Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sunday Radio

Listening to Sunday radio is one of the saddest experiences in the world. It's all of these health or real estate shows that are just long commercials, couched in talk radio style. It's not just that they are dull and unconvincing, it's that I start to really think about the people who host them. Not the advertisers who are "interviewed"- that's fine, everyone has to do some PR- but the people who interview them.
Imagine that life- always pretending that you are doing real radio- constantly smarmy yes-manning without the dignity of an actual commercial. Do you think that they go to the bar after every show and try to drink themselves into forgetting what they do, forgetting the dreams they once had in broadcast school of being the next Cronkite or something, trying to convince themselves that it's just a job? Do you think they tell people what they do for a living, or try to keep it vague? "Oh yes, I'm in radio. Advertising, that sort of thing."
Or perhaps they go home to their wives and 2.4 children, proud of another day of work? Perhaps they tell themselves that they are helping people keep healthy or get a house? Perhaps they believe it, or perhaps their wives wonder why they are depressed and sullen when they have such a wonderful job.
Listening to it- the way that they ask the "tough" interview questions, their little jokes that the interviewees ignore, the times when the scripts don't quite seem to match and they have to keep trying to feed the right question, the constant dull enthusiasm painted in the garish colors of sincerity- it's listening to someone turn in his dignity, day after day after, dying by degrees. Plus it's extremely dull.
I don't listen to talk radio on Sundays anymore.

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