Friday, July 21, 2006

So I was listening to a few dozen radio deejays this past week and it struck me for the millionth time ...

... Christ, I fucking hate deejays. I mean, really, besides anyone whose family receives a portion of its livelihood from this indefensible profession, who on this celestial speck of dirt doesn't choke back a bit of vomit at the mere thought of a radio disc jockey, arguably the single most annoying and useless insect in the known universe?

Hell, I'm irritated just writing about the strident sons of bitches. I swear, pretty soon I'm going to have to talk about something I actually enjoy or it's the top of a belltower with a W2000 sniper rifle* for me. But for the time being ....

*I learned about this weapon from my Hitman video games. This will be my leading defense should the case ever reach trial.

... here are the standard radio "personalities" that I love to hate. And not "love to hate" like how mentally-vacant entertainment news show hosts refer to popular movie villains, but "love to hate" like how I love to hate cancer, or foreign countries I've never been to.

1.) Token female shoehorned into an otherwise male-dominated morning show

> Presumed physical description: Middle-aged, dumpy, big hair, too ugly for any other entertainment format.

> "Personality:" Shrill, loud, and outspoken, yet has surprisingly little of value to add to any conversation. Bitter about her irreversible homeliness and onset of menopause and more than happy to take her frustrations out on any woman in the listening area who happens to be younger and hotter than she is. Most of her listeners, however, are men wondering why the hell the morning program decided to hire a woman who won't shut up about her fucking kids and can't tell a single joke without referring to her period.

Soon, though, she will attract a legion of "sisters" who nod thoughtfully at her tired, "I'm an under-appreciated working mom who has it rougher than any other living being that has come before me" credo.

> Single redeeming trait: Quickly learns she's not remotely funny or interesting and resigns herself to supplying forced laughter after anything her marginally less-untalented co-workers say. And whatever keeps her from opening that useless fucking blowhole of hers can only be a very good thing.

> Typical phrases:

-- "You guys..." *clicks tongue in disgust*
-- "Oh my God, she's too skinny. She's so skinny that it's just sick. A woman shouldn't be that skinny. Ugh. I hate her."
-- "He's sexy. I would have sex with him."
-- "I like to eat triple Whoppers baked into double fudge brownie cake. I'm fat and I hate my body. However, I refuse to change my eating habits in any way or begin an effective exercise program which would alter the way I look, and, subsequently, my low self-image. Are you going to finish that?"
-- "Girl power, even though I'm in my mid-to-late forties!"
-- "My kids were so funny last Saturday! Let me tell you a long, involved, meandering story about them that has absolutely no pay-off." *proceeds to do so* Can you believe it? I mean, isn't that funny? *self-conscious, non-committal murmurings from her co-hosts, some polite coughing*

2.) Cocky, politically-incorrect foulmouth on an alternative or hard rock station

> Presumed physical description: Short, puny, greasy hair, too ugly for any other entertainment format. (Note: Occasionally, "fat" can be inserted in place of "puny.")

> "Personality:" He's a dick, and boy, is he proud of it. He'll utter words like "wetback," "homo," "rugmuncher," "whore," and "commie" and revel in the shockwaves such audacity will invariably create. Unfortunately, his listening audience consists entirely of poorly-educated Northern rednecks (are there any other kind?) and prepubescent boys who giggle whenever someone says "boner," so his shock jockery tends to go largely unprotested-against. And just to be clear, we're not talking about a high-profile raconteur like Howard Stern here: this bigoted punk is an insignificant shmuck on local radio whose community college broadcasting degree was printed on the back of a Hardee's napkin, and is of far less commercial value.

> Single redeeming trait: Though he happens to be an undeniable little prick, at least he's not a completely stupid little prick. This coward will insult every ethnic and cultural group out there, safely cowering behind radio's Wall of Invisibility ... every group, that is, except black people. The weasel just doesn't have the balls to risk offending African-Americans, which is some small consolation when enduring the steady flow of his stream of willful ignorance.

> Typical phrases:

-- "Man, I'm sick of those panty-waists trying to marry each other. What a bunch of butt pirates. Why don't you go have sex with each other, you butt pirates?"
-- "If you like any music other than the stuff I play, you're gay. Even if you like the stuff I play, you're gay."
-- "Real men like watching sports filled with fit young guys wearing form-fitting clothing, fixing cars by breaking their engines, and climaxing over the thought of purchasing tools we don't need, let alone know how to use. Any man who doesn't like to do these things is a woman."
-- "I've never heard of the phrase 'the lady doth protest too much' and would have no idea how it accurately applied to me even if I did."
-- "My local sports team drafted a guy no one ever heard of from a cornfield in northern Nebraska. He will revolutionize the game and make your local sports team sorry they ever started a franchise in your general area. This interchangeable, non-descript young athlete's performance on the gridiron will be likened to the Second Coming. I will refuse to acknowledge this ludicrous prediction when it fails to come to pass and is thrown in my face in precisely four and a half months from now."
-- "Women are dumb and weak and don't know how to drive. I wish I could get laid once in awhile..."
-- "You're stupid, caller. You stammered for a split second, so you're stupid and obviously have no business being heard on public radio. Now, here's a recording of a fart I made..."
-- "I'm a homely guy who likes to read Playboy and look at boobies. I also inhale oxygen on a regular basis and require water to live."

3.) The insanely quiet somnambulist on the overnight shift of the soft rock station

> Presumed physical description:

Male -- small, balding, glasses, too ugly for any other entertainment format.

Female -- wasp-thin, glasses, too ugly for any other entertainment format.

> "Personality:" It's after 11. Maybe you've just put the kids to bed, ensuring they won't get nearly enough sleep before getting up for school tomorrow; or you're hauling a shipment of explosive chemicals in an old semi with bad suspension cross-country; or you're working third-shift on the factory line adding the weaves to those creepy, pedophile-friendly Bratz dolls. Whatever you're doing up at this hour, why the hell are you listening to this droning cyborg? Man or woman, the late-night shifter at the soft rock station has a penchant for love songs no one else plays for a reason; soppy personal stories that involve disease, divorce, death, or (preferably) a combination of all three; and speaking in a singsong voice he/she somehow keeps modulated at just a hair above a whisper. Always boring and oddly morbid, he/she assures his/her quietly weeping caller that God really does loves them ... though judging by the laundry list of personal tragedies you've endured, all evidence seems to point to the contrary.

> Single redeeming trait: Cheaper and more effective than Ambien.

> Typical phrases:

-- "Are you missing a loved one tonight? Did you two have a fight, maybe break up? Did one of you immediately contract mesothelioma and now only have one month to live? Why don't you call me up and tell me about it while your voice breaks constantly throughout the call?"
-- "Here's a love song I picked specially just for you. And anyone who has a case similar to yours involving heartbreak of some kind."
-- "I like waves. Birds are pretty, too. Waves and birds. So pretty. And nice. Pretty nice, if you ask me." *soft chuckling, followed by a barely audible contented sigh*
-- "Children are blessings. They're like little angels sent down from above to teach us how to smile and laugh and hope and dream. I am most likely sterile, barren, or blissfully unaware of the existence of teenagers."
-- "Just remember, friends: It's always the quiet ones who snap and commit heinous crimes with common household objects." (standard and unsettling sign-off phrase)

4.) Partying trio of obnoxious young adults on the pop rock station

> Presumed physical description:

Alpha male -- metrosexual boy band reject (on my local pop rock station, this is literally the case and is viewed as some kind of "claim to fame." This is sad, pathetic, and very, very funny)

Beta male -- metrosexual scrawny twerp

Token female -- hair highlighted so often that it is impossible to discern which, if any, color is her natural one; was cute enough for a one-nighter several years ago, but Time and bucket after bucket of MGD mini's have not been kind.

> "Personalities:" Remember those crazy party animals you knew in college? Well, guess what? They're still there. Imagine a horrific otherworldly limbo in which a group of aging, formerly attractive "cool kids" is stuck perpetually discussing how they passed out from too many Jose Cuervo shots or saw a drunk guy pee on a fire hydrant after Summerfest. Now, imagine you are listening to your local bubble gum pop rock station. Notice the complete lack of any observable difference? That's because radio stations geared towards today's youth market take one unquestionable fact of life to heart: Today's youth, when not behaving like sex-starved, partially-retarded pygmy chimps, loves nothing more than to hear about today's youth behaving like sex-starved, partially-retarded pygmy chimps. Ergo, the following time-tested formula for rock station success:

A threesome of loud evolutionary dead ends + instantly forgettable music - intelligent, worthwhile, or witty conversation + cross-promotional events featuring energy drinks x bland, half-hearted interviews with the scruffy guy from "Real World" or "Survivor" = very wealthy white, male, radio station executives

> Single redeeming trait: Will quickly grow old and bitter and die of liver failure or venereal disease, as will the majority of their listening audience.

> Typical phrases:

-- "Dude, that song was off the hook!" *annoying laughter*
-- "Dude, you were sooo drunk last night!" *annoying laughter*
-- "Dude, that chick or dude on that one WB show is sooo hot. I imagine he or she would gladly take me up on an offer of casual intercourse." *annoying laughter*
-- "Dude, your mom's a MILF!" *annoying laughter*
-- "Dude, I just saw that one movie with that one smug, pretty boy dickhead who goofs off at college/works at a themed restaurant/tries to hook up with his childhood sweetheart! It was sooo funny! I was laughing sooo hard!" *annoying laughter*
-- "Dude, it's Totally Tricked Out Tuesday! Let's dress up our interns as giant babies and feed them Gerber's mashed eggplant until they vomit!" *annoying laughter*

5.) Disorganized pothead in charge of local college radio station

> Presumed physical description: Gangly, hair at least shoulder-length and not washed in the past week, penchant for brightly-colored T-shirts advertising fads from the 80's, unflattering facial hair, powerful and ever-present odor of a botanical origin, too ugly for any other entertainment format.

> "Personality:" What kind of person refuses to support their local college's makeshift and sorry excuse for a radio broadcasting station? That's right. Every person. College radio stations are notorious for playing a mishmash of records the deejay found lying around the basement of the condemned building the studio is located in ... that is, when he's not playing a wide array of dead air. The poor sap in question here is either a communications major doing his damnedest to earn a little extracirricular credit for his real world resume or some joker who thought he'd share his patented brand of non-humor or predictable leftward politics with the "masses." By which I mean "both listeners," one of whom just has his radio set to Scan. The college radio deejay is occasionally a giggling, self-serving idiot and just as often a well-meaning but ineffectual clod ... either way, he makes the average professional deejay look like a polished mega-talent. And for this reason alone, the vengeance of the gods will be swift and merciless.

> Single redeeming trait: Due to his lack of technological savvy, the likelihood of you getting to call in and say "Bill Jenkins likes to suck wieners" on the air is instantly quadrupled.

> Typical phrases:

-- "Um, I'm going to play a, um -- *shuffling noises* Where did I put it? Uh, it's a really -- it's a neat song by ... you know, that guy with the -- *small crash is heard* Whoops. Okay, here it -- no. No, that's not -- Um, I can't find it right now, so here's a commercial. I'll just check -- *another small crash* Whoops."
-- "Oh. Whoa. Is the song over already? Huh."
-- "I can't find my coffee cup. I left it right over here... *silence* Oh, there it is." *thirty seconds of slurping sounds*
-- "If anyone has some extra nachos they don't want, bring them up to Room 420 of Crowley Hall."
-- *fifteen consecutive minutes of dead air*
-- "I had a really rough night yesterday, so while I take a nap, here's the hour-long, uncut remix of Don McLean's American Pie."

6.) Vacuous, inarticulate, non-threatening country station duo

> Presumed physical description: Male and Female -- bland and unmemorable in every conceivable aspect, yet still manage to be too ugly for any other entertainment format.

> "Personalities:" Country music stations are renowned for being 'family-friendly,' which is Republican-speak for 'mind-shatteringly dull.' So go ahead, let Little Timmy set the dial to 98.6 WONA (which, as we all know, stands for "War of Northern Aggression"... as differentiated from 98.6 WOSS "War of Southern Slave-Holding"). You won't have to worry about him hearing the word "butt" or "damn" or "hell" (unless it's capitalized) or "sex" ... or, in fact, anything of any importance whatsoever. Country deejays simply like to laugh at innocent anecdotes that are not remotely funny and bemoan the nation's regrettable lack of in-depth discussions about the flag.

Did you miss the latest episode of the PAX channel's latest soap featuring Billy Ray Cyrus? They'll happily recap it for you. Have no idea what I'm referencing? You will, because they'll go into stringent detail relating last night's show in its entirety to their listening audience, even though nobody seems to care. Want to experience the fleeting sense of instant camaraderie and self-validation? Call them up and heartily concur with their assertion that Gretchen Wilson is, in fact, a"rockin' chick." Have a ph.D. in molecular biology and subscription to The New York Times... ?

Er, you might want to switch the station.

> Single redeeming trait: They have a tendency to give away free T-shirts like so much confetti. And no sane person can have enough free T-shirts. Unfortunately, to obtain said undersized T-shirt, you'll have to attend a country concert or county fair, so that sucks.

> Typical phrases:

-- "This guy is so great. I mean, he just ... speaks from the heart, you know? He just ... speaks. He's so great."
-- "I can't believe these people want to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance after we went to all the trouble of shoehorning Him into it back in the 50's. I just can't believe it. Can you believe it?"
-- "Let's hear it for our troops over there. They're like ... they're just ... wow. I mean, can you imagine? Can you just imagine? Really. Just, wow."
-- "I'm not a big Jeff Gordon fan. I wish Dale Earnhardt wasn't dead. Can you believe he died? Wasn't that just ... ? *pause as he/she shakes head* Sad. Just so sad."
-- "Keith Urban's such a cutie. I just love him. And so polite. Got a nice tush, too. *self-conscious girlish giggling* But really, so polite. Just ... the nicest guy ever. Oh, and he's Australian, too. Did you know that? He is. I remember hearing that years ago and thinking, 'Huh.' "
-- "Who wants a free T-shirt?"

In a future installment, I will list and vivisect the assorted hacks and jackwaters who make regular guest spots on radio programs.

But not today. Enough is enough, already.

In closing, sales of Sirius Satellite Radio will likely skyrocket immediately after this entry is posted.

BENCHMARK MOMENT IN T.C.I.'s LIFE #8 OR SO: While sitting in one of West Bend, WI's two illustrious movie miniplexes this past weekend, Mrs. T.C.I. and I were treated to what will go down in my forgettable personal history as one of the single greatest movie trailers of all time. Imagine this --

ILL-MANNERED CYNICKITE: What movie did you see?

Oh, uh, the pirate one. With Johnny Depp. Look, it doesn't matter. Now, imagine the lights dimming --



ILL-MANNERED CYNICKITE: Did you like it or was it a piece of crap?

What the -- ? Look, it was fine. Will you let me finish?

ILL-MANNERED CYNICKITE: Really? You mentioned a movie on here that you didn't proceed to completely trash?

What do you want from me? It was overlong, overplotted, and overcrowded, but it was amusing and fun. I can't hate everything all the time, you know. I'm not Supercynic, for Christ's sake.

ILL-MANNERED CYNICKITE: Well, that's no fun. You should only be allowed to see movies that suck.

Well, don't worry, junior. Hollywood's kind of seeing to that already.


Imagine the lights go down. You're smashed next to your significant other in a just-large-enough theatre seat, jostling for ownership of the armrest. Idiots with unnaturally loud voices and no concept of arriving on time to see a fucking movie are entering late and discussing -- loudly and for fifteen minutes -- where to sit while standing immediately behind you. Then ...

The darkness lifts, ever so slightly. We see the planet Mars from the point-of-view of a space rover. We are informed that the final image it transmitted from that its unsuccessful voyage in 2003, the Year of Some's Lord, was classified Top Secret. Loud, crashing sounds, similar to the footsteps made by some colossal beast, are heard. Then ... the silhouette of a giant robot, reaching down and crushing the rover in its mighty grip! The following words flash across the screen: "It was the only warning we would ever get." And finally, a block of metallic or rock-like letters come into view and "transform," as it were, into the following movie title:


Cue to T.C.I. actually clapping and cheering, with no help from any of the assorted too-old or too-young or too-unappreciative turds in attendance, in a crowded movie theatre. Yes, I am truly a dork, but I am a happy, happy dork, and this feeling does not come often to T.C.I.

A live-action Transformers movie. Due out on July 4, 2007. Directed by Michael Bay, best known for offering films with absolutely no moral message or deep theme or intrinsic artistic value. Will I be disappointed? Probably. Will it suck? I'd take that bet. Am I getting my meager hopes up, only to have them brutally dashed to pieces against the Rocks of Failure to Adhere to the Cartoon and Comic Book's True Storyline and Overall Concept? All hands abandon ship, my friends. Will they have Soundwave, hands down the coolest of the Decepticons, transform into something other than an AM/FM cassette player merely on account of the aggravating and relentless march of technological progress? No doubt about it, my friend. And I don't think the Dinobots are in it, either.

Still, in an entertainment world filled with movies about cowboys tackling personal issues as well as each other and documentaries about our impending extinction due to circumstances we can no longer do anything about, it's nice to have a popcorn flick on the horizon that I can obsess about like the ten-year-old I've never really stopped being.

And it'll make a hell of an entry when I tear it apart the day after I see it.

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Blogger The Fourth Earl of Excelor said...

Regarding the country disc jockeys, you forgot everybody's favorite trite one liner: "Save a horse; ride a cowboy."

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy did you hit the nail on the head. That's the reason I stopped listening to commercial radio and now listen to XM radio. Very little talk by the dj's. Lots of great music and very few commercials. It's worth every penny.

The next losers you should verbally destroy are the AM radio talk radio assholes. What a bunch a losers they are. The only ones worse are those that listen to these assholes.

Did that sound a little bitter?

Sgt Mellors

10:19 AM  
Blogger Chuckles O'Plenty said...

If you wanted to unload a bottle of vitriol, Sergeant, you have definitely come to the right place.

By the way, if you hate AM talk radio assholes so much, you could always, you know ... not listen to them.

But then you'd have to find something else to bitch about.

In this world, this should not prove difficult.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not so much me wanting to listen, it's people around me at work listening to this crap and I'm being forced to listen.

It must be why those TV reality shows are watched. People like to hear or see others being stupid.

Oh well, life would be pretty boring if we couldn't bitch about something.

Sgt Mellors

8:54 AM  
Blogger hucklebuck said...

Just for the record, prepubescent boys aren't the only ones that giggle whenever someone says the word "boner".

9:56 AM  

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