'The sound of radio static from a distant room'

“There is nothing, I believe, new in the (architecture of an) Arab Mosque; it is an unconscious revival of the forms used from the earliest ages to denote by symbolism the worship of the generative and the creative gods. The reader will excuse me if I only glance at a subject of which the investigation would require a volume, and which, discussed at greater length, would be out of place in such a narrative as this.” Sir Richard Burton c. 1851

“Our notions of Mecca must be drawn from the Arabians; as no unbeliever is permitted to enter the city, our travellers are silent.” – Edward Gibbon

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Terrestrial radio’s grip on us isn’t what it used to be. Mom’s down to listening to only one station which is run by children who are overly enamored of k-pop while Alaska Wolf Joe thinks of the device as quaint. As for myself I have a variety of apps on my iPod touch which fetch all manner of music. Lately I’ve been to some of the hipster stations Accuradio coughs up. Hour after hour I have listened to artists play their ukeleles and sing in voices so faint and twee that it is possible to believe they never made a sound.

The only reason I bring this up is that this was the week when we learned Al Gore was selling his cable tv outlet to Al Jazeera. That lead Mike to say that he thought talk radio would explode the next day. Maybe it did and maybe it didn’t but you’d never know it by us. The left-leaning station went to being sports talk (Here’s it’s obit, part 1 and part 2.) while the right-leaning stations have signals every bit as faint and twee as the music I’ve been listening to.

At this point let me say that this is about radio and not Al Jazeera. Last winter when I had the flu I got to see a bunch of AJ-TV as I dropped the remote and didn’t have the energy to get off the couch to find it. The programming is largely the same as what you see on public access tv. You know, that stuff by the overly earnest folk who made VHS copies of some DVD and hurry it down to the public access studio so the like minded can be more fully like minded.

Every bit as fire breathing as warm tapioca.

If you wanna see some real ‘Merikka hatin’ you need to see RTTV which comes straight from that French famous person’s tax haven, Russia.

I don’t think they talked that much smack about us when Khrushchev was alive.

And the cable company serves that up 24 hours a day.

Moving along –

I long thought that by the time wi-fi for the the car console then terrestrial radio would go over the cliff in flames. I’ve had to revise that as people are becoming more comfortable with using their smart phones for a variety of uses. Given that I’ve now revised my thinking to see terrestrial radio as having gone through a very significant transition in the past few years. Until 2010 radio was a lobster in the tank by the meat case.

Today radio is a lobster in a pot that’s becoming steadily warmer by the minute.

It is difficult to argue with the fact that the medium is loaded with what Barry Ritholtz calls “zombie ideas: the memes, theories and policies that refuse to die, despite their obvious failings.”

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll return to listening to tiny, tiny voices emerging from my iPod. We didn’t have anything like that in my day. We didn’t have any trouble hearing bands back then.

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