Friday, January 25, 2008

Turn off the radio

(Disclaimer: If you don't want to hear my political views, don't read this post.)

I try to keep an open mind. I really do.

We listen to a lot of radio in our home and cars. NPR is usually on, the two local stations in LA -KCRW and KPCC are our favorites. But in the afternoon I listen to Dr. Laura. And although I disagree with her politics, I find her life-advice interesting. Mostly, I selfishly and perhaps vicariously like hearing about the lives of others - the hurt in the listener's voices, desperately relying on a total stranger to make a change they alone can't make. It's like hearing a radio play where it's up to the listener to write the ending. Every once in a great while, I'll listen to Rush Limbaugh (although my throw-up threshold for him is about three minutes, and then I have to change the channel), and occasionally I'll tune into the local conservative and liberal radio hosts duke it out.

At my employer's house, I read the NY Times, at home I read the LA Times (although it's rare when I have time to "read news"). At night, I'll browse the internet, sometimes the BBC, AOL or MSN. On a really pathetic day, I'll watch Court TV, or Glenn Beck while folding laundry (I secretly believe that Nancy Grace from Court TV and Glenn Beck are the two most ridiculous people on earth and must secretly be in love - because matches like that ironically have to be fulfilled.)

Like I said, I try to hear all points of view. But I can't do it anymore. I've decided from now on, I'm only listening to music or NPR. I'm sick of angry nimrods who love the sound of their own voice more than the issues they discuss. Views are so polarized and spiteful, and there is very little news in the news. The kicker was Glenn Beck becoming irrate over grocery stores discontinuing plastic bags that aren't recyclable. I get it. I do. There are little kids getting raped in Darfur, but our main focus should be grocery bags and how tree huggers are making life less convenient for those people who need to triple wrap their individually wrapped frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwich kid snacks with bags that can never be or never were recycled. I see why he's so angry. I too almost fell over at the injustice! And it's just incredibly sad when the top story at 11 in Los Angeles is a Brittany Spear's crotch shot as she exits a car for her custody battle court date.

Tonight I needed to get away. FD was gone all day and Froggy was especially challenging. When he came home, I wanted to take a bath, read my magazine, and unwind. But Froggy stood at the door screaming, "Mamaaaa! My turn, my turn!" In "Toddler" that means, "I want in too!" Finally after 9pm, she fell asleep and I hopped in the car for a little drive to unwind.

I turned on a.m. radio and listened as this particular nimrod screamed into the mic about John McCain. He was interviewing Tom Delay and together they ripped apart McCain's character and politics. They were actually attacking his views on 'torture during wartime'. Ya know, because McCain who was actually tortured in Vietnam isn't entitled to his opinion. This host called the NY Times the NY Slimes, he called Bill Clinton BJ. Clinton, and I'm sure if I listened long enough he would have called Barack Obama Osama Obama- because such clever play on words didn't fade from popularity at the end of Jr. High for this dork like it did for the rest of us.

I give up. I've tried listening to both sides, but I can't listen to right-wing radio anymore, even if it is to keep an open mind or for the entertainment value or entertainment 'valueless' of how others believe. How's that for a play-on-words? I know, I need some work. It's been a while since Jr. High. This talk is angry, hateful, and if they were trying to convert or even justify their side of things, I guess they will only be successful at preaching to their choir. And maybe that's what they want, a bunch of people who repeat their one-liners at dinner parties, but aren't actually thinking about what is being said, or what isn't being said.

The reason I'm refraining from listening to this garbage anymore is because it's damaging to the soul. These radio personalities claim to be on the 'moral' side of politics, but they are anything but moral. They are hateful, angry, spiteful souls who feed off their followers. I hope this new president, whether democrat or republican brings at least a sense of community to our country, if anything, just to silence these people who make a living at dividing us.

From now on, I'm keeping my radio to NPR or jazz. They may discuss boring topics like which farmer's market has the best winter squash, but at least it doesn't induce road rage, or angry puns, and I rarely have to turn off "This American Life" to go throw up.


DutchMac said...

Amen, Amen, Amen! That's one of the benefits to not understanding the language of your country of residence .... I'm not subjected to such idiocy. (of course, I doubt that really exists much here in Holland anyway, seeing as the Dutch are so laid-back they're nearly DEAD, but that's another story)

I'm completely with you on the whole why-can't-we-just-be-grown-up-about-Life thing.

By the way, if we're ever in LA, I'd be very reassured by the fact you'd be able to tell me where to get the best winter squash.


goodfellow said...

it's a toxic stew...

what is really scary, is what happens to people's minds who DON'T turn it off??

CBC Radio (especially Radio1) is what makes Canada, because it is our forum for a sane, intelligent, thoughtful discussion. (you can download the radio documentaries and such online as podcasts).

BTW, about the bags -- in France, they don't give you ANY bags -- you have to bring your own reusable one -- if you forget, there are more for sale at the counter. Oh, and they don't pack them either. (I do most of my grocery shopping in France, which is why I mention it).


Angela said...

The talk radio stuff is poison, it really is. Although I don't know how much of an authority I am on the subject since I get the majority of my news information from "The Daily Show."

sissysnuggiekins said...

I agree with dutchmac, amen! I don't know how many teenage girls are fans of their step mothers blog, but i sure am! I love reading what you have to say, particularly this article. In this household, KFI is on 24/7!!! Dr. Laura just makes me wanna call those poor people and let them cry, and ACTUALLY explain themselves. Rush makes me want to punch a wall, especially when our family's entire political views are based off of his show. It's just really brainwashing, he could get a kid like me to believe in literally anything. Talk radio.....scary.

Infidel Rooster said...

Ditto on the whole talk radio thing. And I have been extremely busy with politics and health stuff, so I've been slacking on the blogging a bit. I'll try and post an update soon!
Good to see things are still plugging along out in the wide world. I hope you and FD are out in CA voting even as I write this very comment!
I'll be glued to NPR and PBS for most of the day to hear the results...