Dave Richards for December 11th…………….
--Today begins another of my favorite times of the year. Tonight is the first of the High School Holiday Concerts we will record for broadcast on Christmas Day. We begin tonight at Burrillville High School, where I attended my very first Holiday Concert in 1970, as a member of the band. Then, this Thursday, for the 39th consecutive year we will be at Woonsocket High School, then continuing on to Mount St. Charles Academy on Sunday afternoon and concluding with a visit to North Smithfield High a week from today to see our old friend, Mr. Kevin Plouffe, who has returned to the Blackstone Valley at the helm of the NSHS Band.
Anyone who knows me even a little knows I am a big supporter of music in our schools. The broadcast of the Holiday Concerts of our local schools offers me the opportunity to showcase the work of many hundreds of students in one great day of broadcasts. It’s really remarkable what they can do. Yes, we also broadcast high school sports, and that’s important, too. But the music department in school seldom gets the headlines, so this is their “front page” day. I hope you’ll attend the concert in your home town.
--The Annual Milk Fund Appeal continues until December 24th. Last Friday the members of Cercle Laurier held a Beer and Dynamite event. If you’re reading your paper early enough today, tune in to the daily Milk Fund Auction at about 8:30am as representatives bring Appeal Chair Lisa Carcifero a check for the proceeds. As I write this, I don’t know the amount myself, but I’ve been told it’s amazing.
Also, if you need an official Milk Fund plastic bottle to pass around at your party, phone the radio station at 762-1240 and we’ll give you one.
--Yesterday was “Green Monday”. I like to think I am fairly well-informed. That is, I know all about “Black Friday”, “Small-Business Saturday”, “Cyber-Monday”, “Giving Tuesday” and all the other ‘manufactured holidays’. But not only did nobody tell me before yesterday that yesterday was going to be “Green Monday”, but they also forgot to tell me what it was supposed to be about. I hope they had a nice day.
--I know you needed just one more rant about political correctness and intolerance, so here it is………
If there’s one thing Americans have gotten really good at, it’s finding someone to blame for whatever in making them unhappy. Or, if not making them unhappy, someone who is failing to make them happy. Either one seems to be a crime these days.
From the news wire comes word of a woman in Massachusetts who is blaming Amazon for her daughter being bullied. Her daughter’s name is “Alexa”. The woman wrote to the president of the company asking them to stop making devices named after females. She said her daughter’s friends are taunting her by telling her to turn on their TV or lights, actions which the smart-speaker is supposed to be able to do. The letter didn’t make it to the president before it was diverted to “inside teams” to be addressed. Gee, my mom and dad never wrote to Walt Disney to ask him to stop producing the TV series “Davy Crockett”. And yes, I got ribbed a lot about that growing up and have heard the song more than my share of times. But I know they didn’t do it to antagonize me. So we let it pass. Not so in this century.
--The radio station in Ohio, WDOK, which refuses to play the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” because they got one complaint about the lyrics has been having a very tough time I am told. They are the butt of jokes on local TV, newspapers, and other radio stations and also the subject of a boycott by listeners and advertisers.
I know you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. I’ve taken the unpopular positions. But I try use common sense when I do. Just because someone who has a lot of hurt in their heart and wants to spread it around is also a member of a group or movement doesn’t mean that the whole group is intolerant. There is too much love and caring in the members of the #ME TOO movement for me to believe they will act like bullies and terrorists simply because a radio station plays a popular 60 year-old song. No, I don’t believe that any more than I believe that all Republicans support our president or that all Democrats hate Mr. Trump. It’s just not reality. One member does not a movement make. But it was one person who told the radio station they would bring the wrath of the entire movement down upon the station that bullied the station into that regrettable decision and caused them to become a laughing stock of the industry.
I think we’re too ready to over-react to intolerance, folks, I really do. Yes, there’s always going to be someone who wants to bully others into doing something. But that’s not everybody, and I can’t believe a group of caring people will allow one person to make them do things which is out of character and against their better judgement.
I am quite content to refrain from judging others and to hire professionals to do the judging which must be done for me in this life. In the next life, it’s not even my decision. And, for my activist friends who just aren’t happy unless they are making someone else unhappy………I wish you peace.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading. And thank you for remembering The Milk Fund.