Tuesday, November 8, 2011

JJ is a blonde female

Let's get one thing straight.  The five of us at the Critics Page are in agreement that public personalities who rely on stereotypes to make a point or a joke lack the creativity, mastery of the English language, and intellectual depth to be called anything other than wannabes.  Thankfully, we have noticed a trend with Crank and JJ to move away from using stereotypes in an attempt to be funny or make a point.  There have been a couple of "slip ups" that were more in the gray area of the definition of a stereotype - mostly concerning the notion of a "real man" - but certainly nothing blatantly offensive as was the staple of the old Matt and Crank show.  For that, we thank Crank and JJ and applaud WZBH for making the overall tone of the programming at the station more palatable to a diverse audience.

After listening to the Crank and JJ show the last couple of weeks, we decided to have fun with this review and use stereotypes to drive home the point of why using stereotypes is not only offensive, but can lead to erroneous conclusions. 

Q: How do you keep a blonde busy for hours on end?
A: Ask her which came first, the chicken or the egg.

Yes, that's a real joke and perpetuates the myth that blondes, specifically female blondes, are airheads. 

The other day, Crank made a comparison to the daily dumbass who set himself on fire and fell out of his deer blind to his death to the chicken and egg question.  Did the fire kill the man or the fall?

JJ asked, dumbfoundedly, what did the chicken and the egg have to do with the story of the hunter.  For the next five minutes or so, listeners were treated to JJ's inability to comprehend the chicken and egg question as it related to the daily dumbass story because he never heard the chicken and egg question before in his entire life.

There you have it.  Proof JJ is a blonde female.  He only let the question go because a commercial break interrupted him.

Still not convinced?  We know, based on another stereotype, that women take ten minutes to tell a two-minute story.  Listen to JJ give his daily dumbass report.  Today, the two-minute story was about a guy arrested for hitting his girlfriend, who slapped a bottle of pills out of his hands thinking he was trying to commit suicide.  He was trying to commit suicide by overdosing on what he believed were sleeping pills, but the reason he earned the title of daily dumbass was because the bottle of pills he tried to OD on was a bottle of Flinstone vitamins.  Like it would a woman, it took JJ more than five minutes to get to the point that the sleeping pills were Flintstone vitamins.

In fact, two of us at the Critics Page usually never find out who the daily dumbass is and why because we switch stations before JJ gets to the point, much like we tune out our wives when they start telling us a story.  Too many words to say not much of anything.

So there you have it - proof JJ is really a blonde female. 

And, hopefully, a lesson of why no one should rely on stereotypes to make a point or be funny.  We're pretty sure JJ is not a blonde female despite fitting the stale and false stereotype.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Listeners are still wasting their time

Dubbed the Worst Show or not, Crank and JJ have chosen the wrong noun to describe what happens in the morning.  "Worst" is debatable, but we object to "Show".  Show implies something memorable.  There's been nothing memorable on the Crank and JJ's show since we last posted a little over a month ago.

"So what warrants this post?" you might ask.  Simple.  Two of our critics listened to two days of rants against male European fashion invading this country.On Thursday, they prefaced the topic with typical sexist remarks of a "real man" works hard and the woman cleans the house.  A "real man" has no need to start wearing women's clothing.

Our two critics brushed the segment off as an exception to their normally innocuous programming (based on what little all five of us actually listen to now-a-days) and reassured themselves Crank's wife and JJ's "significant other" would be thrusting scrub brushes in their hands when they got home as punishment for making such pre-adolescent remarks about women.

But we should've known how insecure little boys really are.  Today, they carried the topic further so they could get some gay bashing time in.  If you're a little boy getting slapped around by your woman for every little thing you say or do is wrong, it is perfectly understandable why you would turn around and lash out at others you erroneously believe you can slap around.

Hard cold facts.  Most people on Delmarva couldn't find Europe on a globe much less know what the latest European fashion is.  In fact, most people on Delmarva don't care where Europe is on a globe much less what the latest fashion trends are.  European fashion trends invading America might warrant a one-liner comment and then move on.  It's a non-issue ranked right up there with Hollywood glamor and what that Chinese gal did while sewing the jeans you're wearing right now.

We're convinced Crank and JJ are not sexist, racist, or homophobic.  We are convinced they are little boys trying to be men.  Real men haven't a clue what the latest fashion trend is, much less what the latest European fashion trend is.  Perhaps if their women weren't slapping them around so much at home, they'd be a little more secure in who they are and what they are doing.  And then maybe Delmarva would be treated to the highest rated "Worst Show" ever recorded.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Threesome with Oprah and Barbara

We found a new toy. Best of all, it's priced right - FREE! We reviewed the show we're making fun of here, Crank and JJ's debut. Yes, you might have noticed "Coffee Party" as the creator. You got us. We're playing around before launching our next webventure. Periodically, we may still mosey over here to poke some fun at our favorite bigots.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another nightly dumbass

Tonight's nightly dumbass is not one, but two people.  Bet you think we're going to name Crank and JJ again, huh?  Nah, that'd be too easy.  Tonight's nightly dumbass, or should we say, dumbasses, are two of our own critics.

Morbid curiosity got the better of them and they decided to tune Crank and JJ in.  They were happy to report that the segment, "Acoustics at eight", has gotten even closer to playing at eight.  At eight-twenty, listeners were treated to a crappy studio song played acoustically crappily. 

But our two dumbasses listened to more than a crappy song.  JJ's daily dumbass was an eighteen-year-old out of Scotland who stabbed his girlfriend to death because she didn't make garlic toast to go with the spaghetti dinner.

Normal, intelligent listeners were probably listening to another station or their CD, but if they happened to be tuned in, no doubt they would fail to see the humor in the tragic story.  The young man probably had serious mental issues, like being bipolar or something, to stab his girlfriend thirty times over garlic toast.  He's certainly not a dumbass by any stretch of the imagination.

Listening on to Crank and JJ's banter, the listener becomes keen to why they would think this murder was worthy of making fun of.  JJ made it quite clear that if your woman doesn't do what she's supposed to do, two black eyes is ok to get her in her place, but murder is not.

Domestic violence and spousal abuse is no laughing matter.   Sure, we know how their defense of their brand of humor would go.  "We made fun of a serious situation to get people talking about these serious issues."

That's the defense being used by a hair salon in Canada for their ad depicting a well dressed man holding diamonds and standing behind a fashionably dressed woman poised on a sofa and flashing a black eye.  The caption reads, "Look good in all you do."  (story)

The owners of the hair salon defend the ad as their attempt to get people talking about a serious subject.  Funny.  Most hair salons design ads to get people to come in and get their hair done.  Instead of people finding the ad thought provoking, they find it insulting and demeaning to women and a wink to the boys who slap their women around.

By the same token, most listeners probably expect Crank and JJ to entertain them on their daily dumbass report with quirky stories of people doing really dumb things that make us laugh.  Killing a young woman is not funny for any reason.  Encouraging spousal abuse and the notion that men should keep their women in line with physical violence, if necessary, is not funny, by any stretch of the imagination.  It also is not an effective method to get people talking about a serious subject.  It is an effective method to convince some listener(s) out there that it's ok to slap their woman around because she's been getting out of hand lately.

Sadly, WZBH chose to air clips of the segment throughout the day to promote the new show.  WZBH must enjoy its reputation of being probably the third most bigoted station on Delmarva.  At least two conservative talk show stations has them beat.  WZBH is trying really hard to steal that title from those two stations.

So how does all this make our two critics the nightly dumbasses?  We've listened enough to know that WZBH may have changed the voices, but the daily doses of bigotry is what WZBH wants to promote.  Today, our two critics held out high hopes that yesterday's programming was a fluke and, instead, learned it only gets worse.  Any dumbass could've figured that out within the first week of The Worse Show Ever with Crank & JJ airing.  Our two critics still aren't convinced that it will only get worse.  The other three of us are.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tonight's nightly dumbass

Since JJ can't give us the nightly dumbass that so entertained us weeknights, we thought we'd fill in.  Tonight's nightly dumbass is not one, but two people - Crank and JJ.

Let's back it up a bit.  We rarely listen to the morning show.  After our initial excitement and hopes for an entertaining show, we ended up with a toned down version of the old morning show.  The personalities are a little bit more likable than in the old format, but bigots are still bigots and bigotry as humor is a bygone fad of almost forty years ago.  It just plain ain't funny no more.

We listened once, last week.  We were amused at the segment, "Acoustics at eight" that came on at five til nine.  The critic writing to you likes the acoustic segment, having somewheres in the neighborhood of seven CDs of acoustic versions of songs by popular bands. 

We listened again, today, and the "Acoustics at eight" segment came on somewheres around eight-thirty.  Amusement has now transformed into befuddlement.  Are there any clocks at the station?

Last week's daily dumbass was a man in Oklahoma who fired his gun at fire fighting helicopters dipping into his pond to fight the wildfires in Texas.  All five of us are in agreement that the man should've been the daily hero and JJ and Crank the dumbasses.  All five of us agree that anyone - and especially government employees - who doesn't want an ass full of buckshot had better ask us before stepping foot on our land much less helping themselves to the resources we own on the land. 

How hard would it have been for the fire fighting commander or local sheriff to pick up the phone and tell the landowner they needed his water to fight neighboring wild fires?  Oklahoma is also in a severe drought.  What if the man relied on that pond to irrigate his fields or water his livestock, wouldn't you expect him to shoot first, ask questions later?  If that pond goes dry, he could lose his livlihood.  Who's going to pay his bills then?

Again, we can't stress it enough.  Do your homework and think outside of the box before making yourself the dumbass.

Today's dumbass was not one, but three people holding up the express checkoout at the Walmart while Crank and JJ were trying to get through the line as quickly as possible. 

First person up - an old lady who paid by <gasp> a check.  There goes that subtle bigotry.  What did her age have to do with how she chose to pay?  Oh yeah, old people are feeble and slow. 

All five of us at the Critics Page have shopped at Walmart and have paid by check.  There's nothing to fill out.  You hand a blank check to the cashier, the cashier feeds it through the machine, which takes less than ten seconds, and then you sign the electronic pad facing you.  Either Crank and JJ are telling us that Delawareans are more backwards than we give them credit for or they completely fabricated the little old lady paying by check.

Second person up - a Mexican who chose to pay with coins for one portion of his order, and a twenty for the other portion.  Again, there goes that subtle bigotry.  What did his ethnicity have to do with how he paid for his order?  In fact, we're willing to bet that while he was probably Hispanic, most likely Latino, he probably wasn't Mexican.  We fully expect that analysis to go whoosh right over Crank and JJ's heads.  Bigots have a hard time understanding that people with brown skin speaking Spanish does not automatically equate to Mexican.

So he shopped for two people.  One was poor and had coins to pay for the order.  The other was rich and had a twenty to pay for the order.  Whether one person pays for both orders separately or two people are ahead of you paying for their own orders, the time standing in line is the same.  And since none of us at the Critics Page are rich like Crank and JJ, we do consider payment in coins as cash payment.  Between paychecks, we're always paying in coins.

Third person up - Mom.  Bashing women through Moms is a favorite pasttime of JJ's.  He'll never bash men through Dads, but he loves to bash women through the incompetent Moms.  What was her stupidity?  Asking the cashier about two different types of cigarettes and which one had more cigarettes. 

Yes, JJ, every smoker and many nonsmokers know there are twenty cigarettes to a pack, no matter which brand.  Every smoker and many nonsmokers also know that a pack of camels isn't the same amount of cigarettes as a pack of Virginia Slims.  Try really hard to think about that one.  We have confidence that you can tell us why both packs have twenty cigarettes, but both packs don't have an equal amount of cigarettes.

Since we are convinced that the first shopper was made up, or at least the story was embellished like a good fish tale, we have our doubts about the other two shoppers, too.  The story was a good yarn to bash the elderly, Latinos (specifically Mexicans), and women.

But that's not why we award the nightly dumbass award to Crank and JJ.  They get the award because they chose to shop at Walmart and support both the Chinese economy and Chinese worker at the expense of our American economy and American worker.

Not a good enough reason?  Don't fret, there's more.

We've noticed the younger generation, particularly those under thirty-five, are impertinent and impatient seekers of instant gratification.  We can thank the Internet, drive thrus, and express checkout lines for the ingrained attitude of instant gratification among the snot-nosed, bratty younger crowd.

Not fun when the group you belong to is singled out for ridicule, is it?  Sad truth is that those of us over thirty-five have more patience, understanding, and compassion for others who operate at a bit slower speed than the seekers of instant gratification. 

Still not good enough reason to award Crank and JJ the nightly dumbass award?  Yup.  There's more.

You both were shopping at Walmart.  If you want prompt service and speed, shop at a high end store where the clerks will annoint your feet as they take your money and usher you out the door.  You shop with poor people, you get treated like poor people.  Shop with rich people, you get treated like rich people.  Very simple equation.  You both were the dumbasses for being in a hurry because you didn't plan ahead of when and where to shop to get the service you think you deserve.  The truth is you deserved the service poor people get and that's what you got.  Dumbasses.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Crank and JJ suck and a kudos to WZBH

We held out high hopes for Crank and JJ.  Crank, we thought, was overshadowed by Matt and never stood a chance to shine.  There's nothing to shine on Crank.  JJ entertained us with his dumbass reports on his night show.  We enjoyed them because they were an entertaining break from an hour or so of good music.  On the morning show, they've become monotonous and predictable.

Entertainment, today, must be all about taking one extreme story of an individual and generalizing that individual's actions as being representative of everyone in a set group the hosts have decided to hate.  Overly broad generalizations are the norm.  We, at the critics page, really don't understand the entertainment value.  We can say that WZBH has chosen two young, White, male bigots to entertain us. 

Crank is the obnoxious bigot.  What he says today will not be the same thing he says tomorrow, but the overriding message he gets across is that White, heterosexual, male power is the only right way to go. 

JJ is the lovable bigot much like Archie Bunker and George Jefferson were the lovable bigots of the '70's.  Of course, JJ is more like Archie Bunker than George Jefferson, but we have to tell you rednecks, who are good fifty years behind everyone else, that sort of humor has long since become passé.  It just plain ain't funny anymore.

Yeah, we know.  A barrage of hate mail is coming to us for daring to say the rednecks of Delmarva are a good fifty years behind everyone else.  We hate to tell you this, but the three of us at the critics page were born and raised here.  When we were kids, we thought we we're a good thirty years behind everyone else.  As adults, we say, with confidence, we're a good fifty years behind everyone else.  Our concept of the global economy, our pay, and our technological acumen definitely can be described as the way behind category.  But one thing that doesn't fall behind is our understanding of social issues.

Crank and JJ are trying desperately, or maybe not, to be one of the good ol' boys, but fail miserably.  Sure, we all hold our prejudices, but at least we're smart enough to hold them to ourselves and in the company of our like-minded friends.  We're not stupid enough to air our prejudices in a public forum, whether it be here, on an insignificant blog, or boldly on a radio station covering all of Delmarva.  Perhaps, if JJ and Crank were born and raised here, they'd understand that.  Instead, they are the foreigners from the other side of the Bridge treating us like the country bumpkins everyone else outside of Delmarva treats us - and takes advantage of.

What we don't understand is Great Scott Broadcasting Company is a locally owned and operated station, if our research is accurate.  So we'll bypass the two foreign yokels doing the morning show and ask the big wigs - when and why did you decide to look outside of Delmarva for your entertainment personalities and what do you hope to bring to Delmarva that is so different and unique than what is offered on any other radio station by bringing the foreigners in to do your morning show?

All that said, we do congratulate and appreciate the overall change in WZBH's programming.  Even when Matt was part of the morning show, the commercials throughout the day didn't promote a bigoted point of view.  Sarah in the afternoon is a refreshing change from like-minded, young White guys who ruled the airwaves.

Now, if WZBH could only get some born and raised local guys or gals to do the morning show, maybe, just maybe, the morning show would be more entertaining... and maybe connect with more of Delmarva. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Preliminary review of the new morning show

We listened to about an hour of the new morning show on WZBH, billed as the worst show ever.  It stars Crank and JJ.  Fortunately, there weren't giggling interns, interns looking for a job, or girlfriends to clutter up the show.  The show was simply Crank and JJ.

When we first tuned in, JJ had asked listeners to call or text in whether they would engage in a threesome with Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey just for the money.  The segment was reminiscent of a segment Matt and Crank aired around five months ago that we reviewed as Dollars for Gays

Crank stood firm on his "no way" moral grounds, which we found a bit odd.  Five months ago, he at least entertained the idea of having sex for money if no one would know.  But, hey, what can one expect from the holier-than-thou morality braggards other than at least a dash of hypocrisy?

That odd point aside, the segment was funny and held promise for the new show.  We liked JJ from nights, despite his couple of off-hand remarks about gays, and we have always believed that Crank needed to step out of the dark shadow and shine on his own.  The two, at-odds personalities worked and the whole segment was at least mildly amusing.  Yes, we admit that all five of us are probably getting older and don't much care for the bathroom humor like we did when we were kids.

Their next segment, however, put doubts in our heads as to whether or not WZBH was striving for content quality change or just a new voice.  The segment centered on a story out of Texas where an employee of Starbuck's Coffee sued the chain under the Americans with Disabilities Act because the chain refused to allow her to use a step stool so she could do her job.  In typical old-style Matt and Crank fashion, Crank and JJ bashed little people with JJ going so far as to refer to them as "trolls."  The only thing missing from this segment was the comment that throwing water on little people turns them into gremlins, but the flavor of the segment was the same as five months ago.  ( Our review of that show: Gays, Japanese, women, and midgets are fair game.)

Both JJ and Crank tried to make a valid point that using a step stool could create a safety hazard for the other employees, but instead of pursuing their argument along the lines of what "reasonable accomodations" in the act means, they chose to lament the fact that since they are relatively normal White guys, they could never sue, say , the NFL because they lack the talent to be a quarterback.  The overall tone of the segment came across as the poor normal White guys get punished while the midgets and other minorities get rewarded.  By the time they were done their segment, we were left with the feeling that Crank and JJ believe the only jobs little people should hold are playing trolls and leprechauns in the movies or traveling with the local circus as a sideshow act.

We won't enter a debate on this one.  Suffice it to say that the thousands of troops, including the White troops, who are returning home missing arms and legs, confined to a wheel chair, or suffering post traumatic stress syndrome would highly disagree with Crank and JJ's assessment that the Americans with Disabilities Act unfairly favors minorities at the expense of normal White guys.  The act was enacted with good reason.  Little people and all people with disabilities have families to support and bills to pay.  Being limited in career choices to side show freaks isn't a career and hardly pays the bills.

We aren't going to make a big to do about the segment.  Today was their first show.  Crank still hasn't quite found his way out of the dark shadow that enveloped him for the last year or two, and JJ probably went to work this morning thinking he was coming home from a party.  He'll get adjusted to the new day shift and the dark shadow that has had a hold on Crank will slowly lose its grip.

Maybe, just maybe, Crank and JJ will start doing their homework before tackling controversial issues and us listeneners will be treated to entertaining and enlightening segments from two personalities opposite of each other, but complimentary at the same time. 

Oh, and the world doesn't revolve around you.  We have to throw that in.  We're not really that much older than Crank (ok, one of us is), but we feel like we come from a different generation (well, two of us do).  It seems the kids today (those under 35) think that everything happening in the world is somehow about them.  Trust us.  It's not.  The Americans with Disabilities Act, for example, was not designed to punish normal White guys like yourselves.  Do your homework and you might discover that it is a good law enacted with good intentions that has changed the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities.  But, like any manmade law, it is open to abuse by the unscrupulous who just want something for nothing.  We're not saying the case you both talked about this morning is such an example as we don't know all of the details, but based on what little we do know, Starbuck's should fire their lawyers and get new ones.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A trip through our mailbag

Many of the users of the Critics Page blog and accompanying FaceBook page refrained from posting comments or questions on the blog or on the FaceBook page and, instead, chose to private message us.  We respect their desire to keep their comments and questions anonymous, but we have decided to consolidate them into a FAQ-sort-of response.  Perhaps by doing this, our inbox will be less inundated with repetitive questions and comments.

In bold are paraphrased questions or comments followed by our response.

Who is behind the Critics Page, really?
As we already stated, there are five of us - two women and three men.  We're all friends and this whole endeavor has been a fun Saturday night game for us.  It also has been a hassle trying to keep up with the programming while we went about our daily lives.  It's been time consuming, but a wonderful learning experience.

You're really just one lonely middle-aged guy jealous of Matt's success.
Wrong on both accounts.  When we decided to start the Critics Page, months prior we all discussed how kids get rich off making entertaining blogs and You Tube videos.  We tossed around plenty of ideas of how we might be able to cash in, but none of us, except for one, knew the way around the Internet or had decent writing skills.  When the one woman in our group, who listened to Matt and Crank fairly regularly, said, "Let's take Matt up on his challenge and get him fired", we decided the drunk talk was over and we would learn how the Internet really works.  Even though the writing task fell almost entirely on one of us, the one writing to you now, we decided that a "one voice", preferably a professional voice, would be most effective.  While the final reviews you read almost always sound as if one person is behind the Critics Page, all the reviews are based on all five of our thoughts.  We don't always agree with each other and you'd be surprised how much is cut out of the reviews you read simply because we don't agree.

Why are you trying to censure free speech?
We're not.  We are, however, exercising our free speech.  Why are you trying to censure ours?

If you really didn't like Matt and Crank's show, just turn the station.
Yes, we could simply flip stations, but that would make us complacent sheep.  WZBH is the only mainstream rock station serving Delmarva.  A diverse audience loves rock music and tunes in.  Any listener, regardless of their religion, sex, age, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or disability could reasonably expect to tune in and not be a daily target of ridicule simply because they aren't young, White, heterosexual, Christian male.  That is the point we wanted to make. 

Are you going to dog Matt at his new station?
No.  We don't even listen to WGMD.  It's a conservative Christian talk station and none of us ever listened to talk radio.  Besides, unless we stream it over the Internet, we can't get it in on the radio.  We believe Matt has found a venue for his bigotry that is acceptable.  Only like-minded bigots will tune into a talk station to hear him.  Normal people will be listening to good rock music airing from WZBH or good music airing from any other station.

Now that Matt has left WZBH, are you going to delete the Critics Page and its FaceBook page?
Absolutely not.  We want this page, Matt and Crank's words, and our reviews to come back and haunt them twenty years from now should they decide to run for public office or something.  We'll see how their sexist, racist, Islamaphobic, and homophobic words will come back to haunt them when some kid-still-wet-behind-the-ears brings it up on his morning show.  Yes, we're Christian and truly believe you reap what you sow.

Crank is still there so were you really successful ?
We really didn't understand this question.  Let's face it.  The Matt and Crank show should've been titled The Matt Show with Sidekick Crank.  We have reviewed shows chastising Crank for taking the back seat to Matt.  We sensed Crank was the more intelligent one on the show and lamented over the fact that the bully kid overshadowed him.  We're happy that WZBH kept Crank and we hope he shows us his true talent with the new morning show airing Monday morning. 

You're just a bunch of liberal, Obama loving [put your own expletive here].
On the contrary, overall, we would "average" as independents.  Two of us are diehard Republicans and still believe Reagan is one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had.  The other two of us think all politicans are crooks and scammers and are registered as independents.  One is registered as a Democrat.  The three of us who are registered with one of the major parties do not vote along party lines. 

You din't accomplish anything.  Why did you waste your time?
We don't know if we accomplished anything you, the reader, can see.  The changes happening at WZBH probably happened because they were going to happen with or without our presence.  When we first learned of Matt's firing (Yes, we still believe he was fired), we tuned into WGMD to see where he was going.  The guest speaker talked about "meglomaiacs", referring to talk show personalities who take a perverse joy in making the little guy listening feel bad about himself simply because he doesn't measure up to the standards set by the talk show personailty.  The reason the talk show personalities do what they do is because they, themselves, have meaningless lives, but making the little guy feel bad gives them a sense of power over someone they know is powerless do do anything about it.  We hope we demonstrated, through the power of the Internet, that the little guy does have power and doesn't need to feel bad about himself simply because some talk show personailty says he should.  (As a side note, the station that aired this segment about meglomaiacs was not WGMD, but a station out of Virginia that happened to have the same station numbers, 92.7, as WGMD.)

What's next for the Critics Page?
Nothing.  We have talked about making a website parody of the Tea Party or starting our Drunk Rednecks of the Round Table adventure, but we don't know what, if anything, we'll do next.  Whatever we decide to do will not be connected to the Critics Page.  Barring strong fan feedback, we won't even announce our new Internet adventure here.  The Critics Page and the associated FaceBook page is now offically dead with maybe an occasional last gasp for air.  We couldn't exactly close the page without at least reviewing the new morning show on WZBH airing Monday morning, now could we?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

WZBH new morning show and an update on the lies surrounding Matt

WZBH isn't saying much other than their new morning show will start at 6:00 am on Monday morning.  They've billed it as "The worst show ever", but you have to love David Willis' quick response on the WZBH FaceBook page to the announcement: "David Willis thought the last mornin show was the worst ever! LOL hope ya dont top that one!"  We wish we could take credit for that one, but, alas, we don't even know who David is.  He'd have made one Hell of a critic, though!

Crank has been absent on the few mornings we've tuned in, but, based on what little we can find, we suspect he will still be part of the new morning show.  But like you, we'll have to wait until Monday morning to find out what's going on.

We've noticed a lot of people are still wondering what happened to Matt.  There are two possibilities.  We believe Matt got fired (On lying and hypocrisy - and maybe a change at WZBH?) and doesn't have the integrity or moral character to admit it.  He's even gone so far as to tell a fan on his FaceBook page that he abandoned a "sinking ship" and moved to WGMD.  Many of his fans believe him and perpetuate what we see as his lie about his career with WZBH.

On the off-chance we've interpretted his departure incorrectly, then the second possibility is he reported for work on a Monday, did his show, then announced he quit.  We see this possibility as being a worse reflection of his true character than if he were fired.  In an economy where jobs are scarce, what sort of employee quits his job on the spot without giving the courteous two-week notice?  While we do not see his joining WGMD as a move up in his career like he does, the fact is WGMD would never have known who Matt Walsh is if WZBH hadn't given him a year or two of air time.  For Matt's fans, please tell us how his quitting on the spot for another job is a character quality that should be admired and earn him kudos from his fans for making the move.  We plain don't see anything admirable in his spontaneous quitting, if that is, in fact, what he did.

Dan Gaffney, program director at WGMD, doesn't appear concerned that maybe Matt will quit, unannounced, on him.  All he could enthusiastically announce on his FaceBook page was that Matt announced he was a Christian on air.  That should give you an idea of what company Matt is keeping.

Hey Dan!  We might not have our own radio program to announce it to everyone, but we have no problem publically announcing it here - all five of us are Christains, too.  We can unequivocally state, though, that we are true Christians and not false prophets.  Why not think about that for awhile before judging someone simply because they announce they are Christian.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Matt joins the new KKK

We’re all sitting around, drinking beer, and laughing at Matt’s FaceBook page.  A listener criticized Matt’s commercial as “dismembering” the talk show host, whose time slot Matt is taking over.  In typical, arrogant fashion, Matt defends his commercial as promoting his show and that’s the nature of the business.

Too bad Matt didn’t understand the “nature of the business” when he was employed at WZBH.  Maybe he wouldn’t have been fired if he truly understood the “nature of the business”.

Starting Monday, after a two-week layoff, Matt is beginning a new career on 92.7, WGMD talk radio.  As we already covered (On lying and hypocrisy - and maybe a change at WZBH?), Matt lied to his fans by leaving the impression that he left WZBH for a better job.  He got lucky after he got fired from WZBH.  WGMD came through for him, but we don’t see his new job as an advancement on his career. 

WGMD has a much smaller listening area than WZBH.  Nowhere on Delmarva can any of us hear the station.  Depending on where we are, we either get ESPN out of DC or a talk station out of Virginia.  Only the warped thinking of a conservative Christian can see a move to a smaller station as a career advancement.

Some time ago, Matt dared his listeners on WZBH to call the station and try to get him fired if they didn’t like what he said just because he only spoke the truth.  Be careful what you challenge your listeners to do because they just might do it.  We’re fairly certain low ratings didn’t get you fired because low ratings would’ve canned Crank, too.  He’s still there.  You’re not. 

We’ll never know how much, if at all, our reviews had to do with the decision to fire Matt.  As we stated before, we neither take the credit nor blame.  We do know that our Critics Page attracted a lot of attention.  While Matt was busy trying to convince his fans that we were really one lonely guy living in Mom’s basement and stalked Matt because we were jealous of his success, we knew otherwise.  And while Matt tried to convince everyone that half the people who like the accompanying FaceBook page to the Critics Page blog were his fans, the statistics we saw, that he couldn’t, clearly showed a lot more people using the page than who actually liked the page.  We also like to think that many more listeners, whether because of Matt’s challenge or not, called or wrote the station to complain about the bigoted programming on the morning show.  And then, of course, there was the concern of lawsuits against the station, as advertised by WZBH.  The end result is Matt was fired and rightly so.   

You would think the whole experience would make Matt more humble, like a good Christian is supposed to be.  Think again.  All he did is join the new KKK.

A long time ago, like fifty years or so ago, the KKK was a respected group of people.  They kept the Blacks and the gays in their place to keep our society safe for the White people.  They kept their women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen where they belonged.  On a Saturday night, those good ol’ boys would dress up like ghosts, build a bonfire of a burning cross, drink their whiskey and rye, and hang a Black guy from a tree like a Christmas ornament.  Kind of complimented the burning cross theme.

As the civil rights, feminist, and gay movements took hold, most people started looking at the Klansman as archaic, hateful, and uneducated malcontents.  Everywhere they went to stand up for White people, they were met with equally virulent protests of their presence.  New membership enrollment dropped.

The bigots, racists, xenophobes, and homophobes needed a new and more acceptable way to get their message out without being attached to the negatively viewed KKK.  As uneducated as most normal people think a Klansman is, they figured it out.  Call themselves Christians and start a network of conservative talk shows on the radio.  Rush Limbaugh first made bigotry mainstream in the late 80’s and conservative Christians have been following his lead ever since.  The Klansmen managed to build on Rush’s success and now own major news outlets, like Fox News, and the Klansmen even have their own political party – the Tea party.

And this is where Matt is going.  He’s joined the new KKK with the family at WGMD, 92.7.  Rush is aired every day at 1:00 PM and the news is brought to you by Fox news.

We won’t be following Matt there.  First, none of us can get the station, thank God.  Second, Matt is off mainstream broadcasting and now has an audience of like-minded Klansmen to entertain.  He’s where he belongs. 

We like to think he’s on a dead end career path.  Bigots don’t deserve success.  But we live in the real world and we know those with the loudest mouths that sound the stupidest are the ones who achieve big success for no other reason than everyone else loves to hear the uneducated bigots make fools of themselves.  Conservative Christian talk show hosts remind us normal folk how not to be and think. 

Don’t believe us?  We ask you, then, to tell us what has been Rush Limbaugh’s success in the last twenty-seven years since he first aired?  If your measuring stick is purely on his annual income, then, yes, he’s a success.  If your measuring stick includes how he influenced public opinion, he’s a failure through and through.

Let’s tick off the list of the new Klansman’s daily rhetoric - and Rush’s rhetoric for the last quarter of a century – and how his, and like-minded Klansmen’s rhetoric (including Matt’s) has failed to make any difference.  Abortion is still legal.  Women are a power source in politics and business and get paid fairly for their contributions.  Gays and lesbians are not only mainstream, but are now legally marrying and adopting children.  Global warming has not only melted the polar icecaps, but has also driven a “go green” mentality within our major corporations and in the minds of the average citizen.  Marijuana use has at least gained a solid foothold for medicinal purposes.  The opportunity to become president is no longer a fairytale told to Black children.  The first war we lost was not Vietnam.  We lost the Mexican-American War and the Spanish-American War.  Whether you’re in Miami speaking Spanish for the Cubans or Phoenix speaking Spanish for the Mexicans, we obviously lost both wars and Spanish is now the second unofficial language of our country.  Evolution is an accepted scientific theory to be taught in our schools and Creationism is not an accepted scientific theory and has no place in our schools.

With such a dismal failure of the new Klansman on conservative Christian talk shows to influence public opinion, Matt is headed for a dead end career.  His only saving grace is the old timers who formed the new KKK are about to retire.  We think Matt stands a good chance at filling the shoes of Rush, although we don’t think he will ever be as good as Ann Coulter, who might fill Rush’s retirement spot first.  Oh, that thought just has to eat him up.  A woman, who wouldn’t recognize a kitchen from an outhouse, is more entertaining and popular than he ever could be and might actually take over Rush’s limelight before he could.  To paraphrase the mentality of the White boys over at WZBH, of course the chick will be more popular than Matt.  She has boobs.

She does, doesn’t she?  We’re not sure because her adams apple confuses us.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nightly dumbass reigns supreme

Crank is slowly…very slowly…finding his own voice.  We have to ask, though, does every damn DJ on WZBH have a need to copy JJ’s nightly dumbass report format to be entertaining?

We noticed the trend awhile back with Doug McKenzie.  We even reviewed his unintentional humor, favorably, we might add.  Fortunately, interjecting some of the off-the-wall story as humor wasn’t a staple of his show.  We’ve listened to Sarah and she’s following JJ’s example.  Ok, she’s new and trying what she thinks works, so we cut her some slack.  Crank is, gratefully, getting away from Matt’s style of a morning show, but the few times we listened, he, too, is following JJ’s example.

With JJ, the stories work well.  After an hour of good, hard-hitting music, his quips are an entertaining intermission.  Let’s face it.  At the hours JJ is spinning his CDs, most listeners are tuning in for good music with as little commercial breaks and DJ commentary has legally possible.

With Sarah, we are divided in opinion.  During her shift, most listeners are at work and want to enjoy good, new music that is acceptable to play in a workplace with an interjection or two of flashback classics to keep the older coworkers happy.  Commentary shouldn’t be controversial or inflammatory, but should reflect the personality the DJ is trying to project, hopefully, a personality that most people will like and enjoy listening to.  Because Sarah’s show is during the work hours of most listeners, she has to appeal to the college-age as well as the sixty-year-olds.  (Yes, the elderly not only grew up with rock and roll, but also brought it mainstream.  Do you really think they stopped listening?)

Because of her really tough audience to appeal to, we’re divided on whether her JJ-like commentary works.  Half of us say she should continue as is.  She’s short, sweet, and funny and it works.  The other half of us says she can keep the JJ-like commentary, but needs to expand her horizons to appeal to the diverse audience listening.  In short, she needs to develop a personality of her own.  (If you’ve been paying attention, there’s five of us, so if half think one way and the other half thinks the other way, how does that divide up?)

On the other hand, mostly an audience of people driving solo to work is listening to Crank.  Competition for a morning show personality that stands out and draws in listeners is tough.  The JJ-like anecdotes are amusing, but clutter on a morning show.   Listeners want to listen to news and commentary that affects them, personally, on Delmarva.  While a story of some guy in India was discovered to have the anatomy of a woman is amusing, no one on Delmarva – except for maybe one or two people down in Accomack County – has ever known a person with the anatomy of both sexes.  Now, the story would be more relevant if it were tied into the growing occurrence of fish in our Bay having the anatomy of both sexes. 

“Huh?” you might say.

Big news a few years ago, and still occurring despite the lack of news coverage, is that a sizeable portion of our fish in the Bay have the anatomy of both sexes.  Blame is being put on our habit of disposing medications down the commode.  Since our wastewater treatment plants don’t filter out these pollutants, simply because they aren’t required to, the chemicals in these medications are mutating our fish.  

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, we just turned a JJ-like story of an oddity in India into a story Delmarva listeners can laugh at on the surface, but think more about later because it is something that relates to them directly and could affect their future livelihood.  Crank, however, decided to focus on that fact that no one knew the real name of the Indian guy because of medical confidentiality laws, laws, which, we’re sure, affect the average American, but not the average Indian.

Long story short, or, at least shorter than what we could make it into, Crank needs to do his homework – with his audience in mind - before making his commentary.  Give us something to laugh about, but make us think about it later.  Crank, don’t fly by the seat of your pants.  Prepare for you show the night before.  The preparation will make a world of difference.

According to the WZBH FaceBook page, a new, and exciting, morning show is on the horizon.  Crank hinted at the change last Friday.  The horizon is only twelve miles away.  Just how long are they going to take to get there and give us this new and exciting show?  If the program director were a person, we’d have had the new show the day after Matt was fired.  It only takes a few hours for a person to walk to the horizon.  If a slug is running the show, well, those twelve miles to the horizon is an awfully long crawl.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

On lying and hypocrisy - and maybe a change at WZBH?

Monday morning marked the last day of The Matt and Crank Program.  Monday night marked the true colors surrounding Matt’s sudden announcement that he wouldn’t be returning to the show.

In case you missed the drama, on Monday night, Matt announced on the Matt and Crank FaceBook page that he was leaving WZBH for a better job opportunity, an opportunity he couldn’t disclose at the time, but would be coming in the near future.  He also stated that he wanted to do a couple of more shows to say goodbye to his fans, but “that wasn’t allowed.”

The five of us at the Critics Page fully understands the meaning behind these code words, known to most of us as lies.  Matt was fired and he had no job to report to the next day.  After months of listening to Matt preach about the loss of moral values and everyone is out to deceive if it makes them look better, he decided to take the low road in announcing his departure from WZBH as if it were his decision because of a job offer he didn’t have yet.

The most telling sign that he lied to us is the fact that most public figures are given the opportunity to announce their departure and where they will be going.  Innae Park, the anchorwoman from WMDT, who did the eight o’clock news for the show, left for a new opportunity in New York.  Chris Steele left to pursue his career in the medical field.  Matt and Crank talked about Innae’s departure.  JJ and Doug McKenzie talked about Chris’ departure.  No one talked about Matt’s departure.

The next day, Tuesday, Crank flopped around on his show, but made no mention of Matt.  Sarah, Doug, nor JJ made mention of Matt’s departure.  Programming on Tuesday was as if Matt never existed.

On Tuesday night, Matt posted on his FaceBook page that he was taking a two-week hiatus.  Between him and his fiancé, they built the illusion that some big announcement of Matt’s future was forthcoming, but, apparently, in two weeks.

On Wednesday, Crank flopped around a lot less, but, to our dismay, tried to carry on topics that were Matt in style.  At the Critics Page, we always thought Crank was the intelligent one and hoped he would stand out of Matt’s shadow.  In our reviews, we pointed out that Crank was a “good puppy dog” or “Matt’s boy”.  We said those things because we wanted Crank to stand out on his own, but he never did.  Two days after Matt’s firing, Crank looked destined to try to follow the path that led to Matt’s demise.

On Wednesday night, Matt came out of his two-week hiatus thirteen days sooner to announce his new job.  Matt’s fans came out in droves, all twenty of them, to congratulate him.  They announced they were replacing WZBH on their preset dial with the new station Matt signed onto.  Fortunately for Matt, who most likely saw his termination coming and had his résumés out weeks, or even months, prior in anticipation of his inevitable future, an opportunity availed itself only two days after his firing from WZBH.

When Matt’s fiancé, Alissa, asked some of the fans congratulating Matt on his new gig how Crank was doing, her question drove home what really happened on Monday night.  When one is fired from a job, you don’t go back to find out how they’re doing, but curiosity is going to have you asking.

At this point, we felt really bad for Crank.  All twenty fans trashed Crank as being nothing and not worth tuning in to anymore.  Ahh, the fickleness of fans, even if it is only twenty of them.

Thursday rolled around and nothing to note except for the clear confidence Crank found in himself.  We’re not sure all of what he talked about, but we did sense a more confident Crank. 

Friday morning, this morning, Crank finally mentioned Matt’s name.  He announced the Matt and Crank Show officially ended on Monday, but new, and better, things were coming for the new morning show.  He qualified his announcement with “I don’t want to say anything bad about Matt”.  Well, Crank, you might not want to, but we will – and, as you know, we have.

We’ve already stated Matt was fired.  Let’s say, for a moment, he wasn’t fired.  What sort of douche bag walks into work, puts in his hours, and then goes to his boss and says, “I quit”? 

No, the “sudden announcement” by Matt of his departure was a lie because he wasn’t man enough and honest enough to admit to his fans he was fired.  It’s a classic stunt that, if any other public figure had done, Matt would be sure to point out what a lying creep that person is.

But, as we pointed out, what can you expect from someone who is taught the valuable lesson of do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do?  That appears to be the only logical explanation of why Matt didn’t have the balls to tell his fans he was fired.

So where did Matt go?  To a much smaller audience of like-minded bigots.  Explaining exactly where would take another page and a half of writing that we may undertake later.  Suffice it to say that while WZBH covers all of Delmarva and part of southern New Jersey, Matt’s new station doesn’t cover our listening area anywhere on Delmarva that all five of us go to on a daily basis.  Depending on where we are, we either get ESPN out of DC or some other talk radio out of Virginia.  One of us at the Critics page can get Matt’s new station at home if the weather is just right.

A big, mainstream rock station fired Matt.  Some rinky-dink, conservative Christian talk station picked him up.  Conservative Christians are on their way out and Matt’s future doesn’t look too bright.  But we’ll have more on that later, maybe.

We do anticipate one more review, so to speak.  We’ll call it a wrap up review.  After this week, we’re fairly confident that WZBH and Great Scott Broadcasting are making positive changes that are more reflective of their diverse listeners.  We do not take the credit – nor blame – for the firing of Matt and the changes coming to WZBH.  For all we know, the changes were in the making before we started the Critics Page.  All we can say is we’re optimistic of the new programming and, yes, we’re rooting for Crank to shine as the star we always thought he could be if given the chance to step out of a dark shadow.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Critics Page bids farewell to Matt

We learned a couple of hours ago that Matt announced he is leaving WZBH.  He apologized to his fans for the sudden announcement and not being able to do a couple of more shows to say goodbye to his fans because "that wasn't allowed."  He only said he accepted another job offer elsewhere and details would be forthcoming.

It is unclear the direction the Morning Show will now take with the remaining hosts, long time host Crank, and fairly recent hosts Dara and Intern A.  At the Critics Page, we only hope the show will take a more positive direction.

We wish Matt and his fiancé, Alissa, well wherever they are going.  Because of his sudden departure as well as Chris Steele's departure about a month ago, we apologize for deciding not to release our promised "live interview" with Matt, Crank, Chris Steele, and JJ.  That project and another video project we had been working on is now pointless.

As for The Critics Page's future, we will continue to listen to the show sporadically to see if it will take a new and positive direction.  We would like to archive The Critics Page and move on to other projects.  We thank Matt and Crank for providing us with a wealth of material to write about while we learned the workings of the Internet and media sharing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It ain't the White boys' fault

I’m going to switch it up and scrap the formal writing bit.  I’m going to talk to you as if we were sharing a beer.  Makes the review more personal, don’t you think?  So grab a beer while I take to the soapbox.

I briefly caught the Matt and Crank program this morning.  They were talking about the beach, sexual temptation, and poked fun at an Amish guy at the beach.  Those White boys sure do have a lot of sexual hang ups.

I understand where they’re coming from.  They’re a product of their environment.  They grew up in their White, middle class suburbs and take a look at their role models they had.  The White priests, teachers, and probably Uncle Bob sexually molested kids their age.  Talk about messing with a kid’s mind.  Sex is wrong followed by a lesson of fondling in the back room.  The ol’ do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do lesson, a lesson drilled into White kids’ heads every day.

Then there’s all the leaders fooling around with other women while preaching the moral way to live your life.  You got prominent White political and Christian leaders fooling around in the bathrooms, fooling around in the hotel room while their wife lies in a hospital bed, buying male and female prostitutes, or advertising their goods over the Internet.  Yet another do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do lesson, a lesson drilled into White kids’ heads every day.

Come on.  What’s up with the White boys advertising their goods?  Brothers don’t advertise their goods.  If you’re advertising your goods, it’s because your goods aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.  Must be that sexual repression and feelings of inadequacy White boys carry around all the time.  It’s because of this emotional baggage that White people are becoming a minority in this country.  They’re too damn scared to have sex and have babies.  And their advertising campaign ain’t working.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying Matt and Crank were molested as kids or cheat on their women, but they are aware of the almost daily abuses around them.  How else could you explain their obsession with sex?  The beach isn’t a place of sexual temptation and the pool isn’t a place where kids run around half naked.  At least brothers don’t see those places that way. 

Next time you go to the beach, pay attention to how few brothers are hanging around.  Brothers don’t hang out at the beach because all those White boys with sexual hang ups lurk about.  It’s not really a good place to take your kids to.  Know what I mean?

The hilarious part of the show was the commercial break.  Matt and Crank hawked AT&T phones for parents getting their kids ready for school. 

I recall on more than one occasion Matt and Crank whining about how technology is ruining our kids’ lives.  They spend all day on the computer or texting and sexting on their phones instead of playing outside like normal kids are supposed to do.  Now they’re trying to push the technology off on our kids as a back to school special.  They sold their soul to the highest bidder.

Yeah, our White boys on WZBH are entering into manhood and are putting into practice the lesson drilled into their heads all their lives.  Today they’re selling phones to our kids knowing how bad the technology is on their lives.  Tomorrow, they’ll be spending past our debt limit to fight some horrible group of people; devising new Ponzi schemes to bilk investors out of their life savings; use questionable accounting methods to get rich off hard working employees’ pension plans and then fold up shop, leaving the employees with nothing; send more jobs overseas because nine figures a year isn’t enough profit; devise new charges for every day transactions that they know people will screw up so they can create a new billion dollar a year industry; create new insurance policies everybody can afford until they need it, then they don’t have it; and my personal favorite, offer the poor sots false hope as long as they give generously to the collection plate.

Brothers didn’t get us into our current moral and financial crisis we’re mucked in.  The greedy White boys practicing the age ol’ lesson of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do, drilled into their heads since they were kids, is what has brought our country to its knees.

Hell, I don’t blame Matt and Crank for their hang ups and hypocrisy.  It’s what White boys raised in middle class suburbia are taught.  They don’t know no better.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Labeling people still popular among bigots

Yes, we’ve been lax.  We knew Matt and Crank took Monday off, but none of us bothered to listen to the show anyway.  We even took a vacation yesterday.  This morning, two of our critics shared a ride and decided to tune in.  They listened to two segments and tuned out.

The first segment, however, illustrates perfectly what we reviewed (Labeling people a sure sign of bigotry). They started the segment talking about Oregon’s Representative David Wu and the allegations of improper sexual advances made against him.  Matt made it a point to clarify that the representative he was talking about was the “Asian representative”.  During the course of the conversation, Matt and Crank talked about several other members of Congress who were caught in a sex scandal, but not once did they mention any of those political figures as the “European” or “White “ guys.

In all fairness to Matt and Crank, we acknowledge that their mode of thinking is so entrenched in classifying groups of people by categories, describing people by their ethnicity or minority group status comes naturally for them.  There are people and then there are the Asians, Mexicans, Blacks, Muslims, atheists, gays, lesbians, and the list goes on.  When talking about people, Matt and Crank feel there is no need to describe White of Western European decent, heterosexual, Christian males because people are people so those descriptions mean nothing when telling a story.  For everyone else, their religion, color of skin, ethnicity, race, sex, sexual orientation, and disability are very important traits to mention when making fun of the person. 

Out of the list of several politicians recently caught in a sex scandal that Matt and Crank rattled off, all of them must be White of Western European decent since Matt nor Crank hadn’t felt it necessary to tell us their race.  We’re wondering why it was necessary for them to tell us Mr. Wu’s race with a classification, we’re sure, he probably would object to.  He’s American of Chinese decent.  Talk to someone of Chinese decent and someone of Japanese decent and get back with us as to whether they consider themselves of the same race, Asian.  Throw in the mix a Korean, Vietnamese, Phillpino, and a Russian.  And let’s not forget a Pakistani or Indian (from the country of India so the bigots reading this don’t get them confused with our Native Americans).  And let’s really shake it up and throw in an Inuit.

Yes, race is an arbitrary description that means something only to bigots. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Labeling people a sure sign of bigotry

Listening to bits and pieces of the Matt and Crank program this morning, we’ve finally pegged the way the program comes across as pushing an agenda of bigotry, even if the commentary, itself, does not express prejudicial views.

In the first segment, Matt talked about a FaceBook page where the person ranted against Mexicans who come into the place of business and speak Spanish instead of English.  Because the post was so poorly written, Matt turned the rant into one of his own of how we need to learn English before complaining about Mexicans who don’t speak English. 

“Ok,” you might be thinking, “where is the bigotry?”

Matt, unfortunately, made the same mistake the FaceBook person made.  Anyone in this country who speaks Spanish is a Mexican.  While he made his point that we do need to learn our own language, he consistently pointed out that the Mexicans need to learn English, too. 

If the FaceBook person posted from the southwest, there’s a good chance the person speaking Spanish was Mexican.  Many Mexicans do cross the border into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California looking for work.

Outside of the southwest, the biggest influx of Latino immigrants are from El Salvador and Guatemala, you know, the two countries we funded civil wars in during the 80’s and left their countries and economies in a shamble.  After funding their death squads and destroying their countries, why should we be upset that they are coming here to look for ways to support their families.  It’s the least we could do for them.

Because they speak Spanish does not make them Mexican.  In fairness to Matt and Crank, maybe they really believe Mexicans should learn English, but the El Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Peruvians, Spaniards, and Lord knows who else don’t need to learn English.  And why just the Mexicans who speak Spanish?  There’s an estimated half a million illegal Canadians in this country and it’s a safe bet some speak French.  Maybe because they’re White, we tend to ignore their transgressions.  Only the Mexicans were worth targeting because they have brown skin.  And if you go back to the June 23rd program where Matt expressed his fears, again, about the White race becoming extinct because the other races are having more children than White people, the bigotry message all ties in.

The next segment talked about a woman who tweaked the breasts of a TSA agent at the airport when the agent was searching her.  For some reason we don’t understand, Matt and Crank needed to point out that the woman was an elderly Chinese woman.  Crank even felt a need to pipe in that maybe in her country, tweaking breasts was an acceptable response much like the French who kiss each other’s cheeks. 

When we, at the Critics Page, see someone of a different ethnic origin, we don’t automatically assume they must be immigrants.  We have to ask.  Why would Crank hear “Chinese” and automatically assume she must be an immigrant?  We brought thousands of Chinese people over here to build our railroads that connected this great country of ours during the 1800’s.  Our use of their labor wasn’t much different than our use of slave labor, but the point is Chinese people have been in this country for many generations.  Many people of Chinese decent in this country are as American as any person of European decent. 

While talking about this woman at the airport becoming a folk hero, Matt referenced the “gay flight attendant” who yelled at the rude passengers and then bailed out.  None of us at the Critics Page followed the story so we don’t know if the flight attendant ever made his sexual orientation an issue, but why would Matt feel a need to make an issue of it?

When telling a story, adding some description to the characters adds a dimension to the story, and, sometimes, is necessary to tell a good story.  In these three examples, we cannot figure out why the ethnicity or sexual orientation of the characters was important to mention and be harped upon to make the point both Matt and Crank wanted to make.  Yes, immigrants to this country should make an effort to learn our language.  Yes, tweaking a TSA agent’s breasts is a bad thing to do and certainly isn’t worthy of folk hero status.  Yes, a fight attendant yelling at passengers and bailing out is nothing to cheer about.  Pointing out the ethnicity or sexual orientation of the three characters in each story serves no other purpose other than to be a vain attempt at perpetuating the negative stereotypes of certain groups of people.  The implied message is straight, White, Christian males wouldn’t behave so badly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Verbally abuse 'em all at once

Matt and Crank are starting the week off with a bang.  Instead of verbally abusing one minority group, they created a mythical person that wrapped several of their normal targets for verbal slaying into one character.  How does a gay, Black woman in a wheelchair sound?  It wasn’t until the end of their spiel that it dawned on them they could make her a Muslim, too.

We found it ironic that Matt would boast about making another audio clip making fun of a gay, Black woman in a wheelchair, but accidentally deleted it instead of saving it.  We were spared the clip, which, as Matt said, was probably a good thing since airing it might have gotten them fired.

According to Matt, he’s seen plenty of gay, Black women, but none in a wheel chair.  We’re still trying to figure that one out.  We’re almost positive that each of us at the Critics Page has probably went to school with, worked with, drank beer with, and hunted or fished with gay people.  We're probably doing any one of those thing with gay people now.  We can’t say for sure because none of us have figured out how one can look at a person and know they are gay.  And if we think really hard about people we have known or know now and suspected that maybe they were gay, we still fall way short of being able to claim we’ve seen plenty of gay people much less “plenty of gay Black women”.

We’ve come to the conclusion that if Matt stays out of the gay bars when he goes home to Baltimore on the weekends, he’d see a lot less gay people.  Well, he could always still make them up in his mind as if they were real people he’s seen.

What would a Monday morning be without Matt and Crank pushing their bigotry agenda?  We can predict with fair certainty what else Matt and Crank have in store for Delmarva listeners the rest of this week.  They’re on a mission to keep women and minorities in their place somewhere behind and below White heterosexual Christian males and we can be guaranteed to hear more of that message as the week drags on. 

Oh well, we suffered through their sterotyped ridicule this morning so we share part of the clip we were able to record with you, the reader who may have missed this morning's segment.  Forgive us, but we don't like suffering alone.

Audio clip of this morning's show

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sniffing - or licking - out the foreigners

Here’s an interesting tidbit of history.  Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Army was desperate in figuring out how to defeat the Japanese in the Pacific while fighting Hitler in Europe.  The Japanese had taken over most of the islands in the Pacific and getting them out would be no easy task, especially while fighting another major front in Europe.

Along comes this civilian scientist named William Pestre, who convinces the Army’s top brass that he could train dogs to hunt down the Japanese and kill them purely on the scent of Japanese blood.  No trainer would have to be present to direct them and the dogs wouldn’t attack non-Japanese because they don’t have the same scent.  His plan was to release tens of thousands of trained dogs on the Pacific islands that would kill the Japanese without an American soldier ever having to set foot on the islands.

Back in those days, it was an easy sell.  The predominately White decision makers back then all held the standard prejudices and bigotry towards the non-White races.  It was common knowledge that the color of one’s skin wasn’t the only factor that differentiated the races.  The way they smelled, the foods they ate, their intelligence levels, and their behaviors all made them inferior to the good White Christian race.  Trying to sell the idea to the military brass that Japanese had their own unique smell from anyone else was like trying to sell an ice cream cone to kids on a hot summer day.

The secret program ran for three months on, ironically, Cat Island off the coast of Gulfport, MS.  Mr. Pestre tried his best to train the dogs to sniff out and kill the Japanese.  They even brought in American-Japanese soldiers to use as dog bait to train the dogs. 

After ninety days, the Army evaluated the training program and deemed it a complete failure.  Mr. Pestre became infuriated and threatened not only the top military brass with retribution if they closed his program down, but also the President. 

The military didn’t take kindly to the threats and shut the program down.  Mr. Pestre disappeared from the scientific community.  The Army Signal Corps took over the training program of the dogs and produced a fine force of working dogs to act as sentries, scouts, trackers, and mine sniffing dogs.  Even as late as the Vietnam War, the war dogs were recognized for their heroic service and credited with saving around ten thousand soldiers’ lives during the conflict.

From the Army’s training program, we learned that contrary to our bigoted beliefs most of us held at the time, people smell like people to a dog and there is no defining smell unique to any one race.  In fact, today, we can look back at this sad chapter in American history and laugh at the stupidity of supposedly educated men of the time.  We can recognize that the dog training program was born out bigotry and ignorance.

Let’s fast forward to a week ago, last Monday.  Matt and Crank aired the soundtrack of a 1950’s PSA they allegedly found on the Internet.  We do know, however, it is one of Matt and Crank’s feeble attempts at humor as they push their agenda of bigotry and White Christian heterosexual male superiority.

Matt and Crank try to tell us how to recognize foreigners from “normal people.”    They delight us with facts like Black people have Black skin and wear large clothing.  Asian people have yellow skin and are often seen jumping, high kicking, and other sorts of foreign sorcery. 

Foreigners like Canadians, however, look too much like us to be easily distinguished as a foreigner, so they teach us a test we can conduct to determine if someone is a foreigner or a normal person.  Lick their cheek because foreigners have a salty, musky taste and secrete a sticky mucous.  If you lick a foreigner, be sure to spit the mucous back into the foreigner’s face because the mucous is poisonous.

No matter how we at the Critics Page try to look at this segment, we see blatant bigotry bordering on racism being passed off as entertainment.  Matt and Crank’s underlying message is clear – if you are not White or speak a different language, you are here to undermine common codes of morals and ethics, that is, destroy the American (read White) society.

If this sort of entertainment were a one time slip by Matt and Crank, we could write it off as simply a bad attempt to entertain us.  However, we know this sort of commentary from Matt and Crank is a staple of their program.  We only listened to their program twice last week, about an hour each time.  On Monday, we’re treated to the subversive tactics of foreigners and told to spit in their face.  On Friday, we’re treated to the evils of the lesbian feminists and their subversive tactics to get women out of the house and working instead of cooking, cleaning, and raising the kids.

Maybe Matt and Crank share ancestry with Mr. Pestre and have solved the problem that caused his WWII training program to fail.  Instead of sniffing out the foreigners, the dogs should be trained to lick out the foreigners. 

Matt and Crank's PSA on foreigners: