Thursday morning, 4:22 a.m.
It's Holy Thursday, which means I won't do the show tomorrow on Good Friday. It's kind of a tradition. I pretty much only do the show when most people go to work.
The operative word these days is "hate." There is a lot of it in the world and it surfaces on talk radio all the time and somehow I've been able to avoid much of it but not so much anymore. Maybe 'cause it's election time coming or maybe there's just two sides anymore, and you're either on one or the other. And if you're not on mine I pretty much hate what you have to say. I don't get it.
I try to tell people that we're really a throwback to earlier times and, hopefully, a precursor of times to come, when you could have an intelligent discussion about an issue without being categorized into a camp, ridiculed for your sentiment, and prompted to do the same to what you no doubt view as your adversary. Besides that, people are mean and dangerous... (click Read More below)
Mean in the sense that anymore if there's a hot-button topic and someone calls in whom you disagree with, you too may call in with the other side and when that starts to go awry then you'll take potshots at the other caller or even the host. It degenerates into one side or the other and into anger at the person.
And dangerous in that some listeners, if they feel their opinion isn't being taken seriously or has been shown to have some serious flaws in logic, threaten you personally or to take you to the local authorities or, god forbid, to the FCC. Most of these are empty, but if you get caught in the unknown of regulation and legal gobblydeegook, mud can stick to your boots.
So there. It probably sounds as if I'm a little down on my callers. The same ones I said were the best ones in America just a couple of days ago. Maybe. But really I'm more disappointed with myself. It's my job to steer the ship of the morning talk show. If it's getting too negative, then that is my fault. Simple. I steer the show. I can't necessarily take it where I want it to go. That would be like controlling the world, and only one man can do that.
In other words, I'm not naive enough to think that when I sit down and start talking at 530am I can make a show go where I want it to go. No way. I'm just a follower of the topics and the callers and my own changing moods. Each show is its own creative endeavor and if you do it long enough you realize that the mystery of where it's gonna go next is part of the quality of life that you agree to in radio. You may not make a ton of money - unless of course you make it really big. But at least every morning you get to be part of another unfinished story. And you get to laugh a little, which always helps.
I hope all of this rambling has confused you. It sure has me. But then again I'm a little confused at what I'm doing on the morning show in general. I certainly don't want to be one of those who say - we are going to concentrate on the positive in life. Yikes. What could put your feet to sleep more quickly than a show about the positive things that people in your area are doing? Maybe a segment or two highlighting solid efforts, but a couple days into it your listeners would leave you for more genuine programming.
The reality is that there is hate, cajolery, anger, bitterness in the world, and it surfaces on my show. And I don't know what to do with that. Sometimes I actually like it in the sense that I can dissect the negative emotion or opinion that someone's having and we can talk about it. Decent radio. And then sometimes, especially during election season, it can turn ugly and at the end of the day I'm just weary of the whole thing.
My decisions. My responsibility. Start there. Take responsibility.