I “like” several local news/info pages on Facebook — East County Today, Antioch/Brentwood/Oakley News, Take Back Antioch — and the bottom-feeding level of discourse that transpires on these sites never ceases to amaze me.
It’s always the same mantra (or variations on the same theme):
- “Section 8 blah blah blah…”
- “If only they’d allow concealed carry yada yada yada…”
- “Richmond and Oakland ghetto thugs and so on and so forth…”
- “Liberal politicians soft on crime wah wah wah…”
It shouldn’t surprise me. At all. I grew up in the ass-backwards city of Antioch, so I know more than I’d ever want to about the kind of ignorant, reactionary, hillbilly yahoos that populate the area. But you’d think that, as the region has grown exponentially in number of residents, and as the complexion of the population has become more diverse, a little sophistication, a little enlightenment might have crept in somewhere. Somehow?
On the face of it, East Contra Costa County has a lot going for it: awesome, seemingly endless rolls of breathtaking foothills; lovely oak and chaparral woodlands; a magnificent waterway (the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta) and associated wetlands; six regional parks (Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Contra Loma Regional Park, Bay Point Regional Shoreline, Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline, Big Break Regional Shoreline, and Browns Island); and three State of California parks (Brannan Island State Recreation Area, Franks Tract State Recreation Area, and Cowell Ranch/John Marsh Property State Historic Park). Plus glorious weather for most of the year.
The only missing elements are class, culture, and sophistication. And tolerance. Rather than a celebration of diversity, we have god, guns, and an intense fear of “socialism” and folks with brown skin. And this only seems to have grown worse over time. Is Fox News and right-wing radio to blame? Have these irresponsible media outlets fried every last bit of intellect out here? Regardless of the cause, it is a bit of a tragedy, considering there weren’t all that many brain cells around here to begin with.
California has a reputation for being “liberal”…. and, well, it is fairly progressive in the more densely populated urban areas. But most of the state — including the fair city of Antioch — cannot accurately be termed liberal. Truth is, the Golden State is largely inhabited by moronic bumpkins who chug down the Fox/Limbaugh reactionary propaganda like it’s Mountain Dew on a hot day.
No intelligence necessary.
No critical thinking required.
In aggregate,1 my political/social views lean to the left. However, I find the listener-supported “progressive” Pacifica radio network to be, for the most part, unlistenable.
KPFA, the Pacifica station in the San Francisco Bay Area, does air one excellent program each Sunday—i.e., Mary Tilson’s America’s Back Forty (classic, outlaw, and old-time country music).
The remainder, however, is a cringeworthy mélange of: (1) hysterical propaganda (essentially serving as the Fox News of the left); (2) pumped-up righteous indignation (any excuse will do); (3) pseudo science; and (4) tiresome haranguing with a focus on minutia of the dullest order.
In addition, even after 65+ years in operation, KPFA’s production is amateurish. Most of the news readers sound like high school students reciting copy for the first time, and even the seasoned anchors possess unpleasant-sounding voices and many cannot enunciate.
Top that off with a 24/7 dark and humorless presentation, and you have a recipe for wrist slashing or bridge jumping. Seriously, if I worked at a Pacifica station, or even if I listened on a regular basis, I quite possibly might have offed myself by now.
I have to admit that, every once in awhile, I do tune in to KPFA. For a laugh. But mostly I don’t bother.
1 I take each issue on its own merit and some of my viewpoints, shockingly, are quite conservative.
Longtime KGO host Gene Burns, 72, dies – SFGate.
In my 50 or so years of being a radio listener (and at times fanatic), and even a few working in the business, I have not come across a more intelligent, articulate, informed, erudite, reasoned, and personable radio talk show host than Gene Burns. No matter what side of aisle, Gene could talk to anyone and anyone could talk to Gene. I was devastated when KGO laid him off, and especially when his ensuing stroke kept him from being seated behind his next mic at KKSF. And it breaks my heart that he’s now gone for good. On the other hand, I’m sure Gene did not enjoy his impaired quality of life over the past couple years… so I’m glad for him that he’s been released from his broken body. Rest well, Gene. Thank you for your decades of on-air service. You will not be forgotten.
Injured man arrested for making pipe bombs in Antioch
This guy was in my high school class. Isn’t that special.
RICH LIEBERMAN 415 MEDIA: Owens on KGO; working without contract; ‘Discussions’ Continuing According to Katz.
I’m actually glad to hear this because even a snowball’s chance of Ronn Owens ending up on KKSF would place me on the verge of projectile vomiting. Knowing he’s staying at that other station that’s no longer the station it was… allows my stomach lining to remain intact.