As a radio anorak with an interest in today’s pirate radio scene I spend a lot of my daily gaze within highly active forums that keep me in touch with current thinking and current activity in the pirate radio scene of mainly London and the immediate South-East.
As a radio anorak with an interest in yesterday’s pirate radio scene I spend a little of my daily gaze within less active forums that are inhabited by the older generation of ‘anoraks’ who are completely oblivious to what’s happening in the current world around them beyond ‘knowing’ it’s all wrong and not like it was in the good old days. In fact, they constantly recycle stories of the good old days, which I can only assume is because of the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
What is becoming more and more bizarre is how they are almost a parody of themselves or a badly written Monty Python sketch full of bickering members of an old folks home shouting incoherently away at the television in the day room. They are becoming their own grandfathers, not their fathers, but their grandfathers with their obsessive backward thinking. Their hatred of anything current, new, modern is now underlined by a growing intolerance and a need to silence it before their heads actually explode from the horror of it all.
Bizarrely, these are the people who went on marches in the 1970s because the Government jammed a pirate radio station that was spouting party-political propaganda, yet in the 2010s they are foaming at the mouths and nodding feverishly at a suggestion that today’s pirate radio stations should all be jammed by Ofcom lest the general populous hear the disgusting music they are playing. Music, which of course, is not like real music from the good old days when all music was wonderful. Jeez.
Jamming the pirates is the lesser of the suggestions. The more excited foamers want them all rounded up and imprisoned, especially if they are not from the white middle classes. Some old style anoraks are outraged at the fact that there are non-whites involved in pirate radio. They want these “sent back to their own countries”.
Yes, it is at this point that these old anoraks can no longer hide their racism, and their various posts become more painful to watch than an old Jim Davidson stand-up show as they use insensitive language that harks back to Britain’s embarrassing colonial past.
I’ve not yet seen the phrase, “Many of my friends are coloured, but…” but I’m sure it’s coming. When challenged, the racist anoraks of course protest their innocence and complain that our living language has changed without them knowing or agreeing that it could. To them a black person is a “nigger and that’s what he’s always been”. They will make light of their racism with quips about “calling a spade a spade” and further forehead slapping cringeworthy racist outbursts.
Sadly the one thing they refuse to do is learn how wrong and how inappropriate they are. Not to mention how embarrassing it is for the non-racist radio anorak community.
So it’s up to us, the non-racist ones, to come out and distance ourselves from them. Here’s my attempt.
For my part, I was living in the extremely multi-cultural East London, but now I am in Liverpool. Where I live we only do white people and orange women, so I don’t immediately have any non-white friends (And who’d befriend somebody that’s orange?). Even the shop keepers are English whites. Moving further inwards to Liverpool itself, there are areas where multiculturalism has started (mainly blacks, a lot from Somalia, and Bangladeshis making up the ‘Asian’ population), but the vast majority of Liverpudlians are scraggy looking sickly white people, with tiny populations of Pakistanis running the corner shops, the Vietnamese running the Chinese/Fish and Chip shops, and the Polish women cleaning everywhere in the centre of town, whilst the Polish men work hard labouring in jobs the English people are far too lazy to do. Polish people are openly despised by Liverpudlians for, well, being ‘different’, I guess.
I’d guess this isolation amongst a white community which I’d never experienced in all my years in London, is all that most of these old white racist radio anoraks have ever experienced, especially the middle class ones.
They still see non-white people as a curiosity and novelty. Probably the same curiosity and novelty I feel from suddenly living amongst a rather boring white-only community.
As I say, it is very hard up here to find friends from other cultures, hence I just can’t do the, “Some of my best friends are black,” statement because all of my friends and neighbours are white. Maybe I could try to mention that one of my many failed marriages was to a beautifully non-white girl, but that sounds so damn lame. It was a failed marriage after all!
So, I’m finding it a little hard to prove I’m not a racist.
However, I can proudly say that across the years I have worked and played with people from many different cultures and beliefs, and have always believed in pissing them off equally, yet with a complete respect for their individual beliefs about what to them is race or culture-based ignorance, insulting or bad manners.
So, please, don’t be tarring me with the racist brush just because I’m an old radio anorak!