Tin soldiers and Nixon coming…

It’s a meta kind of day. I’ve tried several times to say something about a column in today’s New York Times. It’s about the effect of corporate consolidation of radio stations on content.

I started this way:

Brent Staples says you can’t hear protest music, of a kind we heard during the Vietnam War, on the radio anymore. He ascribes this problem to “a conservative corporate structure that controls thousands of stations.”

Then I tried to write about his use of the word “conservative” because I thought it idiosyncratic in light of this column’s apparent intent. It’s not overtly political–yet the politics is certainly there between the lines.

I scrapped that idea and tried this angle:

This is an interesting column because Staples’ purpose is not entirely clear–perhaps exactly the point.

He weaves back and forth across a faint line between political and commercial critique: Big, money-making conglomerates are killing protest (he equates it to popular) music by controlling what radio stations play. They do this to make money. But between the lines we get the idea they do this to control thought, too.

I didn’t like this, either. Geez…is this an example of blogger’s block? We discussed this the other night at our KC blogger’s get-together. The consensus was that exactly the opposite appears to be the problem most of the time–something we called “bloggeria,” writing too much.


Take a few moments to read Staples’ column. If you have any thoughts, please let me know. I’m stuck.