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<< Mar 25, 2005 @ 15:09 >>

I woke up this morning to Radio K, as I do most mornings, right about the time the spot for the Locust Lecture was playing. I guess they didn't pull it after all; it would appear as though sanity has prevailed over the crazies. (Guy: "I think God likes crazy people." Rambo: "Why?" Guy: "Because he makes so many of them.")

You see, the Locust Lecture is a black metal / goth / industrial / etc radio show, and I live in Minnesota just five hours south of Red Lake, MN where that school shooting recently took place. The day after the shooting happened a discussion popped up on Radio K's internal mailing list about how playing this spot for a goth music radio program (The Locust Lecture) immediately after the school shooting allegedly perpetrated by "a goth" (read: "Oh no, he dresses different than us!") or a kid who listened to "goth music" (read: anything but Britney Spears) would be insensitive and offensive. There was talk of pulling the spot "in the interest of good taste." Here's how the spot goes:

Talk Show Host: And when did you first start noticing these changes in your son's behaviour, ma'am?

Mom [in her best Norwegian Minnesota-mom accent]: Well, I think it was around New Years when he started listening to this new radio show called "The Locust Lecture." Well, I can tell you one thing right now – he's certainly not learning about grasshoppers, that's for sure. They play all kinds of music that's, well, I guess the only word for it is 'evil.' Goth, dark wave, eclectro-clash, industrial, heavy metal – it's like my little Timmy forgot how to speak English.

Timmy: Mom, you have no concept whatsoever of the ultimate reality. Only living death to the fullest is real to me now.

Talk Show Host: And it was this controversial radio program that caused Timothy to become morbid, antisocial, nihilistic, and obsessed with the end of the world?

Mom: Did I mention that he wanted to burn down our house but I told him N-O so he set his hair on fire just to get back at me. How do you like that?

Timmy: Mom, you just don't understand! Life is infinite and the self is the ultimate limit of what we perceive, you know what I'm saying?

Mom: (sniffling) For the sake of my son Timmy, please cancel this show immediately! I want my little Timmy back!

Talk Show Host: The radio program we've been talking about today is the Locust Lecture, Saturdays from 7 to 9 P.M. on 106.5 FM KUOM in the West Metro or all over the world at radiok.org.

So that's the spot. It has been playing for a couple weeks now – well before the shooting happened. There were a few people on the mailing list who thought we should "pull it at least until things die down."

One of the scariest things posted to the mailing list was this treasure: "i haven't heard it. but it sounds like a good intuition to follow in not playing it anymore"

At some point I chimed in with: "Locust Lecture GOOOOOOOOOD. Prime Minister of Malaysia BAAAAAAAAAD. Now do as you're told..." Zoolander is growing on me. Somebody else did a much better job of capturing my true feelings on the issue though:

Usually I would err on the side of caution, but I think pulling the promo IS a bit reactionary in this situation. The Red Lake shooter neither had a grasp on Goth culture nor a rudimentary understanding of Nazism. Ideological beliefs did not in themselves spark his murderous rampage. Nate is correct; people need to focus on the root causes of these school shootings, such as absent or incompetent parents, extreme bullying, dysfunctional family situations, easy access to guns, mental illness, etc. Pulling the promo would inadvertently give credibility to those who seek simplistic solutions to complex social issues. Goth culture does not drive people to shoot up schools.

Nate, a News frontiersman and Locust Lecture host at Radio K, defended the spot:

Well, I wrote the dang thing and it was obviously a spoof on the "dude, I'm totally more evil than you" wars that were fought in Europe's black metal scene in the late 90's. It also gave me an excuse to bash the media's reactionary nature to "darksiders," highlight Amy's priceless "MN Mom" impression and quietly insert lines of obscure William Blake poetry into an A spot. Anyone who ever read "Lords of Chaos" knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I obviously consider it censorhip if we take it down...

In regards to Nate, though, the more amazing thing is that two local papers, The Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune, both decided they needed to interview somebody involved in a goth music radio program right after the school shooting, namely Nate.

And local media idiots is my segway into how MPR screwed the pooch. I was listening to All Things Considered on my drive home from St. Paul yesterday and there was a piece produced by MPR about the Red Lake shooting.

They chose to interview some idiot lawyer who name-dropped the flavour of the week video game whipping boy of the Religious Right "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City," saying the Flash animation created by the Red Lake shooter was "a nearly precise replication" of the GTA.

Anybody who actually has seen both GTA and that Flash animation wouldn't so strongly say there is an almost exact resemblance between the two. One was a black and white crudely drawn almost artistic film and the other is a full colour 3D interactive video game. How is that a "nearly precise replication?"

I'm sorry, but some jerk's populist viewpoint is not news, MPR. You shouldn't have included him in your piece. Keep your spin off my First Amendment rights. Videogames don't make kids violent. Correlation is not causation. Don't encourage this passing the buck off on videogames.

The news media, sadly including MPR in this instance, went and sucked the whole thing up like usual. But, overall I think most people on the Radio K list seemed pretty level headed on the issue. The sane ones were worried it would be too reactionary (which it would have been) to pull the Locust Lecture spot, and that as soon as you start pulling spots then next thing you know you're pulling all the songs that reference guns or goths.

That captures the very meat and potatoes of the censorship problem– nay, the meat and potatoes of freedom! As soon as you let people eat into your rights a little, censoring a little, then that little bit becomes okay, and stays in their belly, and you never get it back. Then since that little bit was okay, they eat a little more and a little more, until they've eaten all your meat and potatoes, and you don't have anything left to eat save for overcooked mushy green peas.

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March 25, 2005 @ 15:22:40

ufo.pngmpschuster (#1007)

I caught the MPR segment on my way home from work as well. Terrible. I couldn't fathom why they would choose to interview this guy and let him hijack their broadcast. Some chumps crusade isn't news.

I then bought four cases of wine.

March 25, 2005 @ 15:24:47

coleco.pngxopl (#001)

Alcohol. The cause of and solution to all of life's problems.

August 18, 2005 @ 06:24:10

pineapple.pngSARs (#1012)

I must say I was wondering where that Ad went.

Im aquentances with <i>most</i> of the Locust Lecture guys and I must say it is still the most original piece of radio in Minnesota (if not most anywhere) on currently.

Knowing them, I can also say theyre super light-hearted about any sort of "scene-terming" and wouldnt have based anything on such an event.

Oh yea, and everyone should stream Locust Lecture if they dont already listen to it. www.locustlecture.org

Knowing them, I also know that the

August 18, 2005 @ 17:43:46

coleco.pngxopl (#001)

Hmmm... I should pass this on to the LL peoples. I should also add a link to the Radio K stream on their website.

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