Here in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul in Minnesota, USA (known as the Land of Two Seasons – Winter and Road Repair), we have a pop radio station called KDWB.
This station has a (mostly) funny morning show called the Dave Ryan Show. They’re mostly idiots, playing to the “oh I’m so pretty, I’m better than everyone else” crowd, while at the same time trying to prove they’re better than that themselves by having skits where they mock vain, pretty pretentious people… which is akin to Microwave Oven manufacturers making commercials mocking people who eat fast food.
Just as a brief side note, and feel free to disagree with my take on it, but if you ever wonder why people in any form of paid media continue to hold to outdated stereotypes and lazy thinking about communities of people, keep in mind… if you’re looking at a show that has paid employees, with paid advertising, they are going to be sucking up to/kissing the ass of a specific demographic of their audience. If that demographic is perceived by the media folks to enjoy feeling smug or superior over another social group, why, the mindless mocking and playing to the lowest common denominator will begin.
I really do think this is why there is both a continued mocking of videogame players as all being basement-dwelling nerds with smashed glasses and pocket protectors in some media markets, and why in other media markets there has arisen a catering TO gamers’ interests and a general attempt at being more respectful of gamers on a regular basis. One group of media is catering to the demographic that desperately wants to believe that they’re still superior to the geeks and nerds they thought they were better than in High School, and the other media types are recognising the reality of gamers as a demographic that, like, graduated, went to college, got an actual well paying job, and now SPENDS MONEY on consumer electronics.
Did you really think there was another reason anyone would kiss our ass? They want our money, and they figure if we think they really like us or respectful of us, then we’ll give our money to them. Which probably works.
In short… changes in gamer portrayal in the media don’t reflect a greater awareness or maturity among the public in general, but rather greed among media executives in particular. Eh, whatever, it’s not like I trust any of them to be unbiased in the first place. Just funny to watch who says what, how they say it, and to whom are they intending to say it.
Watching the TV show “60 Minutes” makes me laugh my butt off. That show is so twisted in it’s portrayal of events, ALL events, that trying to nail down what demo they’re targeting could be a blog post all on it’s own.
Back to KDWB. This is a radio station with a mix of pop hits and palatable white bread rap/hip hop that tries to act like they’re in the forefront of current trends and culture, so the demo they cater to on their talk shows are the “oh my god, I’m so pretty and I was, like, SO popular in High School!” crowd that loves relationship drama and following famous celebrity gossip to escape from the pointlessness of their own meager, shallow lives. Nuff said?
Hehehe… that would be an example of spin to cater to MY targeted demographic… anybody properly cynical and sarcastic with an IQ higher than the temperature of freshly cooked tapioca, and a love of bacon. Mah peeps!
Oh, why do I listen to their show? Sorry, but their morning show simply cracks me up, and since I swore off political talk shows for the sake of my sanity, there are few other choices. My hard drive with my entire MP3 collection vaporized itself, so I’m a radio listener now. 😦
Dave Ryan in particular can spin some great chat. He has a wonderful comedic delivery. And the morning drive is sooooo boring. I flip to other channels whenever they start playing actual music, but that thing I said about mocking stereotypes to cater to a demographic? Yeah, our local rock station caters to the “I smoked in High School and drank bud and played football or liked to cheerlead and flash my tits to drunk guys” demo, so they also mock anyone who dares enjoying video games. Sigh. So few choices to listen to that don’t feel like they have to kiss ass and score points by bashing other social groups.
Back on track here… one of the KDWB morning show, ahem, “personalities”, is Lena Svenson, which is simply the most hilariously ethnic radio DJ name I’ve ever heard for a market in the mostly Norwegian/Scandinavian Minnesota area. I truly believe it’s got to be intentionally made up to mock the locals. I’ve got two reasons for thinking so. First, Lena sometimes slips and sounds too intelligent, and she has real talent and a fast wit. So, I think she dumbs down her routine for the demo she’s paid to play for, but mocking them with a name like Lena Svenson really seems in character. And second, one of the more prevalent “I’m a racist, and I’m telling a racist joke but it’s about white people so it’s okay” cultural phenomena in Minnesota is the telling of “‘Ollie and Lena” or “Ollie and Sven” jokes. Which is why I think “Lena Svenson” for a morning show DJ in Minnesota has just GOT to be made up.
The morning show does various skits to distract commutors from the horror of our daily lives, and one of them is this thing they call “American Idiots”. Listeners text in song titles they want the morning show to write song parodies with, and the morning show crew each has to write a parody using the song title, and then sing it live.
These are frequently horrific, sometimes amusing, often very revealing of the inner prejudices of the DJs when you hear what they came up with for lyrics, and rarely, rarely brilliant.
Last week, Lena Svenson did this parody of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” she called “Indoor Summer Girls”.
She only did a verse or two, but it was brilliant, because it was just so… so “us”, meaning Cassie and me.
So many people here love camping and hiking and living the outdoor life, which is great. I was a Marine for 8 years, I’m not exactly afraid of being outdoors in harsh or extreme environments. I loved camping and getting in crazy, remote, wild areas where you could still feel as though you were exploring the world fresh and new.
Out here, though, a lot of locals take it to this smug, really offensive level, like, if you have a TV, or turn on your AC and close your windows, or if you like chilling out and reading, you must be scum.
Lena’s parody was like the positive anthem for our way of life… the people that enjoy closed windows, low humidity and working air conditioning in the summer, who think being proud and boastful of leaving your windows open and the AC off all summer is idiotic, people who enjoy watching TV or reading a book while eating popcorn, or having movie night with friends instead of getting drunk and grinding against skanky strangers before puking your guts out in the bathroom every night.
Yeah, I know, chances are good you didn’t hear it on the radio in the Twin Cities that morning. So, why am I blabbing away?
They got such a massive demand for them to replay her 1 minute rough parody that they did a studio version of the song, and play it all the time now.
And you can listen to it TOO!
Download it for free on mp3 at their website.
So.. a free song parody that cracks me up. What have you got to lose?
For extra credit, see how many times I intentionally mocked demographics other than gamers in this article to kiss the ass of my readers when it was completely unnecessary to getting the point of a fun MP3 being available, and where.
For a perfect score, list each different demographic mocked!