Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Karmic 1 - 2 Punch

First, a run of particularly bad luck...
1. My beloved apple green iPod mini, Slimer, has happened upon a bump in his short life. He finds himself unable to hold a full battery charge. He tries and he tries and he tries, but all he can muster is a mere 30 or so minutes before the battery icon of death comes on and Slimer slips into a quiet coma. Compared to his promised 18 hours of battery life, this is a bit disappointing.

After a long talk with the Apple "genius" at the Clarendon store, Slimer is currently being held for testing. I can't say what unspeakable things they will do to him, but I have been told that I will almost certainly be receiving a new iPod as a replacement for my poor broken Slimer shell. I'm not sure how I feel about this turn of events. I love my Slimer, I'm getting used to the idea of Slimer II.

2. Z104, Washington's modern music radio station, has flipped to a classical format. My favorite radio station, my standby, crappy pop music, as comfy as an old pair of jeans, Kelly Clarkson at least 40% of the day radio station is gone. GONE!! Faithful readers of my blog/fans of my life will remember that this is not the first time I have been so betrayed by the radio - last year, radio station of my youth and angsty identity, 99.1 WHFS, was tragically flipped to an entirely Spanish language format. To add insult to injury, one of my favorite songs was the last HFS song to be played before the El Zol craziness began. This latest betrayal did not hurt any less. Z104 was my favvorite, it played everything I would if I owned a radio station, and that is not something that I am particularly proud of, but the loss still hurts.

One of the reasons that I'm so distraught over this is because of the manner in which radio stations are flipped. These transitions are often abrupt and unannounced. Until 11:59 am, everything is the same as it was. Then at 12pm, the station goes quiet and returns with a totally new format. It sucks! It's jarring and disrespectful to the faithful listeners of a radio station. It's disrespectful to the employees of a radio station, especially the on air talent, who frequently are not informed that they will be losing their jobs until the day of the switch. Station flipping treats a station, the audience, and the personalities as disposable commodities, and in a medium as personal as music, that's pretty rude. The mega-radio corporataions - Clear Channel and Infinity - are businessmen of the worst kind; they've forgetten that they rely on their customer and staff for everything that they have. They see only the bottom line of their own profits.

Perhaps this is my "evils of capitalism" speech. It is a classic tale of profits over people. Perhaps I only care because I'm personally affected. Perhaps I really don't want to pay for satellite radio. Regardless, it's a crappy situation that wasn't communicated well and has definitely left a little void in my life.

The karmic portion of this tale of woe - I think this is all a bit of payback for my days as an illegal downloader. I stole music, I'm sorry. But it was all bad music that no one really wanted. It was probably stuff that iTunes would give away for free anyway. We're talking old Ryan Adams and Aqua, "Barbie Girl." But that doesn't matter. I still broke the rules, I took something that wasn't mine simply because it was easy and saved me some cash. And now I'm being punished by the universe. My lifeblood, good music to singalong to in the car, is being drained from me and there's little that I can do. I'm certainly open to ideas from the public on acceptable pennance to end this streak. Or maybe another radio station to program into preset 1.

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