Tuesday 5 January 2016

Agony and the Ecstasy - with and without Radio News

I've been taking a holiday from all Radio News programmes. It was beginning to get to me. I've been holidaying in Radio 3. Even when it's music I don't like, even when people are talking in ways I don't like, it's so preferable to the Radio News stuff, that I love them all. I am brimming over with love for it all.

Then I got into the car, switched on the radio which was set to a certain radio channel. They were reporting on the rail strike in Wales. The news announcer reported that it was happening. Then there was a statement from the rail company. That was the news item. That was how it was reported. That was the news. That was the meaning of the strike. That was the totality of that strike for me in the car. The strike was happening. And there's the rail company. Just the rail company. The rail company who apologised for the fact that there was disruption because of the unions. No one to point out that all other kinds of disruption are taking place because of anything experienced by the working people on the railways, in the past, now or might be in the future. And if two sides work in a rail company - management and workers - then it was the breakdown between the two that 'caused' the strike, not just one side?

But that wasn't what I was allowed to hear. My sole source of information in that one single moment I switched on the radio was what the rail company wanted us to hear. That's it.

I rushed my hand towards the off button. Slammed my hand down on it. The radio went silent. I experienced an immense sense of relief. Pleasure almost. I had stopped this stuff from getting to me. I drove on in silence. I thought of traffic. Trees. Clouds. Houses, Shops. Cars.

I got home. Switched on Radio 3.

There was some music I didn't like. It was wonderful. I let it flow over me in all its not-really-like-ness.