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America's Health Crisis: Radio Deejays!

An Historical Perspective


The deejay or DJ was invented in the 1930s during the Great Depression. This is a classic “chicken egg” scenario because historians often wonder: were deejays spawned by the Great Depression or did deejays produce the great depression experienced by radio listeners who didn’t want anyone blabbing over their free music – like "Light Opera."


Yes, many radio stations used to broadcast a cacophony of programming where "Light Opera" actually fit right in - a format one could only label as “convoluted.” Today, it’s called “NPR”.

Anyway, people hosting music shows on radio are known by many names: deejays, DJs, radio personalities, and sometimes "repeat felons."


Deejays provide conversation and chatter between songs that are played on a radio station and post chattery little notes on radio station blogs. Repeat felons just post bail.


Now, before the repeat felons are unfairly characterized, let’s understand why some deejays eventually move to the repeat felon rung. Ask yourself: how many businesses do you know...


  1. Consciously put a 41-year-old man in a radio studio with no further supervision;Surrounded by songs 13-year-olds adore?

  2. Provide him with 5 incoming telephone lines so these nubile pubescent and hormonally active fans can call in and privately speak with the 41-year-old?

  3. Who they think he is 19 thanks to the radio station’s brilliant marketing department and Photoshop?

  4. In fact, the radio business is probably the #1 reason for the existence of the term “jail bait”.

I rest my case.


Give Me Your Poor, Your Tired, Your Unstable


Radio is like a Statue of Liberty for people with issues. It serves as a beacon – calling out to those who might otherwise be in therapy and instead, offering them jobs where they are put in charge of a mass communications medium. I have spent all my adult life working in Radio and I can promise you this: it is a magnet for wackos, weirdos, wannabes, and gonnabes (pronounced "gone-a-bees". I just made that word up).


It pains me to say this but almost everyone on-the-air is mentally disturbed in one way or another. It may be slight - possibly even undetectable to the human ear - but the only reason anyone chooses to work in a business that chews you up and spits you out like the Slap Chop is because they have a brain defect. Nothing else explains why a human being would want to subject themselves to such pressure and competition.


Many don’t do it for money. They’re on the radio either because their ego is bigger than Rush Limbaugh’s formerly nicotine-stained jockey shorts or they are suffering from a personality disorder which they feel can only be treated by subjecting the rest of us to their neurotic nuances. They crave adulation and adoration and are attracted to fame – even if it means working the overnight weekend shift on AM 1030 in Cow Nuts, Iowa. They are the "weirdo-wacko-wannabes." (By the way: that’s a medical term.)


Deep down inside, they know it’s just a matter of time before the world discovers their talent and they’ll be elevated into their own nationally syndicated show. These people are dangerous and often have a dart-laden photograph of Ryan Seacrest in their one-room efficiency apartment. Shy away from them.


On the opposite end are the "weirdo-wacko-gonnabes". (Again let me stress: I’m keeping the language on a professional level.) These are the radio people who once had it all: the highly paid jobs, the 13-year girls, the bail bondsmen, the high-priced defense attorneys, the adulation and adoration. They’re on their way down the ladder of success and the only good thing you can say about their situation is that the ladder is propped up against the back of a liquor store.


Yes, many deejays drink for many reasons. Mostly because science has proven that alcohol is a preservative and is one of the best ways to keep 41-year-old DJs looking younger if their marketing department doesn't understand how to

America's unseen mental health crisis: radio deejays!

Photoshop.


Many radio people are in a “12 step program” which means they are usually no further away from alcohol or drugs than 12 steps.


A Special Calling


At this point, you may be wondering why anyone would become a DJ. And I respond to you: Public Service.


Somebody has to be willing to get up at all odd hours of the day to work a 20-hour week.Somebody has to be willing to accept free promotional t-shirts and wear them as business attire.Somebody has to be willing to stay unshaven for days at a time because using less plastic disposable razors is just greener.


And that somebody is today’s deejay!

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© 2020 Corey Deitz

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