It should be known by now that I DJ for WMFO, the Tufts University radio station. It’s yet another opportunity that fell into my lap. Mostly, I adore it. I get to play all the weird stuff I listen to, secure in the knowledge that very few other people tune in.
The downside, as with most things, lies in the fact that other people DJ there, too. The station uses both students and non-students, referred to as “community members”. The students run the station and community members frequently get screwed over. Last semester, they kicked me off the schedule for some reason. Fortunately, an angel came to my rescue and although my show ran every other week for an hour, I still had a show.
I can’t speak for other radio stations, but at MFO there’s usually a few community members who think for some reason that if only MFO were a better radio station, they’d have jobs at a commercial radio station. This particular breed of meglomanic spends all of its time bitching and moaning about how there’s absolutely no reason why a low powered college station shouldn’t be as good as BCN or BOS. If I read their subtext correctly the logic goes something like
If this station didn’t suck so much then I wouldn’t suck so much and I’d be raking in the big bucks working drive time and doing mattress commercials. I am the greatest fucking DJ on the face of the earth and I’m going to prove it by whipping this place into shape whether you like it or not.
Currently, The Doctor (oh, stop giggling!) fills this role. “Doc”, as he likes to refer to himself, knows the score. And even though it’s summer and barely any students are around, he’s rarin’ to pontificate and stir up a community member uprising. I mean, GODDAMN IT, how’s everybody gonna know how superfine he is if the webstream is down?! Where the HELL are they going to listen to Pink Floyd?
So for 655 words, “Doc” tells it like it is and bites the hand that feeds him.
After all (correct me if I’m wrong) we make up more of the staff then the students do. We also are the only ones that produce top quality radio shows like British Accents, Two Hours Is Just A Tease, On The Town, Galactic Fractures, Pinwheels Of Your Mind,…Headbanger’s Ball, Coffee And Smokes… I can go on and on naming awesome shows on WMFO. These shows have placed WMFO on the radio world map literally. I’m a fair guy, yet I fail to think of any student radio shows that even come close to comparison. So why are we “pushed aside”? Do the students feel we are out to steal the station away from them?
Now where the hell would they get THAT idea?!
Someone else chimed into to praise The Doctor’s candor and went him one better.
“The station is a mess. My ten year old who helps me in studio has to look at penis cartoons, sick sexual jokes and pentagrams on the walls of WMFO. I am ignored by students when I attend cd filing parties. One filing party I brought posters to give out and no one thanked me. I held a door open for a student and he didn’t even look at me never mind thank me. I exhibited common courtesy but perhaps that is a lost art in the current generation.”
He went on to suggest that MFO paint the walls of the studio.
Normally, I stay out of these discussions. But when you start complaining that a college student with fifteen piercings and a tatoo reading “Fuck You!” isn’t polite, something needs to be said. So, like Fats Waller, I sat right down and wrote myself an email.
Without making this whiny post whinier, I pointed out that the station belongs to the students and does not exist to further the careers of DJs in the commercial market. And “…to the person who brings their 10-year into the station to look at pictures of penises – that’s your choice. It’s a college.”
Three hours later, the phone rang. Anti-Penis Man had issues.
“I don’t know why you felt you had to attack me personally.”
“Well, whaddya want,” I said, “It makes me cranky.”
“I only get my kid on weekends and it’s a family thing for me.”
“Look. I understand and if I went over the line, I’m sorry. I’ve got to get a babysitter for my kids to cover for the time before my wife gets home from work. But it’s pretty simple. We, as community members, stay in their house. It’s theirs. If they want penis pictures and pentagrams…it’s their house.”
“They break things! They’re rude!”
“THEY’RE KIDS!! What were you like in college?! We’re the enemy! And we’re in their house! If they come to my house, I’ll expect them to behave and wipe their feet at the door and say “please” and “thank you”. College kids are college kids. They were that way in the ’20’s and they’ll always be like that. Whaddya expect?!”
We went on this way for about ten minutes. He came close to understanding that we’re old people and need to shut the hell up. But he just could commit to it. The girl didn’t say thank you when he held the door. She didn’t say thank you!
I feel great sympathy for the students at MFO. Fuck old people! They’re not hip no matter how many “Buck Fush” t-shirts they wear. Students have nothing to learn from us because we’ve made horrible messes of our lives and if we were any good, we’d be getting paid for working on the radio instead of begging for time on a shitty little college station. Those who can’t spin, spin at college stations. They went to college to get away from people like us and now they have to listen to us tell them how to play in their sandbox. We suck.
I’m hoping that I can keep this understanding fresh in my heart when my kids start telling me to fuck off. I hope.