Monday, November 23, 2009

The problem exemplified: LOCAL RADIO

"So what's all the fuss about anyway?"

Well, being ignored and demonized by others isn't restricted to the playgrounds.

Let's take a little slice of life from today, Monday November 23, 2009. I call it "Researching the local radio talk shows in Southwest Georgia."

The first talk show available is the "Rick and Bubba Show." Two rednecks talking trash about everyone and coming off as a poor-man's Fox News, ignorant and full of shit. 'Nuff said.' I have heard them before, unfortunately, and didn't even bother to try them today. The South may not ever 'rise' again, but it sure as shit still stinks the same one day to the next.

The second show is the "Bob and Sheri Show." This is actually a 50% great show, as Sheri is superb and intelligent. Her co-host, not so much. He's a tightly wound pseudo-snob. (No, arrogance is not dependent on great wealth or pedigree.) Today, a bit was discussed about a man arrested for being aroused while in the library watching wrestling.

A big to-do was made over "How could he be aroused?" "It must have been the ring girls." "I don't understand." and other ridiculous nonsense that he (Bob) engaged in with either the producer or some other male on air. In other words, the message is: The man being a homosexual is so vexing, so undesirable, so inconceivable, that we must silence it from the discussion so as to feel secure in our own fragile masculinity and heterosexuality. Beat a dead horse, fellas.

Third was the Morning Show on WOOF FM, with Amy and John. I can barely stand her voice or her whole goofball routine, so it's not a typical listen either. But in tuning in today, she was in the midst of a rant about the Twilight movie. (sigh.)

First she stated how only 20% of the audience was men (That might have been a statistic she read on movie sales.) She proceeds to explain as fact how the only men in the theatre she was at were boyfriends and husbands. WTF? Are you smoking crack? Are you a completely vapid B? In addition to chicks facing mid-life crises and needing to vamp on underage boys (like herself,) the largest population of the Twilight fan base is gay men. But we can't talk about that on the radio, naturally.

No, instead, we pretend once more that gay people do not even exist. Eradicate us from the consciousness even. She goes on to suggest that "single guys" (by which she obviously mean heterosexual men who haven't yet acquired their own personal snatch supply) should be free to go to the movie as a chance to hook up with some needy female who has been amped up from watching the movie. Yech! And all this lecherous cougar-like nastiness and trolling of movie theaters is acceptable, but acknowledging a hefty percentage of society (and their listening audience--Hello!) is not!? Whatever.

This seems par for the course.

By excluding even a hint or a reference to gay and lesbian men and women as part of the world, the not-so-hidden message becomes that we are not welcome to be part of the world. That we are less than other humans in the eyes of those in charge. Being a radio host is a big deal; you are the voice that guides many people through their day. By pretending that we don't exist, by going out of your way to ignore the reality of our existence, it's a slap in the face.

And for those who are hiding their true selves, it sets a dangerous precedent; "Stay hidden, if you know what's good for you. That's what we expect, and that's what your purpose is."

Two men laughing about a guy getting aroused by wrestlers is insulting the attraction and devaluing the person who felt the attraction. It also sends a clear message that anyone else who feels similarly should likewise be ashamed, and that such behavior is intolerable. "Mind your place."

No, thank you. You mind yours. You're stewards, and you have a responsibility. People make oversights, sure, and in the course of filling several hours with talk, not every moment can be grand. But these types of things sneak in all the time. And the people they adversely affect do remember them long after they're said and forgotten by the speaker.

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