The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Talk Radio

Posted by The Futility Monster on July 20, 2009 @ 22:33

He once told us "it's good to talk"... but he didn't insert a caveat which said: "but only if you're a rabid right winter"...

He once told us "it's good to talk"... but he didn't insert a caveat which said: "but only if you're a rabid right winter"...

Not like in the States, where talk radio dominates the AM airwaves, here there is slightly less choice on offer. It’s either talkSPORT (who, as the name implies, often talk about sport…) or Five Live – and even that station has a large sport infection.

Fortunately, the web is starting to fill the gap. Though there have been some attempts (like the doomed, terminally dull, 18 Doughty Street operation) there remains some potential in this arena with candidates like Play Talk UK, which even has the mighty Tommy Boyd on. I remember him when he used to present CITV. Hmm. How careers take intriguing turns.

But, for the obvious reason that nearly everyone has access to a radio, the older methods of spleen-venting will remain for a good while yet. Though the net is doing a very good job of supplementing and replacing the print media, it is likely to be much longer before radio goes the same way. Perhaps when car radios include ways of accessing the internet. Surely only a matter of time in the modern age.

The real point of this post, however, is that I have found myself listening to talkSPORT a lot more than I used to. This is for the simple reason that working nights usually leaves one with a little time to twiddle one’s thumbs.

This generally involves me listening to a little bit of George Galloway – whose show is actually very entertaining – and then the DJ who follows him next. I forget his name: but whoever he is he has the unbridled pleasure of dealing with the rather strange creatures who choose to stay up all night for no good reason. Some of them are doubtless drunk. Others are truly a bit weird: but the presenter goads them in some respects by constantly discussing the same old things over and over again: climate change (which doesn’t exist), fuel duty, wind turbines, the Labour government, war, Europe, and various other devices out of the Richard Littlejohn playbook.

Now I’m a tolerant sort of fellow; and indeed, I enjoy the challenge of the alternative point of view as it makes me rethink my position.

But five hours in the company of mad conspiracy theorists and reactionary right-wingers is enough to make my blood boil. Are there really no lefties who stay up all night? Or are we just less inclined to pick up the phone and enjoy the sound of our own voices?

Perhaps there aren’t. Because if the American experience is anything to go by, the left have very little to offer on the airwaves. Maybe we’re just too fence-sitty. Maybe we are too thoughtful, rational, prepared to consider things and conclude the answer is a very varied mix of issues to be addressed.

Because everything seems to have a simple answer on talk radio, whether it’s the nuking of the caves in Afghanistan or the bringing back of the birch, the rope and the chair and then sending the rest of us out to foreign shores to do national service.

Yes. We’re just not like that. That’s why no one reads our blogs!

Still, I could have come to this conclusion a lot sooner. After all, it’s usually hard to contain my annoyance with the Question Time audience on a Thursday night.

So much for being a tolerant chap…

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