Reporting, Recording and Relaying - But Always Telling It As I See It

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thinking For Yourself Is Fun and Easy!

“Beware of bearded men arriving in sealed trains bearing ideologies.”

I love that. Anita Thompson, Hunter Thompson’s widow, attributed that to the artist Ralph Steadman. According to her, he was referencing Stalin’s return from exile. Ralph remains an interesting artist and contributed many images for Hunter’s work as well as the label designs for Flying Dog Brewery.

Anyway, I thought of that this morning when I started my car. My station had been tuned the night before to 104.7 because I was listening to the Pirates game. Well, the morning drive is handled by local ultra-right-wing mouthpiece Jim Quinn. (I promise I am not going to get all political!) The first thing I remembered about him is that he used to host a morning show with “Banana.” The operatically sung theme was, “Quinn and Banana, Quinn and Banana, on B-94 FMMMM!” So, that would be his credentials. (But to be honest, I have zero credentials. So there’s that.)

I have no problem with Quinn –or Rush or Olberman. I don’t agree with any of them 100% of the time but they can be entertaining as all get up. What is a bit disturbing are some of the callers. They seem to have been sucked into these vortices of vitriol. Brainwashed actually. They become so entranced with these false prophets that they forget how to, seemingly, think for themselves.

Later in the day on another conservative show on the same channel, some caller was talking about how he got into a “Twitter” fight with “one of those liberals” over his service record. And Lord, was he pissed. He should have been pissed that he, as a grown man, was in a Twitter fight.

Like everything, these shows should be consumed in moderation, not used a safe haven to protect yourself from having to think on your own. There is no shame in making up your own mind.

(My day long infatuation with this channel reminded me of the time I was hooked on this religious call in talk show. The in-studio talent would field calls and dole out advice, which usually involved purchasing one of their books. On almost every show some woman would call in and complain, sometimes heartbreakingly, that she caught her husband looking at porn in the internet. The hosts would then console her and try to sell her books. They never asked the important question, “When was the last time your husband came home from work and you gave him a blowjob?” The truthful answer to this question would have saved someone a lot of reading.)

If you are interested in a book recommendation, I highly suggest this one – for anyone who lives in LA, has visited LA or has had the crazy idea of living in LA.

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