Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Want My, I Want My...I Want My AM Radio...

I Want My…I want My ….I Want My AM Radio…..♫

Nobody Cares: I know no one else is thinking about this: I know no one else in the whole wide United States seems to care: but last Saturday, I found another bastion of American culture…disappeared before my very eyes.

My AM radio stations!

There I was, going out on my new shopping trips where I am on a lean diet of “If it’s over five dollars, don’t buy it!” escapades. I got into my car, backed out of my driveway, and turned on my AM radio, which stands for… mostly talk radio for all those out there who have no idea what AM does anymore.


What? Where are all the stations? No “corn prices are up”… no people talking about the problems in Iran…no jazz greats…NOTHING!

It’s not like I’m in the middle of nowhere.

So, I pressed that wonderful new invention button called SCAN. I love that button. You can get a few seconds of every station and look for something you might like. Never mind that you often do not find a damn thing that you like, it’s just plain fun.

I could really use that button on my TV.

Surely, I thought, I’ll find something.



As I looked out of my windows, I reminded myself that there were actually CARS on the highway---I was not in the Twilight Zone--- yet. It was a beautiful, hot, sunny, day. As far as I could tell, no EMP or nuclear blast had occurred, which is, according to every movie I’ve ever seen in my life, the only event that can make radio waves disappear.

Putting up camera’s disguised as King Kong totem poles is one thing. Even though no one got to vote on the millions of taxpayers dollars it has taken to put up the entire big brother spying system all over the country, we are reminded that we have enemies every day.

But, taking away a whole band of radio’s stations is quite a bit more disturbing. So I did a little research and happened upon Rob Pagoraro’s article in the Washington Post.

Suuureeeerrpriiiiiz!, Surrseeeerrrrpriiiiisz!” Gomer Pyle would say: The FCC passed a ruling saying that AM stations can now go digital…but here’s the catch…only at night. This means that the new digital technology MAY block the sky-wave reception of AM radio, which explains the silence. Sky-wave signals allows radio waves to bounce off the ionosphere after sunset and also allowed listeners to tune in from hundreds of miles away.

Gee, I can’t think of a better way to muffle Rush Limbaugh, can you? You can still get Rush, but his signal is very weak now, I was wondering about that.

Now I know why.

After a complete circle of the whole AM radio broadcast…I counted, out of at least twenty AM stations that I got before, only two stations left. And they were molting fast. The static was so bad it was annoying to even listen to it.

The radio-free broadcasts of America have freed many a country from tyranny. The radio of western music and voices of freedom were potent weapons in helping take down many a nation, including Russia.

And while everyone was talking about the wonderful “digital” turnover on the television stations, I don’t remember hearing one person talk about AM being completely demolished---almost overnight.

As I read down Rob’s article, I found a comment by Wolfman Jack:

Without skywave I never would have become a big star broadcasting from XERB in Mexico during the early 60’s, a signal you could catch all the way to Northern California every night.

No skywave, no Wolfman, no cruising, no American Graffiti, no Star Wars---what a different world it would be, all because of radio signals skipping off the atmosphere.

Ain’t life grand?”

So, nobody will care if an EMP attack comes, and everything is knocked out…because no one will be listening to the AM stations for directions, because…


If they come knocking on my door and say “Why didn’t you go to the shelter? They broadcasted everything on the radio..’’

I’ll say, “I don’t listen to static, so, go away.”



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