By UCR Candidate Sharon Adams
NPR Music did an interview with Chrissie Hynde about her new book. The interviewer asked Hynde to read from her book, and she replied:
“Can I just not repeat stories that I’ve already said in the book? Can we talk about things outside of that? Is that possible?”
But, the NPR host couldn’t get out of his ordinary NPR mindset — he had prepped by reading her book, and most authors will just tell stories from their books. So, apparently thinking “must talk about stories in her book, even though she just said she doesn’t want to talk about stories in the book” he tries again, and Hynde slaps him down, like the real artist and rebel that she is.
“No! I’m not going to tell you stories that are in the book!”
The NPR host really can’t understand Hynde’s zeitgeist, which steps outside ordinary bourgeois boundaries. There is something so insipid about the NPR zeitgeist, something so timid. When Hynde states: “I don’t care what a lot of people want. I’d rather say, ‘just don’t buy the book’… I’m just telling my story” — he is speechless, and the interview immediately cuts away.
We need boldness and courage to face the challenges ahead of all of us — not just radio listeners, but the whole world. We need less certainty about the correctness of our views, and more willingness to listen.
And within Pacifica and KPFA — we need radio that is willing to allow the people to speak. We need radio that trusts the intelligence of its audience to listen and make their own decisions about what is true. As was so eloquently discussed on a recent KPFA Project Censored show, there has been a winnowing of what is considered legitimate discussion, a subtle self-censorship that is occurring in film, books and general dialogue. Censorship does not just happen by government intervention, it happens when NPR can’t allow Hynde to be who she really is; or when NPR can’t understand the facts about Syria.
Protect Free Speech Radio — Vote for UCR in the upcoming election!
photo credit: The Pretenders Day on the Park via photopin (license)