On Demand Lazy

(I had this radio, in mint green - LOVED it.)

It's true... On-demand programming is making us even more lazy than we've already become, and I know lazy - it was my major in college.

The other day I tweeted that I was waiting for Click & Clack to start on NPR when someone responded that I should just download the podcast. I have, when I used to commute into the city. I loved listening to Ricky Gervais's podcasts on Bart - made it fun, and Bart is never fun.

But now I rarely have 30 minutes of uninterrupted time I can devote to hovering near my computer and I don't use my iPod anymore. I suppose I could while vacuuming or something, but see above re. lazy. I vacuum about as often as I churn butter.

When I'm driving all over the Bay Area for work, I'm always tuned in to (or tuning back to) KCBS for traffic updates. With an older car that uses an older iPod adapter, I couldn't negotiate between that and the radio without driving off the road. Just too much trouble.

I grew up listening to the radio. It was always on when I was wee - Mom listened to KCBS at home and in the car she listened to a classical station. (KKHI?)

I got a transistor radio for my sixth birthday and ran down the battery every night listening to KFRC. Before too long I upgraded to an AC model I could leave on 24/7, which I did. My brothers and I made cassette tapes from radio broadcasts, some of which I still have.

Through high school and college I was always tuned in to KFOG, KQAK, KITS and sometimes KFJC and KSCU. Not a lot of variety in the Bay Area, but I grew to love DJs on every station - friendly voices connected to the big wide world beyond my little neighborhood.

What I loved most was finally hearing my favorite song come on after listening to a bunch of stuff I didn't like. Enduring 45 minutes of mediocre stuff just to get to the best 3 minutes of the hour teaches one patience, and you can do other things during that time.

Listening to a podcast means devoting a solid half hour to active listening, without any convenient commercial breaks. Forget pausing - where's the sport in pausing any time you want? In MY day, we had to learn how to pee, make a sandwich and get a drink all within 3 minutes' time.

Not only that, but you can learn lots of fun info from a good DJ. Trivia about bands, upcoming tour dates, who's in rehab, etc. Stuff I'm sure is all over the internet today, but who has time to go look up all that random crap?

Plus, if you knew a certain show was going to be on, you made a date to listen. If you missed it, you missed it. No downloading the program later like a lazy ass. You had to care about showing up to tune in.

You kids can keep your on-demand podcasts. As Elvis Costello said, Radio! Radio!