Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Reactionary Tale

Having just experienced a rather personal attack on myself by an Angry who read the Kardashian post, I’m prone to wondering why I givva? Surely after all this time working in radio - a medium that inspires in people the need to thoughtlessly swear and insult the little voices coming out at them (simultaneously malfunctioning the part of the brain that tells them they could just change stations) - I’d be a bit more thick-skinned? You know: HTFU. Well, depending on how you look at it, I kinda did harden up ‘cause I swore and insulted it back. Mostly I just overreacted. All trial and error, eh?

But I do want to share with you, the wonderful world that is the radio SMS line. And at times email and phone line. As one or two of you might know, possibly being veterans of the “insult-the-radio-folk” wars, people, quite simply, don’t think they’re accountable for the stuff they say to us. I suppose a lot of folks seem to think we’re providing them with a service they are paying for, and hence, like any good shop-steward, we would be obliged to stay quiet and be polite.

Erm, excuse me while I clear my throat and retch: HELLO?! Radio people tend to be the most forward, opinionated, and not to mention arrogant people around. Granted, not all radio folk care enough to actively follow up unnecessary insults and low-blows. But sometimes they’re bad enough to warrant a response. Or stupid enough to be worth mocking. One of the DJs who I worked with for quite a while actually had a “Troll” (thanks @MelAtree for the term) who would sms in every time he did a show, just to tell him how much he hated him and how kak he was. Without realising, of course, that his douchey self had become a loyal listener. This DJ also doesn’t take that kind of crap lying down, so he used to call Douchey McDouchenstein to tell him where to get off, only *GASP!* the guy was too much of a pussy and kept hanging up! Who would’ve THUNK IT!? A liberal smack-talker too yellow to own up to his gabbing? Shocking. And they usually are.

Then you get the back-peddlers. Back-peddlers are almost exclusive to email. Maybe twitter and facebook too. They mail you and insult you with at least a mildly formed opinion, but one that is nonetheless nothing more than a jab. You, as the DJ or newsreader reply, querying said opinion and how they got to that point. Long story short, before you know it, “all they were trying to do was give you some constructive critcism, and if you don’t want to take it then FINE! They’ll change stations!” You see, the back-peddlers don’t expect you to reply with such fiery defiance. They either expect you not to reply at all, or are self-righteous enough to think that you’ll reply with a rose-bordered email, thanking them for their insight and infinite knowledge, and that you’ll always turn to them when you need advice on how to do your job.

As far as ACTUAL good feedback goes, well, we don’t get too much of it. But I can assure you, when we do, we almost always reply to it. And it is of course, always much appreciated! People will mail the DJs about the songs they hate or love, issues they have with any topic discussed, or mail me, for example with Kim’s Corner suggestions or questions about the news bulletin. If the KC recommendations are radio-friendly, I’ll always use them, with due credit of course. If someone corrects facts in the news bullie, I’ll always double check them and get back to the newsroom with the info. So it’s not like we’re arrogant to the point of ignorance. We do listen to the people who listen to us - just not when it starts with “You’re fucking useless! Shut up...!”

It all comes down to simple respect and preservation. And I mean self-respect and self-preservation. You don’t go storming up to your bank manager and say: “I hate you, you useless c*nt! You have abominable rates and you’re a disgrace to your bank and I’ll never come to back while you’re working here! Doos! I hate your mom, too!” Well, not when you’re going in for a simple deposit, that is. Fair enough - bad example. But you catch the drift, yeh? Because they’ll be all up in your FACE and coming back with “what the heeeelll lil’ boi? Imma CUTCHOO!” Or something less street like, “Security!”

I’m putting together some of the stuff sent to friends of mine from various radio stations so you can see some of this shit. Entertaining.

In the interim, I promise not to overreact to any kind of comment you want to make here - ANY kind. I can’t promise to not react at all, but I’ll use a woosa moment and respond appropriately. Just don’t insult my mom. I love her dearly.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Rise Of Reality Whoredom

By now, you’ve no doubt heard about the travesty that is the Kim Kardashian single. But, have you heard-heard it?? I was looking for a link to something resembling a reliable bit of audio - but frankly, I’m not that desperate to torture you. Check the youtube link below if you wanna checkit yo.

It irks me enough that people like this exist - without having to share a name with one of them. It’s nothing against KK personally (sort of) - she’s gorgeous. There’s no disputing that. And yaaaa you can gab on about your “fat arse” theories, but Sasha tells me that in person she’s actually quite petite, and it’s more of a proportions thing. (I was sick the day the sisters were in studio. Still can’t decide whether or not I’m happy about that...) And she gives really good face, dudes - there’s no denying. But she, and her lesser siblings, are the epitome of what’s wrong with 21st Century Earth.

*CUE: Tirade*

I’m not really going to get on a soapbox and preach. Well, not too much. But this society in which you can do fuck all and make a million off it, is warped. Yes, she is Paris Hilton-esque in that her dad was a badass lawyer for high people in low places, so had the launch-pad. But that so many real, live humans adore, and so much as worship her, is baffling. This goes into a larger sociological discussion about reality TV as a whole, which I’m beyond addressing right now. I find the fascination to be a bit self-contradicting: you’re watching these people live “their normal lives, like normal people”, but it’s most certainly not their normal lives, and it’s definitely not normal. Their “fame” revolves around a “reality” show, which they spend their days filming. That’s to say, the little gimmicks and shoots and fights and drama are mostly deliberately organised, or are at the most honest a product of the show. And yes, I hear the echoes of “well I don’t care! It’s entertaining” - but that still doesn’t answer for all the excitement. How amped were the Saffas when those walking endorsements were here? Ohmagaad, like, totallaaay! Because despite themselves, watchers of the shows are slowly drawn into idolising them; revering them. Brainwashing I tell ya.

In all honesty, I don’t mind these famewhores doing what they’re good at: famewhoring. Yes, just two paragraphs up it pissed me off that they earn money doing nothing. But I would rather be laughing at their irrelevance than see them confusing themselves with the famous people who actually have talent. When these talentless drones enter the supposedly sacred worlds of acting and music - we need to do a double take. As human beings, we tend to always strive for more - especially ambition-nutty Americans. Business boys straight out of college will always be gunning for that next job, the big investment that’s getting them the corner office. Similarly, famewhores, once content to be as much, earning a small fortune also feel the need to “climb the fame ladder”. Once they’re too familiar with the brand of fame they’ve ‘earned’, it starts to smell a little naff. Like sweaty pants left in a car boot for three weeks. But hark! There is the glamorous movie actress - shiny on a cover, with all the fame they’ve ever dreamed of! But there’s something extra they get: respect! Because famewhores can’t land big-time rockstars or movie stars. Unless they’re undercover - but again - that’s another breed entirely. They need to try equate themselves if they’re going to be invited to one of Leo DiCaprio’s parties. And this is the reason for the dross we are exposed to. Heidi Montag, Paris Hilton, KK and several ‘desperate housewives’ all ‘singing’ and ‘acting’; Lauren Conrad, Audrina Partrdige, Olivia Some-thing-or-other and every other orange harpee all ‘designing their own clothing lines’. It’s an insult that people finance this shit. No KK, you cannot act. Despite a cameo in that Scary Movie 405 or whatever it was. And those rumours that you’d be a good candidate for Wonder Woman. (I’m certain twitterer @crustyww would die on the spot.) And no KK, you cannot sing, despite the magic of technology and autotune. And it’s REALLY going to piss you off because the beat is generic pop in every sense of the word: it’s shit, but it’s going to get stuck in your head and you’re going to bop it. And it’s all synthesized, of course.

If we playlist it, we might have a problem.