It is 990 miles door to door from our house in Florida to my parents house in New Jersey. In the 31 years since I moved south, I have driven the FL/NJ/FL round trip about 100 times. Most of these were done without a radio, phone or any kind of distraction. It was just long hours to think without interruption.
In a lapse of judgment, I stuck an old radio/CD player in the Suburban’s dash before departing on this last trip, thinking listening to the radio might keep me awake on the drive that I always do straight through. In some perverted sense of fair play, I spent a hour listening to conservative talk shows and then an hour listening to NPR. I would like to issue a mental heath warning not to try this, as they do not cancel each other out. The cumulative effect is closer to what I imagine drinking whisky and eating amphetamines might do to one’s mind.
The Conservative talk hour was all about world pollution and global climate issues. They spoke with a dozen ‘experts’, who proposed a dozen different actions, and had a dozen different factors to blame. I listened to the full hour, and not one single person mentioned that the worlds population going from 3 billion people to 8 billion in my lifetime played any role at all in polluting the planet or accelerating the depletion of its resources. (Evidently speaking of this is some cross party taboo, as Gore hardly mentioned it in his film) Thesis: the planet we are custodians of will be saved by solar panels built in ‘Green’ factories in China.
Second hour, NPR discussion on gun control in America, where oddly, all the commentators are women from other nations. One of them advanced the theory that “Canada and the US are interchangeable in attitudes and politics.” At the risk of sounding negative, I have been in 49 US states and 10 of 13 provinces and territories of Canada, and I feel there is some difference between Alberta and Alabama. (I suspect that their respective residents are also both happy about that.) The commentator went on to say that ‘we were the same because we were both proud of being British colonies’ neatly skipping small differences like Canada still having the Queen of England of their currency, and the US fighting 2 wars to be independent, having the 2nd amendment, and Washington on our dollar. America has plenty of ‘character’ that I am sure nearly all Canadians are thankful they are not afflicted with, but only an idiot would suggest the two countries are interchangeable.
The experiment over, I reached in a pile of old CD’s in the dark, and stuck in the first one I found. It turned out to be the original Blind Mellon album. I spent the next 100 miles listening and thinking about all the music Shannon Hoon could have made, if he had lived past 1995. His artistry and commentary on the human condition has brought more to my life than anything I have ever heard on talk radio.
Aviation Connection:Building a plane requires many things, but crucial among them is the solid belief that the world will be here, and in reasonably good shape 24-60 months from the day you start the project. I have heard many things on talk radio, but I have never heard a guest come on and say “We predicted the end of society every day for the last 40 years, but it has never happened, so today’s dire warnings probably are bull shit also.”If you listen to talk radio, try quitting for a month and see if the future, and the concept of you flying your plane in it seems a lot more plausible. It will not help their ratings, but it most likely will improve your attitude and optimism.
Above, R. Shannon Hoon, 1967-1995. Blind Mellon can be seen on this Letterman clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4H5vsQM7z8. Hoon has a question mark drawn on himself, to ask “Why?”. The performance was taped the day Kurt Cobain was found. The song he is singing is ‘Change’. The words to the song where put on Hoon’s tombstone the following year. In spite of the fact neither man lived to see 30, I find their lives and music less depressing than listening to the drama/hate factories commonly called “media news sources”.
7 Replies to “Thought for the Day: Idiocy on the airwaves.”
My environmental science class pretty much revolves around the concept that our planet can only sustain around 2 billion people comfortably. So don’t get too frustrated, I’m doing my part pumping out 150 graduates a year that understand what the deal is. The “news” appears to be needing a warning label: For entertainment purposes only.
To my simple mind this planet has one basic problem source; there are too many of us. Shutting off our cities from the ravaged world with huge domes under which we will grow whatever necessary crop is not my ideal future world. Besides, where would you land?
William, your philosophical comments are on par with your technical teaching & awakening risk management nag work. /Sten
and now William you know the cause of most road rage. I never heard of anyone beating someone to death with an iron pipe at the stop light after listening to David Gilmore singing ” THE BLUE”, just my observation, dan-0
I could’ve told you that you’re not equipped to listen to talk radio.
I am one that is fairly conservative on damn near every issue, and agree with a lot of what they say on talk radio, but I still can’t listen to it very long without turning it off. All I can say is thank God for XM. I listen to a lot of classic radio shows like gunsmoke, dragnet, inner sanctum, and the twilight zone. Does a lot more for my frame of mind than listening to people interrupt each other for a few hours.
Ask Santa for XM, you’ll love it. Been listing to non stop Christmas music from the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Makes my days a little brighter as I begin and end my commute to and from cities in decay under the current administration.
Merry Christmas to you and your family. Hope you have a good time in NJ.
Well, reading your post and listening to Blind Mellon, I’m reminded of Alice’s Restaurant’. On first glance neither one made sense (to me). But upon further reflection, I think I’ll have another beer.
Seasons Greetings William & Mrs. Wynne