Radio on the Road

Dave likes to have the radio on when he drives. Since he does all the driving the selection of radio stations and the volume of the radio is his jurisdiction. He likes to flip channels quite a bit and enjoys talk shows, news shows and commentary. In the last few days of driving home from Phoenix I’ve learned lots of interesting things from our radio listening. Here’s a sample. 

Dr. Daniel Levitin is a scientist who studies how music impacts people. He hooks people up to machines and measures their emotions and heart beats as they listen to a song. In this way he has discovered what things excite people and make them become emotionally attached to a song. He used this method to analyze Adele’s song Someone Like You which won best solo pop performance at the recent Grammy awards.  One reason it is popular is because it has several surprising elements. For example in the chorus Adele suddenly jumps up an entire octave with her voice.  If you want to know more listen to the interview with Dr. Levitin. 

Every Sunday  a 6 ft 4 in.  240 pound Latino man becomes Jesus –the Holy Host on his radio show called The Jesus Christ Show. Neal Saavedra, a martial artist and punk rocker with plenty of tattoos goes on the air to bring a message and  take calls from listeners as Jesus. This Sunday he was reflecting on Whitney Houston’s death and how she made poor choices in friends who were a bad moral influence on her. “Choose your relationships wisely”, was Jesus’/ aka Neal Saavedra’s advice.  He took calls from listeners. One woman was in love with an atheist and wondered if she should break up with him because she was a Christian and her partner didn’t share her faith. 

I know all about Jeremy Lin the point guard for the New York Knicks who has caused such a sensation in the professional basketball world lately.   I taught in Asia last year and my former students, many of whom are my Facebook friends, are fully caught up in Linsanity. I heard an editorial with a chiding tone on the radio about Jeremy. The commentator was reminding everyone that Jeremy is first and foremost an American. The Harvard grad was born in California. Although his parents are from Taiwan and are Chinese citizens, the radio editorial said Lin shouldn’t be forced to be a spokesperson, role model or representative for China or the Chinese. Taiwan and mainland China have a difficult relationship at best and are apparently already fighting over whether Lin is Taiwan’s or China’s native son.  

I heard a radio interview with two members of the Little Rock Nine. One was Elizabeth Eckford, the girl in the sunglasses in this photo. The Little Rock Nine were the first black students to attend classes at Central High in Little Rock Arkansas after the Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Despite the fact the students were accompanied to school by army troops they were routinely bullied. It was a traumatic experience and Eckford still bears the scars today. Eckford went on to Ohio State University where she earned a history degree. 

What next? We still have two, or perhaps three more days of driving before we reach home. I wonder what other interesting things I’ll learn from the radio.

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Filed under People, Travel

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