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    Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    Tuesday Talkback

    A weak crop of moans this week for sure.

    "Why can't male mechanics understand when women tell them that their car is making strange noises, like gagging, snorting or whining, when you turn it on, push the gas pedal or drive." - Bedford

    Let's break this sentence down to the basics. Take out the part about the car, the noises it is making, etc., and this moan is: why can't men understand women. That is the heart of the matter, isn't it?

    "To the so-called classic rock radio station in this rock and roll town of ours - expand your playlist! You have thousands of songs in your library, for God's sake play them! Stop playing the same 300 songs over and over again. The format hasn't changed in 25 years. And you wonder why you are losing your audience." - Medina

    Sometimes I wonder if the limited playlists of broadcast radio isn't a ploy to get us all to subscribe to satellite radio. I understand this guy's pain. But the deep tracks you seek don't test-market well. There are too many people who change the channel as soon as they hear a song they don't know.

    There is this romantic myth that once upon a time, disc jockeys had all this freedom and could play anything they wanted, and that the people listening preferred that. As if there were never program managers, ratings, or for that matter, payola. There were always forces at work that limited what you might hear.

    Now I am not defending the vanilla, white bread, so called classic rock stations that play the same 300 songs over and over. I don't need to hear Layla yet again. And of course, whenever Clapton records something new, they won't even touch it. At the same time, so much new music is just product. People who can't sing sold to people with tin ears. But that isn't a recent development either. Milli Vanilli sold a sound and a look that were popular -- but the guys with the look weren't the guys singing on the CD. And let's see, that was 17 years ago now. This isn't a new problem.

    "I am sick and tired of Indians' baseball announcers stating that 'the tying run' or 'the winning run' is on first. This is childish wishful thinking. A run is not a run until someone crosses home plate. Grow up." - Euclid

    What a dumb thing to complain about. There is so little action in baseball, that of course the announcer should describe not only everything that is happening, but how things are being set up to possibly happen. When they say the tying run is on base, they are describing not only what is happening, but what affect it will have on the score should it come to fruition. Sure, a run isn't a run till someone crosses home plate. And a baby isn't a baby till its born -- but funny how everybody is talking about the little guy before then, huh? And preparing for its arrival.

    Here is my new baby.
    Baby? You had a baby?
    Sure, I've been pregnant the last 9 months.
    Yeah, but I didn't think you'd really see that through.
    Me neither. Can you help me paint a nursery?

    But this childish wishful thinking that is complained about here -- this is a complaint against optimism in general. Why is it childish to hope that your team will score, especially once they've done something to improve their chances? Or more generally, to hope that if you work hard to put good things in motion, and you seem to be making progress, that you can state presently what you hope it will turn out to be?

    Here is my 401k statement.
    What's that for?
    I plan to retire on this.
    Really? Ha, we'll see. Childish wishful thinking.


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