Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Classic Rock: Not so Classy

I have 1,000 other things I should be doing right now besides blogging. VBS work is in very full swing right now as it actually kicks off Monday morning. I've been at the church for some VERY long days this week in preparation and the weekend will offer no rest, either. But alas, when I'm busy, it's therapeutic to write. So here I am.

I don't like the radio. I hardly EVER listen to it. I don't like the commercials, and I can't stand most of the music that's out there right now. And then there's the DJs. Morning radio is the worst, as I get incredibly irritated by the mindless chatter offered by the morning hosts. I usually have the iPod plugged into the car, and that way, I am in control of what I listen to on my 25 minute drive to work or my (yikes) 30 minute drive to the doctors' office. The fact that I am going broke because of the amount of gasoline I am using up right now is a different blog for a different day.

Back to the topic at-hand.

Yesterday, the batteries died on the iPod mid-jam session. I don't have a car charger for it yet, so I had to go all day yesterday without it. And last night I forgot to charge it, so I am iPod-less today as well. Which forced me to listen to the radio. Yuck. Now, when I DO listen to the radio, I always tune in to a classic rock station. I love classic rock. Great tunes. And great guitar solos.

But what IS it about classic rock radio stations? There's just something offensive about the words the come out of the DJs mouths-- and the assumptions they make (and stereotypes they perpetuate) about the particular demographic they try to reach. I've been bothered by this before, but today I was especially bothered. I've never listened to a classic rock station without noticing the (not at all hidden) overtones of the objectification of women. There are countless ads for "ladies night" at the bars. And bikini contests... and I quote, "Ladies, you don't have to bare it all. You just have to wear it WELL!" This same ad to which I refer was for 1/2 price admission for men in the "service industries" to come and see. Oh, and of course there are the wet t-shirt contests.

Today I heard one of these classy radio guys say this (and I came into this mid-conversation, so I don't know what led up to this statement): I don't need the naked women I oogle to have a face. In fact, I prefer to just look at their body anyway. Who cares about their face?"

Well... that was enough for me. I changed the radio to the OTHER local classic rock station in town and jammed out to some Kansas. Until, of course, THEIR ads for "ladies night" came on and I just had to turn the whole thing off altogether.

Since when I listen to the radio, classic rock stations are all I tune in to, I may be making an unfair assumption about this genre of station. Do the other radio stations do this, too? CONSTANTLY, as it seems these classic rock stations do? I've just noticed that classic rock radio and lusting after a particular type of woman (who is most assuredly naked or scantily-clad) often seem to go hand-in-hand.

Sure. There are other issues to be discussed here, that I have not addressed. For example, what about the women who choose to be a part of such a culture? Or, what about the lyrics of music played on these radio stations? It's all sending the same message. I actually happen to disagree. Not all the songs getting radio play objectify women. Or what about the culture and time during which these songs were written? Maybe they're just playing into that. Maybe so. Maybe there are other things I'm not seeing here.

But I do know one thing-- I'm pretty sure I won't forget to charge my iPod anymore.


Jana said...

There are several other radio stations that do this and unfortunately it's because our society has allowed the behavior to become acceptable. Lame.

I have been listening to hip hop for some time now, but today I had to stop listening because no joke one of the lyrics was about KY Jelly and I had finally had enough offensiveness for one day. I'll stick to my Christian radio stations and my praise CDs. Good gravy!

Jeremiah said...

wow...those comments are SO over the line, especially the "who cares about the face?" line.

perhaps they should call it assic rock: real assy.

did THAT cross the line?

ps - very well written friend

KellyLawson22 said...

Jeremiah! HILARIOUS. You called it-- an actual laugh-out-loud moment for me. Cackle and all!

nonprofitprophet said...

if you think thats offensive you should read my blog about our trip to sea world and the water park. geeezus. I guess thats why Sirius Radio (which I refuse to pay for) is so popular cause it cuts out the stupid chit chat. ~npp

cary efurd said...

They are just playing to their targeted demographic. Lets face it the vast majority of listeners to classic rock stations aren't 20 something seminary students. It's not offensive to the over-the-hill white trash and/or rednecks that make up their ratings and advertisers know that these are the types that attend wet-t-shirts contests,etc. (not to suggest that everyone who likes classic rock is white trash) Similarly you don't hear many ads for Bed Bath and Beyond on ESPN radio. Its all about demographics baby.