Saturday, February 4, 2023

On-air, on there

My anxiety often manifests itself in the form of radio dreams. I don’t think last night’s were helped by the fact my Internet connection went down 5 minutes into a Zoom thing where I was talking to a collection of students about podcasting – well, I was supposed to anyway. A couple of hours later my Internet returned, without even an apology. No ‘Sorry about that’, no explanation as to where it had buggered off to. Nothing.

So I then I had a night with a long, epic dream where I was preparing to go on BBC Radio 1, to do an hour’s show between 8pm and 9m. Exciting. An opportunity. But:

– I couldn’t find my car. This was after I had fussed around the house for too long so I couldn’t walk to the radio station because it was too far away.

– The fussing was because my t-shirt was too long. Then the next one was too short. Then the next one was too beige, it didn’t go with my pants.

– Eventually I found the right outfit, which brings us back to the car, which I eventually located, only for a passer-by to hear me say ‘Thank goodness’, before launching into a spiel about how he does custom car wraps and I’d never lose my car again if it was in lovely colours. He would not stop talking.

– Traffic was terrible, then I realised I didn’t have any of my records with me. When I was DJing back in my younger days, I obviously knew the names of songs/artists, but in a dark club, I’d identify the next track by the sleeve of the record (the colour, the design etc). I had no idea if I would be able to pick out songs just by name alone.

– It was now 8.10pm because I was stuck behind a bus and I could hear them on the radio urging me to hurry up and get in because there was ‘dead air’ for the most part, the worst thing there can be on radio (it’s even worse than a Maroon5 medley).

My alarm went off. I woke with a sense of relief but also underlying apprehension. I’m sure coffee will help. I also just feel I needed to get that off my chest, so to speak, but that’s the beauty of having your own blog in a quiet football week. Perhaps it’s self-indulgent, but then you could say the same about 34 Tweet threads about how this player or that manager is next this or the next because of some shit you just made up. Life’s too short.

Speaking of Twitter, I wonder if people’s relationship with that platform is changing. I know mine is. It’s still an important tool for my work, because the one thing Twitter does better than anything else, is break news. You always see it first on there. I’m pretty sure this is simply an accident, not something they did by design, because the design was first and foremost a way for you tell people what you were having for lunch or how you don’t care for broccoli (a 34 Tweet long thread about why people who care for brassica will always be inferior to those who build their existence around tubers or squash).

In general, it’s my only exposure to the news in general, not just Arsenal. I mentioned the other day I’ve essentially reduced my external news consumption to zero. I don’t listen to radio news anymore, I don’t read any papers, I don’t watch TV news. It’s just all too depressing that in 2021 we have all this information at our disposal and people either don’t believe it, or it’s deliberately manipulated by those in power to enable their own dishonesty and corruption when they should be working to serve the good of the people who elected them. A fanciful notion, I know, but it’s hardly a utopian ideal, is it? Not to mention the fact that even when they are exposed for what they truly are, the vast majority of people are too worn down with actual problems that impact their daily lives for it to make any difference. Or these things play out online for a while and shit just carries on without any consequence for these professional thieves, liars and destroyers of society.

I like my Arsenal feed though. I like the fact I can pick and choose who I follow and who I see. I like that I can interact with good people on there, and I don’t have to spend any time on people whose intentions are dishonest. You can spot them a mile away. Bad actors (I don’t mean Al Pacino in Scent of Women) who are only out to cause an argument. They can’t be beaten in an argument because no matter what you say the goalposts will shift. So, there’s no point even engaging. For all the criticism of Twitter, I will give them this: the mute function is great because the people who spend all day every day on there looking for fights are just screaming into the void and I don’t see a thing.

However, it does feel as if things have become more toxic, where everything is taken so seriously it makes you think twice about even posting. Not that it’s any great loss to anything. I don’t have a lot to say that’s particularly important, and nobody’s going to miss a stupid joke about something or other. This is an ephemeral platform. Civilisations in the future – if we survive to become underground mole people who exist in the subterranean realm to avoid the rays of the sun (Mozaic – released on the Perfecto label, around 1996, blue and black label like the Inter Milan shirt) – won’t be using Twitter as some kind of historical tool. Their Internet will probably be out anyway.

It’s a bit of a ‘back in my day’ thing to say ‘It used to be more fun’, but it used to be more fun. Now it’s something else. I guess that’s just the way the world works, not just Twitter.

I think I might need to take a dog for a long walk. Have a good one. Back tomorrow.

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