Who Listens to the Radio?

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I think it is safe to say that by admitting that you listen to talkback radio, you are admitting that you are somewhat of a dimwit. To me, listening to talkback is a bit like sticking your tongue on the bottom of a battery, or watching a train wreck, or trying on a pair of pants at Myer that are too small, but you just want to see by how much. And as you lie there on the floor of the changing room, struggling to do up the fly, you realize that you are ready to admit defeat and accept the fact that you are not a size 14 anymore.

I am a reformed talkback radio addict.

My addiction began a few years ago, when I was at home with babies and was slowly going insane with a need to hear an adult conversation. There were only so many door-to-door salesmen that I could converse with about the benefits of their particular mobile carrier and/or energy provider, so I turned on the radio in the vain hope of feeling connected again.

And that is when I first met John Laws, he of the Golden Tonsils. Or was it testicles..

Hello World indeed! A new world to me, at least. A world filled with Valvoline and Oral B and Being Kind to Each other. On the flip side, it was a world full of raging loonies who would call into complain about absolutely everything. In particular dole bludgers, Boat People, Politicians and my favourite….. THE SNIVEL LIBERTARIAN!

I suppose I was a Snivel Libertarian at this point, as I would yell at the radio “RACIST!” followed by “SEXIST ASSHOLE!” and then “Oh what a sweet old lady… John, send her a clock…” and then “MORON!”

But I never, ever rang in. The type of people that rang in where either serial callers that John knew because they had called in everyday for 12 years, or nervous old people that would inevitably begin the conversation with…

“Hi John. Long time listener, first time caller. I am a bit nervous…”

And then John would assure them that they were doing well, before the caller would launch into an extraordinarily long and rambling attack on a minority group. A call that would then spark call after call of people calling into agree. And I would fly into an anonymous and ineffective rage in the confines of my office.

I was listening to this? Yes, I am afraid I was. I would listen until either Mr Woog would come home and yank the radio from the wall or a mate would pop over and flick it off, telling me that I was far to opinionated as it was. So my talkback addiction had to go underground.

Years later, with the kids both off to school and with me working from home, I still require some company. The landscape has not really changed since Lawsie left, but instead of learning about Valvoline and Oral B, I am now one of our countries foremost experts in pre-paid funerals, erectile dysfunction nasal sprays and innovative paving solutions.

The modern day radio announcer on AM talkback radio is a middle aged, white male with strong right-wing leanings. Someone that I have absolutely nothing in common with. So now I write away with Linda Mottram talking to me, and my blood pressure remains steady

Do you listen to the radio?

Who is your favourite presenter?.