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June 24, 2024

Here & Now 159: Radio Junkie

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Here & Now 159

My place. Wednesday, 10.35am

Hello everybody. My name is S and I’m a radio junkie. But I’ve been clean now for two days, three hours and 20 minutes. (Applause.)

It’s been hard. I was a daily user. First thing in the morning, even before I shower, I’d hit the radio button and wait that half-second, breath held, as electrons moved from switch to transistor, and then fall blissfully into the wash of words. Ah, that morning radio rush.

Last thing at night, as I’d lie in bed, I’d flick the switch of my bedside radio, unleashing a torrent of talk, and I’d nod off, the verbal deluge carrying me away like dozing debris in a coastal flood.

Yes, I’m a radio addict – a particular kind of radio addict.

Not for me for the syncopated stimulant of music stations, oh no, but rather the numbing drone of speech. I don’t want pop, rock or ska; I needed blah, blah, blah.

I used to listen to ABC’s RN. A lot.

Like all addicts, I had my excuses: I wanted to know what’s happening in the world; it helped cover my tinnitus; I was lonely. But none of it was true.

I already know what’s happening in the world.

Human expansion, for too long picking up speed on the narrow tracks of constant economic growth, has hit the wall of global limit, and is piling up on itself, a flaming train wreck. In the last carriage, first class of course, and, for a moment, still moving forward, sits a pretense of politicians expousing a belief in moving forward even as they move forward into the fireball.

Still, I needed to know that superannuation will be transitioning to a retirement scheme under a Liberal government. And that Jarryd Hayne may play for the Fiji sevens in Rio. And Australia’s Dami came second in the Eurovision song contest.

Radio does help with tinnitus. But all noise does that. I could go to sleep listening to something really cool, like Diana Ross and the Supremes singing Tossin’ and Turnin’, or even something not so cool, like wild dogs barking from the cliffs behind my shack – all sounds mask the internal cacophony to some extent – but I had to have RN’s relentless raves.

I would doze off to Phillip Adams interrupting some economist from Greece explaining the fall of civilisation or interrupting some manager from CSIRO explaining why climate science doesn’t matter.

I wasn’t lonely. Well, not all the time. I thought sleeping with a radio on the pillow beside me was practical, not pathetic. When my girlfriend visited, I hid it. (And missed it.)

But then, friends, two days, three hours and 21 minutes ago, I quit radio. Cold turkey. Not even a podcast. (Applause.)

Now I wake up in the morning and have breakfast with strawberry jam, not Fran Kelly. I go to sleep watching Firefly re-runs, instead of listening to Late Night Live. I’m not saying it’s easy, living without radio, but I know I have to do it.

So, what made me desperate enough to give up radio?

I’ll tell you: the election.

Listening to the irrelevant ravings of a lunatic elite as the lucky country runs out of it and rushes to ruin, drove me nuts. I started shouting back at the meaningless slogans shouted out by stuffed suits whose humanity had long been sold to the highest bidder. Half asleep, I punched the ranting pillow beside me. Who cares about superannuation when the the reef is dying?

Two days, three hours and 22 minutes ago, I’d had enough.

So now, friends, I take one day at a time.

When it gets too much, I listen to Diana sing I’ll Try Something New. Or the dogs.


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  1. Oh so true, I share your problem. Likewise, I try to turn off and focus on the here and now and what can be done to ease the suffering of the planet using personal empowerment, rather than succumb to the political madness of ‘Coke or Pepsi’ puppet masters who rape and pillage the world.

  2. With you S. still got the drip feed on, but you’re kicking of the habit has inspired me…..but not yet! just another morning shot…I reckon you’ll be back, keep us up-to-dated…


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