Clear Channel, one of the two radio conglomerates in this fine nation of ours, announced that they were dropping Howard Stern from their stations, only hours after heralding a “Responsible Broadcasting Initative.”
Granted, only six of their stations carry him. (Howard is mainly carried by rival Infinity Broadcasting). So its hardly a case of him being pulled off the airwaves entirely.
Still, it seems a little disingenous to announce a policy only to enforce it so publically hours later. Its certain to me that the policy was crafted, partially, so that they could train it on the likes of Stern.
Do I listen to Stern? No. Do I like Howard Stern? No. But he is very much a canary in the coal mine. It’s a little chilling. Its another shot fired in what is definitely a heating portion of the “Culture Wars”
–The brouhaha over Janet Jackson
–The Federal Marriage Amendment
–Roy Moore’s desire to have a several ton biblical statue in his courthouse
–The controversy over Mel Gibson’s movie.
–The disingenuously named Constitution Restoration Act
It’s all of a piece. And I wish I could say the forces of intolerance, bigotry and hatred are on the wrong side of history and will be swept away, but I know better. I may not have the history education credentials of my friend Ginger but I know enough.
Progress is not a one way vector into the future. We *can* go backwards. In fact climbing a mountain might be a good metaphor. Complacency will let the dark devils of our nature, in the form of gravity, threaten to drag us into the pit of hatred, bigotry and evil.
Certainly, Stern is to many people rude, crude, obnoxious, and offensive. But I would not want to silence the edge in his voice.
“A still tongue makes a happy life” might be true in McGoohan’s Village, but I don’t want to live there. Nor allow one to be constructed here. McGoohan kept away from too much stuff with religion in The Prisoner, with some exceptions. (The “be seeing you” symbol is an old Christian symbol, the sign of the fish).
I have to think that if someone were to redo the series today, one could get a lot of mileage of exploring such themes, too.