Sunday, January 22, 2012

First Two Shows Successful At The Look 24/7 - Miller Test Essay

January 20th and 21st, 2012 marked the first two shows of the new long-form version of Shortwave America at The Look 24/7. On the first show, which featured parts one and two of the Shortwave America Special, "30 Years of Space Shuttle Communications History", we also featured Amateur Radio Newsline by the gracious permission of the folks there, and we also aired the Media Network Plus World-Wide Radio News, Keith Perron's visit to the BBC Kranji Far East Relay Station, and also his newest review of the Tecsun PL398BT Shortwave Receiver.

This first show also featured the new Radio France International "Sound Kitchen" show with Mitul Kansal from India with his essay, "I Believe".

Music on this show was: The Hamband "Join Us On The Airwaves", Bob Carlisle's full version of "WKRP In Cincinnatti", Jon Fiore's "Out On The Edge" from the 1985 movie "The Heavenly Kid", and Europe's "The Final Countdown" to name a few.

Paulette MacQuarrie from Nash Holos and Media Network Plus joined us in chat at The Look 24/7's chat room, along with Chris Freitas of WUMR and ESPN Sports Radio 92.9FM.

Last night's show (January 21st 2012) was called "Surprise Saturday" as we covered many decades of radio comedy by Burns and Allen, Eddie and Jobo and their Bureau of Senseless Surveys, Howard Stern, old 80s parodies on Z100 "The Zoo" in New York, The Edge Radio in Minnesota,  and Kevin Matthews from 13 Feburary 1988 when he was working at what used to be WLUP AM 1000. These are just a few samplings of last night's show.

Music from last night included: "Jukebox Hero" by the well known and esteemed "Foreigner" band, Credence Clearwater Revival - "Fortunate Son", and Iron Maiden with "Aces High". Again, this is just a sampling of the music presented last night. Despite rumors about Aces High by Iron Maiden about what it actually meant, it was actually a song about lead singer, Bruce Dikinson's passion for aviation. Bruce is a licensed airline pilot and has been for quite some time.

Miller Test Essay: This essay does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Look 24/7, its parent companies, sponsors, donators, station personalities, or other Look 24/7 affiliates. This essay also does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of anyone who is affiliated in any way with Shortwave America other than the Owner, Founder, Chief - Editor and Chief Producer of Shortwave America.

Now, listeners and readers should know that last night's show had a rather valid point to it. Those who listened may know that from the time the Howard Stern bit came on, it was not a family friendly show until the end when the show went back to focusing on early 1900s radio comedy. The FCC is currently in the U.S. Supreme Court fighting over their legal ability to clamp down on radio and tv programming in context of show content (swearing, adult material catering to a mature audience.) Defense attorneys are arguing that radio and TV are not uniquely pervasive nor uniquely accessible to people under 18 years of age. This is a fair and powerful assessment of today's media that SCOTUS should listen to.

The vastly diverse radio and TV audience should not be victims of a nanny state telling them what they can and can't see or hear simply because of the hour such material airs. Parents need to be held accountable for attending to their children and parents need to be the ones to make the decision to either get their kids away from such content by turning it off and re-directing their kids to other activities, or acting as a guide to their children so the kids grow to understand the difference between a radio / television actor and the realities of real life in the outside world.

One other problem noted with our overly - protective and seemingly over-sensitive general public is that this generation was born in the 80s and 90s, at the beginning of what has come to be known as "Child Protection Paranoia". This obsessive and unrealistic over-focus on protecting children has extended to even building a wall between our nation's children and life in the real world. What this situation has led to is a spoiled, maladjusted generation that takes everything literally. No one seems to be able to separate the content and character of a radio / TV show from the real world.

All of this goes hand in hand with the remnants of the busy-body culture from a specific era of the early 1900s that continued unchecked until the late 1980s. During these ages, specifically in the 70s and 80s, the best mental health professionals of our time warned society of the dangers of obsessive over-protection of the more modern generation and what the result would be. Nobody listened. When it comes to entertainment, society has decided that they want to have the freedom to see and hear what they want, but they have also awkwardly decided to adhere to the failed disaster of political correctness in which everyone thinks the government should legislate morality and protect them from ever feeling offended.(God forbid a radio or TV production should make some people in the audience blush or hurt their wittle feelings)

Apparently, the FCC hasn't learned that legislating which audience demographics can be catered to and when they can be catered to just forces it all underground where it boils until an eruption occurs. Hence, the advent and continuing presence of pirate radio.

WAKE UP!! There is NO SUCH RIGHT to be placed in a bubble of protection! Turn the dial if you don't wanna hear something. Change the channel on your TV if you don't want to see something. No one is holding a proverbial gun to your head and forcing you to hear or watch!

The inalineable right to free speech and free association does not end because someone is shocked or offended or embarrassed. Those things which truly shock the conscience and fail to meet the legal standards as put forth here from Miller vs. California (The Miller Test):

  • Whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
  • Whether the work depicts/describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state law,
  • Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
The work is considered obscene only if all three conditions are satisfied. See the Miller Test wiki and The University of Missouri - Kansas City study on the Miller Test. The justices of SCOTUS have repeatedly recognized that those calling for more 1st amendment restrictions were only pretending to be shocked and offended and were merely only using clever arguments to uphold a nefarious agenda.

Only when we remove the superficial barriers constructed by the various forms of fear mongering, can we move towards open and honest communication and discussion on important issues in society. Leading mental health experts who have repeatedly tackled these subjects have found on a consistent, repeated basis that it is indeed healthy to have open and honest discourse in society. These experts have demonstrated value in radio and TV actors who use programming aimed at shocking people awake, as it can serve to both uncover truly harmful evils, and tell the story of multiple current day realities that cannot be covered up by being superficial.

The politically correct "polite company" crowd has to come to terms with all of this, and aquire the necessary social and personal skills to deal with everyday subjects even if they are uncomfortable or unpleasant. The more we learn, the more we know. The more we know, the more we understand. As culture in society evolves, as the times we live in continue to change, radio and TV will continue to push the extent of their work to reflect the current and changing living conditions and behaviors of what really is a dysfunctional society.

Anyone who has any accurate knowledge when it comes to social studies internationally knows that America is about 30 to 40 years behind when it comes to freedom of expression and freedom of association. European society from the UK to Italy and The Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, and other parts of the EU are actually more well adjusted and educated in free expression and freedom of association, and therefore, better able to handle social and political discourse on these matters.

The fact is that Americans only pretend to be shocked and offended at the subjects of sex, religion, politics, relationships and personal choice on the airwaves because let's face it: they don't want to deal with their neuroses and find it more convenient to sweep it all under the rug

The Miller Test is fine as is. Don't fix something if it isn't broken. Radio Australia has an excellent program focusing on Mental Health issues, called "All In the Mind", presented in an equal and fair balance. Listen to that show for a while and maybe you can become educated on these matters. Perhaps certain amateur radio repeater owners / trustees / control operators all over the nation would do better if they applied the common sense approach set forth in the Miller Test instead of worrying about their repeater's public image and what other people might possibly think. If your repeater is hosted on someone else's property and you know there is a chance someone there will hear something that is unpopular or is a contentious topic, etc. then TURN THE SPEAKERS DOWN or turn them off. 

This concludes the Shortwave America Miller Test Essay.

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