JJJ: The Left’s Worst Enemy?
Caz over at spinstartshere admits to being a fan of 80s hair rock in this post. Toto were just a little before my time, my early high school years were dominated more by the rock stylings of Axl Rose, and later the grunge of Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder.
I didn’t pick this stuff up from the radio, however. In some dark corners of Western Australia, AM radio is still the only option, and back in high school we had a choice of either Radio National, or a single regional commercial AM station that played hits from the 60s and 70s the vast majority of the time.
For angry teenagers like me, ABC’s “Rage” was the only source of music recorded after 1985, and we lived in constant envy of the “city kids” who got a choice of the major stereo networks, which no doubt played nothing except Gunners and U2 all day long.
For me and my culturally-impaired buddies at boarding school, unusually clear nights provided an infrequent exposure to a new world. In something reminiscent of Ivan Denisovic wiping the edge of his bowl with a piece of bread, we listened in for the faint signal of JJJ beaming from 300 kilometres away onto the “useless” FM band.
Near riots erupted in the dormitories when Denis Leary’s “Asshole” was played at full volume, and Zac De La Rocha encouraged us to inform the masters: “FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME”. These songs, censored on Rage, were only available on JJJ.
So obviously it was a great boon for us newly urbanised kiddies to have the opportunity to listen to JJJ all day, every day during the first years of university. I had the full collection of Hottest 100 cds, available exclusively at the ABC shop at that time.
Apart from the music, though, JJJ offered something equally foreign to a country boy: Left-Wing punditry. 6am-9am, and 3pm-6pm was filled with previously unknown names such as McDermott, Robbins, Tom and many more, who have since crossed into the mainstream media.
The anti-authoritarian dogma of the “uni-left” sat pretty well with a bloke who just endured 5 years of boarding school, and for a time, they were my heroes. Then, something truly awful happened…
The great drive-time duo of Martin+Molloy were poached by a commercial station, and replaced on JJJ by Helen Razer and Judith Lucy. What was once a slightly political, but extremely funny segment was instantly transformed into a daily 3 hour polemic about Socialism, Environmentalism, Tampons, and the Evil of Men.
No matter how hard I tried to enjoy JJJ from that point on, I couldn’t deal with the awful rhetoric of Razer and Lucy. It was made abundantly clear that men, farmers, liberal voters, businesspeople and capitalism were evil. To listen to JJJ meant that you were required to embrace the green-left cause, or suffer vilification during any break in music.
I didn’t know any better in high school. I watched the ABC and accepted it as truth. I listened to teachers lecture on the evils of white men, and felt guilty. I thought it was normal, and never really felt I was being indoctrinated. JJJ changed that.
I realised that the rubbish that Razer and Lucy were forcing on listeners like me was, in fact, rubbish. In effect, I was awakened politically by an attempt by the publically owned broadcaster to indoctrinate me and my peers.
It probably would have worked if they didn’t go overboard, but, just like the hard left and green factions in Universities today, they couldn’t help themselves. There is no middle ground for the student leftists in Australia.
The irony is that because of the leftist propoganda proferred by youth activists around the nation, that people like me became interested in politics. Much to their chagrin, I would guess, many of us choose to reject their message and find the one that really reflected our own values. Names like Reagan and Thatcher, who previously only existed in subconcious memories from childhood, are now a very real influence on my own political views.
The left told me that right-wingers were racist, homophobic, evil people intent on destroying the environment and killing compassion. Razer tried to make me believe that as a young, white, patriotic Australian, I was a dolphin killing date-rapist waiting to blossom. I didn’t believe it then and never will.
I don’t listen to JJJ any more. Maybe it’s my inherent right-wing racism, but I can’t bring myself to enjoy the increasing prevalence of R+B and Hip-Hop on there nowadays. On the other hand, maybe I’m just getting old. If anyone still listens perhaps they can let me in on the status of the politics of the station nowadays. In the meantime, I’ll stick to Nova.