Thursday, April 06, 2006

Radio GaGa...


Don't get me wrong - I love living here in Germany. But like many expatriates, there are a few things about my host country that annoy me to no end.

Like the radio.

Not only is there absolutely no reception, there is simply no variety. You get either:

1) Top Forty blended with evergreens up to the Seventies

2) Schlager. This is like schmalzy folk music that is popular if you are over the age of fifty and have lived your whole life in a tiny village.

3) Stations that combine five minutes of classical with four hours of discussion about how global warming will impact the amount of taxes we'll all have to pay into our healthcare plans, followed by five minutes of African drumming. Basically all the shitty bits of NPR.

That's it. There are a few small stations that specialise in things like dance & techno but their broadcast range is roughly on par with a strong walkie-talkie. Combine that with the fact that the same station can be found on about four places on the dial and you have a radio wasteland.

I know that there are some of you out there that are saying "what about Internet radio?" Unlike the States, Internet access costs a bucketful of money and things like High-Speed DSL aren't available in cities outside of Berlin and Hamburg. Flat Rate? Forget about it. Satellite radio is a myth that we hear about on the 'Net.

And if you think THAT'S bad, don't get me started about television!