The Medium not the Message

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Welcome,

As weeks go, I do have to say that the last one has been a bit hectic. My Local Community Radio Station in which I volunteer, has absorbed an inordinate number of hours due to people being away or having more pressing things to do.  The net result has been three 0500 risings and the delivery of a chirpy attitude to the breakfast show listeners, the panelling of an Arts program and the launch of a totally new program called The Age Stage.  Now to those not in ‘the know’ panelling is an act of switching buttons, sliding sliders so music and voice merge in a seamless ebb and flow, setting levels and clock watching.  When you panel, you say nothing, you are invisible and your reactions and thoughts about what is being talked about is of no consequence whatsoever. You are a start maker, not a star.  When you panel for your own show, well that is different.  The panel is now an instrument to be played to your tune with your music selection’s final beat gently evaporating upon the arrival of the news stream which waits for no man, nor woman, nor any other gender I suppose.  Community radio is a passion of mine because in a place like Australia it is an umbilical cord that joins the nation, particularly the rural bit.  In places where neighbours are half an hour or more away by car, popping in for a latte is not often on the schedule.  To find out what your Community is about you rely on Community Radio to deliver the news, gossip, information and scuttlebutt.  Without it you are alone with the wind, the crows, the buzzing flies and your thoughts until someone rings you on your satellite phone.  Of course it is not quite so essential on the non-rural space but we still explore boundaries that go beyond commercial bubblegum; it’s a shame we don’t earn what some of the commercial idiots earn but that’s what you sign up for.  The big earners on ‘normal’ FM are more often than not miro-trumps appealing to the ignorance of the swarm.  When they rant the unwashed listen and the unwashed become ratings and ratings becomes addictive to advertisers.  So red-necks get to hear about panty liners and all is well with the world.  Of course advertisers love noise, they cannot get enough of it which is why our Olympiads are now on a media and sponsorship merry-go-round telling the same story over and over and over.  Advertisers’ chequebooks are being waved live autograph books and those that succeeded are being set up, well not for life, but for a few months in any case.  They all disembarked their Qantas charter the other morning without a customs official in sight.  You could have flown in with enough chemicals to set you up for two lives and handed it over to grandma in the welcoming melee and no one would have been the wiser, particularly if you had won nothing and thus you would be safe knowing there was no lens pointing in your direction.  Then the awkward questions like “do you know each gold medal cost the Australian tax pay x million, how do you feel about that?”  What was the other one “…do you think you have done us proud by coming 8th in the first heat?”  On the plane coming over the Chef de Mission (she didn’t so much as cook a lamb chop by the way) might have had the presence of mind to give a lecture over the PA about delivering really clever smart-ass responses to the dumb and dumber classes of the press.  For example when asked by a person with the IQ of a cane-toad and armed with a microphone “do you think Australia deserved more for the millions it invests in sport” you might reply “certainly and if they could do a better job of masking the good stuff, boy would we give you a real return on….how much did you personally put in the tin by the way miss never-heard-of-you and do you really trowel on that face cream to cover some really bad skin condition”?  Now that would be a headline!  The poor kids will be off the main page soon and be back working as an intern bringing lattes into the boardroom so everything will go back to where it was and where it should be because…..  Such is life.  Until the next time, this is Brodie Goozée.

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