Friday, November 26, 2004

The Sound of the Drowned

"Blessed are the meek -- for they shall be slaughtered."


Fell asleep leaving the radio on and tuned to BBC Radio 4 (a mostly non-music station) last night, and so was woken up this morning by a hard-hitting, in-depth investigation into moorhens in Scotland or something. When I did this last week, I was woken at three in the morning by the accordion music of Argentina.

Following this was a phone-in. What a joy these programmes are. A multitude of old fogies calling in to express views that range from the reactionary to the woefully under-informed to the downright pig-ignorant.

One man called in demanding that the capital city of England be re-located to somewhere "in the middle" of the country, "perhaps near Carlisle", for reasons he never made clear. Carlisle is in Northwest England, near the Scottish border. It is not, by anybody's definition, in the middle of anywhere.

Following this bombshell, there was another call from someone who sounded about one hundred years old, demanding that "piped music" be banned from everywhere, though he sounded like he'd never be able to make it past the front door, let alone to anywhere where there was "piped music". And then there was somebody else who thought that cigarettes should be made a prescription-only drug, again for reasons they never made quite clear.

I suppose they may have been thinking vaguely along the lines that it might help smokers in the same way that Doctors prescribing the synthesised heroin substitute methadone was supposed to help heroin addicts. The reasoning behind this was that heroin addicts would be getting a "clean" supply, and would not have to run the many risks inherent with using dealers. Fair enough. Quite how you apply this concept to smoking is beyond me for the moment. Maybe doctors could prescribe those candy cigarettes you used to get as children. Or nicotine patches (to put over your eyes so you can't find your fags).

How did I get from moorhens to methadone in five short paragraphs? It's a slippery slope….anyway, the phone-in continued in much the same vein. And so on and so forth, this should be banned, that should be banned, it's not natural, hang 'em, flog 'em, send 'em back etc etc etc….

I know it's probably cruel to laugh at the ignorant, blinkered and prejudiced. But it's so much fun…I'm definitely tuning in again, next time I feel like a titter.

London, England


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