Whatever ….

I noted with misplaced envy that a woman poster with an unconventional name had complained on my Facebook feed about a troll who had prefaced his diatribe to her page by making fun of her name.  It should have been rather flattering, in a perverse way.  At least he read her post and had taken the time to think of a nickname and a reply. I get little response to my entries. Of course, I write basically film reviews (for which I actually got paid in a previous lifetime) and she writes political rants. That may be the difference.

When I first started writing this blog (an eternity ago in internet time) I wrote a lengthy critique on the work of one sun-dazed film-maker who had come back to haunt us with one more self-indulgent release and actually got a (largely snarky) reply from one of the film-maker’s longtime buddies in LA. Several years later, I get, as  I say, minimal response. However, the old maxim remains true – Be careful what you wish for.

A few months ago. I began receiving some intriguing posts from what appeared to be an attractive young American woman. Having experienced this “game” in high school and having watched the film Catfish (before the movie title became an Internet term) I did not make an expected move that could be deemed inappropriate or just plain humorous. I assumed the “posts” and “pics” were the product of some bored young suburbanites or some local men/women/collective who knew I was writing a blog (largely for my own reasons) and decided to prank me.  Since my responses to this mysterious “poster” were largely non-committal he/she/they eventually got tired of the “game” and moved on .

Still, it’s an interesting world we now live in.


They Saw The Future 20 Years Ago, Don’t Blame Them

STERLING: “The first to go were our beloved manual typewriters, because that word-processing software blew them straight to kingdom come. After that, digital shipping methods destroyed the independent bookstores and replaced them with chains … Web browsers came along, eventually causing newspapers and magazines to collapse, causing journalists to be fired in droves. This transformed the remaining bookstores into coffeehouses that sell T-shirts and hold open-mike slams.”

GIBSON: “And just because we saw it coming doesn’t make it our fault.”

But wait, there’s more ….

STERLING:That desktop computer world is becoming quite archaic now. It’s rapidly being replaced by wireless, cloudy network culture, a world where even family intimates commonly communicate through handheld devices. A world where electronic expression is the everyday vernacular and an 80,000 word coherent text comes across like a Victorian epic poem … Social networks are bigger than nations now. The Xeroxed bits of cyberpunk lore we used to swap are spread worldwide in blogs and tweets. The Difference Engine turned out to be a kind of Gothic sarcophagus for the print culture.”

William Gibson and Bruce Sterling/ Afterword/ The Difference Engine (20th Anniversary Edition) 2011 Spectra Trade Paperback Edition

difference - book cover

Will The Last DJ Working in Commercial Radio in the States Please Turn Out the Lights?

                                                    Maybe Tom Petty was right.

“The top brass don’t like him talking so much/And he won’t play what they say to play/ And he don’t want to change what don’t need to change,” Petty sings on the title track of his 2002 CD. “There goes the last DJ/Who plays what he wants to play/ And says what he wants to say.”

According to songfacts.com the song was ” banned from numerous radio stations because of its content.”

The website goes on to say that Petty himself downplayed the content of the song in a 2010 interview with influential U.K. music mag MOJO by insisting that the track was not to be taken literally.

Radio was intended as a “metaphor”, the rocker is quoted as saying. ” The Last DJ was about losing our moral compass … my mistake was hanging so much of it on the music business.”

Perhaps. But it is difficult NOT to think of that song when one reads that Clear Channel, the largest radio chain in the U.S. (850 stations)  has recently announced staff cuts  which will reduce the number of live on-air radio personalities in many markets.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to New York Times reporter Brian Stelter, Tony Lynn and Myles Copeland were the only live local hosts left at country music outlet KBQI. (The morning hosts were among the announcers receiving pink slips throughout the chain.)

“I guess it all comes down to the bottom line, and as a small business owner, I understand that,” Lynn is quoted as saying on the nytimes.com Media Decoder blog. “But on the other hand, sometimes it’s more than just a few dollars more. Radio is an intimate medium and that’s what’s being ignored. Listeners develop a special bond with the on-air personalities, and in the long run that proves beneficial for both the station and the advertisers.”

Micki Goldberg,  a Clear Channel DJ based in Ohio who is now unemployed after the latest round of cuts, told Media Decoder that a gradual shift from local to national production was “a real loss for communities.”

Like many radio personalities before her Ms. Goldberg  was not given the opportunity to say goodbye on the air.

Okay, that’s the States.

But who sez it can’t happen here.

I can tell you from personal experience that Yours Truly was not allowed to say goodbye on at least one station.

I was repeatedly told by management at several outlets that I talked too much and threatened with the loss of my job on several occasions unless I followed the music format to the letter.

(The fact that I received  positive comments from listeners via mail, phone and in person did not seem to make a difference.)

Perhaps that is why internet stations like cicv.ca are springing up all over the country.

As one embittered blogger (T. Wiley of Chicago) posted on the Media Decoder comments log:

“Good for the DJ’s, go back and create better quality local programming that you can broadcast via the internet. Pretty soon all the cars will have the ability to pick up the signals and most of the stereo equipment already do. You can beat CC at their own game.

Pictured below is Jim Ladd,along with a quote from the Hollywood Reporter website and a link where you can read more about the man HR calls “the country’s last commercial freeform jock” and “the inspiration for Tom Petty’s ‘The Last DJ,’ “

“Ladd began his radio career in 1969 at Long Beach rock station KNAC. He spent more than 14 years at KLOS, where his show aired from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays, consistently leading in ratings for its time slot. He released a book, Radio Waves, in 1992.

‘My disappointment is I didn’t have a farewell show,’ Ladd told the Orange County Register. ‘I was very stunned and I still am. I have been through this before, but it is always traumatic.’ His last song was Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”