Showing posts with label WFUV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WFUV. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trashing the boss is an Idiot's Delight

I'm so happy I didn't make that pledge to one of my favorite radio stations.

Saturday evening, I'm out in the yard, slingblade and shovel in hand, turning a weedy plot into a big vegetable garden. Sitting a few feet away, on an old railroad tie, is a radio, tuned to my little AM transmitter that's pumping the Internet feed of WFUV -- the voice of Fordham University, "The Jesuit University of New York" -- into this weedy little expanse of Flyover Country.

I LIKE WFUV. It, over the years, has become the resting place of some of New York's most legendary FM jocks from the days when FM mattered to a music-loving world. Jocks who dictated how a nation listened to music at legendary stations like WNEW. Jocks like Dennis Elsas and Pete Fornatale, who were later cast off as Corporate America set about killing radio.

Even today, Elsas and Fornatale do some of the smartest music programming on the airwaves . . . or what's left of the airwaves, alas. Saturday, it was Fornatale's wonderful Mixed Bag Radio that kept me company as I turned the earth, by hand, like Nebraskans of old.

And as my back got in touch with every one of my 47 years.

Soon enough, 7 o'clock rolled around -- time for "New York's last freeform DJ," Vin Scelsa, with Idiot's Delight. Little did I know.

The following is verbatim from the archived program:

So we're in Studio V [Scelsa's home studio -- R21], and here at the beginning of the show tonight, I want to acknowledge and celebrate an important judicial decision that was handed down by the state supreme court in California this week -- it's about time. We've got another state now joining Massachusetts, having its highest court say that gay people just have -- have just as much right to marry as anybody else.

Gay people have equal rights in this country! Or at least in the state of California, and the state of Massachusetts. Yes!

We celebrate this -- it's the last bastion of . . . of old thinking that exists still in this country. You know, you read about like, uh, the history of interracial marriage in this country. There was a woman who died recently who, back in the 1950s, was forced to leave her home -- she and her husband. It was a black woman and a white man who grew up in a very interracial, mixed community in the state of Virginia, I believe it was.

And this was back in the 1950s. They got married and were forced to leave their state and told they couldn't come back, and we look at that and we go, "Man, that's absurd,' you know? It seems like the Dark Ages, not the 1950s, but in that sense, the '50s were the Dark Ages. And we still are in the Dark Ages when it comes to gay people and gay rights, and . . . and civil unions don't cut it.

Civil unions is a compromise. Civil unions is appeasement, and we know how we all feel about appeasement.

Until gay men and women have equal rights in this country, there is a big, black cloud hanging over us all.

So, here at the beginning of the show today, we salute California with a little set of traveling music.

[Set of music about California, ending with Judy Garland singing "San Francisco," live at Carnegie Hall, 1961.]

I forgot about that little speech at the end. You can smoke or drink or get married, here in San Francisco or in California. No matter who you are, no matter what you are -- race, religion, gender no longer matter in San Francisco. And this opening set tonight is a celebration of that state supreme court decision that came down in California this week legalizing gay marriage.

Finally, equal rights. Let's hope it sticks.

The governor, Schwarzenegger, says that he will, umm, he will not support any move to battle this decision.

It's the writing on the wall, friends. It's the handwriting on the wall -- it's gonna happen, it's happening slowly . . . it's happening too slowly, but the same thing was true with, with umm, uhh, you know, the civil rights movement back in the '50s and '60's, it happened too slowly. The women's movement happened too slowly, but gradually changes are made, changes are made because the world is changing, people are changing.

Kids, and young generations now, just take it for granted that people love whoever they love. And, and if they want to make a commitment to the person they love, then they should be allowed to make a commitment just like anybody else. It's . . . it's taken for granted by young people. They're . . . they're much hipper and smarter and world, uhh . . . world wise than, uh, so many of their elders.

[Promos, station ID, comes back to list selections in the previous set, then in the middle of the back announce. . . .]

Do you think that most people who are against the idea of same-sex marriage, of gay marriage, have . . . just have never met a gay person? Is . . . is that it? Is that what it comes down to? That they've never met a gay person, that all they know about gay men and women is, uhh, you know the . . . the sort of stereotypes that they see on the TV and the movies?

And . . and in real life they've never . . . a lot of white people have never met a person of color. That's hard to believe here in New York, you know, 'cause we're such a . . . a multicultural city -- and in this whole area of the country. But when you go to other parts of the country, and you can, you know, go for a couple of days and never see anybody who doesn't look white. And that has a lot to do with, with fostering prejudices, you know?

If you . . . if you, if you only have your imagination and the fears that have been instilled -- you've got to be taught. South Pacific is back on the Broadway stage over at Lincoln Center, with that great song . . . 'You've got to be taught to hate and fear, it's got to be drummed in your dear little ear, you've got to be carefully taught.' And then if nothing ever comes along to, to, to shake those things that you were taught . . . to shake them up and make you think differently -- well, then you're not going to think differently.

Oh, don't get me started on this subject. I think I already am started on this subject. I feel adamant. And angry. Because I do know people who are in this situation, people who are discriminated against simply because they love somebody who a certain part of society says is unnatural, and illegal in the sense that, you know, you're not gonna get locked up or arrested or whatever, but you're not gonna have the same rights as the rest of us.

That's absurd! Absolutely absurd! (chuckles)

There's no logical reason for it except that people have been taught this, and they never learn anything different. Arrggh!

But in California this week, there was a victory! And . . . and, and every man and woman in America should celebrate it, not just . . . not just people who are gay. Not just people who are in same-sex relationships, but every man and woman. Because until . . . you know, it's the old cliche: Until we're all free, then, none of us is free. Until we all have the same rights in this country, then none of us has those rights. It's as simple as that.

[Returns to announcing songs in the previous set.]

WELL, IT'S GOOD TO KNOW exactly how big an idiot am I. Exactly what a mean oppressor am I. How narrow-minded am I, as a resident of one of those bucolic hellholes lying outside New York City, where I probably haven't seen a Negro forev . . . never mind, there goes one now.

Likewise, I guess I need to inform a gay friend of mine that he must not be after all, being that I have known him for 20 years and still oppose same-sex marriage -- an opposition that, according to Scelsa, must be rooted in my complete ignorance of homosexuals.

Yea, verily I stand before thee as a hater, for I have been carefully taught. By the Catholic Church.

Well, slap mah mouf and call me Nellie Forbush.

Of course, Vin Scelsa is entitled to his opinion, no matter how ungrounded in natural law or human anthropology. On the other hand, Mr. Scelsa last weekend took a nice little chunk of his program to trash part of the mission statement, as it were, of his employer. You know, the Jesuits. A wholly owned subsidiary of the Catholic Church -- that bigoted bunch of haters who carefully taught the likes of lil' ol' me to hate the poofters, don't you know?

WHICH, TO BE SURE, isn't even true. Nowhere does the Church say to hate anyone. Nowhere does the Church say that same-sex attraction is even sinful.

What the Church does say is that marriage -- defined as the union of a man and a woman for many millennia now -- is "a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring." Same-sex unions not only never have met the "marriage" litmus test but, according to how marriage has been defined throughout all of human history, never can meet that standard.

What the Church also says is that sex outside of marriage is sinful, not to mention societally disruptive. Therefore, while homosexuality is a condition that is neither virtuous nor sinful, it is a disordered condition in regards to how intimate relationships were biologically and sociologically designed to operate. And, therefore, homosexual acts are sinful -- there is no way for them to occur in a morally licit context.

IT WILL BE INTERESTING to see how far gone the Jesuits are -- whether they've gone from mere doctrinal squishiness to out-and-out self-hatred with anti-Church proclivities. Really, are the Jebbies so far gone that they'll tolerate letting their employee use their facilities to trash a fundamental teaching of their Church, and then insinuate they're a bunch of mind-poisoning bigots?

I can't speak for the Jesuits, but let me ask you this: Would you let it slide if you invited someone into your home (or into your employ), only to have the wretched little troll take your money, eat your food, insult your religion and your moral values after having hijacked your PA system?

Me, I think you'd probably sock the sumbitch in the schnoz and throw his ass into the street. That's what I think.

But I guess I could be wrong " . . . because the world is changing, people are changing."