I recently confessed that I don't actually watch TV, a revelation which has caused people (both here and in everyday life) to question my sanity, my morality, my health, and my worth as a human being. Since I am precisely the sort of person who tries to put out fires by pouring gasoline on them*, I am now going to offer another confession:
I don't listen to the radio, either.
Oh, I used to. I love music, and I play quite a lot of it. I used to have the radio on all the time. That changed about three years ago - maybe four. Or maybe five. (Having children has done horrible things to my sense of the passage of time.)
Well, whenever it happened, it wasn't a sudden change so much as the culmination of a growing disgust with the radio stations in my area. Why? Well, I can narrow it down to three basic reasons.
1. Popular music was going through a dry spell. This happens every couple of years: there's a period of a couple of months where the radio stations just aren't playing anything that I actually care to listen to. Come to think of it, that was true of most of the 90s, too.
2. Dee-Jays were becoming measurably stupider. This has actually been a trend throughout my life. To be fair, I don't whether they were actually getting stupider, or whether they were always this stupid and they've just been getting more air time in which to display their stupidity. (Honestly. The fact that Kidd Kraddick is still on the air... well, that's another whole rant, but call it Exhibit A.)
3. There is no escape from Morning Shows. Look, I'm not exactly a People Person, and nobody will ever mistake me for a Morning Person. So when I'm in my car on the way to work, the last thing I want to listen to is someone blathering on about their ill-informed opinions and idiotic attempts at humor or relevancy. (See point 2, above.) Play music. That is all I want out of a radio station in the morning. Frankly, it's all I want out of a radio station, period. You have to run commercials to stay in business - okay, I get that. You want to name the song, and maybe the artist? Fine... but after that, shut up. You want to play practical jokes on people on the air? When I become Emperor, you will be first in line for the Gulag. Keep it in mind.
Fortunately, technology came to my rescue. I burned a couple of mixed CDs as a stopgap measure, thinking I could play them when there was nothing on the radio. I titled them Dallas Radio Sucks volumes I and II, respectively, and dropped them in the console of my car.
A week later I added Volumes III - Volume IX. They were now on steady rotation; when I reached the end of one disk, I'd put the next one in. Two weeks after that, I worked my up to Volume XIV. Dallas Radio sucks is now up to Volume XXIII, and I haven't turned the radio back on in years.
And honestly, I haven't missed it.
* Well, it could work. I mean, the sudden rush of flames could use up all the oxygen in the area, which would cause the fire to go out. Admittedly, it's a poor strategy for campfires and other outdoor applications... Also, come to think of it, if it worked in an enclosed space, I'd promptly asphyxiate. Maybe I should reconsider.