Saturday, November 1, 2008

"Don't talk like that in public"

(No, I'm not referring to foul language or teaching children courteous communication.)

Jon and I were discussing politics and talk radio the other night at the dinner table. We agreed that while there can be some useful information on talk radio shows, as well as some very interesting interviews, sometimes it's not worth gleaning. And sometimes, it's even embarrassing to listen.

Personally, while I enjoy listening to a certain extent, I can't stand having it on in my house (with very few exceptions) -- if I were to take my daughter into a room where men were yelling angrily at each other, I'd quickly leave. It makes it pretty hard to maintain a "sanctuary"-like home. Fortunately, my husband also came to that conclusion recently and now tunes in music in the morning instead. (The evenings still belong to the Dave Ramsey show, of course!)

Here's how Jon came to change his perspective a bit. He does a good deal of his research in a "tank room" in the basement of his work building. For a while, he was listening to talk radio while he set up the experiments, and he had to turn it up rather loudly to hear it over the hum of the water tanks. With the door propped open to the hallway, he realized anyone walking by could hear what he was listening to. And he caught himself thinking to the talk show host, "Don't talk like that in public!"

I had to laugh when he confessed this to me. Don't worry, he was laughing with me. We still listen in on a few shows, but we're a bit pickier than we were before. With tempers rising higher as the election approaches, we'll probably cut it out completely until things settle down again. What I would truly enjoy, however, is for someone (with more time than I have) to thoroughly research current political issues and events and then sit back with a cup of coffee and calmly lay out the details for me on air, with some good interviews to break things up. I almost wrote "cup of tea", but that brings up images of NPR, which is a topic for another day.

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