Counting Blessings

The other day I was in the car and, tiring of my own thoughts, turned on the radio — a BIG mistake if ever there was one.  What a load of shit, never mind the channel, and for the umpteenth time I mourned the passing of Rush Limbaugh.

Still, could have been worse:  I could live in the Orkney Islands.  Courtesy of Mr. Ishmael comes this little diatribe:

The local, PBC Radio Morning Abo, it is unimaginably hateful to me – cod accents, stagey linguistic anachronism and that hissing, Presbyterian bigotry and racism, the moral compassing of the amoral Gordon Snot, that sort of snooty, son of the Manse preachiness – and the English on that show are even worse, they all sound like David and Ruth Archer, relentless, sinister bullies, determinedly earnest and sanctimonious, people Living the Quality of Life Dream, living in a hovel, with a rusty Land-Rover, vile children and a couple of sickly goats which they should be banned from keeping. They all go back South, these people, lacking the inner resources required for island life, vulnerable beyond the fortifications of the M25 and the M42. The Radio Orkney news is generally along the lines of There’s a big puddle on the road to Stromness; sheep are fetching X poonds at the mart; for the fourteenth year in succession, Mrs Annie Scragg has won the neeps’n’tatties pie-making competition at the Mucksville Women’s Guild; fairmers have expressed concern aboot the geese annoying the coos and eatin’ the seed and the weather is set to be sunny, windy, wintry, fine, warm, very cold with sleet and snow, calm with gale force winds.

I have felt and seen hypodermic needles injecting anaesthetic into my eyeballs and so I know of what I speak when I say I would rather stick pins in my eyes than listen to Radio Orkney.

The evening show is worse; they have music on it, local music. I saw it once, in a community hall, that Jimmy Shand Polka music; I thought, not for the first time, that I had wandered into a horror film; there was a skeletal old woman, must’ve been eighty, thumbing away, deftly, at a huge Fender Precision bass guitar, a wee fat man wrestling with one of those fucking awful Hohner piano-keyed accordions, not a concertina, a big, shiny fuck-off thing, the only appropriate setting for which is in an Austrian Nazi oom-pah band – quite how that is traditional to the Northern Isles I’m buggered if I know – and there was a weedy teenager, snapping a Polka beat from a tiny wee snare drum. It is a matter of taste, of course but I enjoy many, many types of music, from all over the world and have even heard some amazing world music right here and yet I couldn’t find a space in my mind for this stuff. I couldn’t move, I felt as though I had been turned to lead.

Good grief;  Jimmy Shand?  [no link, for humanitarian reasons]

Not even Mark Levin or Sean Whatsisname can cause such anguish.


  1. you’re absolutely right about some of these people on the radio. Levin gets way too worked up. If you really hate your ears listen to Michael Savage for a few days.

    I listen to podcasts of Dinesh D’Souza and Dennis Prager from time to time. Mostly I listen to liquor, gun and tobacco podcasts. The tobacco ones on cigars and pipe smoking can get irksome easily. Sometimes I’ll switch it up with history or college lectures that are on iTunes for free. I don’t pay a subscription to these folks. American Conservative University has a variety of programs on it from libertarian to conservative folks. that’s a nice change of pace.

    Other than podcasts, I listen to my own play lists that I put together. When I drive the missus to work, we listen to a local classic rock station that has a fun quiz in the morning.

    I think Jerry Williams had a talk show about business and financial advice that I would listen to when I was a kid. It was rather interesting. It seems that radio stations put politics and sports ball shows on during the week and the veterinarian, cooking or other shows are on some obscure times on the weekend.


  2. My great grandfather emigrated to Canada, then to the U.S. from the Orkneys. I’ve always wanted to get there to see what it’s like. Now I know to stay away from the radio. I wonder how many residents have Starlink systems now.

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