National Public Viking

Friday, June 30, 2006

WUOG's in my blood like a cytotoxic T-cell

|current sounds| Man Man soundchecking at the 9:30 Club

Just when I thought I could get away from WUOG listserv wars. good ole Erin sees fit to add me to the WUOG Alumni listserv (nothing but love for you, Erin!). Right off the chain, my inbox floods with former wuoggers debating pre-recorded radio for hours the station's off the air. I remember the issue was tossed out there when I was on the exec board for two years, but none of us really wanted to do it. It reeked of soulless pap, it went against everything we stood and still stand for: 26,000 Watts of College Radio Debauchery (still love that slogan). In fact, the station's causing so much ruckus that it interferes with chemistry research on campus. I feel bad for the labcoats, but that's hilarious. I've heard lore of WUOG's airwaves transmitted through hairdryers, microwaves, even braces (!), but never an entire chemistry building. Awesome.

WUOG's one ray of cynical sunshine in its news division was the hoarse-throated Chris Tucker. For a lot of listeners, he was WUOG. His infernal hatred of the school's newspaper, the student government association, greeks, indie-rockers, Republicans... well, you get the idea... with his quick wit was the only reason to listen to the otherwise useless "Talk Block" on Wednesday evenings. He recently brought to the blogging community's attention the existence of the WUOG, Please Stop Sucking website set up on Myspace.

It's no secret that some Athens townies harbor ill feelings against its only (more or less) free-form station. Most of them are ticked that they can't DJ, which, no matter how many times it's explained to their baked minds, they just cannot: the station's officially a part of the university and it's a legal issue. Most of them are even more are mad at the music philosophy, one that excludes much mainstream radio, even legends like Neil Young and Elvis Costello who don't really have radio play anymore. The music philosophy's been debated ever since WUOG decided to support more indepedent artists and, frankly, no one will ever come to a good agreement. In short, they can just get over it because it hasn't been WUOG's prerogative to play Top 40 past or present for a long time.

I have little problem that this page was made, but it has no argument. In fact, I would encourage "WUOG, Please Stop Sucking" because every organization has room for improvement (yes, even amatuer, college student-run radio stations), but at this point, it's just a group of bored townies that need jobs (or, better yet, need a vacation or to leave). Those around while I was still working at station know I was relentlessly hard on DJs to do a better job (exploring the archives, be somewhat personable, umm... don't suck - to put it at their level). Looking through the "friends" list, I could've predicted every one. It's the same list of folks that enjoy happy hour every day at the punk/rockabilly bar, local bands that didn't make rotation (heck, even national bands that didn't make rotation), and then people who just think it's funny/will give them points. In fact, I probably know who started it, a certain band that's never been on the friendliest terms with WUOG and decided to make an enemy out of me recently.

I'm encouraged by the idea of media responsibility. Up until a few weeks ago, I had no idea there was such a thing as an ombudsman, someone who investigates complaints against an organization and attempts reconciliation. Jeffrey Dvorkin, who's unfortunately leaving NPR next month, has served as ombudsman since 1997. He spoke to the interns about the integrity of the journalist, which coming from UGA and knowing many of its J-school types, made me apprehensive at first, but he deals with integrity on a real level, not just as journalist himself. When I mentioned this to Helen recently, she said, "Sounds like a job you'd love!"

How exactly does one become an ombudsman? He has an intern.

Anyway... got off track there. Chris is a funny guy.

[EDIT: Removed the comment about the UGA school newspaper. I had incorrect information.]

5 Comments:

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Greg said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger Max said...

Hey Lars! Max here. Didn't know you had a blog...don't know how it escaped me, since your LJ updates were always really enjoyable to read.

You really make some excellent points here, and it set my mind at ease to read them. It's not like it was really bothering me, but it still didn't exactly comfort me as an exec to read some of that stuff. You're really spot-on, though.

Seeing this pretty much makes me want to start blogging myself, since most of what I write isn't really "LJ" type of stuff anymore.

By the way, I'm in New Orleans right now, and yesterday I hit a record shop, Jim Russell's Rare Records, that probably would have made you (or at least Helen) freak out. This place is MASSIVE, and they probably had more 45s than LPs (hence my comment about Helen). They had some real gold in there (seriously, mostly soul albums worth $50-250), and they could really make a fortune if they just went online with some of their inventory. As it is, I think most of the people walking in on the street would have no interest in paying that much for a record (though I am ashamed to admit that I dropped $40 on a Meters album).

 
At 8:27 AM, Blogger christa t said...

You can't work at the paper if you're not a full-time student, even though it is independent of the university. There are 5 full-time staff who are non-students but to write, edit, do layout, sell ads, etc you must be a student. It's like wuog.

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger christa t said...

Also, I just looked at that myspace group and they really are angry. I thought it was just a joke at first. Well, go start your own station like Hot 100.7 did. Stop depending on a university-run media outlet run by non-paid 19-year-olds. Townies loooooove complaining into their echo chamber and expecting everyone else to comply, but not actually being proactive. I guess that's what makes me miss them, though.

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger Lars said...

i stand corrected about the r&b.

and i do not miss athens townies at all. if a group of them actually approached WUOG with some constructive criticisms and even viable suggestions, i would have been 100% behind them, but instead they took the coward's way out with a damn website that took them 5 minutes to make, a myspace at that.

 

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