17 Sep 2006, Comments Off on Goodbye to the Spin

Goodbye to the Spin

Author: Helen

An annoying, ragged hole, like the one that shows up in a favourite old jumper, has opened up in my Sunday.

Not Sundays spent away at the coast or Doing Stuff. I mean, the Sundays I wrestle away from gregarious family and endless activity, to spend pottering at home, maybe cooking a few slow-food recipes, weeding the garden and generally Getting Things Done. These Sundays are my Radio Days.

If I haven’t had a late Saturday, these start with Background Briefing on RN. Ockham’s Razor is great, but that’s really early for a Sunday. BB is the kind of political program I love, as it tackles some really obscure and interesting topics, shining a curious light into some dark and cobwebby corners of environmental, economic and social issues. (Today’s program, which is fascinating as usual, includes comments by Kieran Healy of Crooked Timber.) After BB and Sunday cooked breakfast, I’m usually doing something or other to Julie Rigg’s movie program.

After that, I’d listen to The National Interest, religiously. I know, I know, Terry Lane’s a silly billy and a total nong on many issues. But I loved the way he can nail voodoo economics and his droll takedowns of neoliberal thinking and government policies such as privatisation. The Cast Iron Balcony is a broad church, although our eyes may roll sometimes. The National Interest is still there – Peter Mares isn’t as much fun as Terry, but it’s still good; Tim Flannery vs. Ian Lowe, for instance.

After the National Interest, I’d go over to 3-RRR to The Spin, a talk program with a panel of PR people. This is the one which has left the gaping hole, because a couple of weeks ago they broadcast their final program.

Again, you’ll probably say, WTF is a pinko green-voting latte-sipping cheese-eating surrender monkey like you listening to a bunch of right wingers and ex-Kennett-advisors like that? (I know, ewwwwwww!) and you’d be right, but I did enjoy it, although the nasal whining of Delilah (or was it Willo?), I’ve-dumped-on-Unions and Trades-Hall-again-am-I-not-witty?, did get on the nerves after a while. Tip: Saying any reference to AWB is such a bore and so last week doesn’t make you a sophisticate, it makes you a spin doctor, which is what you are. I’m quite aware Howard’s using people just like you for that very purpose. (Look over there! a Terrorist! Oh, look over there! a History summit!).

Anyhow, apart from the irritations, the program was a complete riot. I heard plenty of scurrilous gossip, laughed a lot and I’ll miss it terribly.

Moving right along from The Spin is JVG Radio Method, by which time I’m usually outside weeding or something, so the theme song “Big John” will always make me think of kikuyu, oxalis and tomato stakes. John Von Goes picks a different theme for each program, so, for example, it could be “rain” and you’d get “Stormy Monday”, “I can’t stand the rain”, “Who’ll Stop the Rain” and so on. He must put a shitload of work into compiling the thing each week.

Something I didn’t know about JVG – he’s a a celebrant. Both weddings and funerals.

Actually, The Spin has been replaced by a gardening program, but it didn’t appeal to me last week. Of course I’ll give it another go. But if it doesn’t grab me, my dilemma is whether to move over earlier to 3-RRR for the wonderful Einstein a-go-go and the cooking program Eat It, then back to RN for the fabulous Street Stories. Either way, I’ll probably get over it fairly soon, because let’s face it, we’re spoiled for choice on Sundays.

Hooray for public and independent noncommercial radio. Long may it survive the fiddlings of Coonan the Barbarian.

What radio programs can’t you do without? If you’re not in Australia, is there a favourite program site with podcasts which you can point us to?

Comments (0)

  • JVG married the son of a friend of mine – so I already knew he was a celebrant. So there. (He didn’t marry the son as in same sex etc – ahhh well you know what I mean)

    National Interest doesn’t have Terry Lane anymore from memory. I agree he was a bit of a drip at times but the NI and him were a great radio mix – I never missed it. And there is a place for the grumpy old suburban Protestant moralist and closet libertarian. One of Lane’s qualities, and he had many failings as far as I was concerned, is that he was unashamedly and non-ironically suburban. He never faked an interest or knowledge in the “edgy”, he never tried to be hip and he never faked an “out of touch” persona – if he knew something well he admitted it. F’rinstance – he was perhaps the first radio person to run a website and it was pretty close to a blog thing for those days, personal, public and interactive. He is probably the most up to date person around on digital photogaphy and runs the Green Guide section of the subject.

    I miss Alister Cook and “Letter From America” the best radio ever. I miss “Prairie Home Companion”, I miss “My Word”.

    I try never to miss Andy Ford’s Music Show on RN and he had our Floppy Ms Amanda on.

    I try to always catch Denise and TWANG on RRR. And I used to like The Europeans. With docos or talk the more obscure it is the more is like it. All In The Mind. Science Report.

  • Helen says:

    I’m with you on TWANG FX. Are you going to see the movie “Prairie Home Companion”? I never heard the radio program, but I really enjoy the books.

  • I might see the movie. I used to listen to PHC every week. It is above all a radio program. I might even have some old tapes and I know there are at least some episodes out on vinyl – I’d guess probably CD too.


  • ThirdCat says:

    I’ve got no idea why I liked Terry Lane, but I did. Street Stories always makes me cry. I never did get the attraction of Alistair Cook. I used to like Francis Leach on Triple J mornings. I think I had one of those new-mother radio crushes.

    Best radio is cricket.

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