Friday, August 19, 2022

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Give us ‘Zippy the sausage boy’


Beyoncegate is officially behind us. America’s zaftig beauty reinstated her singing bona fides by belting out the “Star Spangled Banner” at a pre-Super Bowl news conference. The media spritzed mucho dish over whether her singing at the president’s inaugural was real or Memorex. That big whoop is now just a broken and forgotten cup and saucer.                

The only rhetorical gaff from the world’s most ooh la la woman was her silly claim that she lip-synched at the presidential swear-in show because she’s “a perfectionist.” C’mon, dolly. By that standard, I am absolved for cheating in school because I too was a stickler for a budding Rhode’s Scholar’s ideal. I just couldn’t trouble my teachers with less-than-perfect scores on a test. But, maybe I’m too harsh. Beyonce’s commitment to perfectionism should be mirrored by all the world’s students. Her new album must be titled: “A red herring a day keeps honesty at bay.”            

What kind of nudnik expects performers to be honest role models anyway? Should we search for a Bible quoting Justin Bieber to nurture and guide us thru life? Pass. They’re huckster narcissists on the make for heavy bucks. Big cars, big image and the Betty Ford Clinic don’t come cheap. Show biz has always been a Roman circus with the screaming mob scrambling for seats. All we want is diversion, and any act will do. Give us a mud wrestling Girl Scout or Zippy the sausage boy and its tailgate parties with brats and brewskis for all.

Gary Wilson
–Des Moines


Farewell to public radio

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

Thanks for your insights into radio changes (“Radio Killed the Radio Star,” Jan. 24). You didn’t, however, mention the changes to Iowa Public Radio. I have listened to Iowa Public Radio for a long time and enjoyed each separate station with its own specialties. Connections to each state university enriched the programming. Each of our radios was tuned to the AM and FM versions, and the voices of the DJs were trusted friends bringing good programming with great variety, sometimes live and local. The announcers had real, individual personalities with all their talents, quirks and senses of humor. When you got a chance to meet them through the fundraisers up at Ames, they turned out to be just as gifted as you thought they were. They all worked in a simple set of studios and were real people. The bosses had all been DJs and knew their audience and community.                

Diminishing government funding was the first attack. Creating the network of stations brought changes and cuts. And worst of all came an imported CEO and a board of directors meeting in a building on Grand Avenue in Des Moines, far from the broadcasting studios. Then came the dumping of longtime DJs and the taming of the ones that were kept by contractually requiring them to have no personality. Along with this came canned music programs from out of state. These programs took classical music way too seriously and have a gift for playing the most dreary music available. An attempt to kill any interest in any music besides pop? The uninspired DJs must all be named “Kelly” reading cards. All this was done in the cause of survival of public radio. The talk end of public radio still hangs on thanks to National Public Radio and American Public Radio. Forget about the noon farm report. It is out. For the first year we are no longer contributors. A very sad goodbye, WOI. Hello, BBC Online.

Joyce Naffier

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