Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Radio Can Kill the Death Star

A recent ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has done more to undermine the rightwing stranglehold on media than anything since Limbaugh got called out on his slut comments. The ruling got rid of thousands of repeater station applications that have allowed the national wingnut media conglomerate a cheap way to spread their daily helpings of rightwing hate and misinfo without the bother of doing anything local, like actually reflecting the political and moral leanings of the community.

This ruling clears the way for President Obama's Local Community Radio Act signed in 2011that will allow local communities to set up low power FM radio stations without interference from the giant media conglomerates and their uniform messages of hate and wingnuttery. Imagine! Local people broadcasting local information for local people. The same old tired corporate playlists will vanish. Local artists will be heard.

But, most importantly, the beginnings of a local post oil network will be formed. The one thing about radio is its simplicity. Low power radio is decidedly low tech, relatively speaking. If you've ever built a crystal radio as a kid, you know what I mean. This is practically at the level of finding the right rock and a bit of wire and hooray! you have a radio. Of course, broadcasting will take a bit more technology, but the good news is that it lasts. Once set up, and if it is cared for, that radio equipment will last for decades.

What does that mean? In a resource constrained world, local people can get market information, weather warnings, local news about local events, and a sense of community. It also means that we will benefit by ridding the local community of the terribly divisive noise we get from the national fascist media. No longer will people from outside the community go unchallenged.

Every town and neighborhood in the country needs to set up a rudimentary low-power broadcast station, preferably powered by solar panels and batteries or even a windmill or waterwheel. With that distributed network of local stations, the centralized powers that currently choke the airwaves with garbage designed to keep the people uninformed and hooked on wingnut insanity will no longer have that power. This network will help prevent regionalism and tribalism from fracturing the country too quickly when the oil emergency comes.

Get busy! Find out how to apply for a low-power radio license. Apply. Do it.

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