That Rakeish, Sideways Smile (-:

The NPR MonkeyOr… The Day Renée Montagne Used Valuable Airtime to Tell Me About a Computer Symbol’s Birthday

Back when I was “dating” Wilbur, I swore I would never, ever wake up to morning radio. Will had his radio set to 98.9 and Johnny Dare’s morning show in Kansas City.

You don’t need to actually listen to Johnny Dare (please don’t) to know exactly the kind of morning radio I am talking about: jacked-up, tiny-alpha male; screechy, cackling female (says nothing… merely there to laugh at alpha male jokes); snarky, wise-ass sidekick.

Occasionally, they play music– in between their rude, always sexist, “defender of the Constitution so I’ll lock myself in this box and bury myself in a hole for ratings” crap-oh-luh. What music do they play? Led Zepplin, natch. Corporate logos share space with typos on their website.

(Cue generic classical music and snobby sniffle). So, after I dumped Will, I decided that I would wake up the way the intelligentsia do: to NPR. Real news, paid for by listeners and sponsors (no advertisers here, ahem… sure I’ll try to ignore that “sponsorship” by TruGreen). The BBC never had it so good.

Except, then I went to England. And I noted that (despite the horrific seepage of Americanized media culture), in fact, the BBC had it so good. OH, so good. NPR looked like a monkey clapping its cymbals compared to this rich, and deeply researched source of actual news with NO “sponsors.” Just the viewers, who pay for the privilege with a simple license fee.

And then I came back here and even though I have a 52-inch HD television (how did it all happen so fast???), I never watch the news. I rarely even look at the Weather Channel. Who needs it when you have If I am going to watch trash, I’d rather watch the honest to god real thing: C’mon Tyra. Bring on another season of Top Model.

So I still do wake up to NPR. Because I hate buzzers, I don’t have an iPod or the speaker thingy it mounts, and the idea of a slow light awakening me in a natural way makes me giggle. Go with what you know. NPR isn’t perfect, but at least it isn’t a screeching crow hopping around a radio booth after a hairy goon.

But oh this morning, I was thisclose to reconsidering my choice. Almost as close, dare I say, as I was when I banished Entertainment Weekly forever (I mean, seriously, FOREVER. Cancelled subscription and never bought another copy) for referring to Oscar-nominated actresses Cate Blanchett and Gwyneth Paltrow as “corsetted cuties” in an article ABOUT their Oscar-nominated performances.

 The offense? Oh, Renée.

In reading off “Today’s the birthday of…” at the top of the hour, she allowed herself to be sucked into happy la-la media land.

Happy 25th birthday, to the Emoticon. Three keyboard symbols: parentheses colon hyphen.

And thank you NPR, for that utterly useless, meaningless information.

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 


  6 comments for “That Rakeish, Sideways Smile (-:

Comments are closed.