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:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nothing like having tokens to disguise the bigotry

Yeah, there’s nothing like the token minorities to give the illusion that we’re all equal.  WZBH has the tokenism down to an art form

Sarah replaced Chris Steele, sort of.  She took over Doug McKenzie’s spot immediately following the Matt and Crank program.  The time from ten in the morning on is a “safe zone”.  All the DJ has to do is play the music they are told to play and promote the station and any giveaways, free concert tickets, and any station sponsored community event that makes us all feel good.  The time slot allows for very little individual expression other than to sell the listeners something.

Doug McKenzie took over Chris Steele’s old time slot.  He maintains his steady, cool voice and plays good music.  Sure, he ventures into commentary, but his commentary concerns music and not much else.  That’s a good thing.  Listeners tune in to a mainstream rock station to hear music and commentary that relates to the music world.  We, at the Critics Page, very much appreciate Doug’s professionalism and professional voice.  It must be that quality in his voice we hear that has him doing the calendar of events not only on WZBH, but also on 98.5, the classic rock station.

Slight pause here.  We’re giving kudos to Great Scott Broadcasting for offering Delmarva 98.5.  We enjoy the classics and particularly love nights with Alice Cooper.  We just wish the b**** would tell us who is singing the songs he plays.  We understand Alice’s show is syndicated and Great Scott Broadcasting can’t do much about it, but, hopefully, Great Scott Broadcasting is listening to our complaint and pass it on to the producers of Alice’s show.  We doubt it, but at least we said it.

We didn’t listen to Matt and Crank this week until Friday.   We know their drill and didn’t much feel like being preached to or told how screwed up everyone else is, everyone else being anyone who is not young, White, heterosexual, Christian, and male.

Friday morning, one of us did tune in as we were going to work.  As that critic said, thankfully, most of the segment came in and out due to weather interference.  She caught the gist of what was being said and was more teed off with Dara, the token woman on the show, than what Matt and Crank had to say.

Matt and Crank had their normal agenda-pushing message.  Women belong in the home cooking and cleaning while the man earns a living.  Feminists are a bunch of evil lesbians and, in their words, paraphrased; feminism is the most destructive movement in the last hundred years or so.

Dara, the token female on the Matt and Crank show, sort of disagreed.  She asserted she wasn’t a feminist, but felt she should be free to pursue a career.  She admitted that raising a family was important, but, unfortunately, she allowed Matt to dominate the debate, in effect, putting the woman in her place.

Now, there is a paid intern who has joined the show, who can be best described has Matt’s protégé.  Yeah, he’s a White dude driving a truck.  He can even pretend to talk ghetto.  He could actually be Matt’s younger brother. 

Before we get back to Dara, Let’s talk about the paid intern.  Matt and Crank offered a paid intern position and they conducted interviews over a couple of weeks.  Last week, they narrowed their choices down to three contestants.  At the Critics Page, we didn’t really follow the contest.  We did know that contestant three was Black, so we knew he didn’t stand a chance.  Contestant one and two had the running because they were White and not female.  The White guy driving a truck won the position of paid intern.  Are you surprised?  We’re not.

Back to Dara, the token female.  We’re not sure where she comes from.  We’re only sure she needs to go back.  It’s better to live your life in obscurity than it is to live your life in public obscurity.  After a few times of listening to Dara, we’ve determined that her life’s career is to provide canned laughter soundtracks to entertainers who couldn’t get a chuckle out of a trained dolphin.

Matt launched into his diatribe of a woman’s place is in the home raising the kids.  Raising kids is the most important job and that’s what women are best at doing.  Sounds good until one realizes the flip side of the argument.  Men are good for bringing home the paycheck, but not much else.  He fails to realize the importance of a father in raising the children other than the father is the bank.

The hypocrisy goes further.  While condemning the feminist movement as the largest gathering of “lesbians”, he admits that while starting out, his wife-to-be will have to work to make ends meet.  Hey, follow the Bible, man.  The wife never works to help support the man.  You’re a failure if your wife has to go to work to help you out.  You don’t get married until you can support her.  End of argument.

But while she’s working to help you out, isn’t it nice that she can enter the workplace at any job she chooses and expect to be paid the same as a man taking the same job?  That’s the definition of the feminist movement.   Woman only wanted the right to enter the workforce with equal consideration to a man and receive equal pay for the job. 

Now, if we get off our “women are inferior” mentality, let’s say the macho man, who has shirked his paternal duties to his family because he’s out there working a full time job and a part time job to provide for his family and really has no time to spend with them, is heading home one night and gets in a serious accident.  He’s physically disabled, maybe mentally disabled.  He can’t provide for his family anymore, at least at the level he used to.  Who’s going to provide for the family?  We’re in a quandary here.  The wife could provide, but who’s raising the children if she’s at work?  The wife could stay home, but then the government has to provide through food stamps and welfare.  Looks like the man isn’t a man any more.  That’s the gist of Matt and Cranks argument.

Let’s broaden this scope.  Thousands of war veterans are returning home with missing limbs, paralyzed, and mental trauma.  Are they “less than a man” because they rely on their wives to support the family while they rehabilitate?  Of course not.  But thanks to the feminist movement, their wives can go out and get a good job at equal pay.  And the life that they both built won’t be in jeopardy.    

Too bad Matt and Crank can’t get past the surface arguments and put blinders on the stereotypes as they argue their points.  Sure, they have their token woman, who should stick to a career of making canned laughter tracks, but there’s no real substance to the morning show.  The morning show with Matt and Crank is a perpetuation of young, White, heterosexual, Christian male view of the world to the ridicule and condemnation of everyone else who makes up those of us who live on Delmarva. 

Oh, and where is Crank in all of this review?  We don’t know.  He was Matt’s good little puppy dog.  Like a good little puppy dog, he’s faded into the background as the new paid intern has taken over.  C’mon Crank.  Be a man and step up to the plate.  You’re not destined to be the sidekick.  It’s not like Matt can fire you, can he?