So I was driving home from work the previous Monday and was forced to listen to Radio 2. There were several reasons for this and I also have more reasons for why I don't really like radio, so don't stop reading yet because I assure you this is going to get in depth and so obviously more interesting.
With no CDs in the car and my MP3 player dead to me without its auxiliary jack so that it could play through the speaker system, I was truly in the depths of a first world crisis. How was I ever going to drown out my own nagging thoughts, which I had to be stuck with throughout my work day as they incessantly pile-drived me with accusations that “You're wasting you're life you know” and “when are you ever going to get off your ass and actually finish something that you start instead of just constantly lying to people that the reason you've never gotten round to actually writing anything of more worth than an internet article is because of formatting issues and plot details that need to be worked out, very complicated stuff, when really it's anything but and you're just a lazy piece of shit who prefers to live in the fantasy realm of his own imagination rather than actually take a risk and put any of that into practise”. Then my brain went on to tell me I had a small dick and that I wouldn't make it to the shops quick enough to get tomatoes, just to kick me when I'm down.
Anyway so I was in the car and ready to turn up whatever other noises I could find to drown out my stupid self hating brain and paralyse it just enough so that I could get home, turn on my computer and let the real mental sedation begin. Unfortunately, I had just had my car serviced and in my completely irrational fear that one of the mechanics would risk his career in order to steal my beaten up copy of 'Simply Red: Greatest Hits', I had removed both this and all of my other CDs, as well as any wires or ice shovel that I felt were of a high enough value to salvage from the half finished trash heap of soft drink bottles and screwed up drive-thru Mcdonalds receipts that litter the majority of my car.
So there I was; traffic as far as the eye could see because of some dick that had decided to take a crash and probably die on that day, which just wasted everyone's time overall and more importantly, elongated my no distractions dilemma. So I turned on the radio and flicked around the BBC stations because Capitol and Magic fm had been blasting the same old 80s hits into my ear all day and I was beginning to tire of them, especially with the extra added dose of Bruno Mars that is sporadically dumped into the mix to drive you extra mad as you're trapped in your little office chair all day, unable to complain but unable to stop listening as all you have for your salvation is glass of water and an angry customer on the phone shouting at you to fix something that is the fault of various contract laws and corporate indifference. With the power of a vehicle behind me now, I felt that if that happened again I may be pushed over the edge and do something drastic, so I decided to stay away. I began to wonder if that's what the crash victim had had playing on the radio before his accident.
I then tried to find which BBC station tailored to me most. All of the stations suffered from the same problem of insufferable over enthusiasm, so I tried to find another quality of the show that could alleviate this enough for it to distract me. Radio 1 was just flat out annoying, with some guy yelling his boring opinions and wacky observations above background music which was struggling to fill the void made by the emptiness of his words. Radio 3 was just classical music and I just can't listen to that for some reason. Radio 4 was more along the right lines, except that over enthusiasm had been replaced by stomach churning awkwardness, as a mixture of all ages from all different backgrounds came on to discuss a range of dull topics and sometimes try and inevitably fail to be cutting and witty.
I ended up sticking with Radio 2. It was Steve Wright in the afternoon time and although I find Steve Wright to be an annoying over enthusiastic cunt by belief who speaks with the endless wavering of Chris Tarrent and a bomb raid siren, it was the subject of his show which gave me the extra boost of annoyance needed to ignore all of his failings. The segment I had tuned in for was Monday evening's Astrology Time with Steve Wright and whatever the name of his star reading guest was. They had a very simple set-up. People would call in with their problems and the star reader would source through her multiple references, which I'm guessing was just a toddler's astronomy book and the Mystic Meg horror-scopes torn out of the back of The Sun.
Remember, no matter how intelligent you are, what experiences you've had, or whatever qualifications you've earned; this middle aged woman holding a lump of glass will still always be more informed than you
Now these weren't light weight questions either. These were genuine problems, the result of which would affect these people's lives forever and in their confusion they had decided the best thing to do was call up the star bullshitter on Radio 2. In response to their sensitive problems, the astrologer did the responsible thing and spouted a lot of shit about their signs and then just told them to do whatever she thought would sound like a good answer. Just to give you an example of what kind of consequences she gracefully threw aside, our first caller was a woman who had split up from her long term boyfriend, the latest break in a series of break ups since the two had a lot of problems. Our astrologers advice, asking no questions about the nature of the relationship or what her feelings on the matter were, was simply to tell her that she was a Sagittarius and that it was Aries nature of her boyfriend that was making the relationship hard, but since Mars (the strength planet) was coming into her sign soon, that she thought the relationship would all turn out fine. Whippidy doo da dee, well that's good news. I was worried there that there might be some boring discussion and counselling in trying to solve their relationship problems, but thank god there wasn't because bloody Mars is here to the rescue.
Second, we had a woman who called up, who having just decided on a career change, was enquiring whether or not she should take up the accounting job that she'd been offered. Her reasons for debating this was because she wasn't sure if she actually liked accounting and was thinking whether or not instead she should go and accomplish her other dreams first. This seems like a real personal turmoil, the consequences of which could either be you laughing all the way to the bank or alternatively, sitting alone in your semi expensively furnished apartment staring into an empty bottle of Rose and wishing that your existence hadn't turned into the hollow material sham that your decisions to go into accounting had made it.
Good thing then that Missy Astrologist is here to read the stars, ramble out some shit about Jupiter and Saturn being nearby, buzzing around your star sign like cosmological flies around philosophical shit, and somehow through their magic space beams giving you the power and determination needed to go ahead with the accounting job. Will it make you happy? Possibly not if you're doubting that it will, but it doesn't matter because the massive slabs of dead rock in the sky have declared it so, using this crazy person on the Steve Wright show as their cosmic delivery system.
Steve Wright sat amazed the whole time, but not in a dumbfounded way that any rational person would have, but instead one of stupefied amazement. “Hang on I don't get this”, he asked. I waited for him to begin criticising her reasoning but almost immediately after he just told her that he didn't get how she was working it out but that she must be very clever for doing it.
Ahh the ancient wisdom of astrology. The same ancient wisdom that bought you stoning females who had sex out of wedlock and cutting off bits of children's knobs
I was amazed. Not just by how completely gullible, or at least over polite that Steve Wright was being but just the entire scene. Playing with people's lives aside, which is a hard one for me to accuse them of doing by themselves anyway since the caller's themselves already believed that Horror-scopes were the answer when they called, so some element of blame rests with them for not contemplating their lives enough anyway. Even the person dealing out the readings may have genuinely thought what she was doing was the right and honest thing to do and so from her perspective it's very hard to fault her, at least in terms of her doing what she thought was best.
What I found amazing was just the fact that this was even happening at all on afternoon radio. Programmes like this are surely supposed to focus on completely secular and public interest subjects like the weather, news, gossip and music. The superstitions and beliefs reaching out into the supernatural field do have a place in this and although I do find anything that is discussed within their subjects both meaningless and invalid, it still makes sense to have segments in the schedule for shows dedicated for them and them alone. But to have a segment on radio where it's gone from Steve Wright talking about the traffic and then for an astrologist to come on, and then for everything she says to be taken as fact and for no one to question it seemed amazing to me. I don't want her to berated live on air, but literally at no point were her beliefs or what she was saying and recommending to these people as advice ever questioned. It was almost as if the BBC were promoting it as solid, factual truth. There was no disclaimer that it was her own opinion, nor that what she might be saying was bollocks and not necessarily the best advice.
It was all taken as red.
So that was that. It amazed and shocked me that this had happened. This wasn't it's own show, like they often have on the BBC, where people will spend an hour talking about angels and Christianity. This was a straight up blend, where irrational nonsense somehow found it's way onto national drive time radio and... no one batted an eyelid. Apparently that's fine now. To just discuss unverified star gazing as a valid opinion is considered absolutely cool with everyone, and even promoted by Steve Wright, who could have denied it being on his show at any point. I have no idea why it was green lighted but my hope is that if the world has any sanity at all, things like this can be forced back to the back of the TV Mag where it belongs.
This is my horror-scope. I will boil the vague advice it gives into a simple to digest format.
Don't say or do things that you don't know anything about. Ironic.
On a very much website related side note, Aaron has asked me to update everyone, that his internet is omnifucked and for the moment he won't be able to post anything. Not that with the current frequency of posting, anyone would really notice.