With any luck, Emerson was actually right about something when he wrote that "foolish inconsistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." After having written about civility (to be precise, calls for civility, that is, demands for certain critical ideas to remain unspoken, as though criticism was always uncivil), today I have a question sparked by two recent news stories about radio asswipe Michael Savage.
(Obviously, I'm not interested in being civil toward him.)
The stories both concern protestors calling for Savage to be fired or his show pulled off the air because of some hateful, badly misinformed, deliberately and idiotically outrageous statement of his. Most recently, he claimed autism is over-diagnosed and the real problem many of these kids have is the lack of an abusive father. (Really, I am not making it up. Savage's concept of fatherly guidance is to tell his kids to not be morons.)
The punchline is, the program is losing individual advertisers, but not losing revenue. He's very popular. The market, in short, has spoken, and what it is saying is: There's a whole hell of a lot of people in the US who really love being lied to, very loudly, by abusive shitheads.
Therein lies my question. Is this what people want in radio entertainment? Where is the fun in it? I'm tempted, but resist, imputing that the pleasure is in having someone express one's hateful, asinine urges, a sort of Two Minutes' Hate by proxy.
My other question is how I can get in on this kind of action, because for Savage and Limbaugh and Imus and O'Reilly (and a bunch o' others) it's quite lucrative. I'm qualified, too: I can yell, I have irrational hatreds (mostly of the Philadelphia Flyers, but we can build on that), I could even write my own material. I think I have the vocabulary down, too: "moron," "destroying America," "nutcases," "whiners."
I'll work cheap, too, to start. I'll take $100,000 a year, and be happy with it! That's a big savings over a lot of the professional screamers out there.