? It wasn’t a conversation about the Tea Party, or a friendly debate. It was a knife to a throat, it was a threat to play along or else.

So, not only do I say Fuck the Tea Party, but I say Fuck the American Family Association doubly so.

You’re hate mongers that are scared of change and sex and the rest of the world. And I’m not.

You should go read it.

Now, this is a task I’m approached with much consternation. I told the R/S kiddies that I wouldn’t go off on one of my obscenity laced tirades about the death of whatever-the-hell. This was a problem since I, at best, am an over-educated one-trick pony that does little else but yell things and drink all the booze in the place. I haven’t posted anything yet because I didn’t know what to post. My reliance on dropping the F-bomb or talking about people’s predilections to mangle their genitalia had paralyzed me.

Then, a ray of light came down from the heaven to help show me the way. Well, not literally. I don’t do those kind of drugs anymore. The ray of light was a phone call from a foul mouthed Southern belle, and the way was a Fresh Air story she was listening to about Joe Shuster’s work on a series of fetish comic books in the 1950s. But this was good, since I was eying a bottle of whiskey at the moment she called and considering getting completely blotto and writing a screed about my man-crush on Kai Ryssdal. (Don’t you judge me.)

From a larger internal email, posted in its entirety here.

Today, we are announcing the cancellation of News & Notes and Day to Day, and significant budget reductions across the organization. These cuts include the elimination of 64 filled and 21 unfilled positions, many of which are associated with the two cancelled programs. Positions have also been eliminated across NPR, including reporting, editorial, and production staffs; station services; digital media; research; communications; and administrative support. Overall, this is a 7% reduction in NPR’s current workforce.

My response to this? An unsurprised “Ahhhh, shit.”

Nothing is immune to the constriction of the all-powerful world of unreal money.

Story was stolen from Kerry’s Twitter.

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The broadcast that changed the face of modern media turns 70 today.

The Halloween episode of the Mercury Theatre on the Air, the 60 minute episode aired without commercial interruption. The first forty minutes of the show were back to back new buillitens, playing out in almost real-time. It was this part of the show that created the panic that the Martians really had landed. However, research has show that the concept of a “panic” created by the radio drama was really little more than sensationalism played up by the press. There is no evidence that anyone did anything adverse. The broadcast, and the reaction to it propelled Welles to national stardom. His next major project was Citizen Kane, which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in 3 years later.

Orson Welles directed and narrated the production. He was 23 at the time.

Matt and Kerry - The Radio Sweethearts

The Bryant Park Project recently interviewed Kerry and Matt about their blog, Radio-Sweethearts. The thing finally went up on Friday. You can read Matt’s article and listen to their interview here.

I would have had this up on Friday, but the damn Pope was cursing me.

It also occurs to me that the cross linking from their site was the only reason my traffic was still decent on Friday. I can only imagine what mental an emotion scars I gave those people.

So I’ve been listening to a lot of old scifi radio to prep my brain for writing the steampunk thing (still needs a damned title). And in X Minus One, probably the grand-daddy of all episodic scifi, they keep using the year 1987 as the year a lot of their stories take place.

That’s 20 years ago now. And we don’t have flying cars or nuclear rocket ships. We aren’t walking around on Mars or making intelligent robots. Which brings me to a thought. Was there ever a point back in the last century where the break-neck growth of physical science would have allowed us to reach such lofty heights by 1987?

It seems to me that instead of going up and out, we went down and in. We went digital instead of astral.

Part of me thinks I would give all this up, the whole Internet thing, if that meant that I could be a crewman on a spaceship.

Wait, now that I think about it, its not even close. Fuck the ‘net, give me space.

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