Greet the Morning

Last night, I set my alarm to wake me with radio chatter. The channel had been set to public radio and NPR.

Which meant that it would be the first thing I encountered in the morning. I must hate myself.

The first story involved a woman who wrote short stories ‘celebrating’ interpersonal problems. She said that she worked in the medium of short stories because she couldn’t manage plot, and short works made it possible to create the appearance of plot without the substance. The phrase ‘urban haute bourgeois’ could have been coined to describe her.

I threw up a little in my mouth.

Next up were people who were shocked! shocked! at the revelation that an entire generation’s worth of baseball players used chemical supplementation to compete. Well, what do you expect? When you demand new records, developments beyond those of the past, constant improvement, eventually you’re going to run into human limitations. The players of yesteryear were schlubs compared those of today. But there’s only such much diet and training can do. If you want to go past that, you have to try to push the human body beyond its natural limits.

If you won’t content yourself with repeating the past in athletic performance, if you demand that people do more than anyone had ever done, you’re essentially demanding that they use drugs to do so, without ever coming out and saying it. And once a few have done so, everyone who wants to compete with them must do the same. It’s inevitable.

Shocking? Only to complete fools.

Then came an economist bemoaning how CEOs had ceased to be caretakers of their companies and society, instead turning to maximizing short-term fluctuations in stock prices so that as much money as possible is made by shareholders.

Leaving aside for a moment the question of whether the CEO of a business ought to be a shepherd for society… if you think publicly-traded companies ought not to concentrate on maximizing return on investment for shareholders, why don’t you repeal the laws making it illegal for companies to do anything else?

Havens of liberality sometimes asked me why I didn’t think the latest interventions they supported were going to bring about a more perfect world. Didn’t I believe in the power of regulation?

Oh, my brothers and sisters, I believe. I believe in the power of regulation the same way I believe in the power of the fusion bomb. Don’t be so proud of the technological monstrosities we’ve created — the power of nuclear weapons is insignificant, compared to the power of the regulatory agency.

Don’t the people at NPR have any sense of irony? Or even proportion? How do they keep from collapsing in fits of laughter when they listen to the things they put out over the airwaves?

It almost makes me wish I could receive Howard Stern — at least that’s garbage without pretensions. Honest, straightforward filth. When it’s funny, it’s intentional. And it hardly ever makes me want to cry.


2 Responses to “Greet the Morning”

  1. My clock radio used to wake me with Howard Stern. It was terrible.

  2. are you unfamiliar with NPR? it is the equivalent of sunday mass for progressives. Does anyone laugh in church when the priest says silly things? Of course not. Everyone knows this is Serious Business. Religion is about signaling to the tribe your loyalty. Progressives must signal their inclusion in Right Thinking Society.

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