June 04, 2014

Spinning the radio dial in America

Drove out to Fresno and back today.  After you get through the Pacheco Pass, the Bay Area FM stations go silent and you have to hunt a bit on the FM dial for something to listen to.  With me this usually means spinning the FM dial constantly for the four hours or so I'm driving in the Central Valley.  You run into good things and bad.

  • The bad soldier
    • The talk radio stations - all of them - were selling the Bowe Bergdahl-as-traitor story.
    • One host likened the exchange to a baseball trade, said something like:  "five all-stars for a minor league washout, that's not a good trade in my book".
    • Another show had a squad leader from the area where Bergdahl served who said he was a deserter and a traitor.
    • Another show had a caller who said he observed Bergdahl crying in the back of the pickup before he was released, speculated he didn't want to leave his Taliban brothers.
      • (If I may address the caller...
        • Maybe you saw it right and maybe you didn't.
        • If he was crying...a lot of reasons why he might have been doing that.
          • Curious how you'd handle a long period of isolated captivity in an alien culture.
          • We don't leave our people behind.  PERIOD.
          • You sorry fuckers.)
    • Yet another host pointed out that Eric Holder's law firm had represented "around 20" of the "Islamo-Nazi terrorists" at Guantanamo, so naturally Obama would make him attorney general.
  • God and You
    • Lots and lots of religious stuff, as always
    • Pretty good sermon on grace vs. earned merit.
    • Also a program on how to be a good father, from Focus on the Family.  I only caught the last bit, which had some common-sense advice for a caller, and then recapitulated their four principles, which are...kind of mixed:
      • Get right with God and stay right with God (ok!)
      • Put a high priority on your family (check!)
      • Some very murky language about men acting like men and women acting like women within the marriage.  I think it meant have sex with your spouse sometimes and don't be gay. (err, ok...)
      • Raise your kids Christian.  (yeah, but...free will?)
  • Tunes
    • This was my first trip to the Central Valley, ever, when I did not hear a John Fogerty song on the radio (example here).  This is a serious concern.
    • I scanned in vain for Fitz and the Tantrums.  No luck until I was back on this side of the Diablo Range.  Fitz has yet to find his audience around Fresno, apparently.
    • There is this one station that says it rocks, but does not.  Ever.
    • Pharrell, on the other hand, has broken through with his smash hit Happy, which came up several times during the day.  More on this another time.


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