NPR's Evolutionary Role


Brendan Huhn explains National Public Radio's role as a mating signal:

For both the male and the female, listening to NPR sends a signal to a prospective mate: "Despite my current income, in a few years I will have a house in a neighborhood with good public schools, and I will drive a Volvo stationwagon." Women are sending an additional signal: "I consider myself smart and sophisticated and if I get pregnant, I will have an abortion. I might consider a three-way." Men signal back: "I won't try to stop you from getting an abortion, but I'm not afraid to cry if you do. I don't like guns, but I'm manly enough to camp and mountain-bike. I just love nature! A three-way sounds intriguing."

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  1. But what kind of 3-way does NPR signal? Poor guy might show up at the pre-arranged spot for a “surprise”, expecting to find another hot chick in bed with his girlfriend. Instead he finds her male (formerly Platonic) roommate, and she’s talking about taking friendships to new levels.

    Proceed with caution.

  2. Um, where else are you going to catch the day’s headlines if you can’t afford satellite or cable and you think AM radio went out with 8-track?

    Anyways, I am hear to say that listening to NPR to get set up in a 3 way is a myth. I have to go to church for that to happen!

  3. Um, where else are you going to catch the day’s headlines if you can’t afford satellite or cable and you think AM radio went out with 8-track?

    The internet?

    Any other FM news station?

    Perhaps you should give that AM thingie a try again?

  4. a three way: let’s talk about the environment, how we hate bush, and how the UN is the way to solve the world’s problems…..

    it’s also a forum for white zinfidel drinkers!


  5. The only thing I hate more than the United nations is white zinfidel

  6. Is there something you’re not telling us thoreau? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. So, I’m not the only one to have feigned an interest in NPR . . . ?

    Is West Coast Live still on? Used to like that. However, exposing yourself to anything involving Garrison Keillor strikes me as a violation of the Geneva Convention, or something.

    I used to drink White Zin-in-a-box while sitting in my apartment listening to NPR, so David F is onto something there as well.

  8. This guy doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground:

    Any potential female, I don’t care how intelligent, secretly dreams of the “opposites attract” Carville/Matalin type relationship. She has probably dated some liberal, secular Ned Flandersish, metrosexual guys and she’s bored.

    Therefore, if she listens to NPR, make fun of it, it’s arrogant worldview in general, and the fact that she listens to it…not too much, however, it’s a thin line, remember the goal here is going “yard” with her eventually.

  9. Mark A.-

    I can say with pride that I’ve never had a woman propose a 3-way with another man, and with (slight) disappointment that I’ve never had a woman propose a 3-way with another woman.

    But I’m a firm believer in caveat emptor. Any mating signal that says “This woman wants a 3-way” should be approached with extreme caution, since you never know what was filtered out of the signal. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a nightmare.

  10. Exactly, thoreau, particularly if she brings one of the guys from “car talk.”

    If she’s a dedicated NPR listener, you’re probably looking at 2 women that look like “Fresh Air’s” Terri Gross…palatable, but not a Coors Light twin.

  11. With respect to the validity of Mr. Huhn’s theory, I guess I’m an exception:
    * Libertarian – 1/2 Minarchist, 1/2 Anarchocapitalist, 1/2 neo-imperialist.
    * GUN OWNER – see above.
    * Volvo over Honda? – pull the other one.
    * Never meet any woman who admited to listening to the any form of news/talk radio.

    Wait, I get it, Huhn’s “old people”, that must be me (41)… or maybe not.

    I’m starting to think he’s making too much soup out of too few bones.

  12. mmmm, Coors Light . . .

  13. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Three-ways? NPR? I must be listening at the wrong time of day. When I listen to NPR, there’s always they’re always doing this “Delicious Dish” show, and talking about eggs or rice or something.

  14. /bad humor on/
    yes, but are we talking shorn pits and legs? We dont need anything like the old polished pearl, but some grooming. //bad humor off//

    Jesse, you are on a good topic here, but should’nt we be asking YOU the question that was posed to Thoreau, as well?

    “Metro-radio. Tune for all of the trends”

  15. coors light… where the ads are great and the beer’s atrocious

    actually, most light beers are like that… i guess since its mostly nostalgia for old guys, rather than actually for the supposed “target” of young guys

    if you’re in college or can show up to work hung, why drink light beer?

    hell unless you have wife/doctor yeling, why drink lite at all? (ultra ain’t light.. lower carbs, decent alcohol)

  16. Around here, all the right-of-center guys know they need to fake some kind of liberal outlook (Wellstone made it easy, which is probably the real reason why he is “missed”) if they are ever going to have a date, much less a three-way, especially because all of the right-of-center ladies are quickly taken. In your 20s, biology makes it easy to abase yourself so; as you get older you realize it’s not worth it, and so the waiting — and waiting — begins…

    BTW; my advice to any lady reading this who would like to have her pick of smart, albeit geeky libertarian guys is to wear a Reason magazine t-shirt or button, etc.!

  17. except that the carbohydrate content means absolutely nothing. jeezus. makes you wish atkins fell and died, say 35 years ago before his bullshit theory started. i guess the carbohydrate problem explains why italians are so fucking huge relative to americans. or the oriental rice diets, too. balls.

    a nice example of how repetition of the metadialogue makes truth after a while.

  18. Jesse, you are on a good topic here, but should’nt we be asking YOU the question that was posed to Thoreau, as well?

    My answer: There are many things that I’m not telling you. And you should be glad.

  19. mooserack – a high carb intake is not a problem so long as the body burns up the carbs before they are metabolized by the body. If a person has an active lifestyle, that may not be a problem. Therein lies the rub – Italians (and more generally, Europeans) are, on the whole, reasonably active physically. Americans are, on balance, lazy SOBs.

  20. The NPR chicks I’ve known would view the desire for three-ways as a result of the male domination of female sexuality, with it’s resulting degradation of female dignity and sublimation of male fantasy in keeping with socially constructed, stereotyped gender roles.

    And then they’d do it anyway.

  21. Todd Fletcher – you said it. And then, after the three-way, they would probably sit down and have a debate about the impact of three-ways on the environment and the public school system. And they would also wonder if the government needs to impose some sort of tax on three-ways in order to cover the basic public infrastructure demands that three-ways impose. They would also ponder whether or not centralized planning and development of urban communities has any impact on the incidence of three-ways.

  22. Brad S: Isn’t that the case for energy units in general? Calories, k-calories, or whatever you have it. Your assessment is correct. And I do not mean to argue with you. My objection is to the Atkins Brainwashing and to the general acceptance to the “low carbohydrate” instead of “reduced Caloric” way of dieting.

    Reducing the Calories is how to accomplish weight loss, not consuming 3500 Calories of one form or another. It is the 3500 Calories that is the problem. The body, as you point out, is an energy system where weight loss = burn more than intake, weight gain, intake more than burn. The laziness example is perfect.

  23. My experience with NPR listening women has been rather good. In general, I find them to be less likely to call me at the office for trivial bullshit, have no desire to drag me to the mall on the weekends (or weekdays), won’t ask me if they look too fat, typically has one, maybe two credit cards with ample credit remaining, willing to travel outside the US, low maintenance overall, less emotional, more likely to vote, and generally a better amatuer cook.

    Issues I have to work through are sports, beer, buddies, which isn’t specific to NPR ladies. Other issues include, but not limited, convincing them a well maintained firearm is an excellent insurance policy on those long, backcountry hikes.

    As for 3 ways, I have yet to meet one that won’t beat the shit out of me for even suggesting it.

  24. mooserack – I’m admittedly not an expert on it, but I think the Atkins theory is that it takes the body longer to metabolize protein than it does any kind of carbs (simple or complex). What that means, basically, is that it takes longer for protein to turn into fat than carbs. So, if I eat 300 calories of protein, I have a longer window to burn those 300 calories off before they become fat than if I had eaten 300 calories of carbs. Where some people miss the boat is that they assume Atkins will make them thin without any exercise at all. In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend.”

  25. Brad S. Yyes, that is the reason for consumption of complex carbohydrate chains. And to avoid the simple sugars. Fat is also something that is EASILY metabolized and one gram of fat contains about 9 Calories – short window. Carbohydrates contain about 4 Calories per gram, and Proteins are just less than 4.
    The Atkins diet is basically a way for people to lose waterweight in the Keotosis Phase and feel as if they are losing weight in a decadent way that allows them not to exercise and to absolve themselves of any discomfort of exercise. It probably does provide a framework in which Total Caloric Intake is reduced, thus the secret for weight loss (The Grapefruit Diet is another example of Calorie Reduction in the pleasant disguise of “eating all you want”). Dr. Fumento and Quackwatch and other Hon Code Sites go after the bullshit of Atkins frequently. Much to the dismay of the Homeopathic, Anti Medicine types.

  26. Libetarians are just jealous. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. The problem with Atkins is this: your body wants and needs a certain amount of carbs. If you quit cold turkey (so to speak), as soon as you fall off the wagon (and you will) all the weights comes right back.

  28. I’d sooner die alone than date a girl that listens to NPR.

    NPR has less aesthetic appeal than grey bread and warm water in a dentist’s office with a flickering flourescent light overhead. Regardless of politics and philosophy, I couldn’t subject myself to the perpetual banality and low self-esteem that seems far too common amoung NPR fans.

  29. Eh, much as I wish it weren’t publicly funded, I like NPR fine. It’s easy to filter out the bias when it crops up, and it’s generally interesting radio. And am I alone in not having some political litmus test for people I date? On the list of traits I’m looking for in a romantic partner, agreeing with me politically is pretty close to the bottom, assuming we’re not talking Nazis or Stalinists. Hell, a certain amount of disagreement makes for interesting conversations.

  30. I found it interesting the commercial radio was described as nearly half ads. And NPR? Isn’t than a non-stop informercial for bigger government? NPR presents every issue as an opportunity for government intervention.

    As to the high-brow nature, I note that NPR news quizes have little to do with news, and everything to do with pop culture.

    I note that I much prefer PRI content to NPR.

  31. You aren’t alone in your lack of political criteria, Julian. My wife has only the mildest interest in politics, and her opinions tend to be more-or-less centrist (although she tolerates my wacky libertarian notions). And I couldn’t care less. I’m just amazed that she puts up with somebody who watches cable news the way some guys watch football games.

  32. I note that I much prefer PRI content to NPR.

    I agree. PRI has This American Life and A Prairie Home Companion; NPR has Morning Edition and All Things Considered. No contest.

    PRI’s music programs also tend to be more eclectic/interesting than NPR’s, though they also (except for Keillor) usually sound incredibly canned — I have yet to hear a syndicated PRI show devoted to African or Celtic or whatever form of music that’s as good as even a second-rate locally produced college or community radio show on African or Celtic or whatever form of music.

    I think Keillor’s a good storyteller and a funny man, though he has a tendency to get into feuds with people I like better than him (Jesse Ventura, The North Country Anvil) and to stick up for people I like less (Bill Clinton).

  33. Julian is nuts.

    Weekends on NPR are brutal, what with the Cartalk people and Garrison Keilor and some guy who travels around the country punishing small communities with some kind of “What’s My Line” game show stuff. It’s like listening to the paint dry. Sometimes they even rebroadcast some British word pun game show, even worse than the “What’s My Line” show because by the time you make out the accent, you realize it wasn’t worth the effort. It’s tedious as hell. Marketplace and other PRI shows are terrible.

    Now that I think about it, the only two shows worth listening to are Morning Edition and All Things Considered – which is actually saying more than the local talk radio station that plays a decrepit Paul Harvey about 40 times a day and Rush Limbaugh any other time I turn it on.


    I like long walks on the beach, fireside conversations about philosophy and politics, and the second amendment.

  34. Julian,

    What bothers me is the pretense of having no bias.

    I will admit, I agree with the added excitment a little banter might add to a relationship. That’s why I say that it is primarily NPR’s aesthetic which I find offensive. In fact, you are right. I’d be bored to tears dating someone who agreed with everything I beleived. I suppose it depends on what we’d disagree on.

  35. I never listen to NPR when I’m at home in the U.S., so I’m pretty much out of the loop here. What does anyone think of the cultural and sexual totemology of the CBC?

  36. Julian Sanchez,

    I agree with you completely. Marrying an American and a libertarian – someone with the opposite political philosophy as I – was the best thing I have ever done.

  37. Julian,
    I agree about the political litmus test. I see NPR listening as an indicator for more important amd fundamental personality disfunctions, like vegetarianism or reading Barbara Kingsolver.

  38. some guy who travels around the country punishing small communities with some kind of “What’s My Line” game show stuff.

    That would be Michael Feldman’s “Whadya Know?”, originating from Madison, WI one of the real strongholds of both political correctness and public radio (hey, what a coincidence!).

    Its not so much the content of NPR, it is the dreary presentation. There is never any good news, only an endless litany of problems that can only be solved by well-meaning earnest people.

    Backed up by jack-booted thugs, of course. But the boot is on the LEFT foot, so its OK.

  39. Jesse:

    PRI vs. local. Yup.
    For instance, Thistle and Shamrock sure is a trite little program. As is that Sounds Eclectic deal. But on the other hand… in terms of ambient space music, PRI’s Echoes program is great. I really enjoy John DiLiberto. And it’s nominally more accessible to casual ears than the comparable local-WXPN Star’s End. But Star’s End will play from 1 AM to 6 AM on Saturday nights, so it’s an entirely different experience.

  40. Actually the only signal that Men who listen to NPR say to women is “I am a limp wristed wimp who will be pussy-whiped into doing whatever you demand of me, be it vote Democrat, give up grape juice, eat tofu, or use coasters.”

    Sickening, isn’t it?

  41. According to Wm. Koehler, humaniacs have no mating call. “This is easily understood.” He gets _his_ anger from Nietzsche, via Jack London, being a dog trainer.

  42. “PRI has This American Life…”

    That’s a positive? I’d sooner stab pencils through my eardrums than listen to another self-important gen x loser attempt to recreate The Red Pony out of the pieces of his half remembered, half fabricated childhood in Hoboken. Or maybe I’m thinking of the wrong program…

  43. Hey, I listen to NPR quite often, and am entertained about 50% of the time. I enjoy hearing the bias for the sheer pleasure of recognizing it. Just like I do when I listen to O’Really, Hannity, and Rush.

    And the fact it is FM, and usually well produced (background sound and such) it is welcome respite to the monaural, noisy, and horribly limited bandwidth of AM … and unlike Amplitude Modulation, Frequency Modulation doesn’t fade out under bridges or scare the crap out of you when lightening strikes near by.

  44. I’ve pretended to be leftist to get women. Once I even went to a WTO protest with a girl. I’m not proud of it, but it works.

  45. Anything left of the usual AM talk show crowd is considered a leftist.

  46. Looks like the geeks-and-nerds thread from the other day has landed here… Chicks on the Atkins diet who listen to NPR — not exactly a demographic that conjures the word “hot”…

  47. I’m a Reason reader who works for an NPR station, and suddenly, it’s all so clear. No wonder I never get laid.

  48. Just another victim of market forces…

  49. In my 45 minute evening commute listening to non-commercial NPR, I heard ads for:

    NBC news with Tom Brokaw
    Proctor and Gamble
    Cappela University
    Lasalle Bank
    WGN channel nine news at nine
    Navy Pier

    I think there was also an ADM ad I missed – vaguely recall having heard “…supermarket to the world” at some point. Not 50% advertising, but there’s still plenty of it.

    It was a tough assignment, but someone had to do it.

  50. For what it’s worth, a Pew study back in the early ’90s found that libertarians (broadly defined, mind you) tend to prefer NPR to other electronic media.

  51. Richar III: Is it a combination of being a Reason reader and working at an NPR station? or just because you work for an NPR station?

    Joe2: I also have been hearing from ONDCP on my NPR affiliate besides the “brought to you by’s”

  52. I listen to WCBE, an NPR station. I also support concealed carry in Ohio. I know a lot of women who listen to NPR though, so I’ll have to check into the three-way thing. One nice thing about our local NPR station is the award winning Statehouse News Bureau. Very good, and very fair reporting.

  53. Hey, let’s all get in touch with our feminine sides and admit we love NPR or else there wouldn’t be so many posts here.
    That Bob guy who hosts Weekend Edition is the smartest and funniest of anybody with a soapbox.
    I always love how he outshines Daniel Shorr (respectfully) when they have their regular repartee shortly after 9 am eastern time Saturday. Then how he gives a sprightly essay afterward tied in so perfectly to music he selects.

  54. Daniel Schorr long ago took a running leap off the plateau of sanity. He and that Romanian poet are the two things that instantly make me switch back to the CD in my car stereo.

  55. I was in a used bookstore once in college (on
    Broadway in Seattle before it got yuppified)
    and they had on NPR. It was time for the weekly
    segment of letters from listeners. Someone
    wrote in to complain that NPR had been “too
    hard on Stalin”.

    ‘Nuff said.

    Well, not really. NPR women are ball-busting
    feminists, not threesome material.

    Now, libertarian women … there was that time
    with the journalist in the hotel stairwell at
    the LP convention in Seattle …

    Did I say that?


  56. Tying in all the previous comments:
    1. I am a woman who listens to NPR and have a lot of attractive friends who do as well (and no, not all of them are progressive) — so it really can be a good icebreaker. Plus, they have quirky audio essays giving you interesting stuff to talk about;
    2. Jean — I echo your statement — I married a libertarian and the fights are a lot of fun; and
    3. Josh — and this is the post I most agree with — the Romanian poet/artist is the absolute worst thing on radio (well, okay, except for Michael Savage).

  57. perhaps there are so many of you reason-readin’ men are complaining about the lack of wang waxing because you’re more concerned with doing a political background check on their media habits than their personality.

    i get this image of some guy in his mom’s basement with a “HELLO…my name is LIBERTARIAN” sticker on his forest green sweater wondering why he can’t get a date.

  58. Like Julian, I have a problem with public funding, but if these guys ever organize to put this thing out as a profit-making venture or a cooperative or whatever I will subscribe in a heartbeat.

    The other morning NPR (local) reported on Florida power plants and pollution ; they reported both the Naderite PIRG (which included that evil “pollutant” CO2) findings and the rebuttal from the power industry. Later while listening to my capitalist “soft rock” station I was told that evil forces were poisoning our air and water.

    Ruthless: I think “That Bob guy” you refer to is Scott Simon. He is one of my favorites (perhaps because we are both lapsed Quakers), even tho he is pro Iraq war (a pro-war Quaker, wow?) and I am anti, his justifications are cogent and well presented. As for Dan Shore, maybe he was on Nixon’s “enemies” list coz RMN was scared Shore might bore him to fucking death!

    Now “That Bob guy” Bob Edwards does a pretty good show (Morning Edition), and remember Baxter Black is pro-2nd Amemendment; he’s sort of a Will Rogers wannabee but I enjoy him anyway. I remember one of the other guys talking about his childhood in N. Dakota (I once lived in Saskatchewan so I kinda relate) when in high school he and his buddies took their 22s to school so they could shoot rabbits on their way home from basketball practice.

    And BTW Andre Kodrescu is one of my favorites, but I can’t stand Garrison Keillor.

    Now I know what happens to all the libertarian women; smooth Frenchmen come and carry them off to France.:)

  59. I like Codrescu, and I also like Daniel Pinkwater. But I hardly ever listen to NPR’s news programs anymore — I mostly just tune in to the locally produced bluegrass and jazz shows — so I don’t know if either one has done any commentaries worth praising in the last several years. I like Codrescu because he edits Exquisite Corpse and I like Pinkwater because he writes great kids’ books like Lizard Music and Alan Mendelson, the Boy From Mars; so NPR gets a couple of points for hiring them whether or not they’re any good at radio.

  60. Yeah, I forgot, I like Daniel Pinkwater too. Good kids books and good reviews.

    He was also on Car Talk once and established the “Pinkwater” as the unit of car seat capacity and comfort.

  61. Just get XM, and you can listen to the damn three-way on the playboy station.

  62. Lotsa good points made here, but I tend to treat listening to NPR like any other mastibitory activity and only do it in private. I would love to have a conservative counterbalance that was as thoughtful. The AM radio shouters like Limbaugh & O’Reilly don’t seem especially open to discussion or exploring any other angle of an issue, it’s all “I’m 100% right and anyone who disagrees is spineless and most likely a traitor.” Anyone care to deconstruct the conservative’s radio mating signals or is there anything to deconstruct about something as unsubtle as being clubbed over the head and drug back to the cave?

  63. This is Bob Edwards on NPR. You’re getting sleepy. You’re getting very sleepy…

  64. “If all this commentary can be written about people who listen to NPR, what about those who listen to Pacifica Radio?”

    Never mind them, they’re still busy slashing throats in some kind of internal “progressive” power struggle.

  65. Sorry, I’ve done the whole “diffent ideology” thing and it just doesn’t work. My last girl I dated was into animal rights (I hunt), protectionism (free trader), gun control (I own numerous firearms), and other non-libertarian issues. Slowly and surely, she began to hold her self as being morally superior than I due to the “fact” that her politics were progressive and mine were “reactionary” and she told me so in just as many words. It wasn’t long before she dumped me.

    Relationships are based on similarities, not differences. People who think they can have one and ignore the differences are fooling themselves. Sooner or later, the differences in belief became far too obvious and whole thing blows up into a messy break-up.

    I may not get laid very often (hell, I haven’t been with anyone since that last one and I didn’t get past second base with her), but at least I don’t have to sell out my priniciple for nookie.

  66. “As I understand it, most of the money that supports local public stations comes from listeners.”

    The split varies, but what they never mention is that they get the radio frequency at no charge. Have you priced an American radio station lately? I think they’re going for at least $100 million on the open market these days.

  67. Do men need to signal “a three-way sounds intriguing?” I thought it went without saying.

  68. Wow … Jesse Walker mentions a three-way and the Reason Online audience goes batshit! Somebody tell Nick to put a three-way story on the cover of the next issue, and y’all won’t have to worry about money ever again! (Unless the three-way involves Michael Moore, Daniel Schor and Jar Jar Binks.)

    Everybody gets tired of the NPR begging (and guvment handouts), but it should be said that NPR & PRI stations tend to play some real nice music we wouldn’t otherwise hear on the radio (in most markets). And like many news junkies, I will forever thank the U.S. public radio FM stations for playing the BBC news at night way before we could hear it on the Innernut … and way before most of us had the BBC on the teevee dish or cable. Living in a chickenshit town like San Diego some dozen years ago, having that BBC at night was crucial. Forget whatever bias everybody’s concerned about today — mostly a result of the luxury of having all the world’s news & opinions here on the computer — those public radio stations made life a lot more interesting when the online options were GEnie & CompuServe with a few stale U.S. wires and lots of knitting forums.

    Also, the “public radio” thing would be sort of unnecessary if the airwaves actually belonged to the public, right? I believe this is one of those Libertarian issues!

  69. arjay,

    That is right; we take them away. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mark S.,

    It really depends on the personality; if people are ideologically opposed in such a way that they cannot see the other side or cannot accept that perhaps they might be wrong (re-thinking your assumptions is a good idea from time to time) then you are right. But that has less to do with ideology and more to do with personality; and can cause a fight because fairly ideologically similar people.

    Re: NPR,

    As I understand it, most of the money that supports local public stations comes from listeners. Thus all the begging. To me, public radio in the US is much like a mendicant priest order. ๐Ÿ™‚

  70. I see you’ve been watching “Seinfeld,” thoreau.

    “You know that thing we’ve been talking about? George is into it.”

  71. Diane Rehm is in her 60s. She has a problem with her vocal chords, called something like “hysterical dysphonia,” which causes the voice to tense up for no apparent reason. She took botulin toxin injections in her voice box a few years back, but I don’t know what she does about it now.

    I personally can’t listen to her for more than 10 seconds, but living as I did in the DC area I was well sick of her some time before she had her vocal problems and before her program went national. Something about her Mass. Avenue world just makes me want to toss my cookies.

    I suppose my main exposure to NPR women was working for Booz-Allen & Hamilton sometime back. Well, there were a lot of nice girls among them, still I’m probably not ever going to read anything by Toni Morrison, sorry.

  72. Kevin-

    Now that you bring it up I remember that episode. But it wasn’t what I was consciously thinking about when I wrote my post. I was thinking about the way that women like to keep men sort of hanging around in case they decide to become interested. But that must have been in my subconscious.

  73. If all this commentary can be written about people who listen to NPR, what about those who listen to Pacifica Radio?

  74. Making nasty ad hominem attacks on NPR listeners is like making nasty ad hominem attacks on Hummer drivers-

    The only difference is the websites you go to to do it.

  75. “Eh, much as I wish it weren’t publicly funded, I like NPR fine. It’s easy to filter out the bias when it crops up, and it’s generally interesting radio. And am I alone in not having some political litmus test for people I date? ”

    Date those folks, Julian. Don’t marry them. Like a true believer marrying an athiest, at some point the consideration of how to love someone who will suffer eternal torment at the hands of her savior has to enter the equation.

    Someone you care about voting to destroy liberty as you understand it is a pretty a big deal. The ballot box is not the place to find out your significant other would have you in chains. Such things should be handled elsewhere.

    I listen to NPR to try to get a handle on what liberals think. It is more like reconaissance than news consumption.

  76. Unless the three-way involves Michael Moore, Daniel Schor and Jar Jar Binks.

    Ken, if you ever want to change directions in life, you have a bright future writing pornographic fan fiction.

  77. Possible NPR Ad Campaign Slogans:

    NPR… the Cold War-vintage East Germany of Radio Stations! Svim-vear! Evenink-vear!

    NPR… Better for you than bran muffins, nearly as tasty and just as cleansing for your bowels!

    NPR… we have both kinds of politics, liberal and leftist.

    NPR… where we consider some things on All Things Considered.

    NPR… yeah, we’ll help you have a three way… in your dreams, loser!

    NPR… it’s what to play in your Volvo on the way to the anti-capitalism rally.

    NPR… only the federal government could come up with something this good.

    NPR… it’ll make you love big government. Now send us some more money.

  78. To add to Julian’s point, I would suggest that, given the male/female ratio among libertarians, it would be self-defeating to have some kind of litmus test.

  79. Funny comment on the Frenchmen arjay – I actually went to a Haloween party dressed as a Frenchman (I took two French flags, and a small one from Quebec to be sure). Second year running – and would have stolen the show if it weren’t for my girlfriends glow in the dark Jellyfish costume she made herself.

    People were actually stopping their cars in the street and yelling “That is the coolest jellyfish costume EVER!” at her.

    She’s a liberal, and amusingly her liberal mother is being wooed by a smooth Irish guy who is trying to take her back to Ireland with him!

    The story gets even better though. She quite her job as a nurse and moved to Ireland to become a nurse there. 24 hours off the plane, she had a job in an Irish hospital taking care of the lone SARS patient (she was the only nurse qualified). A month later she moved back to the states and proclaimed that she never wants to be cared for in an Irish hospital.

    For me to hear that from a Liberal was impressive!

  80. mark, i mean this in the nicest way possible, but you’re turning one personal experience into a rule. it probably didn’t help that she was morally judging you for things which aren’t very depraved – but it’s pretty likely you were doing the same thing. love makes us bitter, and rejection moreso – i am still overly wary of sicillian girls. ๐Ÿ™‚

    relationships are based both on similarities and differences. because you seem to have no wall between your politics and your identity for you the similarities might be required. there are lots of people like that. my wife-in-training and i are very opposed on some levels – hell, she’s the daughter of a ranking bureaucrat for the EPA! and she’s asthetically catholic to boot. she loves poetry and i like nonfiction. she votes and i usually don’t. she’s superstitious and i enjoy tempting fate. and so on…

    but you learn to work these things out – i don’t say nasty things about dismantling the EPA while we’re out at her parents and in return i get to dress her up like our lady of gaudalupe on major holidays and call upon some barbarous names. it all balances in the end.

    if hanging out with someone who doesn’t pass your ideological checklist causes you so much psychic pain – i.e. it is “selling out for nookie” – then maybe you should just hit up the local LP bar n’ grill or wherever your local objectivist chicks go to be dogmatically rational on their days off. ๐Ÿ™‚

  81. in all seriousness, the great thing about having absorbed the iconography and mental geography of catholicism (the only established pagan religion left) without any of the guilt or stupid body hatred or love of heirarchy is that you get to play with people on a level that you understand but don’t take seriously. it makes black masses and other forms of deliberately theatrical antinomianism that much easier to pull off.

  82. Anyone know exactly how old Diane Rehm is? She sounds like my 98 year old grandmother on Christmas morning but her picture suggests she is no older than 70. My guess she is the liberal radio Phyllis Diller without the humour.

  83. I’m an almost ex-NPR listener. Years ago I worked in the basement of a shopping mall, where only FM penetrated, so it was the only news source. Co-workers questioned my sanity for the way I would mumble corrections of the announcer’s bias under my breath. Nowadays I listen to Thistle & Shamrock, and sometimes Celtic Connections, but I otherwise won’t bother with it.

    I do tune into college radio quite a bit. The local private engineering school has an all-music FM that plays some great stuff, and I like the internet streaming of outfits like Fordham U.’s WFUV. They play NPR news on the hour, but don’t carry ATC or ME, which run on other NY stations. I got props from a gal for listening to Ani Di Franco the other day, but since the compliment came from a lesbian, it won’t help my social life any. ๐Ÿ™‚


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