I suppose it's unsurprising that the eve of our greatest national holiday
should bring posts with political opinions. More political discussion ought
to characterize Independence Day; a in my own life, I have been fortunate
to find others of like mind who prefer the exchange of ideas to TV sports,
beer, badly grilled meats and overly sweetened macaroni salads.
The rapidity of the demise of all media as servants of the public good has
been one of the most disheartening spectacles of my later life. All the
adults seem to have left the room. I once worked in public broadcasting and
believed in its mission to offer an alternative to the commercial kind. For
a short time, the model worked, until the pursuit of numbers (something
specifically rejected by founders of public broadcasting) opened the
sluicegates of race-to-the-bottom programming which has succeeded in making
NPR and PBS irrelevant to everyone. That scandalous situation might be
worse were the persistence of over-the-air broadcasting less unlikely.
Whatever its future evolution, I shall remember radio as a shaping force on
my development even after it becomes part of the past.
A pleasant Independence Day to all.
On Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 11:50 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Hi Ben:
> Back when I went through public school, not that long ago, we had to
> thoroughly read and study the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
> I know that those older than I, now in power, went through similarly good
> "civics" classes. Why all too many of them forgot or choose to misuse what
> they learned is probably related to greed and human-nature opportunism. Why
> so many people let them get away with it is a mystery, all I can think is
> that too many people would rather have coddling than liberty.
> I am very much and very proudly a patriot, and I count my blessings as
> July 4 approaches. My great country is not in its best phase right now, but
> I maintain American optimism, that greater days are ahead. One thing I do
> know is that those greater days will be brought to us by rugged
> individualists, not over-arching command-down companies or governments.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "James Roth" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 10:54 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Radio
> Now, THERE's an intelligent, enlightened patriot!!
>> Thank you!
>> Ben Roth
>> On Jul 3, 2013, at 9:48 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> Uh, the Founding Fathers INTENDED for a union of "50 squabbling
>> countries," so as to avoid a tyrannical over-arching centralized
>> government. I would say that the bigger problem of post-1932 times is that
>> we've gone way too far afield of the Founding Fathers' vision and a
>> massive, multi-level, intrusive and un-democratic government gets in the
>> way of individual freedoms and initiatives. In an effort to "protect"
>> everyone from themselves, the only result is to "protect" us from our own
>> liberty. Worst of all, the megaglomerate government is more wasteful,
>> corrupt and inefficient than any private enterprise (not that
>> megaglomerations of private enterprise are efficient, honest or frugal).
>> My big take-away from modern life is that all mass "organizations" of
>> human beings are good for is waging very destructive warfare. In any other
>> enterprise, size is the enemy of intelligence and efficiency. So I'd much
>> rather have 50 (or more) smaller groups of people trying different
>> solutions to the same problems with the marketplace deciding which works
>> best in each place.
>> If I had been in charge, I would have never allowed broadcast networks
>> under centralized ownership in the first place, much less some sort of
>> "government sez it's good for you" broadcast conglomerate. I'd have focused
>> on protecting individual entities in each markets, but allowing them to
>> share content (ie mutually fund programming, and everyone distribute it --
>> sort of like network programming via affiliates) for a certain number of
>> their broadcast hours every day. The rest of the hours would have to be
>> hyper-focused on the local market. I'd also have required a local
>> public-access component for every broadcast license (a reasonable number of
>> hours each week must be handed over to locals who can produce their own
>> programming, but the station is welcome to sell commercial time so as to
>> make money off those hours). Under those rules, local owners would have to
>> hone a localized business model to be profitable.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Donald Clarke" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 9:26 AM
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Radio
>> The government handed broadcasting on a plate to commercial interests
>>> right after WWI, and that's why it's mostly been a vast wasteland. There
>>> aren't any record stores anywhere any more, but travelling in Europe in the
>>> 1980s I heard Billie Holiday from the ceiling in a French hypermarket (as
>>> opposed to the noisy trash in your nearest shopping mall), and in every
>>> hilltop town in Tuscany there was a mom-and-pop record shop that had the
>>> popcrock, both Italian and English-language, but also decent selections of
>>> jazz and classical, because kids in those countries grow up hearing it on
>>> their national radio stations, whereas most people in the USA never hear
>>> any of either.
>>> And speaking of 'national', the biggest American problem may be that we
>>> are not a nation at all, but a loose union of 50 squabbling little
>>> countries, so that the corporations can walk all over us.
>>> Donald Clarke
1006 Langer Way
Delray Beach, FL 33483