And now we meet in an abandoned studio.
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago.
And you remember the jingles used to go.
You were the first one.
You were the last one.
Video killed the radio star.
Video killed the radio star.
In my mind and in my car, we can’t rewind we’ve gone to far
The Buggles, Video Killed the Radio Star
So when I left on my trip, I made sure that I had all my little gadgets, my charging cords, cables and so forth. Or at least that was what I thought when I left.
In fact, I had my Zune for music… but I did not have the cassette adapter to play it in the car, nor the microphone cord to plug it into any other sort of sound system. Of course, I completely neglected to bring CD’s because they were extraneous, right?
I also brought the camera and all of its cords – except the cord to download pics to my computer. Luckily, this did not end up mattering as I only took a few pictures the entire trip. Why? Partly, because I realized I couldn’t download the files, so I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t run out of space on the camera. Partly because I’m a moron that kept leaving the camera in the car when it would have been handy. And partly because once I reached the midwest, there really wasn’t any inspiring scenery to photograph. How could I have forgotten?
I also had the computer, of course, and even had internet access frequently. But I found I was completely uninterested in sitting down to write while I was on the trip. What can I say? I only had a week, which meant I had less than an day with most of the people I visited (the folks and the kid got more). So… sorry about that… but not really.
In any case, the most significant result of leaving without all of the cables that I needed was that I spent a LOT of time listening to radio. Sometimes even listening to semi-pop stations. I turned it off entirely a few times when there was nothing good and I couldn’t take schlock any more. But mostly, I made due.
In listening to all of this radio, I discovered something really kind of depressing. I haven’t listened to morning talk shows for quite a while… not since before Mancow pissed me off a decade or more ago. So I had missed this trend – but I noticed on this trip that just about the only thing they talk about anymore is TV. REALLY? I mean, a station in Denver had a call in the other day asking “What is your dorky, guilty little secret.” Every single answer was a TV show. No… I take that back, one person responded with a movie. After the call in they proceeded to go on and on about various prime time tv shows… mostly of the reality show variety.
The only thing that I find more disturbing than this (well, ok, not really. But bear with me) is that I seem to recall hearing that most people chatting with co-workers, lunch dates and so forth follow this same pattern. Now I don’t know this. Noone that I would consider a friend (locally, at least) watches much tv, so we don’t talk about it at all. Even the people I do know that do watch, generally have other things they want to talk about. And maybe part of this is small town, maybe part of it is the “spirit of the old west (whatever that is), maybe its the excess of hippie liberals here (matched almost evenly by the rancher conservatives.) or maybe it is some combination of all these things. (Hell… maybe its the excess of stoners! I’m not really kidding…)
Anyway. I’m curious. If I can get someone to start a conversation here… in your experience, whether you watch tv or not, do you see people around you with nothing to talk about besides tv? Or is it common water-cooler talk, but not all consuming? Do you manage to avoid it most of the time? Or is it simply ubiquitous in your life? Maybe it’s just in the urban environment or amongst people that don’t know one another well enough to get personal? Any thoughts?