Politics, Religion and Music?

There are many people who know me be it personally or on some level that know that when it comes to these three basic subjects I have a pretty hard-lined opinion. The best thing is, of course, we are all entitled to our opinion. Unless of course, your opinion is different from outspoken minority or other groups. That is a topic for another blog and mostly I don’t care what people think. I believe we are all entitled to our own opinions. I believe we are entitled to express those opinions as we see fit within the law and as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. So let’s begin with a very basic opinion of mine.

I am not a huge fan of politics mixing with music, but it depends on how that is handled. I have had music submissions from artists that are politically based, completely ripping a current leader in one country or another. I am sure in their minds it is a great way of self-expression, but where should the line be drawn with music like this?

As a music programmer, I believe that once you open the door it’s too late to try and close it back up. If I was to program a song that is against one political party or person, then by rights I cannot refuse a song that promotes that same group or person.

As a Canadian, I often refer to the past couple of years with our neighbors to the South in the United States. In their last Presidential Election, the vote was very near a 50/50 split across the country for and against the winner. This creates a problem as an on-air host that if I were to use the President, as an example only, for comedy material or to express disdain then I can immediately offend 50% of the potential listeners in the United States. The same goes in reverse if I applaud and point out all of the great things I alienate or potentially upset the other 50%.

It doesn’t matter the country or the leaders but the result is the same. Two of the biggest hot button topics are politics and religion. Let’s face it, how many wars have been started in the name of religion?

This doesn’t mean I won’t say something controversial along the way but I will avoid those subject like the plague. You always risk alienating people when it comes to controversial subjects or even some that aren’t. I don’t worry about upsetting people in general, it’s not something I go out of my way to try to do, but apart from a couple of topics, I am not worried about discussing something.

I don’t just follow this practice with my station and on-air shows, but also with my social media and personal accounts as well for the most part. When I am on social media and I find Facebook is the worst, I don’t want to spend time reading about your politics or religion. I get a lot of request for friends and followers, especially from musicians. When I have a few minutes sometimes I might check an account on FB so that I can see and hopefully learn a bit about them and their music. When I open their profile and the last 7 or 8 posts are “pro-Trump or Anti Trump”, as an example I just unfollow them. I applaud your patriotism and your right to your opinion, however, I care about music. That’s all!

I find the same thing with religion. My beliefs are mine and mine alone, to share with who I choose, but not like this. The same kind of example as before, I have opened profiles of musicians and scrolled and scrolled and only found quotes from Psalms or somewhere else. Not even finding anything related to their music in a couple of cases. Once again I am interested in the music. Now artists that identify as Christian Music have had music played on the station before, have so right now and will continue to do so. Songs in this genre are judged based on how they will fit within the format and playlist of the station.

I do need to make sure everyone understands something. Nowhere here, except in the one case have I talked about not playing music from some artists. If I choose to unfollow someone it doesn’t mean I won’t play their music, it just means I have no interest in reading their views. You should also note I don’t unfollow or block if someone posts the occasional comment. Like I said, in the beginning, we all are entitled to our opinions, however, it’s the way it happens.

The one thing that can be “funny” maybe is to sometimes read the posts before I unfollow. A recent Christian Singer, their title not mine, made a political post which some would call patriotic, but I considered to be the most uncaring and Non Christian thing I had read in some time The hypocrisy of it all was beyond laughable, to read such hateful and disgusting words that wished the death of children on a specific group. I have held off playing their music for the time being. That is beyond being just an opinion, and I am hesitant to be associated in any way at all with this person.

In the past, I had written about a theory I have used for years on how I look at and see public perception. It is something that goes back to early television and radio ratings when the Neilson company used to send out diaries for people to write in and record their viewing and listening habits. How does that pertain to the main subject of this blog you ask. Well over the years they perfected a system before computers that worked based on averages. There was no way to send a diary to every single person and even if they did not everyone would complete them. So they sent them to people who wanted to fill them out and discovered that basically, 1 complete diary was going to equate to the same as 10,000 completed diaries as an example. It was accurate to something like 3 or 4 percent which is pretty damn good and meant they had a pretty solid analysis of viewing and listening habits of millions of people by only needing thousands of diaries completed.

So let me ask you this simple question today. I follow this same basis for many of my operations and if it’s accurate when you get a compliment or a complaint it probably represents the opinion of more than just that one person. In that case, this idea of mine isn’t unique to me. Likely there are thousands of others that feel the same way.

Heres the bottom line, whether you run a radio station, are a DJ, a musician or whatever. Do you want to be successful? Would you like to have as many people possible hear your music or show etc? If you answered yes then why would you take the chance of alienating? The whole world seems to have sensitivity issues these days and you can’t think about farting without offending someone it seems. That’s not what this is about. It’s about going out of one’s way when it’s not necessary. It’s about making a choice that can be a factor today and every day for the rest of your life and affect your career. Just ask Kevin Hart.

I am not perfect and say controversial things because it just happens. But I will take care of the things I can take care of as far as the topics discussed. So if you were following me and vice versa and suddenly find yourself off that list, you may have an answer as to why. If you were blocked well that is something entirely different. 

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. Great piece! I for one appreciate KB being a politics free zone. Speaking as someone whose life is sometimes consumed by politics (and to a lesser extent religion) having a place to go which is free from it is a pleasant respite.

    While I don’t subscribe to the view that the arts (music etc) should be entirely divorced from political or social comment- I’ve been known to get behind and support bands and artists that support my own particular world view, I also appreciate that it becomes exhausting after a while, and potentially obnoxious to people who don’t agree or don’t care about what I care about. Even I need a rest from it all from time to time.

    Also, Al I appreciate the position that you’re in. Having to satisfy an audience as broad, diverse and numerous as yours is no easy task. But your track record and the size of your audience says you’re getting it right.

    So thanks KB for providing an oasis of calm in the sea of constant noise , disproportionate outrage and lets be honest stupidity that is consuming the world right now.

    Like

    • I dont think i would say artists shouldnt participate in it at all or write about it. But if they have a cause talk about it and perform at a rally for that cause. Dont tell me about it when ive paid huge bucks to hear them sing. Plus theere are ways to creatively write and get a message across without using the sledgehammer approach. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.