EVERYTHING BUT . . .: It’s Larryngitis
It is the role of each and every one of us to ensure our communities get stronger, so the humble beginnings we speak of will affect our youth, so they can grow up to develop great talent and leadership in this country. – Broadcaster Larry Mayers, patron of this year’s St Paul’s Fiesta.
IT?MAY?HAVE?BEEN?THE?MORNING?GLORY of the moment – which would explain the radio host’s babble above.
But Larry Mayers otherwise has to be commended for owning up to Barbadian radio’s failure to grasp its importance to and influence on the community.
The question is what is Mr Mayers going to do about his fellow “media managers who fail to recognize we must go back to that point” of understanding?
And now that Larry has made publicly know his demons – his problem with radio stations failing to realize the importance of their role and their forgotten values “that have made us strong” – will he have them exorcized?
Dare we expect now that Larry’s morning radio show will graduate from social chit-chat, a calendar reminder by, admittedly, the affable Marcelle Rudder, pontification in memory lane by Joey Harper, a word a day by Junior Jordan, and the interspersing monologue by Larry himself on saying “good morning”, on teen pregnancy, liming on the block, and the lot?
Dare we? I doubt it.
CBC, where Larry works, didn’t seem to think anything he said at St Paul’s Church last Sunday morning worth it.
I don’t recall CBC making any news of it.
I am afraid the disgruntled among us – those of us who yearn for real developmental radio – will have to stay stuck in memory lane, where broadcasters entertained a great deal, but at the heart of their offerings always attempted to inform and educate. Attention to detail and substance was relentless.
We were told who the singers were and which band it was playing; we were given a description of the music.
Now we are left to guess, while deejays hee-haw about their personal business and seek to extract trivia from perennial callers.
Back in the day, we would not relent from the standards set, even if we had to anaesthetize the radio announcer. Sadly, in these times, wholesomeness has been struck off the menu.
Take the movies, or television. There is a tendency these days to look down on family drama – the kind that is gentle, humorous, full of life’s lessons and answers. People think the tenor of the Cosby Show types are passé.
They gorge themselves instead on a diet of serial killers, gangsters, pimps, maverick and unethical private eyes, stunning-effects jiu-jitsu artists and flying Chinese angels. They drink the blood lustily of violence and gore.
Even in those works presumably portraying family boldly and beautifully – the feuding, conniving, and incest – the more sane of us struggle to see anything of ourselves in these episodes hurled at us on the cinema and television screens. The dramatis personae are the veritable quintessence of decadence.
And what of any of this is relevant to being Barbadian today?
Faced with such an unpalatable horror picture, is it surprising that some of us slink into the past, reliving and wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’?
There is profound comfort to be found in the sedate, partitioned and seasonal sounds of radio; the utterances from unjarring voices, bolstered by good grammar and immaculately proper pronunciation; the semblance of learning and an appreciation of quality and wholesomeness.
Broadcast and broadcasters had some connection with deeper truths of humanity; about rules and the consequences of breaking them; about suffering, endurance and overcoming; and about belonging to a society in which civility reigned. Programmes were done with dedication and devotion; in context and of relevance; carried with care.
Mr Mayers apparently longs to hear too more of the bells of church on the air. He can volunteer to host such a programme, especially during this Lenten Season.
I dare him!
I dare him to show us that broadcast today is much more than about being a raggamuffin!
Ridley Greene is a Caribbean multi-award-winning journalist. Email [email protected]