Since the platitudinous nonsense that is broadcast as ‘Thought for the Day’ on Radio 4 each morning presumably contributes in some small way to the fact that ours is, basically, a secular society, why are the atheists or the humanists (or whatever they want to call themselves) so keen to get in on the act? It’s not as if they’d be allowed to broadcast non-platitudinous non-nonsense, I take it, as the slot’s not supposed to be controversial or partisan, and it’s difficult to do n.-p. n.-n. without running a severe risk of being c. or p.. So it’d be platitudinous nonsense, as before, but coming from the secular rationalists or agnostics (or whatever they want to call themselves), instead of coming from the ranks of the God-squad. And the foreseeable result of that would be that listeners would be put off non-theism then, to just the same extent as ‘TftD’ puts them off theism now. I must be missing something, somewhere along the line, but right now I just can’t see what it is.
Archive for the 'radio' Category
Listening to the radio here in Cambridge, the adverts all seem to be public health announcements of one kind or another, warning us against unprotected sex, too much salt in our soup, and driving our cars into fens. Has the recession meant that no-one’s buying radio spots at all, so government agencies (or whatever) are just block-booking them all on the cheap, or is Cambridgeshire a much, much more dangerous and debauched (and, I suppose, salty) place than I’ve been led to believe hitherto?
The BBC have turned my friend Rory Stewart’s book about walking across Afghanistan into the Thursday Afternoon Play this week (2.15pm, Radio 4).
You can use the link to listen to the show for up to a week after the broadcast, which is helpful, as only a madman (or madwoman) turns on Radio 4 in the afternoon before 10pm.
So I’m sitting at home dealing with an email backlog, and the Test Match isn’t very good, but I still want it on anyway, because I’m like that, but we don’t seem to be getting Sky Sports through our telly cable thingy anymore, so I have Radio Five Live coming through the telly, and it turns out that if you have the Radio Five Live coverage you don’t get the interruptions for the Shipping Forecast (which is only on Radio Four Longwave), and have to listen to the commentators’ wittering nonsense through the drinks break.
The Shipping Forecast is one of life’s small but real pleasures, and one of the only reasons to stay Home rather than heading off to live Abroad. (Though I dare say you can get the Shipping Forecast on R4 LW in Northern France.) What have we done to be deprived of it here on Radio Five Live?
(Some of us still haven’t forgotten or forgiven about Finisterre.)
BBC Radio Four isn’t very good, all things considered, and I only listen to it in the absence of any halfway decent alternative, or the presence of a Test Match (and yes — Test Match Special leaves a lot to be desired, too). But one reason why it’s been particularly annoying over the last day or so is that all three of the news programmes I’ve listened to chunks of have had segments on obesity. This is not good radio. None of the producers and presenters have found a way of making it interesting radio. It’s boring. It’s probably important, true, but you guys talking about it makes me want to switch the radio off altogether (and usually it’s only the words, “And now, Thought For The Day” or the theme tune to John Peel’s Home Truths that can make me do that). Drop it. Leave obesity to the sex columnists, who know how to handle it (if not the GLHs themselves).
UPDATE [27.5.2004]: It’s bloody everywhere. Obesity. I mean, not everywhere, but just on the radio, where it annoys me. Still. It was a leading item on last night’s midnight news, and, as Uninformed Jason points out, the bloody Today programme was still banging away on the subject this morning. Grrr.
It’s good to read that Radio 3 is going to broadcast a live performance of John Cage’s 4’33” this evening. The original piece was written for solo piano, but this time around it’s been rearranged for the entire BBC Symphony Orchestra…
UPDATE [luncthime]: Chris Bertram has a report of the time 4’33″ was performed at his school…
(The link is to the broadcast on Amy Goodman’s Pacifica show Democracy Now!; there’s also a transcript, but it’s often inaccurate and it misses out the last fifteen minutes, which include some of the more acrimonious exchanges between Dershowitz and Norman Finkelstein, which contain the most best demonstrations as to why Alan Dershowitz owes the PLO $10,000. There’s some documentary background to this spat over here.)