September 15, 2010

As I mentioned the other day, it may be Fall by meteorological standards, but the past couple of days have been hot hot hot. I didn’t realize just how hot yesterday got – it was up to 108. And with me having to do my one mile walks each day. Brutal.

You know one way you can tell it’s Fall? It’s the start of the Fall Pledge Drive on the National Public Radio (NPR) station here in Phoenix that plays the classical music we wake up to each day. Rhetorical question: is there a more outdated and wasteful concept than government-supported radio (and television, for that matter)? Listening to the poor host and his station manager make their pleas for $5 and $10 monthly pledges (“and if you do in the next seven minutes, we’ll match your pledge!”) is sad and kind of pathetic, really.

This is yet another example of government inability to keep up with the times. Perhaps as little as ten years ago you could make the case that, yeah, if you want to wake up to commercial-free classical music on the FM dial, the only way you’re going to get it is on a publicly-funded station, but that’s simply not the case anymore. Think about it: there are Blackberry and IPhone apps, Bose radios, CD players, MP3 players, XM satellite radios, and DirecTV and Dish Network stations, all with the capability of waking you up to the music of your choice. The possibilities are virtually endless. And with all these choices, you still have these poor saps begging (threatening, actually) people to send them money so they can – you got it! – keep their jobs.

If there’s any kind of audience out there for commercial-free classical music (and the kind of programming you find on public television) let a group of well-endowed supporters make it happen. Just don’t take my hard-earned tax money and then come to me begging for even more just to support your niche programming. And I’m no prude: I grew up with Channel 2 in Boston, and loved all of Ken Burns’ work and the other quirky things you’d find there. Heck, I was even a pledging member – gladly – for many years.

But time really does march on. I know I sound like a hard ass, but it really comes down to practicalities: in this technologically-advanced day and age, where virtually everyone has cable, satellite, and/or handheld devices, there is no need to waste good money on a service that can easily – easily – be replaced by the private sector. There are far better ways for this government to waste spend its taxpayer money. And lord knows, we desperately need for the federal government to start going on a diet, even if it’s only giving up the equivalent of a bag of chips on occasion.

(And that’s without even mentioning the radically-left political bent of NPR and Public Television. Me, I’d love to count the number of times NPR News references “President” Obama in the same way they insisted on calling George W. Bush “Mr.” Bush – as if he didn’t deserve his right title.)

One can only hope that prudent-minded politicians take over in Washington and in next year’s Congressional budget eliminate the funding for NPR and Public Television – it’s a measure long overdue.

Pool temp: 85 degrees

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:35 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. Is this blog a parody? Well, whatever, it made me laugh.

    Comment by Sal — September 16, 2010 @ 6:52 am


  2. Sal, welcome to the ‘Nation, thanks for stopping by!

    As to your comment: no, it wasn’t meant as parody, but if you got a laugh out of it that makes me feel good. If there’s one thing The Great White Shank enjoys doing is amusing people. 🙂

    Stop by again and feel free to comment again on whatever moves you. Don’t be a stranger!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — September 16, 2010 @ 8:12 pm


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