Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's with all the yelling?

My husband loves talk radio. We listen to a fair amount of it in the car. It's set on his alarm clock - his alarm clock on his side of the bed. It wakes us up every morning. Every. Single. Morning. With the yelling and the opining and the pontificating. It's the first thing I hear every day. And here's what I don't understand.


Why do people enjoy talk radio? It seem like no matter how much I listen to it, no matter which host, no matter what viewpoint they espouse, it is essentially exactly the same thing over and over. There's the doom and gloom, the government's going to hell in a hand basket, no one knows what they're doing. But never any suggestions on how to fix it. There's lots of I know everything, everyone with a differing opinion is stupid. They invite people to call in, and people continue to do it, just to give enough of their thoughts to make them look like an idiot, then the host runs over every attempt they make to say anything else, continues to belittle and berate, reinforces his own point of view and disconnects to wait for the next caller.

And then there's the yelling. My God, the yelling. Who wants to hear that much yelling? Why? Why the yelling? And why all the listening to all the yelling? They rant and yell and rave and it's the equivalent of me TYPING IN ALL CAPS, ALL THE TIME!!! WITH LOTS! OF! EXCLAMATION! POINT! ABUSE!!!! You don't want to read ALL CAPS, ALL THE TIME. Why would you want to get yelled at by a condescending, know-it-all talk radio host?

I used to think that the only people who got really into talk radio were the just-educated-enough-but-still-completely-ignorant kind of people who hold opinions rather than form them. Those people who are completely threatened by hearing something expressed that might shake or challenge their worldview and who enjoy hearing their opponents be eviscerated. The people who just want to hear their beliefs reinforced over and over again at highest volume. These were the only people I could conceive of as fans of talk radio.

But my husband is bright, brilliant even, extremely open-minded. He thinks freely and well and he doesn't hold to a single belief (that I've encountered at least) that hasn't been tested and examined and thoroughly thought out. He's not a steam-roller engaging others in argument merely for the joy of crushing them. He likes dialogue about ideas, conversations that turn the tables. He's good at putting himself in other people's shoes.

So I really don't understand his obsession with talk radio. Maybe he really does just like being yelled at.

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