Saturday, May 21, 2011

Award of the week goes to listener Drew

(Bear with us, Drew.  Your award comes at the end of our segment.  You know how award shows go.  You have to trudge through to the end to see the important part.)

Despite our busy spring, we have caught bits and pieces of WZBH programming this week.  Christ Steele and JJ are going strong and both steer clear of potentially inflammatory comment.  Sure, JJ still vehemently denies wanting to get married, much less have kids, but we at the Critics Page strongly feel that a sizeable portion of our population should refrain from breeding - and probably marrying, too.  We mention this because we feel JJ should at least be acknowledged for his positive contribution to Delmarva, and the world, for spreading the message to leave the breeding to those who are more qualified than he to have children.  We certainly don't view his commentary as being anti-marriage or anti-kids.

 Matt and Crank bored us with more mundane, adolescent gibberish all week.  One serious topic they hit upon dealt with hate crime legislation.  Innae Park reported on the case of someone being charged with a hate crime for beating up a transsexual in a local fast food joint.  Matt felt a need to protest the idea of hate crime legislation, claiming that if someone is beaten up in a mugging, that crime of assault is no different than the transsexual who was beaten up for no reason other than being different.  The gist of his argument was that if we're all are to be treated equally, why is the person who beats someone out of hatred treated differently than the person who beats someone in a robbery scenario.
On the surface, the argument sounds good, but we ask, "Why does someone, who is speeding ten miles over the speed limit, given a lesser fine than someone who is speeding twenty-five miles over the speed limit? Speeding is, after all, speeding, whether it is one mile per hour over the limit or a hundred."
We could go further.  Killing someone is killing someone, yet the law breaks killing someone down into different degrees: first, second, third, involuntary manslaughter, and voluntary manslaughter.  The penalties for the different charges vary greatly.  Some first degree murders are eligible for the death penalty while others aren't.  But killing is killing.  By Matt and Crank's reasoning, whether you're a serial killer butchering hundreds of people or the drunk driver who drank three beers and is over the legal limit, if you kill someone, face the lethal injection.
Intelligent people know the reason the law is so varied in any crime is because of the motive, intent, and impact on the community.  Someone speeding a few miles over the limit is a good excuse to make the state more money, because we know politicians can't balance a budget and they need the extra cash.  Someone speeding twenty-five miles over the limit is probably an aggressive driver and an accident waiting to happen.  He/she needs to be punished more severely in hopes he/she will slow down and make the roads safer.  If you've ever been pulled over for speeding, depending on how fast you were going and the flow of the traffic, the officer will often lower the speed he/she quotes to you so you get the lesser fine and points.  After all, their job is to make the state money - not to get speeders off the road.

Intuitively, we know there is a world of difference between a serial killer, someone who carefully plans a murder, someone who acts in a crime of passion, someone who meant to intimidate or scare someone and the action resulted in a death, someone who did something stupid that resulted in a death, and someone who got behind the wheel feeling perfectly sober, but an accident that may or may not have been his/her fault resulted in a death.  Should all these people who killed someone be treated the same?  By Matt and Crank's logic, killing is killing so why aren't they all given a death penalty trial or a slap on the wrist of temporary insanity?
So a transsexual walks into a fast food joint and is beaten up by someone who has a problem with transsexuals.  At the same time a couple of blocks away, someone else is beaten up by someone who is trying to rob the victim.  What's the difference? 
Simple.  Motive and impact on the community.  Everyone living in a community knows they may be a victim of a robbery.  No one expects to be a victim of a crime simply because of who they are.  Black, White, Christian, Muslim, male, female, able-bodied, disabled, young, old, straight, gay, reasonable weight, obese - doesn't matter.  We all expect to be able to walk in public and not be beaten up simply because we don't meet someone else's standards.  Hate crime laws address the difference - and seriousness - in crimes motivated out of one's prejudices and bigotry.

Matt and Crank were, in effect, saying that a transsexual getting beaten up for being a transsexual was the transexual's fault for being a transsexual.  The transexual should've taken his beaten and the offender should've been charged with an assault charge that could've resulted in two to three years prison time instead of the added five to ten years the hate crime legislation may add to the sentence.  Beating up someone because of who they are isn't a serious crime warranting more jail time.
One thing we do agree with Matt and Crank is that hate crime legislation protects one group of people that shouldn't be protetected..  Every protected group is protected because the individuals were born with their skin color, ethnic background, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability (or became disabled through genetics or accident), and, of course, age.  One protected group, however, is purely choice, that choice being religion.  One's religious choice should not be a protected group.
As the beers keep flowing, here, we all agree that one's religion should not be protected under the discrimination laws or the hate crime laws.  Religion is a choice.  One isn't born a Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Spaghetti Monster in the Sky, Christian, or...   One's religion is chosen.  You make the choice and if we decide to beat the crap out of you for your choice, oh, well, simple assault and no added ten years for the hate crime.  Matt and Crank, we're sure, would agree with this as long as the religious person getting the crap beaten out of them was any religion other than Christian. 
Fact is, at the Critics Page, we're all for the sport of bringing back the time honored tradition of feeding the Christians to the lions.  Tickets to that event would outsell the Superbowl.  That wouldn't be a hate crime, would it?  We're only talking about feeding the lions the holier-than-thou Christians, not real Christians, so there shouldn't be any objections, right?  C'mon, Matt and Crank.  Help us out here.
Now to our award for the week.  All week, at least during the parts we listened to, Matt and Crank preached to us heathens about heaven and our childish views of it.  They lambasted Steven Hawkins for his claim that there is no heaven.  Matt and Crank offered no insights as to how we should view heaven.  They only ridiculed those who held the childish views of spirits floating in the sky or those who claimed there was no heaven.
Now, we're faced with the end of the world in about another fourteen hours, a story Matt and Crank ridiculed for at least two days, and yet we still have no idea of what heaven is as described by Matt and Crank.  We only know whom we're supposed to laugh at for their silliness of claiming the Rapture is coming - at least, we know because Matt and Crank has told us whom to laugh at.  Today, they came up with their Rapture-Rama type game where callers could answer some questions, and this "machine" would determine if the caller would be raptured or doomed.

 Chad was the first caller, and failed.  He's doomed. 
Drew called in and made rapture.   He was saved, hallelujah!  When Matt asked him how he got through life without enslaving a whole race of people, Drew answered that he was an atheist, so he didn't get drawn into all that organized religion bullshit. 

Drew, if you are reading this blog, you have won an all expense paid trip (and we mean an unlimited credit card for a full seven days) to anywhere you want to go.  You made Matt and Crank look like idiots in that suave, calm manner we all can appreciate.  To claim your prize, Drew, please read the fine print below.

The Critics Page offers one unlimited credit card for a full seven days to be spent by recipient known as Drew on the contingency that either one or all of the following named agree to pay for the credit card in full:  Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Hugh Hefner, Matt Walsh, Andrew Murr, leading drug cartel dude down in Mexico (cash only for him).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Homosexuality is blacklisted on WZBH

We caught bits and pieces of programming on WZBH this week.  We've decided that the station is probably being very cautious about what they air as entertainment.  JJ puts on a good show complete with his dumbass reports, but says nothing homophobic.  Chris Steele has dropped "chick" from his vocabulary and now remains nuetral in his comments.  Matt and Crank say a lot of nothing except to whine and complain about how stupid everyone around them are.  Neither one has even hit middle age, but they still sound like two grumpy old men in a nursing home.  All of us at the Critics Page take solace in the fact that we'll all be dead long before Matt and Crank age to real grumpy old men whining and complaining in their nursing home.

We did get another sliver of proof, this week, that either this site, other complaining fans of WZBH, or a combination of both has had an effect on the overall programming tone at WZBH.  On Wednesday, Innae Park delivered her normal news segment and one of the stories included the signing into law a civil union bill for same sex couples in Delaware.  Matt made the comment that the subject was "black listed" from the station so he couldn't voice his opinion other than to say that, if he were allowed to talk about it, he was against it. 

We're sure Matt feels his free speech rights are being infringed upon, but not every idiot should be given the podium to speak his mind just because he can.  Unfortunately, in today's climate of entertainment, idiots are worshipped as Sayers of Truths.  We just can't, for the life of us, figure out who their cult followers are and how corporate gods convince advertisers to pay handsomely so that the idiots can still spew their "truths".

Saturday, May 7, 2011

We've earned a lawsuit

None of us five have really had the time to listen to WZBH this week.  We've been too busy fishing the Bay, farming, or working two jobs.  Times are even tighter and we're all buckling down to do what we can to get by.  Because we've been so busy, we didn't believe a couple of friends who had listened to, and then claimed, Matt and Crank were prepared to file a lawsuit against us. 

Real, honorable men talk things out and only go to court when a dispute can't be settled.  Since Crank had responded quite honestly to our questionable post, we assumed our "Just for fun" post was taken as we meant it.  This morning, the wife of one of our watermen in the group happened to be home and recorded Cousin Adam's sequence about defamation lawsuits, and it was apparent we are involved.  So much for real men.

What we have gathered is Matt and Crank object to the lies we posted in our last post.  After listening to the lawyer speak, we edited the post to be more accurate.  Specifically, Crank was not arrested for underage possession.  He was issued a citation for being a minor in possession of alcohol.  He received a $25 fine plus $5 court costs for the offense.  We will make it clear that underage possession does not mean he was drinking.

The other objection was to our not naming who the underage possession citation was issued to.  We had intentionally omitted Crank's name to afford both Matt and Crank the opportunity to man up and explain what happen.  Crank did, quite willingly.  Unfortunately, a couple of days later, he reverted to his good little puppy dog status and follwed Matt's lead.  (As a side note, we didn't dig any deeper to find the charge other than to click the MD Judiciary Court public records.)

Let us explain a bit further.  The critic writing this review knew of the above link.  Three of the other four never heard of it.  To show that anybody can pull up the public records of anyone who has been in the Maryland court system, this critic showed the messy divorce of the waterman's girlfriend as well as the waterman's few citations for undersized oysters.  This critic came up with a trespassing charge, another critic had two divorces, and the other critic had too common of a name for us to waste our time.  (We only searched with first and last name.) 

From there, we decided to look up Matt and Crank.  Matt had too common of a name for us to waste our time, although we could've narrowed our search knowing his age and general area of where he lived.  Why waste our time?  Crank, on the other hand, has a somewhat unique name, which gave us the citation we posted. 

Long story short, to all of our readers out there (all four dozen of them):  if you have been through the Maryland court system, your name and offense is public record.  You can DIY to get the records expunged or hire a lawyer to do all the paperwork for you.  The cost is nominal if you DIY, but expensive to get a lawyer to do it for you.  After all, the lawyer has student loans to pay.  (DIY= do it yourself)

Another contention of Matt and Crank with our last post is our use of the word, "criminal."  Using the definition of criminal as defined by Webster-Mirram, a criminal is one who commits a crime, where they define crime as "an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law; especially : a gross violation of law."

By that definition, anyone who goes to court for murder or a parking violation is a criminal; however Matt and Crank are zeroing in on the qualifier as an add-on, "especially."  In general, most people reserve the use of the word, "criminal", for people who lie, cheat, steal, kill, rape - the "biggie" crimes.  People who posses alcohol underage, park illegally, trespass, catch undersized oysters, or pees behind the oak tree are not criminals.

To this, we agree.  Unfortunately, we tried to make a bigger point about underage drinking and the fact that an eighteen to twenty-year-old is an adult in every way, including being handed an M-16 to kill the terrorists, but he is still a child when it comes to drinking a beer.  That was the purpose of the remark that an officer arresting an eighteen-year-old who was in the military would be the criminal and not the eighteen-year-old.  We were using the term criminal colloquially to drive home a point.

Obviously, this point swooshed over the heads of Matt and Crank as they only zeroed in on our calling Crank a criminal and somehow implicated Matt as a criminal to discredit the show.  They are entitled to their interpretation.  In a civil lawsuit, however, we feel you both will be hard pressed to prove our intent was to discredit either of you as professional entertainers.  For this reason, we let the word, "criminal" stand.  If either Matt and Crank - or both - have a better wording to get the point we intended across, we welcome your input.

And that's what this whole blog is about.  Anyone from WZBH is welcomed to come here and clarify what at least five listeners hear.  We do thank Matt and Crank for validating our site and the effect it has had.  We've noticed a postive change in the overall programming tone at WZBH based on our stated goals.  The stereotype bashing is almost completely gone.  We commend WZBH for listening to us - and we're sure WZBH is litening to others - and bringing the programming tone more mainstream to fit a mainstream, and diverse, audience.  The fact that Matt voted on our poll that he has noticed a change in the programming tone (for the negative) is all the validation we needed that WZBH is listening to its listeners, which brings us to the final point Matt and Crank tried to make.

This blog, they claim, is threatening thier livilihood because they depend on advertisers to support the station.  Our reviews may scare away the advertisers.  To that, we say, is the nature of your business and your job security.  Matt and Crank have no problem attacking Christine O'Donnell and her dabbling in witchcraft or attacking Obama and his "questionable" birth certificate, but those outright lies and deceit possibly cost one of them their job and is pretty much a thorn in the side as another one does his job.  We would appreciate an explanation of how your attacks on specific public figures differ from our reviews of your program.

This post about closes out the Critics Page for the immediate future.  We will have a live interview with Matt and Crank, JJ, and Chris Steele (and maybe others) about mid-summer, our schedules permitting.  They don't know it, yet, but we'll make it happen.  Please stay tuned....