Saturday, April 14, 2007

Children Are Listening

Posted by olvlzl.
If anything about them could be said to be interesting, the whining fans of Don Imus have opened a window into their shrunken souls as they begin withdrawal from their favorite brand of hate fix. It’s a dependency relationship, without a doubt. For some of us, the cry going up from those boys in the shock jock locker room might sound like nothing so much as the artistry of Claudine Clark’s perfect rendition of a bratty teen with a fully developed sense of entitlement in “Party Lights”. The hardest cases seem enraged that they are being deprived of something they know in their hearts they have a right to. The way they’re going on you would think that Imus was the last puddle of polluted water in the world and they were dying of thirst.

What is it that they crave about the degrading Don Imus act? What is it about the hate-filled, sexist, racist, bigoted and pointlessly vulgar junk spewing with so little variety from the American radio and TV? Certainly with the “hey guys listen while I castrate, torture and kill a pig on air,” * late stage, upstaging of shock jockery the genre should have passed the seen it all before stage by now. There are only so many ways you can call women and minority groups insulting names, after all. Shouldn’t the entire line have gotten old by now?

There is something about this kind of artificially embittered hate that is more than attractive to its audience. Hearing the angry resentment when just the Imus label is removed from the shelf, it sounds like they worry that their supply will be cut off. If only.

What is it that they like about hearing a past it loud mouth going after people they don’t know in the crudest of stereotypes? And for his TV audience who could see Imus and and nose-picking side kick looking pretty hideous as they comment on other peoples’ looks, the irony should have only been enhanced.

Is that kind of hate an addictive pleasure? Does it make it’s addicts feel better about themselves? You might be able to understand it if there was something edifying about any of it but the goal of sock jocks seems to be to spread generalized cynicism and just plain meanness. The cowardly targeting of people seen as weaker is a part of the attraction. How much of this kind of stuff targets wealthy, white, men? What is the attraction to thinking that the world is just one big toilet and everything is crap? Does getting to group-hate women, black people, gay people, etc. give them something that makes it worth holding that view of life? What?

* From what I can gather what was said to have been done to the pig might have been worse than what was actually done to it, though that seems far from clear. My point is to ask what the audience thought was happening and what that says about his audience. Notice the tone of the reaction 0f Bubba and his advocates in the story. Just imagine what they would have been like if he'd been found gulity.