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“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness — and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.” Arundhati Roy

I’m deeply perplexed by this video making the rounds. Target: Women is an amusing poke at the marketing campaigns that attempt to manipulate modern women to ingest yogurt, yes, I said yogurt.

You know what else out there deserves our similarly sarcastic cultural criticism with or without alliteration? Crickets, you say. Yup. I’ve established cordial relations with the big feminist bloggers by stepping lightly in their comment threads, but I am enervated by the taboo on smacking down the PhRMA agenda as it pertains to women. If I had the wit and the skilz of the crew at Shakesville, Feministe or Pandagon I would do more than marvel at the opportunities missed, talent gone to waste, all the beautiful heads in the sand because it’s one thing to ridicule the merchandizinig of yogurt that makes women poop but to mock the marketing of female madness? Over the line, sparky!

Yogurt is very safe, antipsychotics are not. Truly not. And that’s the point. Maybe we just need a little inspiration.

(Rolling stone insert, originally uploaded at Soulful Sepulcher.)

Still think this is not a feminist issue?

The Academy:

One explanation offered is that physicians are influenced by gender stereotyping in pharmaceutical drug advertisements. It is argued that if drug ads display disproportionately more women than men, or if they portray women only as helpless, depressed, and incompetent, cultural stereotypes are reinforced, so that physicians may be likely to diagnose and treat women differently from men in sex biased ways.

The Pitch:

Abilify is the medicine that brings you to your senses.Purchase Abilify from understanding international online pharmacies and licensed US pharmacies at savings of up to 85% off of retail and cheap prices with no prior prescription needed. Using our complete online form you can Purchase Abilify through our online foreign pharmacy. Let us fill your prescription with our lower cost online prescription drugs and receive high quality medications.

These are not anti-depressants. They’re heavy-hitter atypical neuroleptics designed to treat psychosis; the manufacturers are merely expanding their market in an unrelenting campaign against insecure, anxious nailbiting women with garden variety moodswings and subclinical neuroses.

That’s the allure, isn’t it.

Hold on Hanna, see here. This is a typical atypical patient insert (typically unread), that your doctor won’t have time to go over with you:

“ABILIFY (aripiprazole) is indicated for the treatment of

Schizophrenia.

Tell your healthcare professional right away if you have any conditions or side effects, including the following:

  • An increased risk of stroke and ministroke
  • Very high fever, rigid muscles, shaking, confusion, sweating, or increased heart rate and blood pressure. These may be signs of a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare but serious side effect which could be fatal
  • Abnormal or uncontrollable movements. These may be signs of a serious condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD), which may be permanent
  • Diabetes, Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), in some cases serious and associated with coma or death
  • Lightheadedness or faintness caused by a sudden change in heart rate and blood pressure when rising quickly .
  • Elderly patients who are treated with atypical antipsychotic medicines includingABILIFY, are at an increased risk of death when compared to patients who are treated with a placebo (sugar pill).

Medicines like ABILIFY (antipsychotics) can affect your judgment, thinking, or motor skills. You should not drive or operate hazardous machinery.

Since medicines like ABILIFY (antipsychotics) can impact your body’s ability to reduce body temperature, you should avoid overheating and dehydration.

Medicines like ABILIFY (antipsychotics) have been associated with swallowing problems (dysphagia). If you had or have swallowing problems, you should tell your healthcare professional.

If you have suicidal thoughts, you should tell your healthcare professional right away.”

Dangerous, disabling, permanent and beckoning. Inescapable really and we’re riffing on yogurt.

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Does anyone think that was a decent shot of journalism? Then damn your eyes. Oh I can imagine an earlier me who would come away from that complete piece of shit grateful for the exposure and yay for recognition! But that column pissed off a lot of people in a number of ways I can relate to, beginning with its placement. I ask you, does this social stigma make my butt look too big? Because Gabrielle Glaser’s ‘Mad Pride’ Fights a Stigma is in the Fashion & Style Section, it must be tres chic, don’tchaknow, the fight against prejudice and discrimination, just one more set of kooks aboard the pop cult bandwagon with their self-important, trendy and disposable cause. Sigh.

First she pokes a stick at some prominent crazies in the blogosphere – Liz Spikol, Scatter at The Icarus Project, Mindfreedom’s David Oaks- then puts it all in perspective by quoting reigning tower of babel Fuller Torrey, as if he was just some random psychiatrist chiming in with all we need to know about Mad Pride (nudge nudge, wink wink). Bloody Christ on a catshit cupcake, if this quack has any place in a story about MAD PRIDE he should be correctly rendered as its ideological opponent, his views presented as subordinate to those of the subjects, rather than, you know, the authority on their movement.

Sara, commenting at furious seasons puts it well:

I think the article has all sorts of insidious undercurrents myself. Like I don’t think the author is really glorifying Liz or even Saks — in fact I think she’s almost denigrating them, especially Liz. I mean she sure is harping on the way Liz likes to revel in some of the more off putting aspects of her treatment — incontinence from ECT and drooling from meds — please — is this being respectful to Liz — are these the things that we remember about Liz when we read her blog? Ach — no. I wonder if Liz is angry about this. I think I would be. And David Oaks — well to me she’s kind of making fun of how he is controlling his purported madness as if it’s naive. She quotes Torrey because he’s of the school that thinks “mad pride” is bloody dangerous and maybe Gabrielle Glaser does too.

The psychologist John Grohol at Psych Central:

She also apparently believes that mental disorders can only be treated by drugs (which is mentioned a few times in the article; psychotherapy is mentioned zero times) …Really now? Having regular exercise, a good diet, and engaging in self-help support groups is “outside the mainstream thinking of psychiatrists” when it comes to maintaining good mental health and wellness? How does she know that? Did she survey them?

Of course not — this is the writer’s opinion creeping into the writing, and getting it 100% wrong. Most mental health professionals recognize the importance of maintaining a good diet, exercising, and self-help support groups in helping a person in their recovery efforts. None of these ideas are outside of the mainstream thinking

But I can think of no greater crime in a cultural study than ignoring its historical context. Mad Pride was founded by the tragic-comic powerhouse campaigner Pete Shaughnessy, who was linked to the English punk rock/DIY scene, the roots of which can be seen in the confessional poetry made famous by Sexton, Bukowski and Lowell. Mad Pride was about passion, policy and performance. There is history here. The writer should know it.

Let us pause to make an argument for history, for knowing where we are, how we got here, and how to move forward. I swear we could reduce the infighting by half if we’d do this kind of homework. It’s that lack of context driving the comments I’ve seen by some stakeholders who say they don’t “get” Mad Pride, that it’s bizarre to glorify what can be truly destructive and debilitating severe and persistent blahblahblah, which leads to the counter retort that hey man, mad pride makes me feel good about myself, yes, I know, but Mad Pride isn’t as much about how we’re feeling as what we’re doing, out there.

I realize the glib and stylish do invoke the term as a way to be groovy and I have nothing to offer them but a pox on their houses. How does “Glad To Be Mad” even begin to make sense? If I admonish a toothless schizophrenic living in a dumpster to take pride in her mad self what would that make me if not clueless and cruel? And yet, that is what some people are taking away from this discussion; that Mad Pride is a misguided attempt in building self-esteem. That it encourages navel-gazing in people who think too much. I believe Mad Pride was originally more ambitious than simple therapeutics, broader than the internal and solitary landscape. I think the focus was taken pointedly off the internal and made external, from the self to the group, uniting the twin and rival disciplines of psychology and sociology, which is revolutionary in itself, by pioneers who recognized that doing mental illness takes both disciplines.

So, Mad Pride as a frame. Who needs a frame? Wiki says “A frame defines the packaging of an element of rhetoric in such a way as to encourage certain interpretations and to discourage others. When done by political or social organizations, it is likely to advance their causes or views.” The point of framing is preparation for action, the groundwork in getting an agenda on the table. Vaughan shows how in his Mindhacks review:

Mad Pride is often rather clumsily related to ‘antipsychiatry’ but they are are often at the forefront of campaigns when essential services are threatened.

In London, the campaign against the shutting of the Maudsley Hospital psychiatric emergency clinic was spearheaded by several ‘mad pride’ organisations – who had a mischievous and witty banner at one demo saying “We must be mad! We want the emergency clinic kept open!”.

For the sake of pragmatism I endorse the actions taken in the name of Mad Pride, but that’s where I draw my own line. I juggle too many social identities (feminist, existentialist, liberal, punk) to over-identify with any of them, but I can think of nothing I want to define me less than the state of mental illness. And frankly, that’s where the message falls apart, when it’s patterned on the discourse of the civil rights movement. It’s one thing to make common cause with similar social justice groups (and the case can be made that we win the Oppression Olympics™ handsdown), but the identity politics in mental illness veers toward nonsense. In civil rights terms, Identity is not just about what I am, but what you’re not and can never be. You don’t understand what it is to be black/female/queer/outside the dominant white male patriarchy. I am the authority on what it means to be so situated, and it’s your boot on my neck that makes me your moral superior.

Except madness is not fixed and immutable, not even in the same person, much less categorically, as in some people have it and some others don’t. All humans have what it takes, anyone who denies their spark of madness this second remains eligible, if you have a mind you can lose your mind, there’s nothing to it really. We’re not exceptional. The language of diversity doesn’t fit. Crazies are not cast out of society because we are different from the rest, but because we are so similar.

Setting ourselves apart from a belief that we are the chosen few who are “mentally interesting” feeds a false dichotomy and endorses the fiction that we’re Other when crazy is more likely roiling under the surface of everyone you meet.

Setting ourselves apart as the world’s ruling victim class entails a preening sanctimony impossible to stomach.

But setting ourselves apart from an intent to get shit done makes practical sense, and for me that’s where it stops.

Inclusion by most out-groups is a demand for society to include them. I think our paradigm calls for the mad to include society. Mad Pride has this sensibility. Good god this post is over 1600 words and I am still muddling through what was said much better by the aching Anne Sexton:

For John, Who Begs Me Not to Enquire Further

Not that it was beautiful,
but that, in the end, there was
a certain sense of order there;
something worth learning
in that narrow diary of my mind,
in the commonplaces of the asylum
where the cracked mirror
or my own selfish death
outstared me.
And if I tried
to give you something else,
something outside of myself,
you would not know
that the worst of anyone
can be, finally,
an accident of hope.
I tapped my own head;
it was a glass, an inverted bowl.
It is a small thing
to rage in your own bowl.
At first it was private.
Then it was more than myself;
it was you, or your house
or your kitchen.
And if you turn away
because there is no lesson here
I will hold my awkward bowl,
with all its cracked stars shining
like a complicated lie,
and fasten a new skin around it
as if I were dressing an orange
or a strange sun.
Not that it was beautiful,
but that I found some order there.
There ought to be something special
for someone
in this kind of hope.
This is something I would never find
in a lovelier place, my dear,
although your fear is anyone's fear,
like an invisible veil between us all...
and sometimes in private,
my kitchen, your kitchen,
my face, your face.

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Our officials do nothing while a flood of ink spills about the known atrocities taking place in Texas MHMR residential facilities. From my initial link three weeks ago on 800 disciplinary actions taken against Texas state schools, to the latest coverage of “choke holds, headlocks, torture, rape and death” in psych hospitals, perhaps our governor would like to revise his blithe summation that “the state is doing its job.” Meanwhile, accounts from the reality-based community beg to differ:

United Press International: Abuse Common in Texas Mental Hospitals.

Psych Central: Texas Mental Hospitals: A Haven for Abuse.

Furious Seasons: Article Exposes Injuries, Death at Texas Psych Hospital.

New York Times: Firings at Mental Hospitals Over Abuse.

Reason: One Flew Over the Lone Star State.

Rad Geek (must read): Texas Psychoprisons.

The Trouble With Spikol: Happy happy joy joy…uh…maybe not.

Houston Press: Mental Anguish at Texas West Oaks Hospital.

Reeves Law Blog: TX Psychiatric Patients Suffer Abuse, Neglect.

Hymes: Acceptance and Expectation of Abuse and Neglect in State Hospitals Are a Large Part of the Problem.

Texas Observer: Systemic Neglect.

Dallas News: Reports Show Systemic Abuse at Texas’ Psychiatric Hospitals.

Systemic is the operative word, systemic tells us the apple is rotten to the core, overall, built in, affecting an entire system, making it untenable in its totality. Documented systemic abuse, requiring swift and decisive action and impossible to ignore. You would think so. Who among us could ignore these published findings but the paid parasites who earn their professional cred by providing oversight of the system in question? The entities that are charged with getting hysterical over these facts will of course ignore them, and because that’s not surprising makes it no less unbearable. If you have any doubt that’s just what they’re doing, scour a few websites, and wait for the blackout:

Department of Aging and Disability Services.

Texas Department of State Health Services.

Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health Transformation. (pdf of May 6th agenda).

Texas Health and Human Services: May 12th “Stakeholder” hearing agenda.

Every front-page News brief at all 40 Community Psychiatric Centers, example: Austin-Travis County Mental Health Mental Retardation Center.

Blackout, zip, zero, nada, not a word of acknowledgment from the mental health overlords charged with public accountability. Pretend it’s not happening, maybe the public won’t notice. 135 news articles. What’s that if not delusional? A complete break with consensual reality, there is a place to put people like that.

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Shit. I haven’t been able to look at this, til talking on the phone with Poodie tonight who said the story isn’t getting proper coverage. So I went looking for the truth at Shakesville, who hits it out of the park from the git:

THIS story should be reported with purpose. If it is not to be consumed as a pithy bit of titillation over one’s morning tea, it should be blunt, and it should be contextualized. No whitewashing, framed within a larger cultural narrative about the mistreatment of women and/or incidents of incest/child abuse in Austria. And then every. single. time. there is another story of this nature, the frame should be repeated. And repeated. And repeated. And repeated.

Until we can’t ignore its prevalence any longer. Until we can’t treat sexual abuse and torture as so much faff to be dismissed once we’ve had the obligatory “What a world!” grouse to salve our barely piqued consciences.

SEE ALSO:

“I am not a monster…I could have killed all of them — then nothing would have happened. No one would have ever known about it.”

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I’ve been following the Guardian’s safe and predictable top ten reader recommended crazy songlist the last couple weeks; the results are in and I’m not familiar with half the songs yet but am pleased to see Kristen my hero made the list. This is such an important genre and maybe it’s me but I get a tired tragic/comic vibe from the selection, and a (deliberate?) absence of a mad pride sensibility. Some that didn’t but should have made the list include the Jam’s anthemic Don’t Tell Them You’re Sane, Lou Reed’s Kill Your Sons, Devil Doll or In the Time it Takes by X, most anything by Elliott Smith, She Cracked by the Modern Lovers, Time Has Told Me by Nick Drake, Outside this Bar by American Music Club, and Pearl Jam’s cover of Crazy Mary, which still raises the hairs on my arms, here’s the original version by Victoria Williams:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb6OiQdDq7g

Guardian excerpts:

Crazy, on the other hand, is Syd Barrett, slipping through the looking glass; or David Bowie’s half-brother Terry, whose schizophrenia inspired songs such as Jump They Say; or Daniel Johnston, whose manic depression turns his fans into uneasy voyeurs. Crazy can produce great songwriting, but more often destroys it. Any song that engages with mental illness is to some extent discomfiting, either because it is too flippant or because it is all too real.

Things are going to get heavy, so let’s start light. Annie Ross’s Twisted, later covered by Joni Mitchell and Bette Midler, is a spirited riposte to the head-shrinkers: “My analyst told me that I was right out of my head/ I said dear doctor, I think that it’s you instead.” Californian punks Suicidal Tendencies make the same point with rather less elegance and rather more splenetic guitars. “I’m not crazy! You’re the one who’s crazy!” yelps Mike Muir, crazily.

…Noah “Panda Bear” Lennox and his mother both spent long periods on antidepressants. Take Pills flushes them away (“I don’t want for us to take pills any more”) with music that has a woozy, narcotic allure of its own. Choking intensity wracks Tindersticks’ 4.48 Psychosis, named after the last play Sarah Kane wrote before hanging herself in 1999. 4.48am was when Kane’s manic depression would regularly snap her awake.

Prior to making music, Kevin Coyne was a psychiatric nurse, so he knew better than to treat mental illness lightly. The House On the Hill has the same dishevelled lope as Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night: the sound of someone coming undone while asking, “Who on earth will ever understand I’m really trying?”

Finally, two examples of unvarnished autobiography. Kristin Hersh wrote The Letter about her bipolar disorder during her Throwing Muses days, then shelved it because it made her feel sick. A decade later, a friend finally persuaded her to record it. A brave decision – it’s distressing to hear, let alone to sing. When Dory Previn was ditched by André for Mia Farrow, she was institutionalised (not for the first time) and wrote songs as therapy. Although Previn’s playful phrasing and country twang sweeten the pill a little, the spoken-word coda is indescribably disturbing. Quick, listen to Twisted again.

Playlist:

1 Twisted Annie Ross
2 Institutionalized Suicidal Tendencies
3 Psychotic Reaction The Count Five
4 Paranoid Black Sabbath The Dickies
5 Mind Playing Tricks on Me The Geto Boys
6 Take Pills Panda Bear
7 4.48 Psychosis Tindersticks
8 House on the Hill Kevin Coyne
9 The Letter Kristin Hersh
10 Mr Whisper Dory Previn

What else is missing? Feel free to add your own.

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I’m still having a hard time recovering from mental illness awareness week, migraines, can’t sleep and nightmares when I can, plus waking up crying. I woke up and hollered “Molly!” a few hours ago, and I’ve been drinking a bit to take the edge off, which is nothing to me but a clue. Molly Ivins lived in this city, and this week I’m going to walk the streets she walked, the streets she urged us, in her final proclamation, to run into with glee, banging pots and pans, shouting “We are the deciders.”

No, we’re not. Over a hundred google alerts in my inbox last week promoting awareness of mental illness, and not one word about child abuse, because, do I have this right — because NAMI — a family organization — is in charge — do I have that right — in charge of mental illness awareness — NAMI, is that right? Wait, ok, so the ghosts are in my house, my people, my blood, thicker than water, kinship, my loyal perpetrators, no escape, she’s dead and I’m buried, mom without end. This is how it was, invisibility in the family, this is how it is, invisibility in the mental health system, it feels like I’m in the wrong time frame, I don’t even know where I am, it’s all seamless, positively fourth street. I read the pdf files and feel like I’m losing my mind, they use our language, capital “R” recovery — recovery is possible, expect recovery! Recovery from what? With what? Drugs and denial, symptom suppression, fuck you, my symptoms need expression, space, recognition, discharge, that takes skill, competence, — Expect Recovery — I expect Mark Eitzel is on the stereo saving me “Why do you say everything as if you were a thief? Like what you stole has no value, and what you preach is far from belief?”

That’s what they do, steal a thing of beauty and turn it into shit, “It only takes one person to change the world!” Yes and tomorrow we’ll change it back, because we write, another behavior you’ll never begin to understand.

I have to type more about me and the first thing to appreciate is that I don’t want to. This is one reason we remain invisible in mental health policy and even to our own ignorant CBT “solution focused” treatment providers, we avoid the material, and all the fixers in the system collude with us, by failing to educate themselves about traumatized personality development, because they don’t want to look at it either. It’s a human tendency to avoid the dark and depraved, it’s unsettling to sit with, and take it in day after day, it screws people up to listen. It’s about helplessness, people have a problem with being helpless, they can’t change or undo anything, they can only be witnesses, and that’s enough!

The only therapists who are of any use are not available to most of us anymore, the old school, expensive, time-intensive treatment associated with psychoanalysis is what we need, and that is not an option today.

Therapists can’t just ask outright “were you abused as a child?” Because we’ll say no, dummy, we were indoctrinated to conceal, minimize and forget what was happening. We have no language. I didn’t say a word my first year, I drew pictures, gave my therapist collages made from magazines, took her by the hand and walked her outside and pointed at a tree. It takes a year in therapy to prepare to do the work of trauma, to build trust and go at it at a very slow angle. You need an intentional therapist sitting across from you that whole year, who knows what they’re doing, consciously working to prepare you for doing the work you dread.

I have been scared for a long time, I have been thinking about it all last week, remembering troublewaits, when I didn’t even know what I was talking about, just wailing that some undefined they were taking trauma out of existence. Erasing the concept. Now I am seeing it happening. I think. Who is doing this? Is it NAMI? Am I invisible to my allies too? Do others working as activists in mh liberation who know I insist on inclusion of the trauma model know or care why I say that? Tell me, what are my Suicide Survivor Notes about? When I talk about “my hospital records” do you assume I mean psych ward, and not the general emergency room where I went to get my ribs taped up after my NAMI did what they always did? I won’t spell that out every time you know, that was my mother.

Fighting biopsychiatry is not just about getting to the truth, it’s about the specific needs and challenges facing traumatized persons in the realm of mental health, and about making general sense out of personalities that are a real foreign land, which is useful for everyone, but of paramount relevance for people in the provider system. There are maps, this has all been studied and paid for, research and books and movies and songs, and 1200 scars on my best friends arms, programmed to self-destruct, still here, heroically in the way. We are in the system, we don’t always know why we end up in a mental health facility, but I am one who does know what happened to me, and what it did to me, and that there is no cure, and that there doesn’t need to be.

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Lost my patience with the commentators at Pandagon again, getting too too old for this. Amanda’s done 2 recent posts in defense of the Insufferable Music Snob, and has gotten pushback from shaming libruls who don’t recognize the playful irony in those who brand themselves insufferable.

My own concern is what you’d expect from an old-school aging hipster; no appreciation for the personal sacrifice of pioneers who fought hard for things the kids now take for granted. So when the menopausal punk shows up and lectures from her dull dead framework out of step with modern times, she’s going to come off like a crank. Guilty as charged.

I still enjoyed those threads enough to dig up my first interview in the mainstream press, and ask your indulgence:

AM Jock Brings New Music to Middle America
by Moira McCormick
Billboard Magazine
August 8, 1983

CHICAGO– Downstate Illinois, a collection of fields, farms, and sleepy college towns, is a typical slice of middle America. Radio-wise, it’s a bastion of country, top 40 and adult contemporary–with the exception of the twin university burgs of Bloomington and Normal. There, previously strait-laced 1,000 watt AM top-40 station WRBA has been steadily gaining listeners via a daily new music show, which bills itself variously as “The Hardcore Sesame Street” and “The Radio Revolution Where We All Come to Dance.”

Hosted by Robin Plan, a 25 year-old graduate of Minneapolis’ Brown Institute, the 1-6 P.M. program regularly features the likes of the Dead Kennedys, the Lords of the New Church, the Virgin Prunes and Millions of Dead Cops, in addition to what Plan terms “pretty mainstream” artists like Killing Joke, the Buzzcocks and Big Star.

“I was a little reluctant about the program in the beginning,” admits station owner Bob Bivans, “because it was quite a different format from what it has been the past 15 years.” WRBA still features top 40 and album rock mornings and evenings respectively. “But,” he continues, “Robin kept assuring me she was doing the right thing, and she proved herself correct.
“It took me about six months to change my mind–it didn’t seem right for an AM station to be programming new wave,” Bivans says. “But the response from the beginning has been fantastic. This type of music doesn’t fit into the station’s format, but if it continues to grow, we might air new wave around the clock.”

Plan has been working at WRBA since August 1981, playing the formatted top 40 and Album Oriented Rock music for about a year. “And hating it,” she says. Exasperated, Plan sneaked in Talking Heads’ You Pulled Me Up into her mainstream lineup one day last September, “figuring I’d be back stacking cans at Kroger’s once they heard it.” Instead, her new music infusion continued to increase a cut at a time. Now, her entire show consists of artists who would make most programmers shudder.

A typical hour includes two hardcore songs (“real hardcore, not the Dead Kennedys”) two Reggae cuts (“real reggae, not the English Beat”), two dance tunes, two psychedelic selections and two rockabilly tracks (“real rockabilly, not the Stray Cats”). Indie bands comprise the overall programming, with the exception of an oldies show, called the Rock-n-Roll Menace, which takes over the lunch hour.

All this is served with a tight, top 40 delivery, albeit a tad “goofy” in Plan’s own words. “It takes listeners a while to get used to my approach,” she admits. “There’s a lot of silliness, and I utilize the sound effects library throughout.”

Plan’s new music program has had some effect on area stores. According to Phil Strong, co-owner and ad manager of the four store Record Service retail chain and distributer based in Champaign and Bloomington/Normal, “Robin is creating an awareness of different kinds of music. There are at least five requests a week at our Normal store for avant-garde groups–and that’s not counting how many requests per title–that are definitely a result of Robin’s show. There’s the beginning of an important market here now, where previously there was none.”

~~~

Then, as today, the airwaves belong not to the conglomerates, but the people. That’s the law. Young folks who believe in the myth of progress should understand there are reasons they don’t bother listening to the radio, and it’s not about the merits of the iPod, that symbol of isolation, abdication and individualism. So keep driving off the passionate people, but never lose sight of the fact that even now, you own the airwaves, and yes, they suck.

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