I work in a place with one radio, and seven automaton employees. The common goal is to make it through the day with as little conflict as possible. When us drones exhaust our topic pool of impersonal banter (normally around 10:42am), then its time to turn on the radio. However we employees have had our identities replaced with administrative standards; personal interest has given way to customer service, so everyone is too polite to impose an individual musical taste on the others (at the risk of demonstrating an honest, human personality). So we settle for a station that is generally tolerable by all: 93.1 Jack FM. You’ve probably seen the station’s slacker slogan plastered across a city bus: “Playing What We Want.” But who is this “We,” Jack speaks for? The royal/editorial We? Maybe the We is Jack’s owner, SparkNet Communications, “an international radio consultancy that specializes in programming, licensing, marketing and strategic consulting,” according to Rock on, you wild corporation. Jack aurally flips a bird to the Man and revolts with a playlist consisting of popular hits from the past 20 years.

Like Rush, and a shit-load of Journey. Forget corporate interest, forget popular culture; forget encouraging human stagnancy via the repetitious and familiar. Jack just doesn’t care. The “every-bro” voice-overs invoke a dude-mentality, that wants you to hang, chill, swap bong hits and beer farts, relate the good old days, and let your brains grow soft with atrophy. Willing ignorance in small doses is fine, but I think the world already has enough institutions that promote a “FUCK YOU, I’M STUPID!” lifestyle. Now I am a tolerant person. I am so tolerant I have a season pass to the Museum of Tolerance. Whatever people want to listen to in the privacy of their home is fine by me. But I fear Jack FM is making myself, and the people I care about, dumber. Namely, the American people. You can only listen to Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” so many times before your brain instinctually shuts off, conducting the body’s only known organic “mercy suicide.” The medical community refers to this phenomenon as Cerebral Arrest, or “skull rot.” As we enter the election season, let us not forget the progressive sentiments of our forefathers, which spawned this proud country, and allow us the freedom we enjoy today, to be happy, fat dumb asses.

Also, let us not forget the danger of skull rot. If religion is the opiate of the masses, then Jack FM plays the sounds of a nation’s heartbeat collectively…slowing…down.

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