Friday, February 25, 2011

The Critics Page looking for a sixth member

The Critics Page listened to a sizable portion of yesterday's programming on WZBH.  The trend towards less inciteful rhetoric that we have noticed over the last three weeks continues.  In fact, we only heard one objectionable comment by a DJ yesterday coming from the Matt and Crank Show.

While talking to the owner of a local gym about their upcoming dance lessons, Matt posed the question of what women really think about men dancing.  He asked if they find a man who dances sexy or see him as a "fairy boy."  We don't know what a fairy boy is, but given Matt's past record on talking about gays, we're pretty sure he wasn't making a compliment.

On the Chris Steele show, a sexist commercial for Dodge trucks aired.  We understand that Chris Steele does not have control over the ads that are played and we do not fault him for the commercial.  Dodge, apparently, thinks the month of February is a woman's month with Valentine's Day and isn't "manly" enough.  The commercial goes on to appeal to the "man", which anyone over thirty knows they are trying to appeal to the boys under thirty.

We only mention this because we have noticed a general trend towards blatant sexism in commercials through any medium.  Delmarva List, for example, is currently airing two blatantly sexist commercials on the WBOC.  One appeals to the woman because women don't like sports and even encourages the woman to lie to her man by saying she'll get him a beer and, instead, encourages her to sign up for the daily deals.  The other appeals to the man by telling him to forget the "chick flicks" and watch what he really wants to watch - sports - on a big screen TV.

Ok, so we're straying a bit from the purpose of this website, but we are straying to make a point.  When it comes to the blatant sexism in the commercials, an ad executive from a competitor company will come along and demolish the competition with a counter ad - ironically, an ad probably laced with the same sexism.  Ford, for example, may come out with an ad to counter Dodge's ad and feature a beautiful woman driving the truck all over a Dodge and end the ad with something suggestive like "Come take me for a test drive."   If Ford were to put out an ad like this, at least Ford, unlike Dodge, acknowledges that women like to drive trucks, too.  In other words, there's balance between the competing commercials.

We have yet to hear any balance in WZBH's programming that would counter comments like Matt's fairy boy comment.  If gays and lesbians are mentioned, they are mentioned only in a negative context.  Women are mentioned only in the context of being a play thing or should be home cooking and cleaning.  Muslims are mentioned only as blowing up buildings are persecuting Christians.  Blacks are into drugs or standing in line for food stamps.  We're hard pressed to find any positive - or even nuetral - comments made about women, Muslims, Blacks or any other race, or gays and lesbians.

This critic was caught by surprise with one quick blurb put out by WZBH.  In fact, it was so quick, this critic is still scratching his head over whether it was a real message or not.  WZBH announced that if anyone was considering filing a lawsuit against the station to please call them.

We, at The Critics Page, never considered filing a lawsuit.  We figured bleeding ears was a normal symptom from listening to kids all day.  Now that WZBH has given us the idea of filing a lawsuit, we are like, "Hey, why not?"

This is where we need a sixth person in our group.  Since bleeding ears would probably be viewed by a jury as a normal and expected symptom of listening to the kids on WZBH, we need a sixth person who fits the description of WZBH's frequent ridicule that we have documented or can document.  We are looking for a Black Japanese, Muslim, heterosexual woman who has undergone a sex change operation and is now a Black Japanese, Muslim, gay man.  You must be a legal citizen of Delmarva with proof of your right to work on Delmarva.  We will consider applicants of foreign countries from the other side of the Bay if you have the proper work visa and green card authorizing you to be on Delmarva.  If you don't have the proper paperwork, please don't cross the Bay Bridge.  You won't be interviewed for the position.

Once The Critic's Page accepts the new member as described above, we'll move forward with the lawsuit and we'll be a shoe-in to own WZBH with ownership split evenly among all six members.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Critics Page has been put into sleep mode

On 02 Feb, Matt and Crank targetted women with both barrels and hit gays with the buck shot.  On 03 Feb, many at WZBH discovered The Critics Page.  With the wealth of material the two days gave us to accurately paint the picture of the tone of the overall programming on WZBH, we spent almost a week playing catch up with our critiques and responses.

During that time of playing catch up, we noticed several things.  Promos aired throughout the day for the Matt and Crank program have been nuetral in tone.  Chris Steele as yet to refer to women as "chicks", and, in fact, cost this critic some beer money for failing to talk about "chicks" by today's deadline.  Matt posted on his personal FaceBook page (conveniently linked through the official WZBH website and promoted on air as if it were an official extension of WZBH and the Matt and Crank Show) a request for suggestions from the listeners as they consider a "strategy change" in their programming.  While none of the critics at the Critics Page caught every show, every morning in its entirety, we have caught probably about 90% of the programming and haven't heard one derogatory segment aimed at women, Blacks, Muslims, or gays/lesbians.

We even reviewed Doug McKenzie's show one afternoon, something none of the critics have done before.  One of our critics would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mr. McKenzie for playing a Primus song, "Jerry was a race car driver."  One of our critics remembered a song from about fifteen years ago or so that would fit perfectly on a CD he was making, "Down on the Farm", but couldn't remember the title of the song or group.  After Mr. McKenzie played the Primus song, our critic knew that was the group that did the song he remembered.  After sampling Primus on Amazon, he not only found his song, "Wynona's big brown beaver", but became a Primus fan with his own compiled CD of his favorite songs he sampled.

JJ, however, doesn't get off the hook.  In the last two or so weeks we continued listening, the only glaring exception to the change in the tone of programming was last Thursday night when JJ railed against the man-purse.  Despite mentioning Beckham, who, as far as we can tell, is as straight as they come, as an example of a man who carries a man-purse, JJ managed to tie in the carrying of a man-purse to "flaky fruit flies".  He then asked for a ban on the man-purse on all of Delmarva, except Rehoboth because one will see plenty of the man-purses there.  His message was implied, but clear - there is no room for gays on Delmarva unless they are in Rehoboth.  It is this sort of stereotyping The Critics Page has always objected to.

That said, last Saturday, those of us associated with The Critics Page had our weekly session at the Round Table and decided The Critics Page needs to go into sleep mode.  We're not so naive as to believe our page has had anything to do with the noticeable change in the tone of programming at WZBH.  For two or three months, we listened to WZBH to see if what one of our critics complained about all the while warranted the effort we undertook.  Saturday night, we decided that there is a definite change that most likely resulted from other sources.  We figure if us drunk rednecks noticed a disturbing trend in the programming, more articulate listeners had probably been complaining all along.  The change was in the making before we even started this page.

We also are not so naive as to believe the change in WZBH's programming tone we have heard over the last little more than two weeks is permanent.  We're of the consensus that the programming tone has been dampened to appease those who have complained and once the staff at WZBH believes no one is paying attention any more, the abuses will start revving up again.  For this reason, The Critics Page will be here so that you, the listener, has a place to document the sexist, racist, Islamaphobic, or homophobic programming that may rear its ugly head sometime in the future.

In the meantime, the five of us at The Critics Page are out of a job and will spend the next couple of Saturday nights drinking beer and deciding what direction, if any, The Critics Page will be heading next.  Perhaps we'll get around to making the You Tube videos based on The Drunk Rednecks of the Round Table.  Expect blurry, red-eyed video if we ever get that bold.

We do one to send out one personal thank you to Crank.  Because of his input on how to make decent audio to go with a You Tube video, we think we've mastered at least the basics of providing good audio.  If you, or anyone else, have any suggestions on making good video, we're listening.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Programming almost earned kudos for Matt and Crank even

For 15 Feb, we listened to a little more than two hours of Matt and Crank and about an hour to an hour and a half each of Chris Steele and JJ. 

Jumping right to the early evening (Steele) and late evening (JJ) shows, The Critics Page is a might bit worried.  Both played good music, good meaning it was rock music; the Matt and Crank promos (two different ones) were nuetral, nuetral meaning the clips didn't contain any sexist, racist, Islamaphobic, or homophobic connotations; and the DJs commentary between songs was also nuetral.  At least for Chris Steele, we thought he'd be talking about "chicks" again by now.  The five of us associated with The Critics Page has started a pool as to when we'll hear about the "chicks".  Mr. Steele, if you read this, please indulge us with some "chick" talk on next Tuesday's show.  This critic stands to win some beer money if you do.

Going back to the morning show, our critic, who usually does the recording, listened to the show with a bit of disappointment.  Crank opened the show with a story of how he helped another motorist get his car started.  Crank spoke honestly about his feelings of trepidation because he didn't know if the guy was going to jump him or if he legitimately needed help.  The twist in the story, of course, was the stranded motorist was Hispanic.  A listener could speculate all day if Crank would have the same feelings of trepidation were the stranded motorist a White person, but there would be no point.  It was the language barrier and the words the stranded motorist chose to ask for help that was the point.  The feelings behind the story Crank related are normal feeling every person, regardless of color, have probably felt when they have decided to stop and help a stranger.  We give ample credit to Crank for making it clear that his telling of the story wasn't stereotyping all Hispanic people as people who are likely to jump someone at four-thirty in the morning, but was to demonstrate how language barriers can lead to some misunderstandings.

The next segment had Matt briefly talking about a blind wrestler he had to wrestle when he was in the eighth grade as he led into the main point of the segment, the story of a legless high school student who was cut from the baseball team.  Granted, some of the segments were rather crudely expressed, but the whole fifteen minute or so segment talked honestly about disabled people and whether we should treat them as charity cases or as equals when they are in competition.

The next segment continued the story of the legless high school athlete and, again, with the honest and frank discussion minus any stereotypes of disabaled people or of people who feel the disabled should be treated differently.

Yes, at this point, the reader may aptly point out that this critic is not being politically correct and, instead, is being insensitive towards people who are not physically built the same.  There are no physically disabled people - only people who are physically challenged.  The choice of words has to do with an imaginary line we all draw as to what is and what is not appropriate and that imaginary line is never in the same place for any two people.  More on that in a bit.

The next segment was Robo News and the coming apocolypse now that some European scientists have decided to make a congregation spot on the Internet for all robots to share information they have learned.  Sky Net, anyone?  While this critic stands alone, even among those associated with The Critics Page, in thinking this news is not apocolyptic, their segment was presented with no stereotyping of anyone.  This critic, however, believes that once the robots get to talking to each other, they won't take kindly to the characterization that robots are out to kill us all.  Matt and Crank should approach their computers and home appliances with caution.

The next segment, which our critic did record and is provided below, consistd of a prank call made to a carryout restaurant.  The premise of the call is a person suffering from disassociative identity disorder (colloquially referred to as split or multiple personality disorder) tries to order food and gets in an argument with his other personalities.

This segment is one of the rare times the real talent of Matt and Crank as entertainers shines through.  If a listener missed their introductory portion of the segment and tuned in right on the phone call, one would swear they were listening to at least two different people arguing over the food they wanted to order.  At the moment you begin to imagine the two different imaginary characters and think you have them pegged, you get blind sided by the third imaginary character, a gay farm boy.  The unexpected is what makes a skit funny.  The segment was edgy and definitely pushed the envelope.  Sure, the imaginary characters portrayed relied, to a small degree, on stereotypes to help the listener develop a mental picture of the conversation, but one couldn't help but at least chuckle at the segment.  It definitely elicited a positive, two thumbs up from all five of us associated with The Critics Page.

Remember earlier the mention of the imaginary line we all draw as to what is and isn't appropriate?  The phone call prank illustrates just how differently the line can appear to some and how pushing one's entertainment and humor to that line can keep the audience on edge and thinking.

Matt gave an explanation prior to playing the call to set the audience up for what to expect.  He had to let the audience know that the caller was one person suffering from disassociative identity disorder else the audience may have thought the caller was two or three people performing the skit.  Undoubtedly, to some people, Matt and Crank crossed that imaginary line of appropriateness by making fun of people who suffer from a serious mental disorder they cannot control.  For the five of us associated with The Critics Page, sure, the set up crossed into that gray area of appropriateness/inappropriateness, but wasn't anywhere near the line, much less crossing it.

What did cross the line for us was Matt telling his audience to picture the personalities as a White farm boy and a Black guy.  We have questioned this before (see A shining glimmer of change overshadowed by a homeless Black guy) and still have to ask: Why a White dude?  Why a farmboy?  Why a Black dude?  Why even tell your audience what to imagine?  The race of the imaginary personalities had no bearing on the entertainment value of the skit.  Usually, when one has to specify the race of an individual when telling a story, the statement is made from a prejudiced or bigotted point of view.  Only Matt knows why he felt a need to tell his listeners to imagine a White farm boy and a Black guy  We don't know why, but interpret it as coming from at least a prejudiced point of view.  One foot went over the imaginary line of appropriateness/inappropriateness.

Another point could be made that a White guy doing a Black voice imitation is, in itself, racist.  There was a recent case where a witness against the defendant claimed she believed the caller (her only contact with the defendant) sounded like a Black man.  The defense lawyers objected on the grounds that one couldn't identify the race of a person simply by the sound of their voice and the objection was sustained.  A minor public uproar ensued over the notion that Black people sound differently than White people.  In a criminal court case, yes, that makes sense.  Voices can be misleading.  But in everyday practice, we do form images of people we can hear, but not see, and while it is stereotyping, we don't think imitating a "Black voice" comes close to crossing the imaginary line of appropriateness/inappropriateness.

During the skit, the White farmboy personality calls the Black personality a crackhead.  Matt's second foot is poised to cross the line.  Was this the reason Matt had to tell his listeners to imagine a Black guy so that there would be no mistake the Black guy is the crackhead?

Matt put his foot back down safely on the appropriate side of the line.  Had he had the Black guy offer to pay for the food with food stamps, or order a side of fried chicken and watermelon or used any other stereotype of Black people, we would've been blasting the skit as another example of racist commentary.

Matt took us to that imaginary line of appropriateness/inappropriateness and even took us one step over.  If Matt didn't tell us what race to imagine the different personalities, Matt and Crank would've gotten kudos for performing a talented, funny segment and this whole lengthy explanation would've been skipped.  You see, if he had said nothing and we imagined the personalities as a White guy and a Black guy, then we would've been guilty of playing into our own stereotypes and prejudices.  That is what makes the skit, in our opinion, edgy, squarely in the gray area of appropriateness, and extremely entertaining.  Maybe next time we won't be told what characters to picture as we listen and then we could say Matt and Crank kept both of their feet on the appropriateness side of the line.

Our critic was about to turn off the radio when Matt and Crank launched into a segment about the appropriateness of a twenty-four-year-old man having sexual relations with a seventeen-year-old "girl."  What would've been an otherwise entertaining two hours suddenly reverted back to the typical sexist arguments to make a point.

A seventeen-year-old female is, first of all, a young woman.  One finds girls in elementary and middle schools.  That debatable point in semantics aside, once again, Matt and Crank argued from the standpoint that "girls" are genetically programmed to seek older men who are good providers.  When a caller asked would they have a problem with a seventeen-year-old boy (again, semantics, but young man) dating a twenty-four-year-old woman, their response, after a bit of stuttering and mis-speak, was that yes they would have a problem, and even more so than the other way around.  They, after all, hold "woman to higher standards" and, because of a woman's ingrained desires, should be seeking a good provider and not a boy.  Holding women to a higher standard based on nothing more than they are women is the definition of sexist.  Playing the double standard card is the definition of sexist.  Claiming as fact that women are born with certain desirable behaviors is the definition of sexist.  That's three strikes and Matt and Crank are out.

Monday, February 14, 2011

One critic dropped out, today

After listening to eighteen minutes of the Matt and Crank show this morning, the critic who usually records their segments decided to drop out, instead.

"That first segment sounded like a bunch of grumpy, old men whining and complainging about everything, and today was such a beautiful day and a day of love, I just couldn't let them put a cloud over my head," she explained.

Matt and Crank used the eighteen minute segment to talk about Matt's trip to a natural museum of history with his nephews and nieces.  The segment started out about the quality of crappy music from about ten years ago, followed by his experience at the museum with a guide reading from a card that made him feel like she was treating him like a child.  He went on to talk about whiney kids and how he tried to use logic to reason with them at which point Crank chimed in that women don't think logically and that's why they are so great with kids.  They then briefly mentioned dead beat Dads because, this critic guesses,  we all know there are no dead beat Moms in the world of Matt and Crank.  It must have something to do with those "female skills" women are born with, you know, a woman's innate desire to cook, clean, and raise kids.

At that point, our critic, who usually records Matt and Crank segments, flipped the radio off, refusing to let their sexist, gloom and doom rant ruin her day.  She assures us she'll be back on the job tomorrow or Wednesday.

On the brighter side, us other critics have been listening to Chris Steele's show and Lights out with JJ all last week and tonight.  We have failed to hear women referred to as "chicks" nor have we heard any off-hand comments, usually coming from JJ, about gays.  We don't know if the absence of the usual comments is because of the lack of stories to throw the jibes in or maybe Chris and JJ have assessed their on-air persona based on comments made here and decided to improve their image.  We also noticed the promo clips for the Matt and Crank program were nuetral - and a couple actually funny - in their commentary.  Again, we at the Critics Page don't know if there is a conscious effort at WZBH to change their overall tone of programming or if the lack of inciteful rhetoric promos is just a fluke.  For the last week and a day, though, flukes or not, the changes were refreshing and the programming enjoyable.

If the programming we've heard for the last week (outside of Matt and Crank) continues on this positive path, we at the Critics Page may find ourselves out of a job.  We're fine with that.  It's not like we're getting paid.  The morning groupies can have their mindless sexist, racist, Islamaphobic, and homophobic show and the rest of Delmarva listeners can enjoy quality programming throughout the day and night.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chris Steele has a thing for chicks

We wrap up our review of WZBH's programming on 02 Feb with a review of the Chris Steele show and an excerpt occurring around 5:30 in the evening.  Unfortunately, this critic was on the way home from work and was unable to record the segment.

Anyone who happened to catch the Matt and Crank Show on the way in to work earlier in the morning had their ears assaulted with the denigration of women and their proper place and a lesson in their innate desires to be home cooking and cleaning.  If a listener were offended by that twenty minute segment as they drove to work, Chris Steele managed to reinforce the objectification of women on the listener's drive home from work.

Like any healthy, young male, Chris Steele felt a need to share the news of the ten sexiest Hollywood women.  Perfectly normal since any listener knows WZBH's target audience is young males.  Great story, except for one of Chris Steele's little quirks.  Women, no matter how hard they have worked to be as successful as they are, are not women.  They are "chicks."

We, at the Critics Page, continue to scratch our heads on this one.  "Chicks" is a phrase that died out over thirty years ago - long before Chris Steele was even born.  The term was offensive then and it still is.  Tell you what, Chris.  Have one of your friends call your Mom a "chick" and not only see how far across the room she smacks him, but see how fast your Mom's slap sends you following him.

In case you aren't aware, chicks are cute little two-legged yellow things pecking around the barnyard.  They eventually grow up and end up in your soup pot.  The only similiarity between women and chicks are that they both have two legs, and most people would agree the two legs on women are much more attractive.  Past possessing the same number of legs, there is absolutely nothing similiar between chicks and women.
As one of the women associated with the Critics Page said, "I've never laid an egg in my life."

Well, Chris, she has one up on you.  During the course of your show you laid three eggs - two little eggs by playing The Foo Fighters and that absolutely horrible remake of "Turn Up the Radio" orginally done by the 1980's group Autograph - and one huge egg that would make an ostritch jealous because everyone except you knows women are not chicks.

Matt and Crank still think people "turn gay"

On the 02 Feb morning show, in between Matt and Crank's twenty minute rant putting women "in their place", they managed to set their sights on gays and lesbians.  They talked about a study of college students that showed a man would be more forgiving of a woman who cheated on him with another woman than a woman would be of a man who cheated on her with another man.

The main message driven home through this few minutes was gays and lesbians choose to be gay.  Crank made more than one effort of labeling lesbians as mentally screwed up or psychologically diseased.  Take particular note of Crank's almost subconscious utterance of disgust when Matt mentions a guy having an affair with another guy.

All this critic can say is thank God there was no recording of my subconscious utterance of disgust when I viewed Crank's FaceBook picture of him and (presumed) wife.  What could she possibly see in a man so obviously psychologically diseased that homosexuality upsets him so much?

This critic has always said - and still stands firmly behind - the assertion that some people should not be allowed to marry much less breed.  Matt and Crank are two who should top that banned from marrying and breeding list.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Matt and Crank explain "female skills"

Note: The Critic's Page has experienced some technical difficulties uploading audio to You Tube.  The audio is of poor quality, but listenable.  We're working on resolving the technical difficulties and hope to have better quality audio posted in the future.

On their show on 02 Feb, Matt and Crank spent over twenty minutes during the course of three consecutive segments lamenting the loss of "female skills." 

"What are 'female skills'?" you may ask. 

Prior to listening to the show, this critic never gave the concept of "female skills" much thought.  After listening to the show and learning "female skills" are cooking and cleaning, this critic had to check the calendar to ensure it was still 2011 and not 1911.

Because of the length of the discussion of "female skills" exceeding You Tube requirements, the critique of the show is divided into three segments to correspond with the appropriate You Tube segment.

Part I

In this segment, listeners are treated to a rare (emphasis on very rare)  glimpse of Matt and Crank's real talent as entertainers.  They put together a 1952 training video, "How to train your woman."  If a listener weren't paying attention, one might believe it was a real training video from that era.  It was funny and certainly made one shake their head in disbelief that people actually held onto that level of mentality at one time.

Unfortunately, the commentary sandwiching the training video clip reiterated the 1950's mentality and attitudes towards women.  A woman's purpose in life is to cook and clean and if they abandon those "female skills", who's going to do the cooking and cleaning?

Yes, the only truly funny and talented part of this first half of the segment was the training video.  Listeners could've have been spared the rest of the banal and archaic commentary that only served to reinforce the old notion that a woman's place is at home, cooking and cleaning.

Part I cont

Just when you think that one couldn't stuff their foot any further in their mouth, Matt and Crank come along and show they can swallow the whole thing.  Like any good little boy from the city, Matt apparently believes Delmarva residents live in the mentality of Aunt Bea's Mayberry era.  He should do a little research and learn the traditional role of the women of Delmarva was to shuck oysters, shell crabs, harvest the crops, and skin muskrats in addition to running the household.

Our grandfathers, and great-grandfathers possessed something that has long since been lost by today's youth, particularly today's suburbanite, middle-class boys masquerading as today's men.  Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers started driving tractors as soon as their feet could reach the pedals or started manning fishing boats as soon as they were tall enough to see over the helm.  Unless they were in school, they worked from sun up until sun down.  After sunset or after school, they tended to the animals, mended fences, repaired or cleaned out the barn, fixed things around the house and other chores as needed.  On slow nights in the off-season, they may have had time to catch an hour show on the radio or television.

With their male skills firmly ingrained at a young age, men of our grandfather or great-grandfather's day graduated high school and served their country for two or four years.  Real men didn't graduate high school and run off to college to sponge off their parents for four more years so they could party and enjoy wet tee shirt contests as part of their "education."  When the real men of that generation returned home, they were back in the fields or on the water from sun up until sun down.  If they weren't a farmer or waterman, they dedicated their career to one company and filled in their off hours with part time jobs so they could provide more for their family than their parents could provide for them.  They didn't whine and complain about the work or pay and no job was beneath them.  Work was an honest day's pay even if the job were shoveling chicken crap out of a farmer's coop.

Real men of that generation worked sixty, ninety hours a week with only an occasional weekend off and rarely a week or longer vacation.  They knew they were raising sons who would mature into real men and when they were too old to work, their sons would take care of them instead of shuffling them off to a nursing home. 

Women were treated with respect.  Real men would say, "Excuse me, Miss", not "Yo babe, looking hot."  Available women were referred to as young ladies, not girls, babes or chicks.  Real men took their hats off in the presence of a lady, opened doors for them, and offered to carry heavy loads for them.

Real men relied on their wives to cook, clean, sew, and raise the kids.  They relied on them to tend to the vegetable garden because real men understood vegetables didn't grow in cellophane at the local supermarket and they relied on their wives to shuck, shell, or clean their catch or hunt so that the real man would have time to catch or hunt more that he could sell on the open market to be able to better provide for his family.  The wife wasn't his "old lady."  She was his equal partner who helped the real man succeed by taking care of everything around the house so he could work those twelve, sixteen hours a day, seven days a week to provide for his family.  The real man provided for his family and didn't need his wife to work an outside job to help him make ends meet.

If today's women have lost their "female skills", perhaps they loss them because men have lost their "male skills" a long time ago.  Fixing things around the house doesn't mean you know how to call a good roofer, electrician, or plumber.  Maintence work and repair on your car doesn't mean drinking a beer or two with your buddies at the local titty bar while the kids at Jiffy Lube work on your car.  Weekends weren't made for beer and football.  They were made for work so a real man's wife could stay home and take care of the house and kids instead of working to make sure the electric and gas bill gets paid.  The loss of "female skills" is called adapting to the failures of today's "man".

Here's a thought.  Maybe Matt and Crank should do what they should've done when they first graduated high school - visit their local recruiting office and learn what it is to be a real man.  See, a real man desires to come home to a wife, not a servant.  And a real man wouldn't end a fifteen minute rant on the proper role of a woman with a song called "Porn Star Dancing." 

Interestingly, Matt admits to making a second, 1950's PSA concerning race relations, but he deleted it because if they aired it, they surely would've been fired.  They should've used the same judgement with this highly sexist segment Delmarva listeners were subjected to.  Apparently, Matt and Crank are scared to death of Black people, but have no problem verbally bullying women.

Part II and III

After the commercial break, the rant continues.  Listeners learn that Moms are to blame for the loss of "female skills" in today's generation of women.  Wow!  Matt and Crank go after two generations of women to make the point of what failures they are, as women, for - get this - going against their biology and shunning their "female skills". 

Stop the presses!  Women are born with the innate desire to cook and clean.  Through a roughly eighteen minute rant, Matt and Crank disproved every anthropologists' claim.  Neandrathals didn't die out.  They are alive and well and prosper among us.  We can't blame Matt and Crank's Moms and Dads for not raising real men.  Matt and Crank are only expressing their innate thoughts.

In Part III, Matt and Crank confront a local report, Innae Park, with their lament of the loss of "female skills."  It's worth listening to Ms. Park's professionalism in handling the confrontation.  And one just has to love Matt's claim that male complaints aren't as bad as female complaints.  His reasoning is that men don't go on and on for forty minutes complaining about something.  No, they (or at least Matt and Crank) only take roughly twenty minutes to complain about something.  Their complaint about the loss of "female skills" would probably have gone on for another twenty minutes, at least, if air time permitted.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

We've been found

The other day, one on-air personality, we believe Chubb Love, found us and quickly spread the word among the rest of the WZBH staff.  Within an hour or two, Matt had already labeled us a "coward" with "a lot of time on his hands".  On our FaceBook page, CJ Cutsail challenged us to call the station and be heard instead of "hiding out here".

Apparently, the next day (Thursday morning) Matt and Crank gave The Critics Page free publicity.  Unfortunately, no one associated with The Critics Page happened to be tuned in and we missed the airing.  A couple of our friends clued us in and the gist of what we got out of it was more of the same that has been posted on our FaceBook page by Matt and Crank fans. 

Needless to say, we find the reactions, particularly the reactions of Matt, Crank, and their fans rather amusing and, as usual, predictable and hypocritical.  First, we'd like to know how anyone could think we're "hiding out" here.  The Internet is not a very good place for anyone to hide out.  We knew someone from WZBH would eventually find us.  We're just surprised it took anyone this long.

We do thank Matt and Crank for not letting us down with their response.  Among those of us associated with The Critics Page, we had a bet not on what the response would be, but on what stereotype would Matt and Crank use to ridicule the creator or creators of the website.  The only surprise was none of us guessed "coward".

Matt and Crank often chastise their listeners for not being more active to effect change in their communities or the political process.  So along comes a group of drunk rednecks who decided to let their voices be heard about what they think of a local radio station's programming and we're chastised for being "cowards" and even though Matt was "flattered", he was a little "creeped out".  Fans of the Matt and Crank show were no less kind, but just as predicatable.  We are one, forty-something douchebag living in Mom's basement and have no social skills.

This is the form of "entertainment" that The Critics Page objects to.  Ninety percent of the Matt and Crank show is based on stereotyping groups of people and then making fun of them.  Their four main targets are women; non-Christians, particularly Muslims; non-Whites, particularly Blacks; and gays/lesbians.  If this form of entertainment were contained to the Matt and Crank show, it would be a lot easier to ignore, but throughout the day, clips from the show are aired.  Those clips combined with commentary made from at least two other DJs help set the tone of the overall programming at WZBH. 

But the purpose of this post is to shatter the stereotypes being bantered about who made this site and is not about WZBH's programming.  We'll start by letting you know that one person is not solely responsible.  It is a collaborative effort of five people - three drunk rednecks and two women.  We do live in a rural community that is a right good distance to any town.  Our one and only local bar got shut down and it is too far to drive to the next nearest one.  We're all friends and we usually get together on a Saturday night at one of our houses, get drunk, play cards, and talk about a lot of things, but usually about how to get rich off the Internet like these sixteen-year-old kids do that we hear about.

Talking about getting rich off the Internet and doing it are two different things, especially when our only skills are knowing how to Google something.  So for months, we talked about it, talked about our lousy government, the criminals running our financial institutions, our corrupt state government and how they are trying to make watermen obsolete, DNR Gestapo tactics to protect a snapping turtle, and one of the women in our circle would bring up the latest Matt and Crank offense.  Like the good ol', sensitive boys we are, we'd tell her to go get us another beer.

Eventually, our idle talk began to center around starting a You Tube channel.  We heard stories of people who had popular You Tube channels and how advertisers payed them outrageous amounts of money to put their advertisements on their channel.  We developed an idea of "Drunk Rednecks of the Round Table".  It made sense.  We talk a lot of nonsense like all talk show hosts do and we usually are drunk and sitting around a round table.

The idea sounded good until we sobered up the next day.  None of us were really ready to be in the public eye, even if the public eye were only a whopping three strangers watching us.  None of us had a digital video cam.  All five of us could find the You Tube site on the Internet, but only one of us had any idea how to edit and upload video, create a companion website, and tie it all in to the social networks.  So more talk and no action.

Then a couple of months ago, one of the women in our loosely knit group talked about one of the DJs still using the long-dead expression "chicks" when talking about women.  That got the women talking about WZBH, Matt and Crank, and the general disregard held towards women.  We all busted out laughing when one of them jokingly said, "Let's bring them down here and see if us chicks can't skin them faster than we can a muskrat."  Boy, how we wish we caught that on video.  (No, Matt and Crank.  They don't have butch haircuts, wear flannel shirts and army boots, nor are they husky or fat.)

We decided we all would start listening to WZBH and it didn't take long before us guys started seeing what the women had been complaining about for months.  It's not like we never listened to WZBH before.  I, for example, happened to catch a particularly nasty segment last summer on the morning show and couldn't believe that a local station would air such blatantly homophobic and racist programming.  Fortunately, until we started this website, I rarely listened to the morning show.  I am also a huge fan of "Lights Out with JJ", especially his Wednesday night show.  I usually catch it on my way home from work.

We're all rock fans so at one time or another, we all have tired of our CDs and listened to WZBH, but none of us really paid attention to the programming - except for the one woman who listened to Matt and Crank every once in awhile to bring something to the Round Table.

We decided it was time to get off our drunk asses, stop talking, and do something.  What was being passed off as entertainment on the morning show and promoted throughout the day was hardly representative of Delmarva listeners and certainly wasn't being "loyal to Delmarva".  It was stereotypical conservative bull crap from the other side of the Bay and it should've stayed on the other side of the Bay.

Now us five had a problem.  Only one of us had any idea how to work the Internet and had about average writing skills.  The responsibility of creating the website and the writing found here fell on yours truly, who is writing to you now.  Most of what you find here takes about fifteen to twenty minutes tops to produce. 

Reviewing Matt and Crank is easy.  My one friend records the program she wants reviewed, jots down a few key points she wants made, and hands the recording and her notes to me.  I listen to the recording then write the critique.  If I don't happen to see things the way she does, we all talk about it and sometimes, the critique doesn't get published. 

Currently, we have only reviewed Matt and Crank, Chris Steele, and JJ.  Chris Steele and JJ are easy.  If they make comments that support the sterotype bashing that is a staple of the morning show, we make mention of it.  The Critics page, after all, is dedicated to showing the overall tone WZBH's programming is setting throughout the day and not just of the Matt and Crank program.

We do see three primary results of running this website. 
  1. An overwhelming response of support for what is being said here effects change in programming at WZBH
  2. About an even split of support that may or may not effect change in programming at WZBH
  3. Rejection of our views, which means WZBH conducts business as usual and this site eventually fades into oblivion
No matter which three of the results occur, us five win.  If this site has little or no effect in the programming decisions at WZBH, we win because we've learned a lot about making websites, social networking to promote the website, and video making.  The Drunk Rednecks of the Round Table may be coming to You Tube soon, like in another year.  If this website is shown overwhelming support and effects change at WZBH, we win doubly.  Not only would we have cleaned up the airwaves of the stereotype, inciteful rhetoric being pawned off as entertainment that we and our kids listen to, but we still have gained the experience to maybe eventually produce The Drunk Rednecks of the Round Table.

So, Matt and Crank, you owe your listeners an apology for stereotyping the creators of this site as being one, lonely coward living in Mom's basement.  It is a collaborative effort of five local people who have their sights set higher than your little four-and-a-half hour show or even WZBH as a whole.