Friday, December 16, 2005

Howard Stern's last day on Earth

Today was Howard Stern's last day on terrestrial (or as Sirius puts it, boring and old-fashioned) radio. Being as my commute is only 30 minutes I didn't get to hear alot of it and certainly not any of the show that he did out in the street. But all-in-all it sounded like a great time was had by everybody. What is curious though is that I wouldn't have really cared much a few years ago about what was going on with the Stern show.

Back then I was only a casual listener, tuning into him when the other stations went to ads. It seemed repetitive what with the Whack Pack always on. That and it appeared that the show existed just to get the biggest gross-out [nsfw] possible. But then the FCC clamped down on him and the pro-censor activists came out in force to push him off the air. They'd been trying for years but now they had the federal government on their side.

In what has turned out to be a stunning move, Howard took what he'd been fighting nearly since the show's inception and turned it into a cause célèbre that people could rally around. Suddenly he was the symbol of a generation tired of having government censors dictate what they could hear. And our weapon of choice was not here on Earth but high up in space.

Before Howard's announcement, satellite radio was a steady but slow-growth technology for tech watchers. But since that fateful day 14 months ago (I remember every detail of what I was doing when I heard the news) satellite radios have skyrocketed in popularity. Like Prometheus bringing fire to Man, so Howard has brought censorship-free radio to America.

Let us hope that he escapes Prometheus' fate.

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