A few nights ago, I plopped into bed and turned on Coast to Coast AM. I hadn’t listened to the show in years. Back in college, I used to put myself to sleep every night with the UFO abduction stories, ghost hunter recordings and chupacabra sightings. Sure, I knew that a lot of what I was listening to was complete bullshit, but it was oh so entertaining. There was the guy who played speeches backwards to reveal what was in the speaker’s subconscious, and caught Bill Clinton saying “I love women!” There were the alien-human hybrid babies, and supernatural indigo children. I could turn the radio on and hear someone say “I’ve talked to the dwarves, but they don’t know if the fairies ever sleep.”
So I got tired of the endless war and slaughter being reported on the BBC, and thought, I wonder what’s happening on Coast to Coast?
What’s happened is that the show I used to love is dead. More accurately, it has turned into just another conservative talk show.
Sure, Art Bell had his own libertarian streak, and I didn’t always agree with him, but I don’t remember him ever leaning this heavily on politics. The new host (at least the one I heard that night) and his callers pretty much engaged in an hour of the most tired, predictable kind of Obama bashing, even with a few Obamacare jabs thrown in. Hey, they have the right to their opinion, but if I wanted to hear that sort of thing, there are about a gazillion other radio shows like that on the air. To my amazement, the hour ended with words of high praise for John Hagee…and when I researched a little further, I discovered that religious right pastors have been regular guests on the show lately.
I realize that it’s only natural that the personality of the show changed when Art Bell left. It’s just that I feel the way a conservative Rush Limbaugh fan would feel if they turned on the radio and discovered that Rush had now turned into a home improvement talker, and a crappy one at that. The essence of the show is different. Coast to Coast used to be an eerie nighttime journey into the paranormal. It was a unique kind of programming, and it stood out. Now, it sounds like everything else out there.
And so I tucked my tail between my legs and went crawling back for more depressing Egypt news from the BBC World Service. Maybe I just need to find a good ambient music station for my nights…