a study in contrasts

I mostly listen to my iPod while driving because it offers a more diverse selection of music than Clear Channel radio. Still, sometimes I want the randomness that radio occasionally provides. My favorite local station is The Gulf Coast Rocker (89.7FM), but their signal is hit/miss – including this morning. So instead of listening to a good selection of rock and some awkwardly read news, I ended up flipping back and forth between 97.9FM The Boxx (hip-hop) and 93.7FM The Arrow (classic rock redundancy). ‘Twas a study in contrasts.

The Arrow is rarely on in my car in the morning because the Walton and Johnson show is so unfunny and lowest-common-denominator-focused it makes me want to throw my radio out the window. The two white guys on the show do a number of characters including a, what, transvestite (?), a hillbilly and a “black” guy. They treat their listeners like hungry dogs that have been chained up in the yard, constantly poking, prodding and provoking. They had plenty to say about the health care bill this morning, and let me tell you – it was ugly.

The Boxx, on the other hand, is a frequent addition to my drive. Their Madd Hatta morning show is populated with people who aren’t dismissive or hateful, nor are they pushing a particular extreme political point of view. The part of their show that I heard this morning was about the little girl who was shot in the attempted car jacking in Houston a day or two ago. It was a real look at a heartbreaking story, and it made me feel like I was listening to human beings who were trying to connect instead of characters who were trying to incite anger in order to increase their fringe listener base.

I realize that most of us have permanently secured whatever filter we see the world through and aren’t looking for “enlightenment.” But this isn’t to say we can’t learn things from people who hold different opinions. It’s just that most public discourse has been turned into us vs. them, so there’s no wiggle room. Just as I pledge my undying love for Jon Stewart (who at least makes fun of liberals, too), there are a number of people I know who would never watch his show. Which is how I feel about Glenn Beck and Rush. And Walton and Johnson. We’ve allowed ourselves to be stratified into two camps, when in reality we’re in a thousand camps. Human beings are more dynamic than this or that, black or white, liberal or conservative. And most issues (like the health care bill) are more complex than just yes or no.

I don’t get too political in my blog – I generally save that for other avenues. I don’t expect my opinion on an issue to at all impact what you, dear reader, think. Sometimes I have to vent and do so – it’s my blog, after all, and you can always move on to the next jackass – but most of the time the things I write about strike a chord with at least a few people regardless of their political point of view. I wrote yesterday about hiding people on facebook. I’m sure plenty of my conservative friends hide people like me when I post things like this.

So, see? That’s one thing we all have in common. Kumbaya.