I didn't make any money for the station during our annual fundraising thing, due to being on so early and everyone in Cleveland who still listens to terrestrial radio being poor.
Well, you're on really early and it's when a lot of blue collar people go to work," says a professorial looking friend of the DJ after me. "Blue collar people usually don't listen to college radio anyway."
It's not like I haven't run across this attitude in other places, and it seems prevalent among the multiply college degreed that make up the fields of academia and technocracy. The people who listen to Springsteen and Billy Bragg and talk about solidarity "working people" when it's a convenient talking point involving unions that they're not even in, yet condescend and disparage those whose hands are cracked and dirty at the end of a ten-hour day as ignorant of the finer things in life because they don't sit around all day reading blogs at work. "Well they probably listen to Nickelback and drink beer and watch football and don't read books."
Well how the hell do you know? And so what if other people do? No one's making you conform to that. And I wonder if they have any friends outside of their profession or income demographic or political affiliation, honestly, because when things are painted with this broad of a generalized brush of cultural snobbery, my Inner Parmastani kid gets mad because it's so condescending and at least in my experience (which admittedly might be both biased and also lucky), not totally true.
And it's funny, because a good amount of my callers are warehouse workers and third shifters who want to hear King Sunny Ade or really liked that Siouxsie and the Banshees song or would have loved to have a pair of those tickets to see that band but they work second shift and can't go. I think of people like my dad and his friends, my friends who are also peons who can talk as smart as any PhD scholar who just never had the opportunities or ambition or the convenient accidents of birth.
There is so much more nuance than credit is given, so many brilliant minds without the letters after their names who don't even give themselves credit for their brilliance because they like what they like and have nothing to prove. The poets whose brilliance will blush unseen in desk drawers or shared by a handful of others, the musicians whose gifts never leave the living room, the artists whose canvases are stacked in a corner and given away to friends, the infinite basement rockers with day jobs and sometimes kids who get their catharsis out on the weekends and after dinner.
But I hold my peace, because I haven't had my morning coffee, I don't know this person and will probably never see them again, and there are some battles just not worth fighting. This is our noise too.