Friday, February 13, 2015

"the music you grew up with"

Since moving to a new hub, one on a lake rather than a prairie, I've needed to come up with new entertainments. In a sense, this is similar to the move I made in the late 70s from upstate New York to Boston: in that pre-McDonaldsation of media time, there were new radio stations playing unheard music and TV stations-more than three!-some devoted to showing old movies or those new technological marvels, music videos.

Television here is mostly unexplorable as we rarely hold a solid signal for long, and having recently lived in an area where we only got variants of public TV, so we aren't much interested in what might be there. But I must have music, and as nearly every station here either plays "Jesus loves me" music or a rotation of hyper-modulated American Idols trying hard to be the worst of this year's boy band/Miley Cyrus mix up, my options seemed extraordinarily limited. But I have discovered an oldies station playing mostly mid-70s to early-80s tunes. And while it's true I often have to slog through Journey yelling "Separate Ways" prior to yet another Bee Gees slice of disco DOA in order to hear Al Green wailing "Let's Stay Together," I don't deny it's more often worth it than not. The station, out of Manitowoc, bills itself as playing "the music you grew up with," and as I liken listening to it to listening to a commercial MOR station in 1983, that's at least somewhat accurate.

A more interesting entertainment, incorporating modern tech, is the Twitter feed Sheboygan Scanner. This is, apparently, someone listening to his police/fire/EMT scanner and transcribing what he (or she) hears. And the transcriber is a stickler for accuracy, often correcting previous misunderstandings of roads or injuries, and enclosing words he doesn't hear quite right in a pair of brackets with a question mark. This person is enamored of the word "bonk", using it for head injuries of the elderly, as in "older woman slipped on patch of ice and bonked her head" and "elderly man in car accident no injuries except for bonking his head on exiting the vehicle." He also, this winter of sudden freezing snow, elides many accidents into a phrase beginning "car vs"-"car vs snowflake," "car vs sign," "car vs house" and the frightening "car vs kid." Small, heartbreaking stories can come across in these short, nearly poetic peeks into other people's lives, as in this from a post about an hour ago: "24th st & Indiana ave - male pushed female, then they held hands." How can I possibly be unhappy to have moved where such an incident is worth reporting?

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