Friday
Jun112004

« The Devils We Know »

Okay, I don't know whose side of the fence to come down on...

Clear Channel Communications is on the business end of the FCC's crackdown on indecency. Now, I hate the idea of censorship as much as the next dude, but fuck (or more germane to this discussion, "buttfuck"), Clear Channel is the devil in the flesh, and I think they need to be taken down a notch. Clear Channel has singlehandedly destroyed radio these days, and San Diego was a huge casualty. I stopped listening to all commercial radio in the last few years, and have only public radio on my dial. CCC has totally emasculated radio, and is an example of everything that is wrong with big business today.

For one, Clear Channel's mission statement is this:

We are in the business of helping our customers grow their businesses. We do this effectively with our wide variety of media and entertainment products.

We believe in maximizing our customer's satisfaction, we will deserve and will earn their continued loyalty. Our goal is to have long term, mutually profitable relationships.
We believe in providing superior value to customers through high quality, technologically advanced, fairly priced services designed to meet customer needs better than all the possible alternatives.
We believe Clear Channel's people are our most important asset. Our teams make the critical difference in how we perform and their skills, talents and determination separate us from our competitors.
We also believe people can achieve their full potential when they enjoy their work, so it is a priority to provide a workplace where growth, success and fun go hand in hand.

The careful eye will detect that nowhere in there is radio or music mentioned. Music, culture, individuality and all those things that oh, I don't know, used to be a part of radio, are now virtually gone. CCC is an advertising medium. The music is what is played between commercials. Music, the language that conveys human emotion even when language fails, is now a loss leader for car dealership ads, Atkins diet ads, and all the other gimmicks that make up American life today.

The CCC modus opperandi is one that creates blandness and sameness everywhere it goes. CCC owns 1200 stations across the nation. They are the Microsoft of radio communications. They also have controlling interest in concert venues. Basically, what that means is, a band such as I could have in my garage studio could only ever become huge on the strength of CCC's willingness to allow that. Well, you know, hardly any small time bands are on the radio now, most being given a token hour or two in the middle of the night, at best. No radio play, no CD sales, and no tours. Basically, the music industry bottlenecks at CCC. Payola is not dead, and no artist of my stature or 10 times moreso could afford to buy radio time, so it basically means the only way to get radio time is to be on a major label roster, which has its own connotations of slavery. Any way you look at it, it is corrupt and out of balance. Two branches of the same industry have strangled the resource which brought them life.

So I gladly say, let CCC burn in hell. They are the fast food of the music world. They are the suburban sprawl of the music world. They are the oil barons of the music world. They are the toilet scum of the music world. What they put out is bad stuff. In the deregulated industry which they have totally subsumed, they are free to fire radio personalities and replace them with prerecorded shows or lame DJs. Their music playlists get fractalized into really narrow demographically driven lists of maybe 50-100 songs that are found to be the most successful in generating revenue from advertisers. They can make or break artists. They strip all the local color out of radio by having shows produced in one town and syndicated or simulcast to other cities all over the nation. The art and the culture of music really has no place to call home in CCC. It is really sick.

A year ago, I heard that there was a chance that CCC would be forced to give up some of its stations in an effort to more fairly. This I would have applauded. I am all for downsizing these monolithic corporations which can't do anything but act on their own behalfs. But now, CCC is more likely to get penalized for letting some little words slip by on air. Well, fuck that fucking shit, fuckwads! If anyone wants to talk about indecency and obscenity, you have to go past the words that every elementary school student knows, and look into the obscenity that is corporate dealmaking that keeps artists off the rosters if they don't possess maximum potential to line the pockets of the companies. Or look for obscenity in the form of allowing George Doubleyew Bush on air. Everytime that fucker is on the air, I seeth with contempt, as I hear him lie through his teeth, pissing on us and telling us it's sunshine (to paraphrase another dead dude from the second week of June 2004). Obscenity isn't just a few words or the glimpse of a breast; obscenity is something that is morally repugnant. Actually, war in Iraq is obscene, and so is corporate scandals, and political dealmaking behind the scenes. If anything, we need to see more breasts and fewer politicians. Jeeze, give me a breast any day. Give me full frontal nudity of either sex before I have to see more war, and more GWB. Give me the occasional "fuck" or "shit" or whatever else, and take fucking Rush Limbaugh off the air! Now, he is obscene! What, we can't say fuck, but we can lead a nation to war and call it god's will? We can justify poverty levels, depression, homelessness, and bigotry? Tell me that isn't obscene.

So who am I rooting for in the CCC vs. FCC battle? I think they can both go fuck each other in the ass, then lick off whatever resulting substances stick to their cocks. Viva the Internet, and all it's porn, and spam, and pundits like me. Its as close as anyone will get to free speech now.

Go read about and listen/watch to Eric Idle's hilarious tribute to the FCC. I guarantee this won't be played on CCC, even if it could make them rich.

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