For reasons I have never been able to figure out, terrestrial radio stations—music stations, mind you—have a highly irritating tendency to put people talking on the radio in the morning. I never, ever want to hear them ever again.
Back when I had a truly Office Space-grade miserable desk job, my morning commute was when I was the most volatile and unhappy. Our traffic is (still) among the worst in the nation, and here I was, forced to navigate it while extremely drowsy. I was heading to a job I grew to hold with supreme indifference to outright hatred, where I would be in constant contact with other people all day—some wonderful, and others not so much.
My car was my only refuge of peace and solitude as I continued on with my meaningless, underpaid and overworked existence. While everything around my car was dumb and bad, inside, I had the comforts of caffeine and music.
I’ve long since moved to a job I actually enjoy where I work from home for Jalopnik, so I’d forgotten that my car’s morning jams usually came from an iPod plugged in to my car when I went to grab coffee a little earlier than usual today. I hit prime morning radio show time, and all of the rage I felt about people talking on a music station came back instantly.
I always wonder—does anyone actually like these zaaaaaaany morning shows full of hijinks and, ugh, whatever they do there? I know very few people who enjoy them, and even I have a soft spot for John Aielli’s soothing public-radio dad-voice on KUTX.
The prime difference, though, is that Aielli usually shuts up and plays music fairly quickly (novel idea!), and the numbers of people I know who wish morning radio hosts would play music vastly outnumbers the fans of hosts running through Super Wacky Look At Us Thirstmongers Making A Prank Call of the Day! and Stupid Things Celebrities Say That Don’t Actually Matter-A-Palooza.
Maybe there’s data backing up the tenacity of the dingleberry known as the morning radio talk show on our commutes, but I’m not seeing it in real life. How many of those people are simply listening due to a lack of other options? If I didn’t like the music on the drive-time public radio shows here, I’d be stuck listening to I Had A Gross Waxing Accident Last Night And You’re Going To Hear About It Anyway.
So, here’s a simple plea: for the sanity of those of us in cars that don’t have a more complicated infotainment system with hundreds of satellite options, please shut up and play music. My radio presets are all music channels for a reason. I like to hear songs in the car! Given the prevalence of music stations over talk, I’m fairly certain that’s most of the listeners out there, too.
This isn’t just for my benefit, either. I’m a much happier, calmer person for you to deal with if I can relax a bit to good sounds in the car. I drive calmer and better when there’s a good song on the air. Your hosts’ chatter about kitchen mishaps, Kardashians or whatever has the opposite effect. Let the talk radio stations have the talk shows for people who like to listen to talking. Give me sweet tunes instead.