Your main theme music is a triumph over mediocrity. It is a refreshing change from all the false gravitas of other news programs. The variations on it are by and large wonderful and mirror the heterogeneity of styles musically that you cover in realms political, social, and cultural.
However, if you play that fucking slow-ass constipated-sounding version of your theme again with the 45 second outro to a 15 second theme, I'm going to fucking come over there and fucking rape the musicians in the ear with their instruments.
While we're on the subject of what is thoroughly fucked at NPR, how about a few other specifics:
Car TalkWhile I love even the worst qualities about Car Talk, I just hate the weekly "Puzzler." See, most folks listen to that show in their cars, coincidentally enough. Then they get out of them and go shopping. They miss either the Puzzler or the answer to the Puzzler, so what's the point? No one sticks around for the Puzzler. The only puzzle is why we're listening to word problems instead of, oh, I don't know... talk about CARS? At this rate, I guess we'll be playing fucking Sudoku on the radio before the next pledge drive is through.
The Diane Rehm ShowIt's all I can do to make it through the obnoxious, Baroque-throwback of a theme song, but then the audio gets even worse, and not because I'm passing under a bridge. That crypt-keeper of a voice comes on, and it's all I can do not to find a bridge to leap off of. Diane Rehm is less of a radio host and more of a ninty-something year-old they handed a microphone to at the wedding of a nephew whose name she can't quite recall. Wait. She's only in her early 70s? Really? Well, who the fuck is she taking her dentures out to and blowing to stay in the booth? Seriously, are there no producing jobs available? Is that it? Or is it the fact that she would slow things down still further if she were behind the scenes what with her pitched guttural whine as she barks obnoxious questions designed less to elicit information from her guests than to present her half-baked opinions to the actual experts on the topic du jour? It's called disability retirement, but we're the ones who deserve a rest.
The WorldThe Geo Quiz is the most backward piece of journalism ever invented. Apparently you think it's a fun game to eschew the conventions of journalism (i.e., that the first paragraph contains the "Who, What, When, and WHERE!!!), but unlike a handful of nerds who listen to Car Talk for the Puzzler, this is a game absolutely no one plays. Seriously, what kind of freak grew up with nothing to read but National Geographic Magazines? That's the only person who could actually attempt a guess at this "quiz." How about you instead just tell me about interesting places starting with THE NAME OF THE PLACE? As it stands now, that's all I hear because I change the station as soon as I hear you rampping up the theme song (taken no doubt from a cd you picked up in a Discovery Channel store) to "quiz" me. By the time I tune back in, I arrive at the point where you finally get around to revealing this exotic location that I'd never be able to spell well enough to Google anyway. However, I'd happily travel there if it meant I could avoid the Geo Quiz forever.
Fresh AirFor fuck's sake, please stop saying Terry Gross is a great interviewer. She sucks. People listen to her show because she asks the same dumb questions we'd ask Tom Petty or Tom Clancey or Tom Daschel if we had fifty minutes with him. Of course, we'd be better at it and not ask conditional follow-ups as part of the original interrogative like, "Was Elvis a big influence on you and --if so-- why?" It's as though after decades of interviewing artists of all sorts, she still has no insight into the basic issues underlying creativity, the artistic process, or the business that shapes it all (or at least the portion of it that reaches the public).
All Things ConsideredPlease stop with the reports about Arabs killing Arabs. It's redundant. We get it already that the chief cause of death in the Arab world is apparently susceptibility to shrapnel from car bombs packed with dogma, and it's pretty much as inevitable as heart disease in the Bible Belt, yet you don't report on the casualties in the latter instance even though the cause is virtually identical. Sure, explosions are always more dramatic than any good news about any medical/scientific research (just to pick something from the opposite end of the spectrum), but why waste air time on what is essentially the same story we've been hearing over and over and over since the 7th century?
p.s. For the sake of your own dignity, no more hip hop albums reviews. Unless you're going to discuss music theory, I'm not going to listen to a nerdy white guy's critique of the lyrics on the basis of their presumed street cred. If Conan O'Brien read the same copy you guys write, it would read as comedy, and Conan isn't even funny.
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