Lonely Post-Apocalyptic Edition
September 18, 2011
This post has moved to our new blog at Indie Moines. Click here to be taken there.
Filed under Albany, Communications, Government, Media, Travel
About J. Eric SmithWriter, Speaker, Trainer, Planner, Manager and Executive Director of the Salisbury House Foundation in Des Moines, Iowa.
YES TIMES 10!!! But I still like living here a lot and hope to stay awhile longer…
Oh, I like living here too . . . there will be many more “this I will miss” items that there are on this list . . . but I wanted to get this one of the way (and out of my head) first, so I could concentrate on those more favorable experiences last . . .
Inasmuch as I don’t live in Albany, I have no reaction to most of these indignities. As as regards number 7: many states seem to regard relying on the automatic gas shut-off as dangerous for some reason. That is indeed annoying, but I live in New Jersey, which is one of only two states (I believe) that forbid citizens to pump their own gas at all. It astonishes me that this law is still on the books. I’d vote it down in a heartbeat if given the chance. Maybe it survives only because New Jersey has (for other reasons) relatively low gas prices, but it’s probably really the result of the usual East Coast corruption and cronyism.
In the early days of self serve, when most stations charged different prices for self and staff pumped gas, I got the New Jersey model more, since it leveled the playing field. These days, though, it does seem to be an anachronistic preservation of a job sector that has (somewhat sadly, I think) disappeared most everywhere else . . . and, yeah, I am sure that your State Machine(s) are actively working to maintain that particular status quo at this point!!
The fallacy, to me, of forcing a customer to pump gas is that if the customer is going to do the same thing that the locked pump itself is going to do: hold the pump handle down hard until the automatic shutoff kicks in. If that shutoff fails, there’s gonna be a lot of gas on the ground regardless of whether or not someone has their hand on the pump, since our reflexes aren’t going to be quick enough to realize and respond to the failure before a geyser of fuel erupts from the our tank . . .
Gannett owns the Reg, Dude. Prepare to be just a little disappointed.
Yeah, I knew that going in . . . but at least they still seem to want to be in the newspaper business, and I got more valuable local perspective in my couple of trips out there than I get from the TU anymore . . .
Best move I ever made vis a vis newspapers was to drop the TU and subscribe the the Gazette instead. They actually still do some local reporting.
I did the same, Jeff . . . . I get the Gazette at home, and when I go out for lunch, I buy the Record. I know more about Albany in real time now than I did for the last three or four years that I got the TU . . .
Awww … I really like WAMC. But, in fairness, your points about the station are well taken … and the seemingly endless fund drive make me nuts.
I agree on many of your other points, though. *Especially* the gas.
I have some really great personal friends who work at WAMC in both on-air and back-of-house capacities . . . . but that doesn’t alleviate the sense of utter icky that the station leaves me feeling anytime I am inadvertently exposed to it . . .
I used to drive to work around 9:15 AM, and my game was to see how long I could listen to the Roundable without wanting to punch the speakers in my car out. Sometimes I would make it the entire drive to the Empire State Plaza. Sometimes I wouldn’t even make it out of my neighborhood. Every syllable would ring out, “this program is not for you,” even as it covered theater, books, food: things that I love.
Some of WAMC’s programming is a treasure (I love the Media Project, even when I knew how much of what’s going on in local media couldn’t be discussed on the radio) and a lot of it is crap, but they’re a true local radio station, which is rare among NPR affiliates in smaller cities. Anywhere else, it’s just feed after feed of national programs interspersed with local news updates and station identifications in carefully modulated East Coast educated-class tones.
Unfortunately, public broadcasting everywhere is geared toward the kale-munching, jazz-listening, self-satisfied yuppie. Is yuppie what we call that type of person anymore? “Pretentious asshats” works, if it’s a bit crude. I have cruder ones.
They’re a true local station within Albany, I’ll spot you that . . . but their Borg-like assimilation policies mean that they’re imposing their Albany-centric views on far-flung communities that aren’t really interested in what’s happening on Central Avenue (Plattsburgh, Hartford, Worcester, Port Jervis and Utica don’t really have a lot in common, with each other, or Albany). While decrying the strip-malling of radio imposed by the likes of Clear Channel, etc., they do the same thing to our region . . . except that they think it’s okay, because their strip-mall looks more like Stuyvesant Plaza than like Crossgates, with more Kale R Us, and less Orange Julius.
Pretentious ass-hats? Yeah, I’ll buy that one. (Except, of course, that it doesn’t apply to you, Marcia, my honey, my love . . . since I am sure you are just listening to WAMC to give me fodder for my research into public broadcasting and what ails it, and not really enjoying any of it, right?? Right?????)
WAMC’s fund drive has some entertainment value. Other stations’ don’t. I’d switch off WRVO’s as soon as I realized my programs weren’t on. And WCNY…the memory of it makes just makes mzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
That’s a good point. It’s annoying as hell, but it’s not BORING.
Like you, I adore the Media Project. It’s probably because of my former and your current line of work that we enjoy it so much; Chris rolls his eyes when I put it on. Vox Pop never fails to make me laugh. The Roundtable was a LOT better when Susan Arbetter was on it (IMO). I can’t abide it anymore.
I do, however, like their local/regional reporting, which is the main reason I keep it on the radio. Additionally, I like the national/international reporting of NPR, in general. Unfortunately, the pretentious ass-hats make the rest of us listeners look bad.
Enjoyed the read… Don’t know if it is good or bad that some things are universal…
Thanks, dude . . . I do know that a lot of them are universal . . . but I’m going to actively seek alternatives in Des Moines when and where I can!!!
What’s odd, though, is that the station has always felt like it cares more about the second-home residents of the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley.
True . . . which I always assume is because the boss lives in the Berkshires . . .
And it’s where the money is. Well, the money and the culture. The latter follows the former.
Whenever I learn that one of the public stations signal goes down, I get this image of said Berkshire resident climbing to the transmitter tower top with an empty tin cup. Similar to the priest on the golf course in Caddyshack.
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I’m a big WAMC fan, but I’d sacrifice a few of the local shows to hear more NPR fare. In particular, I’m getting a little weary of the disease of the day program for hypochondiracs. Could also do without some of the local news from far-flung places like Springfield.
As for the newspaper, you’re right on the money.
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