Apr 17, 2008

Poor form, WNRN. Poor form.

My favorite station in C'ville (and possibly of all time) is WNRN. It's a great source for music from artists so indie that no one has ever heard of them. It's alternative in every sense of the word, right down to commercials for natural food stores and Vespa dealerships. WNRN is what I wake up to, what I have on in my car, what I listen to at work on the sly. I donate in every fund drive and I wear station t-shirts with pride.

When I tuned in this morning for the news headlines I was looking forward to having my liberal guilt assuaged by the fifteen-second blurb of world events. I nodded along as the news reader started a story about the Olympic torch traveling through New Delhi, and the ensuing protests from the largest community of displaced Tibetans. And then, the reader mentioned that the torch route was traveling through 'formerly British colonial streets.'

Try this experiment: go up to your closest South Asian friend and imply that the most interesting thing about their country of origin is that it was once occupied by England. See how well that goes over. For those of you without a South Asian friend (or a modicum of common sense), let me tell you how that would go - not well.

Also, come on! It was a story about angry Tibetans, and they chose to highlight a history of imperialism? So ... I called the station to complain. Yes, it was an overreaction. But I'm kind of O.K. with that.

Me: I was just curious why you couldn't find any better description for New Delhi, a cultural hub and the capital of India, than a 'former British colony.'
News Guy: Well, we actually said 'colonial streets.'
Me: Riiight. Listen buddy, unless these streets were paved with Union Jacks, I'm not buying it.

In the end, we agreed that it would've been best to leave the Brits out of it altogether. Still, the whole situation leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This won't stop me from listening to WNRN ... but it definitely tempered my passion for the station. My love for Vespas, on the other hand, will never die.


Wistar said...

You would look so adorable riding down a London street on a Vespa.

Liz said...

you may change your opinion of vespas after nearly being mowed down by about 20 of them at every crosswalk in paris... ;)

Monkey Sri said...

Hm, strong arguments both Pro and Con. Thanks for the comments, ladies :)