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My life as a Radio Phone In Freak.

It’s a Friday night and unlike most teenage lads my age, I’m not sipping white lightening, hassling wildlife down the park. Instead, I’m sat next to my phone, waiting for a call back from a radio station. Yes, I am one of those people.

By this point I’m a seasoned pro! I’ve even made some ‘fans’ (I use the term very liberally). At the time I wasn’t fully aware of how unusual my hobby was, to be honest, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Although my parents weren’t fully aware of how involved I became with the shows, I think they were more than happy to allow me to explore a creative avenue. They knew I wasn’t like the other kids at school, so I might as well do something different with my time.

There comes a point, as we’re growing up, that the real world shows up. Like an annoying friend of a friend at a party that you’re too polite to stop talking to, so you’re stuck with him for the night. Unfortunately, this bastard sticks with you for the rest of your life. Radio gave me the ability to hide in the toilet for a couple of hours, waiting for him to leave, I’ve come to realise that he never leaves… ever. But, you get better at dealing with him.

It meant that I spent a large part of my teenage life playing a role – the annoying teenage boy (not too difficult to perform, let me assure you). I was willing to call up a couple of shows and contribute my ideas, or just add some nonsense. At a time in my life when I could have felt very insignificant I felt important and special.

I became someone people laughed at, or with. To me, it didn’t matter which. My mate’s aunt even knew who I was because they listened the show – I was famous!

Thinking about my short-lived stardom (if I can call it that) it’s clear I relished the anonymity. It allowed me to not only be myself, but also try out being whoever else I could imagine. I think having that option as a teenager is incredible, you don’t have to be stuck being the person you are at school or around your parents.

Talk radio’s a mixed bag, there’s the fancy china on one side with Radio4 and on the other, is one of those plastic freezable cups you got on your 18th birthday with Talksport. You can’t deny that talk radio’s popular, LBC’s pretty much doubled its listening figures over the last decade (albeit they’ve gone national on DAB) and Radio4 is one of the most listened to stations in the country. Sadly, I’m not one of the millions of avid listeners any more, and it’s sad to think that part of my life is long gone.  I do look back and cringe at how involved I was, but ultimately, I’m proud to say – I was a radio call in freak and it made me who I am today!

 

Supermarkets Suck

Sometimes you take a minute to think about how absurd the things we do really are and I’ve been thinking about this with Supermarkets.

The damage they’ve done to our communities is so devastating it’s hard to believe it’s happened over such a short space of time. Take a minute to think about how weird it is, as you walk into a supermarket you’re forced to walk past a man standing staring at a screen, it’s a screen that shows him live video footage of everywhere in the store – or at least that’s what I assume it shows, I’d like to think he’d just binge watching 24 but I doubt this is the case. So as you’re reminded that they’re watching you and you take those steps into the store, that’s it, you’re trapped. If you want to get out without looking like a thief then you’d better get buying something! Who wouldn’t want to buy something from them, they have everything right?

Think about how little connection we have with the companies we give our hard earned money to, that they have to watch our every move as we walk around their sterile demon hell womb! Our communities have been killed by their giant stores and they have upped their security to prevent us from ever taking some of the power back into our hands. Surely if we really loved our shopping experience and appreciated the great savings we’ve been blessed with then there would be no need to steal from them?

As you walk past the food bank donation box they present at the front of the store it’s like they’re laughing in our faces, don’t they realise it’s partly their fault no one can afford to buy food for their families any more? Why communities don’t exist to help people that need it. Just drop some food off in a box at the front and everything will be ok! “Yeah sure, thanks giant corporation man, we’ll do that, make sure you search my gran next time she leaves the shop, she’s been moaning she can’t afford to heat her house recently, she’ll probably be knicking soon!”

I know it’s not easy to stop using supermarkets but we can start challenging the way they treat us and questioning their actions. Don’t let them treat you like the thief when what they’ve stolen from us is a lot more valuable than a couple of razors!

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