Friday, January 4, 2013

You don't have that much to say

I've taken an interest in listening to right-wing radio lately.  Mainly the reason for this is that somebody has informed me that we have a Marxist in the White House!  And he's a Muslim!  And an atheist!

No, wait, that's not it.  I guess I'm just tired of my radio stations, as there are only so many times in the week that I need to get the Led out and/or be welcomed to the Hotel California.  One of these days, I might invest in satellite radio, but considering that my commute is so short, it just doesn't seem all that practical right now.

Why listen to right wing radio then?  I don't know.  It's morbid fascination, I guess.  I've done it before.  Years ago, I'd go to the beach with a couple of friends and we'd listen to Michael Savage and Sean Hannity.  Usually we'd just make fun of the stuff they said - which was either nonsensical, knocking down a strawman, shameless propaganda, gratuitous lying, and/or repetitive talking points.  Lately, my personal favorite has been Mark Levin.

This guy is an expert in the Constitution.  How do I know?  Well, he says the word "Constitution" so much that if you made a drinking game out of his show where every mention of the word equaled one shot, they'd have to pump your stomach by the second hour.  He's also taught me that the current administration and the Democrats in Congress (and some Republicans too!) don't believe in the Constitution and what they prefer is tyranny.  He proves this point by repeating it.

This actually isn't the first time that I've mentioned the guy on my blog.  In my post titled "Why I'm not a Conservative", I wrote the following:

A conservative recently recommended the book Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto by Mark Levin. I read through bits and pieces of it at Barnes and Noble, but I think that I read enough to say that it's ridiculous. His first chapter sets up both the strawman and the false dilemma. Basically, you were either a conservative, or you were a "statist". Essentially, if you weren't somebody who identifies as being conservative, then you essentially want a government that controls every aspect of your life. I remember reading his opening chapter and thinking, "I'm not either one of these things!" Yeah, yeah, I know, you probably shouldn't judge a book unless you've read at least the majority of it. But how can I keep going when the initial premise is so flawed to begin with?
And don't get me started on his chapter on religion. His whole argument was, "Science can't explain reason, so therefore a magical man who lives outside of space and time created everything." (Okay, he didn't use phrases like "magical man" but that's still the crux of his argument. Since you can't explain something, therefore a god must have done it. This of course is fool-proof logic, as we all know that Thor brought lightning before we could explain it.)

Honestly, I probably only listen to his show for about 15-20 minutes a day, and I've only been doing so for the past month now.  Yet somehow I feel like I've heard pretty much everything that the guy has to say, although I must admit I could stand to hear him say the word "Constitution" one more time.  What gets me is that there are no doubt some people who listen to his show all the time, and the entire thing!  I realize that even though it probably runs for about 2-3 hours, about 1/3 of that is commercials, but still!  Are you hearing anything new?

There was a time there when I was listening to some liberal talk show or another in the morning.  While I found myself agreeing and being at least slightly more entertained, I started to lose interest because it started to turn in to the same thing over and over again.  Maybe some people need to have their beliefs constantly reinforced, but I'm not sure that I do.  At least, not via radio or TV anyway.  Part of me thinks that this is why left-wing radio never really catches on in the first place - many people who tend to lean more left don't flock to authoritarian demagogues like those on the right do.  And yes, I'm aware that I just made a dangerously oversimplified generalization with little evidence to support it.  Let's just call it a hunch for now.

I think that it takes somebody who's remarkably thoughtful and well-read on a myriad of issues to be able to fill that much time with enough original thought, and I'm not sure if such a person exists or if he or she did, people would listen to something with that much variety.

Blogs are kind of like that as well.  So long as new comic books come out, I'll always have something to write about.  However, there's a reason why I go long periods of time lately without writing my thoughts on religion and politics - it's because I've said much of what I've had to say in the first couple years of writing this thing.  I know that I have written a few religion posts lately, but I wouldn't be surprised if I touched on those issues at least once before.  At best, I'm just refining some old ideas, approaching them from a new angle, and/or elaborating on different aspects of them.

I check out some atheist blogs and podcasts, but unless they're talking about stuff that hasn't already been discussed ad nauseum, I usually skip those posts/episodes.  I don't need it explained to me again that the burden of proof is on the one claiming that a God exists, for instance.

Hosting a talk show where the whole thing is basically centered on your pontificating is probably a difficult thing to do well - at least, in a way that attracts listeners.  I suppose I can respect that, but I don't think that I can listen to this stuff much longer.  If I didn't find it to be hilarious, albeit unintentionally so, I probably would have tuned out a long time ago.


Nolan said...

Too lazy to search for the link, but there was a study done that showed people who tend to be conservative are that way because their minds are only able to process black/white, good/evil scenarios. They are not good at seeing nuance, whereas liberals tend to wallow in the shades of grey. This perhaps explains why they'd like their views reinforced over and over again, and why there are about 30X as many right-wing radio/tv/books as there are left-wing.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Oh yeah, well...The Constitution!