26 March 2007


I found a new blog recently, by repeatedly hitting "next blog" past a bunch in languages I couldn't read until I found KJ's Bulletin Board of the Brain. I knew I was going to blogroll it when I found her rant about an odd design trend -- turning books backward on the shelves (spine-side in) to create a uniform look for a room. Oh. My. God. One day, an intelligent race of beings is going to send along the equivalent of small-pox infected blankets to wipe out interior decorators; I hope I live to see it.

Further up the Blogger dial is Tim, over at derivative works. I was looking back at older posts when I came across his thoughts on FM Radio. For me, FM radio lives only in the van... I flip between a half dozen pre-programmed stations hoping one will refrain from pissing me off long enough to get me to my destination, or at least a traffic light. It seldom happens. Most mornings, I listen to Kool FM (107.3) which describes its sound as "hot adult contemporary." Their morning hosts are the least annoying without putting me to sleep (hello? CBC? I'm looking at you!), but eventually their promotional blather starts to build up crud on the dial and I flip to a Vancouver station 94.5 The Beat, which plays top 40 dance. I seldom get through an entire song before flipping away to 100.3 The Q (annoying guitar rock with fun DJs and decent news info) or 98.5 The Ocean (sometimes I luck into a half-decent 80s tune). By then, it's usually safe to flip back to Kool FM for the last few minutes of the drive in.

Home is a different story. Generally for the 4-4:30 drive, I listen to C-FAX 1070 on the AM dial (yeah, seriously old school). They call themselves "Victoria's News Authority"; I tend to call them "the angry old guy channel" because they have listener call-in shows where folks call in and give the guest their opinions. However, I can usually suffer the afternoon call-in show because it is liberally peppered with news, traffic and weather updates -- all of which are key for getting me the hell home.

If you read Tim's rant, you'll note there's one station not programmed into our radio: JACK FM. When they first started broadcasting, I really enjoyed the mix, but it has steadily narrowed to a blend of almost a perfct cocktail of The Q and Kool FM -- but those stations have real people; they take requests; and they are still passingly local. The Victoria JACK FM is no different than the Vancouver JACK FM or any of the other JACK stations all over North America. JACK FM is no different than McDonalds, The Gap, or WalMart in its mission of standardization, creating a sameness that keeps the masses from developing any kind of personality or opinion. Perfect for a nation that needs soldiers.

And yeah, I took my conspiracy theory meds today. How about you?

1 comment:

Tim Bailey said...

Well, there's no doubt that JACK FM is a conspiracy of sorts. Their ostensible purpose is broadcast radio, but their unstated purpose is maximal advertising revenue for shareholder enrichment. Of course, that's the real purpose of pretty much every corporation out there.

BTW, did you know... The Ocean is also a Rogers operation? I got a funny feeling after listening to them last week: they have a web-based membership club that's suspiciously like JACK's, and their promotion of it sounded so much like JACK's my intuition smelled a rat.

Of course, The Q and The Zone are both owned by Jimmy Pattison. Watch for those to be sold off to a megacorp at some point for a tidy profit.

It's so insidious it almost makes you want to lock in CFUV. Almost...

...OK, not almost. But it's insidious.