Friday, June 06, 2008

Down On The Farm

Good day to you all. This morning finds me using my girlfriend's laptop (if you know what I mean, wink wink) in the parlour of my flat. I like to talk and write like that, to use words like "flat" and "parlour," as it makes me feel like I'm in an episode of Ms. Marple or Poirot. I'm not sure why I want to be in an episode of Ms. Marple or Poirot...actually, I don't. Except maybe to say something really ribald, or accuse Poirot of farting.

J'accuse!

Along those lines, I feel compelled to mention my newly-formed dislike of National Public Radio. You know, Fresh Air and All Things Considered. I'm not sure how this happened, but it did. I was driving around the day before yesterday (yesterday had me hiding in the closet and humming "Old Man River" to avoid hearing McCain's speech about Social Security. I turned it off the television, but I knew it was still out there, floating around the airwaves and being stupid) and I had NPR on the radio. I can't put a finger on it, or a baseball bat, but something about the super subtle, ultra safe "analysis" of the issues had me changing the station and listening to chamber music. Listening to chamber music is like listening to a metronome...very soothing.

My theory is that NPR bothers me because it is enveloped in self-congratulation over being so intellectual. It screams, "This is what smart people listen to!" Everyone speaks in soft tones and laughs at sort-of-smart-but-definitely-not-funny "jokes" between the on air personalities. Many of my friends are NPR listeners, and I'm afraid to tell them how much I've grown to hate it for fear of being seen as a pop culture loving boob. Hey, I despise popular culture, but at least "American Idol" and "Eat Poop" are both shows that know they are of no intellectual consequence. I don't watch either, and "Eat Poop" doesn't even exist, but you get the idea. Pop culture is the mob, and I do appreciate the spectacle because on some level I do like the human race. NPR seems like a hideout for people who haven't yet been told by smart people that it's OK to like this or that. In that ironic sense, nobody is more judgemental of what you watch and listen to than an NPR fan. They analyze the shit out of every popular trend, and then judge (usually by implication) the value of it.

When I listen to NPR I think of the "fops" that have appeared on at least a couple of episodes of The Simpsons.

If you don't understand of what I speak, ask an NPR listener what he or she thinks of "Lost." The response will be something like, "I don't own a television," or "What's that?" when they know exactly what it is. Or my personal favorite, "I only watch Ms. Marple, Poirot and History's Mysteries." That last one is a real quote. You know who you are, Clare.

It's strange, because I used to listen quite a lot. I appreciate the value of talking to an expert on South American tribal art in a discussion about inner city "tagging" and vandalism by youth gangs. In the abstract, I can also enjoy a discussion about the possible connection between food dye and hyperactivity in children. But I'd much rather read about it than listen to the horrific banter on NPR. "Our kids are dying for a break from dangerous food dyes." Oh, shoot me.

One more thing. On NPR, don't call in to a show unless you are going for your Master's, or are willing to lie about doing so. A person with a Bachelor's degree is treated like a felt-stroking village idiot. A high school graduate will be talked about like he or she isn't even in the room. These people give scholars and intellectuals a bad name.

Anyway, enough of that. Time to justify the title of this entry, "Down On The Farm." I get emails from an organization called "We Hate Gay People." Or it may as well be named that. Actually, it's called Americans for Truth. Ha! These sister-fucking, back woods nimrods released a video that you have to see. Consider it a parting moment of Zen. Enjoy!

Down on the anti-gay farm.

4 comments:

Apocalypse Cow said...

I'm an NPR listener, and I'm finding the same thing, at least about their news. Plus, do they have a requirement that to become a news announcer, you have to pronounce your r's like w's? Seriously, there are at least 3 on there that do it.

Shows I DO listen to on NPR:

Says You - Great quiz show

Wait Wait Don't Tell me - Another very good quiz show, but Paula Poundstone and Mo Rocca can get annoying.

Prairie Home Companion - This show is going downhill. Garrison Keilor is spending more and more time being depressed and talking about death, and has had some HORRIBLE music talent on lately.

I can't stand American Idol or most reality shows, I watch more PBS and BBC America than any other channel, and I've never seen a Lost episode. Does that make me an NPR snob? Probably. But I've only not seen Lost because I missed the beginning, and I'm too lazy to catch up. Marple and Poirot are great shows, but I'm got sick of Hitlery Mysteries.

I can't watch those videos. They make me want to go to someone's house while they're asleep and cut their throat.

Apocalypse Cow said...

Oh, and I forgot Celtic Twilight, Mountain Stage, and Midnight Special.

And I have a craving for butterscotch pudding. How the fuck did that happen.

Chica. said...

What a bunch of fucking idiots! "Come on down to the farm, cause I'll shove you a load of bullshit" maybe. Some people are so ignorant.

Darren W. Lyle said...

I didn't mean that NPR listeners are snobs, I just don't understand how I could be a listener for so long and now be so annoyed at what I used to listen to...if you follow. And Mo Rocca is the most genuinely annoying person I've ever met, and know of. He seems likable at first, then WOW I can't get away fast enough.

I suppose I'm turning into a misanthrope. Like that poem I wrote. Eek.

And I'm totally pro-elitist. I'm a radical socialist, three time socialist scholar, and I have a college education and a half (I chocked up $48,000 in student loans at UMass...I took a LOT of courses). I read a lot. Right now, a collection of Proust. I'm also a feminist, even though it never helped me get laid. Ok, once, but it was a crazy time...the 2000 Feminist Expo.

I may be an idiot, but I'm all about reason and science and all that shit. So the NPR thing bothers me.

And I've seen Poirot and Miss Marple, and Lost. Lost is a very brainy show, as it brings in ideas from all over science fiction...the good science fiction. But yes, very hard to follow. But when they had a conversation about Bill Pilgrim time traveling in Slaughterhouse 5, I was hooked. As you know, science fiction has magnificent potential. My unpublished, uncompleted mess of a novel is sci fi. And my youth was spent reading Bradbury, Asimov and all the Hugo Award winners.

And I just saw my first BBC Doctor Who, the new season, no less, at my brother's place. The fat monsters episode. I loved it, and am happy to report that it is available at the Arlington library, two or three entire seasons. Oh, yeah.

I used to listen to The Prairie Home Companion, after I read Lake Wobegone Days as a teen. I kind of like the idea of Keilor getting all depressed as death haunts him.

He'll probably be the first banjo suicide.

"Says You" is a good show, yes, but Rocca fucks up WWDTM. Well, him and other people.

When it comes to the radio, I really miss Norm Nathan.

American Idol blows. It really blows. It should be called, "Cruise Ship Singer."

Chica, thank you for the kind words about my blog. I'm a fan of yours, too!