Saturday, September 15, 2012

Who has the most gay sex appeal?

Last Saturday we had a blast in Baltimore.   Up front, we'll be honest.  Three of us have "been around the block" and sort of knew what to expect out of the evening.  Yes, those three have been off of Delmarva and are familiar with big cities and all that goes on in them.   The other one of us has visited Baltimore and Philadelphia, but hardly enough to say she was experienced in city life.  The last one, born and raised on Delmarva, has been to the other side of the Bay by boat, but never drove there.  Driving over the Bay Bridge, a structure he has driven his boat under many times, is something he never did.  He was more scared of driving over the Bridge than he was going to gay bars.

We hooked up with Shannon's friend, John, to start our tour.  John lives the gay life in Baltimore and knows all the gay bars.  Hell of a nice guy and we all felt very comfortable with him within minutes of meeting.  He wanted to start us off right and picked the Hippo as our first stop.

The Hippo looks small on the outside, but is huge on the inside.  When you walk in, you enter a typical bar with pool tables and pinball machines.  Off to the side are stairs leading down to the dance floor.  It's like having two bars in one. 

Upstairs are all the cheap, city-style rednecks, mostly middle-aged, who don't want to pay the cover charge to go downstairs.  Downstairs is where all the young, hip people dance, party, and do whatever young people do now-a-days.

We started our night upstairs.  We took a table and John went to the bar to get us a couple of pitchers of beer - Budweiser, not Coors Light.   We poured our first beer hoping one of us would loosen up and get on with our unscientific poll.  Walking around a bar showing pictures is one of the top ten things one should never do.  Talking to a stranger and then saying, "Oh, by the way, what do you think of these pictures?" is one of the top eleven things one should never do.

Long story short, none of us...well almost none of us...hadn't finished our first beer when a guy came over to talk to us.  He came over very friendly, but his sights were set on Brian, the waterman who had never driven over the Bay Bridge.

After a few minutes of chit chat, Brian picked up on the guy's intention.  In his laid back way and Eastern Shore accent, he leaned back on his chair and said, "Tim, you're a nice guy, but..." he pointed to his wife, "...she won't let me do anything."

We all laughed, even Tim, and we proceeded to tell him the story of why we were at the bar. 

He took a seat and said, "Let me see the pictures."

We showed him the two pictures we had.  Unfortunately, we did not have a picture of Sarah so we'll never know her gay sex appeal.  We did have a picture of JJ posing in his self-described portrait of Chewbacca.  We also had a picture of Crank from his FaceBook page where he is growling with his tiny dog.

Tim's reaction to JJ was a simple, "Eh" and flipped to Crank's picture.  His response to Crank's picture was a question.  "Is this guy running for Mr. Leather?"

We explained that both guys were straight, and Crank was the married one.  We just wanted to know what their appeal to a gay guy was since JJ had made the comment that Crank didn't look gay.

Tim laughed.  "This guy," pointing to the picture of JJ, "would win the best costume on Halloween at the full moon party.  The little guy with the dog, he could be runner up, if not win, the Mr. Leather contest."

We didn't understand all he was saying, but it would become clearer as the night progressed. 

Tim was a great guy.  He spread the word throughout the bar what we were doing and everyone dropped by our table to "rate" the pictures we had. 

When we finished our pitchers of beer, we paid the cover charge and went downstairs.  With a little more confidence of what happened upstairs, we had equal success downstairs.  All the guys and women gladly gave their opinion of the pictures we showed them.

We left the Hippo and hit four more bars.  Across town, we stopped at the Quest, a bar of mostly older men forty and above.  Then we went back across town to Leon's followed by the Gallery, both bars of a mixed crowd of ages.  The last bar we hit was the leather bar, The Eagle.

Prior to The Eagle, here's the breakdown of JJ and Crank's gay sex appeal: 
  • JJ underwhelmed everyone. 

    In the under thirty crowd, responses ranged from "Hell no" to "What the Hell is that?"

    In the thirty to fifty crowd, responses were an unequivocal "Eh...nah."

    In the over fifty crowd, "Well, if there's no one else to go home with, maybe"
  • Crank was more of an enigma. The response to him depended on the bar we were in.  Patrons at The Eagle and Gallery were much more receptive towards Crank.  Eliminating the responses from these two bars, here is how Crank ranked.

    In the under thirty crowd, responses were generally "Ok, but not my type."

    In the thirty to fifty crowd, responses ranged from "Yeah, he's kind of good looking" to "Oh, what I could do to that bald head."

    In the over fifty crowd, responses were an unequivocal, "Hell yeah, I'd take that boy home."
Now we have to talk about The Gallery and The Eagle.  The Eagle is a gay leather bar.  The Gallery sits about a block away and is a toned down version The Eagle.  JJ wasn't a hit in any bar.  Crank was a mediocre hit until we hit these two bars.

The leather bar is predominately middle-aged men and older who wear leather.  They are big, beefy men and usually hairy.  Picture a bad-ass motorcycle gang member, and you got a picture of the typical leather bar patron.  Complimenting the middle-aged men are the young "cubs", who also wear leather, but are less hairy, if any hair at all.

It was in these two bars Crank was a big hit.  Almost everyone wanted to know if Crank were running for the Mr. Leather title.  John, our tour guide, filled us in that in the leather community, they not only run a local Mr. Leather contest, but the winner goes on to compete in the Mr. International Leather competition.  This is one beauty pageant none of us five knew about.

Almost everyone in these two bars thought we were showing Crank's picture to promote him in the upcoming Mr. Leather competition.  And almost everyone wanted to meet him.  That's meet, not meat. 

JJ, as hairy as his Chewbacca picture was, garnered no comments.  But we want to point out that The Eagle has had an ongoing celebration of the full moon for many years.  They have a monthly celebration, called a Full Moon Party, where, if you strip down to your undies, you get drinks at half price all night. 

We make mention of this because about a month ago, when Crank mentioned August had a blue moon, that being a second full moon in the same month, JJ had a great idea of local bars celebrating the full moon.  He thought his idea was original, but, no, it turns out the gay guys have been celebrating it for many years. 

So while JJ has no gay sex appeal, at least he thinks like a gay guy.  And Crank, he's the darling of the gay community, and a big hit in a segment of it. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

You can’t say anything on radio anymore, but let’s shoot the immigrants

We were treated to an entire first hour of whining about how one can’t say what they want on the radio any more.  Heck, even Phoebus made the same comment on his show the night before.  Crank, JJ, and Sarah carried the sentiment a step further.  They blamed the evils of FaceBook for allowing anyone to complain about what they hear.  Of course, these people jump on FaceBook for no other reason than they want attention.

This is what happens when a station hires a bunch of inexperienced, non-professional kids to sit behind a microphone.  What do Crank, JJ, and Sarah base their entire career on?  That’s right.  They complain about everything they read on the Internet and, obviously, they complain about FaceBook and its contents.  Why do they spend four hours every morning complaining about what they saw on the Internet?  Obviously for the attention.  You see, it’s ok when they do it, but not when anyone sitting at home does it.  Go figure that logic.

Here’s the reality of it, since Crank, JJ, and Sarah are a little confused.  The station didn’t hire you because they thought you should have a public platform to say what you want when you want.  They didn’t even hire you because they thought what you had to say was relevant.  They hired you to entertain and attract listeners.  The more entertaining you are, the more listeners tune in.  The more listeners tune in, the more ad revenue is generated.  The more ad revenue generated means bigger profits for the station and maybe a bigger paycheck for those behind the microphone attracting all the listeners.  Tee the listeners off and you lose the ad revenue.  Lose enough ad revenue and you might lose your job.

Listeners who use the Internet to air their opinions about the entertainment they are hearing is a much more effective way to gauge the appeal of a show among fans than the old-fashioned way of mailing a letter to the station.  Back in those days, it was easy for stations to ignore the genuine sentiments of listeners than it is today.  Today, that letter gets posted on FaceBook instead of thrown away once the station received it, and, sometimes, huge sentiments of agreement over the complaint erupt.  The average listener has a more effective tool to air his complaints, and, yes, get the attention of the advertisers sponsoring potentially offensive shows.  To the non-professional behind the microphone, that power is a threat, not an asset.

Unfortunately, this past week, we let the ball drop.  Three days in a row, JJ plainly stated we should shoot the illegal immigrants as they crossed the border.  (Ok, JJ only wanted to shoot them two days in a row.  On the third day, he wanted to feed them to the sharks for Shark Week.)  What he said is akin to saying, in a different time and place, let’s fire up the ovens and invite the Jews for the Great German Bake Off.  There is no justifying JJ’s sentiment.  (We should have made note of the sponsors advertising during these segments, however, the three of us who listened over the course of the week were never in a position to jot down the advertisers.  We’ll do better this week.)

Such sentiments are born out of bigotry, if not racism.  You won’t hear JJ complain about the estimated half a million illegal Canadians in this country.  You won’t hear him say we should build a wall along our northern border and post snipers along the wall to shoot anyone trying to enter this country illegally.  It doesn’t matter to him that the few terrorists thwarted at our borders were stopped at the Canadian border, yet none were ever stopped at our southern border.  See, Canadians are White and speak English so they’re all right.  It’s the brown-skinned, Spanish speaking ones ruining this country.

Can one talk about illegal immigration on the radio or is that a taboo subject?  Of course one can talk about it.  If the prejudice and bigotry didn’t get in the way, how could the show have gone?

It was only a couple of months ago, JJ reported that for the first time, Asian immigration outpaced Latino immigration.  Companies needed more skilled laborers and they found them in Asia.  If Rush Limbaugh is to be believed, for the first time, Latino immigration is at an all time low, if not reversing.  With the economy down, jobs simply aren’t here and many Latinos are going home.

With a little real-life research, not Google research, Crank, JJ, and Sarah could’ve learned that Perdue in Salisbury has a huge Latino workforce.  Sit in their employee break room, as one of us did while waiting for a job interview, and one is hard pressed to find anything written in English.  Even the company newsletter is written in Spanish.  The one of us who applied for a job with Perdue didn’t get the job, probably because he was the wrong color and spoke the wrong language.

Then there was the push a year or two ago to limit the number of work visas granted to immigrants to work in the crab houses.  A Dorchester County councilman tried to argue that teaching a Mexican to shell crabs was easier and cheaper than training a local born citizen.  Think about that.  He believed that teaching a Mexican, who most likely never saw a blue crab in his life and probably didn’t know English, would be easier to teach than a Dorchester County native.

Now a clearer, and more accurate, picture of the immigration problem emerges.  The immigrants aren’t a bunch of criminals looking for a free ride.  They are coming here because companies are giving them jobs.  And if enough immigrants with the right skills aren’t coming, companies go looking for them.  Immigrants aren’t stealing American jobs because, given a choice, companies don’t want to hire Americans.

Take it a step further, and look at the Chick-Fil-A controversy.  We know JJ is not against same sex marriage because of religious beliefs.  We truly believe that if JJ were to walk into a Church, the windows would explode and the pews would erupt in intense flames.  It’s fine he’s against same sex marriage and even stated so.  We know homophobes are against gay marriage and it’s not a big deal.

JJ, however, supported Chick-Fil-A and boasted of eating their delicious chicken sandwiches.  Guess where that chicken came from?  Yup.  Some Latino at Perdue cut it up, packaged it, and shipped it out to Chick-Fil-A.  Chick-Fil-A uses Perdue chicken.  So while supporting Chick-Fil-A’s owner’s right to voice his opinion on same sex marriage, JJ inadvertently supported Perdue bringing immigrants over to supply the chicken.

Look, you can say anything you want on the radio.  What we, and maybe other listeners, object to is passing off prejudices and bigotry as fact and not looking at the whole story.  If you’re not professional enough to present the facts and the whole story and keep your prejudices to yourself, perhaps you should step away from the microphone.  It’s too much responsibility for an amateur to handle.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Crank's uneventful return and while we're at it - Matt's re-invention of himself

After a build-up all weekend, the big surprise on The Worse Show With JJ and Sarah this morning was Crank's permanent return to his old spot.  Our one word response - bittersweet.

For those who haven't been keeping up with the local radio soap opera, here's a quick run down.  About two months ago, Matt left WGMD for a new job on an AM station in Lexington, KY, WLAP.  Before we could stop celebrating Matt's departure from Delmarva, news came quickly that Crank was assuming Matt's old position at WGMD.  Using his real name, Crank launched a new career with The Andrew Murr Show.

Less than two months into his new career, the lead morning man, Dan Gaffney, abruptly resigned his position after 27 years on Delmarva radio.  Andrew, aka, "Crank", promptly filled his position.  Something was happening over at WGMD, but with all the FaceBook chatter from Crank, Dan, Matt, and a few others with WGMD, we haven't figured out what the truth to the shake up is.  We really don't care.

A couple of weeks after Dan's resignation, Andrew found his way back to WZBH and resumed his old character, Crank.  In the first 45 minutes of the show, Crank and JJ managed to ridicule gays, Iranians, and obese people.  The ads over the weekend didn't let us down.  The Worse Show Ever did get worse, worser, worsest, and worser worsible - just to make sure JJ understands what is being read to him here.

Sadly, Sarah was forced in the backseat, again.  Just when she was finding her character, one that we enjoyed being played off of JJ, she has been demoted to the token female on the show.

Despite Crank's FaceBook explanation of why he left WGMD after two months, we're pretty sure Crank is a smart man and realized he didn't have what it takes to be an engaging solo talk show host.  Despite the alleged offer of more money to stay on, he probably realized when WGMD got done with their axing shake up, he'd be the last one on the butcher block.

On a side note, we beg to differ with JJ about Crank not "looking gay".  We're not sure how one "looks gay" unless the reference is towards the flaming stereotype that most people automatically think of when they hear "gay".  But let's back up a minute here.

Remember awhile back we said we might take a trip to Baltimore and take an unscientific poll on JJ's gay sex appeal?  One of the two women in our loose knit group is friends with a guy, who is gay, and lives in Baltimore.  He agreed to take us on our tour of the gay bars if we were serious about it.  We've already taken the virtual tour through the links he provided.  After looking at some of Crank's pictures on the WZBH website, we all agree Crank looks gay.  He'd fit right into the leather bar as a cub.  JJ fits right in as the Daddy bear.  (We hope we got the terminology right.)  Yes, we've been doing our homework, something we would like to see Crank, JJ, and Sarah do more of before doing their show.  And, yes, we're tentatively set to hit Baltimore this Saturday and we'll take Crank's picture along to test his gay sex appeal, too.  Of course, we were supposed to go two Saturdays ago, but one of us backed out last minute.  We'll see what happens this Saturday.

Matt, on the other hand, is in Baltimore and will be heading back to Kentucky in a day or two.  We figure he needed a break from the complex lies he is telling his KY fans about himself.  After a rant a month or so ago about militant gays trying to get him fired just before his wedding, he posted a thank you, of sorts, to Dan Gaffney when Dan announced his resignation from WGMD, Matt's old station.  In a nutshell, Matt made the claim that Dan took a chance on him that allowed him to break out of the rock format boredom and do his own thing.

Recently, he posted that his year anniversary since leaving WZBH was coming up.  He claims that he "took a leap of faith" and accepted a job at a rinky dink station that gave him the experience to jump to a bigger station in Kentucky.  For being the "truthsayer of [whatever station he's at this month]", he sure can spin a good lie.  (Wow, three jobs in a year.  He sure can't hold down a steady job, can he?)

We'll set the record straight.  Matt was fired from WZBH.  That's the only logical explanation for his doing the Monday morning show and then posting in the afternoon that he wouldn't be returning to the show and WZBH wouldn't allow him to do a farewell show.  We then had to wait almost two weeks for his announcement of his "big job" at WGMD. 

Contrast that with Crank's departure.  Dan Gaffney announced Crank's coming onboard at WGMD a week and a half before Crank left WZBH.  On Crank's last day at WZBH, he got to say goodbye to his WZBH fans.  And two months later, WZBH welcomes him back.

None of us are rocket scientists, nor geeks sitting in Mom's basement, but even we know a firing when we see one and Crank wasn't fired.  We didn't even need a couple of beers to figure that one out.  Sorry, there was no "leap of faith" to voluntarily leave a full time position for a part time position at a smaller station.  Matt was fired and had to take whatever offer came through.  Maybe some day Matt will find the moral fortitude to tell his fans the truth instead of spinning fanciful tales.  (Following this argument is Matt's fanciful tale in his own words.)

Some fans out there may be wondering why we are so persistent with detailing what really happened instead of letting Matt say what he wants.  Two reasons: first, Matt owes Delmarva a huge apology for that partcularly offensive show on Aug 19, 2010 where he railed against gays, Blacks, and women.  Second, and a lesser reason, is during election time, he went on and on about Christine O'Donnell admitting on TV she tried the Wiccan religion when she was in college and wondered how, twenty years later, she could be calling herself a Christian and running for public office.  We stated it before and we reiterate.  We want this blog to be a testament to Matt's early days so that in twenty years when he decides to run for public office, some young upstart on the radio can dig up the dirt and ask how a bigot who freely expressed his homophobic, racist, and sexist views could possibly be a serious candidate the people would want. 

We believe in karma, but sometimes, it doesn't hurt to lend it a hand.

Matt's own words on leaving WZBH:

I'm reminded that next week will be my one year anniversary in talk radio. I've been in the broadcast business for five but only in talk for one. A year ago I decided to leave my full time gig doing a morning drive rock show for a part time position hosting a late night talk program in the same market on a smaller station with a weaker signal. It was two months before my wedding and I was taking the biggest gamble of my career. WGMD had never had a four hour local night host so my show was initially a try-out situation. But it was an opportunity to do talk radio -- which had been my single goal for at least 7 years-- so I put my faith in God and grabbed it. A few weeks after my wedding my position was converted to full time. About 7 months later I signed a contract with WLAP to host afternoon drive in the awesome town of Lexington, a city 40 markets higher. So that sums up the past year, not that you asked. It's crazy to think that only a year ago I was on rock radio in southern Delaware playing tazer trivia and forcing the intern to lick the inside of a dumpster (don't ask).

If I could just tell you two things I've learned that I'm sure you already know: 1) If you dream big you have to be prepared to take big leaps. 2) If you're waiting for the ideal time to make a huge change, I promise you it will never come. Me, I'd rather die of exhaustion wandering in the desert than on a bench in the bus terminal surrounded by the rotting carcasses of my broken dreams and untapped potential. I don't exactly know what I meant by that last part but screw it, just go with it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

JJ makes the same mistake as Matt

“I don’t care if some guy living in his Mom’s basement puts this on his blog,” JJ defiantly stated as he went on a short rant.  “You know this is going to make his blog.”

Well, no, JJ, your little rant this morning wouldn’t have made our blog, but we’re more than happy to oblige you.

For the last two weeks, I have been writing our next review based on what we all have heard over the last month.  After this morning’s show, the other four critics said I could go ahead and write what I wanted.  I am condensing the two week’s worth of writing I have already done down to three sentences.  What a huge, and enjoyable, improvement in the Worst Show Ever with JJ and Sarah.  Sarah has stopped trying to be “one of the boys” and is developing an engaging on air personality.  JJ has mostly stopped qualifying what he says with the stale “No homo” comment. 

Now to make JJ happy and rip into today’s show.

JJ covered the news like he does every morning.  He apologized for “getting political” before covering the news about Chic-Fil-A.  We’ve noticed JJ has started “apologizing” before talking about some news story, much to our dismay.  We’re still wondering why he apologized today before going into his short rant.

In case you aren’t up to speed on this particular news story, the owners of Chic-Fil-A stated they are against same-sex marriage and the statement, brought to light by an alderman in Chicago on why Chicago should deny Chic-Fil-A a permit to build another restaurant, has caused a mild tempest on the radio and Internet, mostly among the far right conservative Christians.

The gist of JJ’s argument, backed by Sarah, was that the owners of Chic-Fil-A are entitled to hold their own opinions and their personal opinions shouldn’t play a role in whether or not people will eat there.  JJ’s and Sarah’s editorial comments on the news story were spot on and actually shocked the two of us who caught the segment.

The only comment JJ made that we could object to, if we wanted to nit pick, was his comment that gays shouldn’t flaunt their homosexuality because it makes him uncomfortable when another guy tries to hit on him.

Here’s the bad news, JJ.  We’ve all seen your picture and agree that no gay guy in his right mind would hit on you.  If flaunting ones sexual orientation is asking someone out, we suggest you stop flaunting your heterosexuality and making so many woman uncomfortable in your presence.  We’re sure there have been plenty of women who have struggled with how to politely turn your advances down.  If a gay guy has ever approached you, you now know how you make some women feel.

But, honestly, the two of us who caught the show didn’t find his comments offensive, just ironic.  And we applaud both JJ and Sarah for taking an objective, yet firm stand on why we should ignore the lunatics and continue eating at Chic-Fil-A.

Where JJ strayed from thoughtful editorial comment with a twist of irony was his rant about probably making a blog written by some kid living in Mom’s basement and that he didn’t care if he did make the blog.

  Wow.  Flashback to the old days of Matt and Crank when they tried to convince listeners that some social recluse of a geek living in Mom’s basement was behind this blog and they didn’t care either.

In fairness to JJ, he may not have been talking about this blog, but we are unaware of any other blog that regularly reviews the programming on WZBH and particularly the morning show.  If there is one, please let us know.  We’d be interested in reading their take on WZBH’s programming.

If he were talking about this blog, let me set the record straight since I write almost everything on here based on what the other four and I talk about.

There are five of us.  All five of us listen to WZBH.  Like the kids today, we get bored and play with all the electronic toys.  We hear something, we text each other about it.  On Saturday nights, all or some of us show up at the local bar, the only one we have down here, and, while waiting for our turn at the pool table, we talk about what we texted about all week.

The writing falls on me because the other four agree I do a much better job than they could.  None of us are kids or live with their mom.  In fact, I am the second oldest and old enough to be JJ’s father.  The youngest in our loose knit group isn’t old enough to be JJ’s mom, unless she wanted to be the topic of the daily dumbass, but is old enough to be Sarah’s mom.

We are puzzled.  Since we started paying attention to WZBH after Matt’s particularly offensive show on August 19, 2010, we have noticed almost every DJ whining about the average American being more interested in the latest reality TV show than to get off their butts and make a change that matters.  We have done that.  Whether or not this blog has facilitated the many changes at WZBH since that day in August two years ago is immaterial.  What we have shown is expressing one’s opinions at least professionally, if not intelligently, gets people’s attention and may facilitate change.  Why, then, do all the people, fans included, who complain about the average American not caring to make an effort to change something turn around and try their damnedest to make a group of grown adults who are trying to do something to make a change look like some lonely kid living in Mom’s basement?  Some advice, JJ.  Go to Matt’s FaceBook page and ask him how that tactic worked out for him.

As a side note, JJ, the two of us who caught the morning show today called in, but not to talk about your little morning rant.  It’s not the first time any of us five have called in, either.  We’re both annoyed at you calling us “brother.”  We’re not your brother because, if we were, we’d have to kick your ass. 

For fans of this blog, here’s a cliffhanger for you.  In texting this morning, the idea of conducting an unscientific poll on JJ’s sex appeal with gays came up.  We think no gay guy in his right mind would want to ask JJ out.  We want to know if our bold statement is true.  We’re thinking of taking JJ’s picture (and just his picture, not who he is or any information about him) to some gay bars in Baltimore and see what sex appeal he has in the gay community.  If we’re wrong, we’ll retract our statement and apologize to JJ.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Where has everyone gone?

Since our last review, there have been some changes at WZBH, none of which, we believe, were the direct or indirect result of our work here.  The big news is the departure of Crank from WZBH.  He accepted Matt’s old position at WGMD. 

We always held hope for Crank.  He didn’t let his conservative view of the world trap him in a quagmire of contradictions and hypocrisy like so many of his conservative counterparts.  Unfortunately, he played second fiddle to first, Matt, and then JJ.  Briefly, Crank stood alone between Matt’s firing and JJ stepping in, but to our dismay, he flopped around during those couple of weeks like a fish on the moon.  When JJ stepped in, Crank took up the straight man role and let JJ be (or try to be) the comedic star.

We can’t get WGMD here, but one of us had been working in Salisbury and caught parts of Crank, who now goes by his real name, Andrew Murr, in his new gig.  Our other critic’s take: “The fish is done flopping around on the moon.  He’s flopping around Salisbury right now.  At least he’s getting closer to the water.”

In case Andrew Murr is reading this, here’s our constructive criticism we hope you can take something from.  (Yes, we really do want to see you rise to big stardom and believe you can.)

First, stay away from the conservative playbook.  On any given day, whether one is listening to Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage and, yes, even Walsh, they all say the same thing almost verbatim.  We don’t know who writes the conservative playbook all the conservative talk show hosts follow so write your own playbook and stand out from the crowd.

In writing, one is taught to avoid passive writing and write in the active voice.  None of us know the radio business, but we think it’s safe to say the same rule applies to radio.  Listeners don’t want to hear what things seem to be.  They want to hear what things are.  They don’t want to hear what things appear to be or probably are.  They want to hear what things are.  They don’t want to hear what you think.  They want to hear what you know.

The worse advice anyone can give is to tell you to talk to your audience as you would a friend.  Odds are the passive voice is the way you talk to your friends.  Stop using the words “seem”, “appear”, “probably”, and the phrase, “I think”.  A good cook rarely uses salt and when he does, he uses it sparingly.  Think of those words as salt and put the cap back on the shaker when you do your show.

The above advice we offer for free.  People pay good money for that kind of advice.  Oh, and knock it off with that talk about building another bridge from the western Shore to Cambridge. 

With Crank’s absence, JJ has assumed the lead role on WZBH’s morning show, now called The Worse Show Ever With JJ and Sarah.  JJ has undergone a subtle, but noticeable transformation.  He’s dropped the dumb act, one he never pulled off very well to begin with. 

He’s also dropped his homophobic remarks.  Hardly a day goes by, though, that as he is talking about something, he’ll interject “No homo” to clarify to the listeners he is not gay for talking about whatever he’s talking about.  We write that off as his own insecurity in his manhood.  You never here a gay guy talk about a beautiful woman, for example, and feel a need to interject, “No hetero” to make it clear he’s not heterosexual.  That’s because most gays are secure with who they are.  Maybe JJ will be secure with himself some day, too.

Sarah is a token female version of Crank, only more subdued.  To be honest, Darnell’s Mr. Turtle has more personality than Sarah.  Sarah should go home and learn something from Mr. Turtle before returning to the show.

On a closing note, for those who may be interested, an update on Matt Walsh.

Matt left WGMD and is now in Kentucky on WLAP.  Being subject to prejudices and stereotypes like everyone else, our first thoughts were he was where he belonged.  After following his first few weeks in KY on FaceBook, turns out he may not be where he belongs.  The fans of the station are a tougher audience and don’t fall so easily for the empty rhetoric Matt is known for on Delmarva.

Anyone who has listened to Matt long enough knows he’s limited in material.  Don’t vote Republican or Democrat.  Teachers are pedophiles.  We’re doping our children to cure the fictional disease ADD.  Abortion is wrong.  Muslims are evil.  Social programs are a waste of your money.  Immigrants are taking over the country.  And back to don’t vote Republican or Democrat.

Don’t believe us?  About a year or two ago he posted a little clip about passing a stranger every time he went to the ice machine.  That might have been posted around his honeymoon time.  Now he’s in Kentucky and posted it again.  New audience makes old material new again.

But it’s this post by Matt we found most interesting:

Well, Billy, when there's been a certain group that has tried numerous times over 5 years to take away you and your family's livelihood you might, after a while, come to the point where some of these adjectives seem appropriate. Remiind me to tell you some time about how GLAAD told me they were going to send me pamphlets on the "correct" way to discuss "LGBT issues". And then some other time I'll show you the mounds of hate mail and veiled threats I've accumulated over the years for the sin of speaking my mind on the subject. And don't even get me started on all the "tolerant" folks who swore up and down they would do everything in their power to get me fired. So yeah, when I use these words I've got 5 years of experience dealing with this sort of "advocacy" to back it up.

Matt forgot to tell his new Kentucky fans that three years ago, he aired a particularly offensive show aimed towards gays, Blacks, and women.  He failed to tell them that after some fans complained, the next day he defiantly stated he wouldn’t apologize and challenged his listeners who were offended to “go ahead and call the station and try to get him fired.”

No, the story is the militant gays swooped down and tried to take away his livilihood.

Matt validated what we suspected.  While Matt was busy daily ranting against some made up fan living in Mom’s basement for making this page, we were paying attention to who was using the page.  GLADD wasn’t the only organization taking an interest.  At least three other non-gay groups took an interest.  We suspected we were being successful in our endeavor and Matt has validated our suspicion.

As for the accusation of taking “away you and your family’s livelihood”, that’s the nature of public life.  Matt and every other talk show host has made a living off threatening other people’s livelihood by constantly denigrating everything they do and everything they say.  We’ve done nothing differently.

As residents of Delmarva and listeners to the public airwaves, we have just as much right to voice our disagreement on what is being aired as Matt has the right to voice his disagreement with, well, just about anyone who is not White, conservative, Christian, and heterosexual.

Here’s the lessons Matt should’ve learned:

  1. Be careful what you challenge your listeners to do.  They just might take you up on it.
  2. One earns a lot of respect if he backs up his opinions with facts and tells the whole story, not just the parts he wants others to hear. 
  3. Listen to your audience.  Believe it or not, they do have the power to make or break your career.

GLADD and the other three groups would never have heard of Matt Walsh, The Matt and Crank Show, or even Delmarva if only Matt had followed those three rules three years ago.  The big question is will Matt make the same mistakes in Kentucky?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Heaping more blame on gays

In the past couple of weeks, Crank and JJ have blamed gays for emo kids, slow progress on the Freedom Towers, political correctness run amok, and yesterday, for terrorist sympathy.

Crank started a story about Al Jazeera, an Arab newspaper, being allowed to interview detainees in Gitmo.  Crank rhetorically asked, “Why would we let an Arab organization into a military base?” JJ unhesitatingly answered, “Gay marriage”.

What ensued was a good ten-minute rant by JJ denigrating gays for causing America to “lose its backbone”.  Crank took a backseat and mostly quietly agreed with JJ. 

We had flashbacks to the old Matt and Crank days.  If it weren’t for JJ’s distinctive, irritating voice trying to imitate a stereotyped dumb blond, it could have been a Matt segment.

Since the other four of us can’t agree on how to approach this review, or simply don’t care, I will go it alone.

In answer to Crank’s question, “Who would allow Arabs onto a military base”, the answer is “Heterosexual divorce.”  We were a strong country until about forty years ago when heterosexuals decided they didn’t need a reason to divorce and the no-fault divorce laws came into existence.  Heterosexuals can’t keep their word in business, politics, or religion so it should come as no surprise that they can’t keep their word in the bedroom, either.

Once the heterosexuals got their way and could divorce with no reason at all, we’ve been sliding down a slippery slope.  Heterosexuals started living together without getting married.  Then they said, “Screw that and let’s just screw without the commitment.”  The heterosexual dating scene became an acceptable and legal prostitution ring filled with cheap, and sometimes not-so-cheap, one night stands.

Their religious leaders turn a blind eye to all the decadence around them and cry, “Persecution!” when moral people dare to speak the truth.  Then all the heterosexuals rally around the Constitution claiming they have the right to live their lifestyle the way they choose.  After all, God didn’t punish King Solomon for having 700 wives and a thousand concubines so who are we to judge?

To shield their decadent lifestyles from the truth, heterosexuals invented political correctness to effectively block the truth from harming them.  The heterosexuals are running this country into the ground and straight to Hell, but we can’t say that because we might hurt someone’s feelings.

And that’s why Arabs are allowed on our military bases.

See how easy that was?  Of course, I don’t believe a word of my explanation, but I hope some readers will get the point. 

One thing all five of us agree on is Crank and JJ need to go.  Their show started out as a bright new change in WZBH’s programming, but is slowly morphing back to the old style of White, heterosexual male is good, everyone else is bad.  They’ve been testing the waters with gay bashing and last week moved to immigrant bashing.  They have proven themselves to be homophobic xenophobes.

If you caught yesterday morning’s gay bashing routine and more or less agree that the programming was out of line, please let the sponsors know how you feel.  The list below is the local companies who unknowingly sponsored JJ’s hate-filled rant when WZBH decided to run their ads immediately following the segment.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What? All immigrants, not just gay immigrants are to blame?

After a week of listening to Crank and JJ blame gay people for emo kids, political correctness run amok, and our country’s slowness in building skyscrapers, we were surprised to hear them blame immigrants, not just gay immigrants, for Chagas (SHAY-gus), a new disease dubbed “America’s new AIDS”.

Their whole segment talked about “the new AIDS” that anyone can get from blood sucking insects and profusely blamed immigrants for bringing this new disease to our backyards.

Crank and JJ didn’t quote a source for their news story, but we found a FOX News story that drew liberally from a New York Times story, which had reported on an editorial in a scientific paper.  In five minutes, we were able to dispel every lie Fox News reported and Crank and JJ helped spread, even if they didn’t get their story from Fox News.

The disease is not new.  It is prevalent from the Mexico-US border southward through Latin and South America.  It was first identified over one hundred years ago and some experts believe Darwin succumbed to the disease.

A particular type of insect, commonly called “the kissing bug”, which is related to our common assassin bug, transmits it.  Unlike our assassin bug, this insect sucks blood.  The parasite responsible for Chagas disease relies on the kissing bug to complete its life cycle.  The other part of its life cycle relies on opossums, armadillos, raccoons, squirrels, and mice.  In this country opossums and armadillos have been found to carry the parasite and are the health officials primary concern.

Cases of Chagas originating in this country are rare.  It’s no coincidence that the reason is the kissing bug is native to the Mexico-US border southward.  The bug, no doubt, wanders into our country because bugs generally don’t pay attention to national borders.

Most new cases of Chagas in this country are diagnosed in immigrants coming from south of our border.  The disease is not contagious.  Unlike the flu, you can’t get Chagas from being near an infected person.  Unlike AIDS, you can’t get it from having sex with an infected person.

Can you count the lies Crank and JJ spread yesterday?  Here’s our tally:

  1. It is not a new disease.  It’s been around probably forever.  At least we know it’s been around for over a hundred years when the parasite responsible for the disease was first identified.
  2. Immigrants didn’t bring a deadly disease to this country.  Although rare, it’s always been here in our opossums and armadillos.  Albeit a lot more people have the disease because they have come from areas where the disease is prevalent (30,000 immigrants according to Fox News), they aren’t spreading the disease to innocent Americans.
  3. Blood sucking insects don’t spread the disease.  A certain type of blood sucking insect does.  The insect is rare in this country.
  4. The disease has no similarities to AIDS other than if left untreated it can kill.
Four lies spread yesterday, but since when has anyone expected Crank and JJ to let facts get in the way of spreading their bigotry? 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Can mantyhose be used as a gag?

Judging by today's dumbass segment, it looks like WZBH is returning to its glory days of gay bashing.  Even the only female DJ at WZBH jumped into the fray.

Today's dumbass centered on the new "fashion trend" of men wearing pantyhose, marketed as mantyhose, among other names.  Crank and JJ reported the mantyhose is all the rage in Europe and they're heading for an American debut.

JJ blurted out, in disgust, that this "fairy dust" fad must've been started by a homosexual.  As Crank and JJ discussed the fad with disgust, liberal amounts of gay bashing were thrown in.  Sarah jumped in the fray, boldly stating that if a guy approached her wearing mantyhose, she'd "punch him in the face."

The message conveyed was clear.  Gays are ruining this country and manhood.  The fad, like gays, is disgusting.  And, at least for women, it is acceptable to punch someone in the face because you don't like what they wear, especially if that person is wearing something that makes you believe he is gay.

Here's what they didn't tell you.  Gays did not develop the mantyhose nor promoted it.  Emilio Cavallini of Italy did.  We don't know if the 67-year-old Cavallini is gay or not nor do we care.  We do know that he quit college and started designing a pantyhose collection in 1970.  That business has grown over the last forty-two years to a multi-billion dollar company.  He's hugely popular in Italy and Europe.  While women's wear is his design speciality, he has branched out to menswear and unisex wear.  The "fad that's all the rage in Europe" accounts for 2-3% of his pantyhose sales.

With five minutes of research, we learned gays had nothing to do with the mantyhose.  One man, who would normally be hailed as a capitalist success story, did.  We also learned the fad, based on total sales, appears to be more media hype than a fad.  Nothing like media hype to boost sales of a product.

Crank and JJ need to go back to the other side of the Bay where they came from.  Sarah should be sent back to her trailer park to cook beans and franks for her man. 

We don't know why the Western Shore keeps sending their trash over here, but, hey, take your trash back.  We're not a bunch of dumb rednecks who appreciate any form of entertainment because we can't produce our own and Delmarva is not a dumping ground for your no-talents.  WZBH should get rid of Crank, JJ, and probably Sarah and replace them with real local talent.

At $27 per pair, mantyhose is too expensive to waste on a pair of entertainer wannabes.  I encourage anyone reading this to send a 99-cent pair of pantyhose, or even used ones you don't want any more, to Crank and JJ with instructions of how to wear them as a mouthpiece.  We're sure Crank and JJ mumbling through a pantyhose gag would greatly enhance the entertainment value of the show.  You can mail your pantyhose to:


Include a google map so they can find their way back to the Western Shore where they belong.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Crank and JJ in the dog house

The other day, Crank and JJ's daily dumbass centered on a couple in Britain who spent $10,000 in plastic surgery for their bloodhound, Junior.  The spiel went along the lines of what normal person in their right mind would spend that kind of money to make their bloodhound look less of a bloodhound by tightening up the dog's skin with a face lift and tummy tuck. 

Here's a quick challenge question for you: what is the difference between Crank and JJ and reporters on The National Enquirer staff?  Answer: reporters for The National Enquirer at least make up their own creative lies out of nothing.  They don't take a real story and lie about it.

After hearing the story as joked about by Crank and JJ, later in the day, another one of our critics heard the story reported on another radio station, 107.1, The Duck.  Their story contradicted the story as told by Crank and JJ.  Sure enough, a local paper in Britain also contradicted Crank and JJ's version of the story.  Some key points:
  • The sum total paid over two years was $15,000, not $10,000.
  • The couple did not shell out this money.  Their pet insurance did.
  • The surgery was not for cosmetic reasons.  The dog suffered from a rare genetic defect that caused excessive bagginess of the skin.  The face lift was to prevent the dog from going blind.  The tummy tuck was to remove excessive skin that had become infected after having a large growth removed from the stomach.
We understand Crank and JJ are entertainers trying really hard to entertain morning commuters.  We don't expect perfect reporting with every fact exact.  $15,000, $10,000, big deal.  minor discrepancy.  Crank and JJ are entertainers, not reporters who have to have every fact correct.  The other two facts to the story, however, are important and central to their claim that the couple were dumbasses for providing plastic surgery to their dog.

Insurance wouldn't have paid for the surgery if the surgery were for cosmetic reasons only.  Obviously, the dog suffered medically and needed attention.  The couple should've been heralded as responsible pet owners for having the foresight to obtain pet insurance.  Even if they had paid for the operations out of their own pocket, they should be heralded as responsible pet owners for getting their dog the necessary medical treatment to prevent the dog from suffering.

Now that Crank and JJ made dumbasses out of the couple by outright lying about the reasons for giving their dog a face lift and tummy tuck, we seriously question the validity of any of their daily dumbass reports.  They've lost their credibility as news gatherers, but gained credibility as lazy entertainer wannabes.  If you're going to make up the daily dumbass, at least be creative enough to come up with one out of your own imagination.  Don't take a real story and omit the facts just so you have someone to make fun of.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Daily dumbass? Nope, dumbasses of the year.

Out of the five original critics, two of us are left and occasionally tune in.  Overall, we are happy to see WZBH clean up their programming style and the addition of a woman deejay is refreshing.  Then there's the morning show....

JJ is a domesticated version of Matt, but a lot smarter. 

"Smarter?" you might ask.

Yes, smarter.  He plays the part of a goofball who stumbles over words larger than two syllables.  We figure he's either really dumber than an oyster or he's smart enough to play the dumb oyster role to get away with saying just about anything.  Fortunately, he takes fifteen minutes to get to a point and we usually switch stations after two minutes.  Only ocassionaly will we suffer through the full fifteen minutes.

We've been disheartened the last month or so with Crank and JJ's subtle gay slurs and their definition of a real man.  Like we said before, the thirty-something duo are trying to pass themselves off as high school locker room jocks.  They succeed with conveying that image about as well as Madonna pulled of acting like a virgin or Newt Gingrich pulls off being a moral, upstanding conservative.  Crank and JJ would be a Hell of a lot funnier and more entertaining if they acted like the thirty-somethings they are and not the 16-18-year-olds they wish they were.

But that's not why they earned the dumbasses of the year.  They earned the title because of their report on today's daily dumbass.  In case you missed it, today's daily dumbass was some gaming company that launched a promotion of a new game by sending copies into space.  The copies were tagged with a GPS system and the idea was when the games came back to earth, fans could track where they land and get a free copy.

The first copy fell in a protected virgin forest high up in a 150-foot tree.  Fans hacked their way through the protected forest, cutting down many trees along the way and started hacking at the old tree.  They were promptly arrested.  Crank and JJ could not understand why the fans should be arrested for cutting some trees down.  Trees, after all, would grow back so no harm done.

Crank and JJ expressed today's self-centered attitude prevalent among those under forty.  The forest was not only protected, but it was a special forest.  It was a virgin forest.  Very few virgin forests are left in this country.  We all have grown up in the scarred landscape of less than a hundred-years-old and many people probably figure our forests today are what our settlers seen when they first arrived.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

A virgin forest is five hundred, even a thousand-years-old.  It has never been clear cut to the ground and has very few, if any, invasive plants growing in it.  It's as close to what the settlers saw when they first came to this country as we'll ever see.  Cut it down and the invasive plants take over and the forest withers away.  It would take many centuries of careful management to get the forest back to where it has been for the last five or ten centuries. 

Yes, we agree the gaming company is the daily dumbass.  What responsible corporation would send their trash into space to fall wherever it may fall?  The decision makers at the company should be arrested for littering and abetting the destruction of a protected forest.  The fans of the game were rightly arrested.  None should get a slap on the wrist by paying a fine and doing some community service.  All should be hauled off to jail and the key thrown away.

Crank and JJ have cemented their title as dumbasses of the year for defending the fans who valued a game over natural beauty and are well on their way to vying for the dumbasses of the decade.  Competition for that title is stiff, though.    Madonna and Gingrich are giving them a run for their money.