What was ‘Loving Awareness’?

The words ‘Loving Awareness’ have featured on Radio Caroline broadcasts for nearly 40 years. Radio Caroline devotees will sign letters and e-mail with some reference to ‘LA’ and occasionally mutter words about ‘love’. The more devoted will also refer to ‘DA’ as if it is the opposite of ‘LA’. As in, LA = good, DA = bad.

The underlying idea is that ‘Loving Awareness’ is just another re-working of the ‘Golden Rule’ found at the heart of most religions about treating people how you would like to be treated, and how being nice will make the world a nicer place. Nothing overtly wrong in that, and it’s taken its place in the music of the druggie era of the 60s and 70s, reflected in some of the later songs of The Beatles.

But, where was the phrase ‘Loving Awareness’ born?

For this, you need to return to the hippy parties of the 1970s: Typically, a place for drug induced contemplation of life, the universe and everything. Enter a gatefold promotional brochure for the new to the UK car, the Lada. The gatefold was such that LA was on one side. DA was on the other side. The brochure could be opened and closed such that the LA and the DA could be drawn near to each other, or moved apart.

The nature of the party was such that this exciting reading material became the focus of attention for many a person staring through it in their purple haze. As can be imagined, it wasn’t long before the analogy of yin and yang, good and bad, god and devil, was being applied to the ‘LA’ and the ‘DA’ of the word. It was decided that ‘LA’ was good, and ‘DA’ was bad. Fairly quickly the ‘L’, it was decided, stood for the word ‘Love’. After a number of variations on ‘Love Aware’ being on one side and ‘Devil Aware’ being on the other side, the LA got stuck as ‘Loving Awareness’ and the DA remained without a decided definition.

It was soon realised that ‘DA’ would be very bad, and that people who were to be declared enemies would be suffering from ‘DA’, whilst all those who were part of the Caroline family would be ok, because they’d be joined together by ‘LA’. It became a tool to use against those who were needed to go the extra mile, but were on the edge of being financially or physically burnt out. The fear of being known as suffering from ‘DA’ ensured many would accept working for nothing and at great personal risk. Equally, folk would be in awe of working for Caroline (for free) because suddenly they were no longer just working for a radio station, but now working for a ‘force’ or ‘vibe’ or important messenger whose words must be heard loudly and clearly or the world might end, and they would be to blame if they weren’t. With such a responsibility on their shoulders, they would carry on and on as long as they possibly could, until every last drop of blood had been squeezed.  (This is classic cult manipulation, of course, but it certainly worked for Caroline which succeeded in attracting a stream of willing volunteers to the ‘cause’.)

At the same time as it was being used on land, the ‘LA’ mantra quickly filtered its way onto the air as part of the hippy dream of telling the listener base the Caroline take on the ‘Golden Rule’. Jingles and trailers were created to push the idea, and for a while it fitted with the general on-air image and the music being played. It wasn’t until some year or more had passed before the definition for ‘DA’ was finally decided to be ‘Defensive Awareness’. Previously it had remained as ‘DA’ without any definition.

The fanatical devotion to Caroline that continues to live on in the minds of ‘anoraks’ such that they will hate, bully and try to ‘cast out’ anybody who dare challenge or ask questions about Caroline, whilst happily parting with their cash without asking any questions themselves, stands as testament to the effectiveness of the subtle cult-style brain-washing that ‘Loving Awareness’ truly became for their generation.

3 comments

  1. Chris your article is bollocks! Who cares? If “LA” works for anyone it certainly cant be a bad thing. Its just a rehash of quasi religious stuff and nonsense thats been around for centuries for those who want it or need it. It was of its time in the 1970s and purveyed somewhat hypocritically from some of those on board the Mi Amigo BUT as an idea it could have inspired or sowed the seeds of goodness in the listeners. A bit dated now in our cynical times maybe. As for drawing people in and “fanatical devotion” I dont know anyone who fell for it all hook line and sinker … we all listened for the music man.

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  2. IF, (as you wrote):

    “The fanatical devotion to Caroline that continues to live on in the minds of ‘anoraks’ such that they will hate, bully and try to ‘cast out’ anybody who dare challenge or ask questions about Caroline”

    I should have expected to see a mass of angry Caroline Fans berating your point of view or defending their own stance. The lack of posting/responses seem to suggest that you have either missed your target or not really grasped the concept you are talking about”

    David Le Gras

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  3. @David,

    Most of the public berating of Christopher England was done years ago, along with 'banning' him from various fora for not toeing the party-line! Time has moved on and the beraters will still berate should you stumble upon them and bring up the name of the evil Christopher England.

    Indeed, there is one “angry Caroline fan” who has dedicated the last 7 years of his life to producing extensive mimics of my blogs or fora I've written in, twisting and turning whatever I may have said in what he believes to be some kind of parody. That alone I would have thought stands as evidence of the truth of my claim.

    Away from this being about me, one only has to see the way people not toeing the party line are treated on the relevant fora like the Garry Stevens Pirate Radio board (link in the sidebar), to see a demonstration of the hounding of 'outcasts'.

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