On the Radio Road Again

Today was traveling day as I shifted my location from San Francisco to Weed. For those who have not been keeping up, Weed is just slightly northwest of Mt. Shasta in north central California about 50 miles south of the Oregon border. I have been coming up here to visit my friends since 1989. From San Francisco to Weed is almost exactly 300 miles and also today about 30 degrees Fahrenheit from cool, moist 55 to bright, sunny and too damn hot. I know, I know; how the hell did I live in Vegas.

I forgot to restock my books on tape catalog, so I decided to try the trip with just radio. NPR got me through the first hour but then the mid central station drifted away. I usually travel with favorite music CDs and recently have done some longer trips with easy to follow semi-mindless books on tape; the auto equivalent of beach books. So it has been a very long time since I have experienced AM talk radio. Those people are raving maniacs and thems is just the hosts.

I got Sean Hannity first. Now I consider most political commentators right or left to be pond scum but this guy not only is right of right but he likes to have liberal dustheads on to pummel like its the first night of American Idol. I really was hoping to find Glen Beck because he must be so far round the bend on his show that he could be channeling Torquemada.

Second stop along the raving loon airways as Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Now I have heard the good doctor before (by the way, she still is not an actual Dr. but then Kermit wasn't really a frog; but you know -- show biz). On this day, amongst the wilds and hinterlands of talk radio, Dr. Laura was a ray of rationality. No, she has not changed but the competition has gotten so low that she appears to be nearly normal. Appearances can, of course, be deceiving particularly with my limited sampling. She did get on some subversive point about a judgmental attitude being good when in the service of the sacred.

Then I ran into a phenomenon, I did not in my limited view comprehend -- Christian talk radio. Not a preachin' show but social commentary with a twist of bible. Apparently, in answering his health reform critics, President Barack has said that some of them were: "Bearing false witness." The Christian host was offended by the use of "religious language" in the service of a social or political agenda. This, of course, coming from someone who has a Christian talk show that advocates for, well not to put too fine of a point on it but a political and social agenda. That double standard nearly sent me back down the dial to Dr. Laura, when I stumbled onto this next missive of right thinking on another faith based show.

Seems Bob Bookee's wife is spending too much time on the internet. Bob thinks good Christians should "get of the facebook and get off the twitter." 

Upon questioning about his wife's social networking tastes; Bob said she was at it one or two hours a day! When asked what she was talking about.... Bob replied and I quote:

"All those people are talking about this and that to each other."

The host probed for more juice and asked Bob, if there was profanity or perhaps sexual overtones to the conversation. Bob was flabbergasted by this suggestion and said:

"No these people are just talking about their lives and trying to use the internet to be friends with strangers."

Imagine that -- being friends with strangers. Which of the seven deadlies does that fall under?

"She should be talking with her husband about those things," Bob went on.

"So you want your wife to share her day with you in conversation?" the host asked.

Bob appeared appalled by that suggestion: "No, I want to watch my tv shows at night. I just don't think she should be wasting her time on the computer."

Just when I thought the host was with me in our analysis of this high functioning marriage; he suggested: "Have the two of you considered a bible study class for couples?"

Bob was speechless, not a good situation on a radio talk show. I was laughing so hard my eyes started to tear up, not a good situation for freeway travel. So I went back to FM, you know there is some real high quality static you can get in the lower bandwidths.