Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Intensity Breaks

Speaking of radio, I'm occasionally torn.

Since the end of 2006 I've been a loyal Rick Emerson listener, starting when he was on middays at 970 AM. Last month his show moved to KUFO mornings, taking over Adam Carolla's old slot (and Howard Stern's old-old slot) and trying to do Not Your Average Morning Show. (One of the slogans the station used to introduce the show was "The cure for ordinary radio.")

I'm now more often butting up against a personal issue I've had since becoming a fan of Rick's, which is that he sometimes gets too intense for me. His is a rapid-fire show, and the talk often gets heated. And I'm really not used to that in morning shows. When I lived in Hermiston, I listened to NPR. The three morning radio shows I've listened to since moving to Portland in 2001 have been KINK FM's morning show (a calmer show), Greg Glover on 94.7 Alternative Portland (also a calmer show), and until it got cancelled, Gustav and Daria on the pre-Marconi Chaos 94.7 NRK, which could be an intense show because Daria is an intense person, but Gustav is calm and kept that show from getting too intense. (Want to know what I mean by "Marconi Chaos"? Read my post "The Epic of NRK.") So, I'm used to a calmer start to my radio morning.

I've let myself go back and forth between Rick's show and Greg's show; I call it "taking intensity breaks." (I've told Rick this, so I'm not telling tales out of school.) But that intensity often causes comedy, and I'm big on laughing, and so I don't stay away too long -- but if I get too spun up, I get argumentative and wanting to call Rick on something, and when that happens I'm much less funny or amused...

Okay, here's one thing. He's smarter than he likes to let on on-air. Listen to his interviews or his analysis of songs; he knows what he's talking about, and he knows a lot. But he tries to think so fast that he often "out-thinks" himself, spinning himself into confusion so that he might miss some information or try to come to a conclusion based on not nearly enough info so that he says "I just don't understand!" And correcting him or at least informing him of Stuff You May Have Missed, Rick can be a hit-or-miss proposition. Ideally you're funny when you inform or correct him, but again, Argumentative Me is Less-Funny Me, so I'm far from an ideal correcter. It's usually better for me just to send amusing random-ass observations or links to Rick's e-mail, because I do like him to be amused. Ultimately it means he amuses people more.

So. Sometimes, when it comes to radio listening, I'm a wuss. I get spun up too easily about radio. I didn't used to do this: hell, I used to be able to listen to G. Gordon Liddy's 1990s radio show without wanting to spork out my eardrums, and if I'm going to get spun up and angry about someone, shouldn't it be someone with whom I disagree at an almost molecular level like Liddy? I mean, I like a lot of what Rick says. He has interesting thoughts on lots of stuff. (And no, I don't have to agree with Rick on many things to be entertained by him. I know that. It doesn't need pointing out.) But it's not really what I'm used to in the mornings.

I'll handle being an occasional radio wuss. And no, I won't stop listening, even if Rick ever called me a stupid-head on-air. Which he won't.
Tags: radio

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