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Monday, June 2, 2014

Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Local consortium or franchise of radio media follows the lead of all other Corporate Media in the world and plays ten minutes of programming to get people to hear ten minutes of Advertising paid for by Business. Living out in the middle of no where in WisCONsin means these monopolies offer two choices: On or Off. If there happens to be competition in the satellite, cable, radio, and printed page it is usually a choice between paper or plastic, Pepsi or Coke, Republican or Democrat; a non-choice. New Boss same as the Old Boss. Yes, there are some traces of stray originality in Public Mediums much like school lunches served in Public Schools were occasionally of good taste or texture.

Specifically, I am referring to Local Radio broadcasting that provide the clearest FM and Digital signals to tune the clock radio alarm to. For instance, at 0500 or 0600 AM or so this morning the predictable format that aroused me from bed included the song, "Taking Care of Business" by the Bachman-Turner Overdrive. There are certain songs and artists from the era of my childhood school days onward that are so exquisitely irritating that they are like having a bladder about to burst or having someone scratching their fingernails across a black chalk board. The aggravation is so intense that I MUST seek relief by getting out of bed and ending the barrage of my senses each morning.

I repeatedly attempted to make sense of such aural amber as "Blinded By the Light" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. If I could not beat them, as they say, join them. Now I realize much effort, time, and resources went into the production and distribution of these works of art, however ubiquitous, and they would not play them 40 years later unless they made money and someone was listening. Still, I worked at both Commercial and Public Radio Locally in the 1980's as a "DJ" just prior to the Digital Age and I discovered the truly good music was packed away in boxes while the formula, even then, called for the SAME EXACT SONGS being played today. It's like Ground Hog's Day each day.

Personally, I hated the music then when it was relatively new, with a few precious exceptions. It was a real treat to have my own alternative music show on Public Radio even though the programming was dominated by "dead air" during long Classical pieces during the day that erupted into orchestra and arias in foreign languages. Unfortunately, we had to beg for money on the air every six months and generate hours of repetitive and unscripted dialogues, monologues, and soliloquies live using every trick in the book to separate relatively wealthy, educated, and loyal listeners from their money. Finally, I had, like Ron Burgundy, taken too many liberties to stretch the envelope of Broadcasting.

Sesame Street - Lefty sells "air" to Ernie - Riiiiiiiiight...