The Parable of the Corn

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    Yeah, I suspect this thread will die quickly because it’s not about some current issue.

    I share this as a re-balancing of what we are about. Or, more personally, what I am about. It is not preachy, it makes no reference to the bible or any other faith, for that matter.

    It’s short but powerful. Easily shareable in your other online social time.

    The Parable of the Corn.


    As one of the commenters noted;

    That sounds like Socialism!



    Reminds of the saying: “don’t cut your nose off to spite your face”


    I like this. Simple, direct, powerful and aligned with my core nature as a person.

    Gonna share ot for sure.

    Andy Brown

    What I kept thinking is how the current state of radio, poorly done, keeps promulgating the notion that the path to success in broadcasting is to do poor radio.

    If just one station in a market did a great job, and in so doing is offering to share its vision with the other stations (everyone in radio listens to all the other stations, that is a given) but they refuse to pick up on the good “seeds” being offered, will it come back and compromise the quality of that one station.

    In other words, if all the stations doing crap radio playing corporate owned and promoted junk music refuse to bend their approach to include some of the good stuff on that one station, will that one station deteriorate because they will find themselves having to play some of the crap the awful stations play because, after all, everyone else is playing it.

    That’s what I got out of it. Not all I got out of it, but that’s what dominated the time I spent reading it. So like the writer, I don’t mind being painted as jaundiced because let’s face it, the big players on the dial are doing a crap job.


    Yeah, that’s a good read.

    BTW: KNRK seems like that one good station. The times I do listen have been reasonably good times. Good job guys. There isn’t much on the dial I’ll put up with. Even less that I actually enjoy. Wrote some song names down. It’s nice when that happens.

    Back to the parable.

    The little jewelry company I manage has this exact dynamic going on. The brand represents quality, made in the USA, etc… It’s a high margin product, and those margins are what feed families and fund new products.

    If we don’t do it, nobody else will. There is a sea of cheap knock off coming from overseas. The moment those expectations go off the table, and the moment the value perception is lost, it’s game over. That nice little company shrinks down to a few peeps eeking it out.

    Unlike the farmer, we can’t share it all. But we do promote, co-brand, and do what it takes to promote the culture and others who are doing the same thing. It’s like a little club, and the “in” members know damn well what is at stake and that means treating everyone in the club with some basic respect and doing the work to make the money, not just selling out and diluting it all.

    Here’s the interesting thing: Whoever does that first will make a lot of money short term. Then it’s over. Done. I don’t see any path back from that. So far, nobody has, but it’s a worry.

    With radio, a big part of the problem is the debt load and lack of any meaningful way to take risks or make investments. Diluting the actual value while trying to maintain some of the higher value perception is the game, and that race to the bottom is ugly today.

    Network TV is experiencing some of that too. I watched a while back, and OH MY GOD the AD load is high. What is it now? 50/50? Worse? I couldn’t get through a program to find out. No joke.

    It’s so bad, I gladly pay for any content I really want. Easier and higher value to just buy it watch it, and maybe hand it off to a friend when done. (where possible, and with digital stuff, it’s not always possible, unless one shares account info among trusted others)

    So the media has gone where they should not have gone. They raced to the bottom and there they are. Bottom feeders.

    How to come back?

    Like with the company, I don’t know if there is a comeback. If there is, I can’t imagine it happening without some very significant shake up.

    One I consistently think of is decency.

    Take AM. I love AM, but there isn’t much on AM that I want to listen to anymore. There never was much, but I did listen.

    Get rid of the decency requirement. That’s a shake up. That would allow *real* commentary, humor, drama, etc…

    Here’s the interesting part: Some would say that’s another step down. The bottom for the bottom feeders, and I hear that argument all the time. But is that really true?

    I don’t think it is, but the parable of the corn would have to be respected for it to work. And that brings me to decent indecency. John Oliver is decently indecent. He uses profane language to communicate real advocacy and awareness on real topics in a really potent and relevant way.

    Net Neutrality became “Stop Cable Company Fuckery” and *BOOM*, just like that! Everybody got it and the FCC got hammered with 600K public comments.

    None of the podcasts I really enjoy can go on the air. They are too *real* for broadcast. And I love them because they are real. It’s not lazy profanity put out there for shock value. Anyone can do that and YouTube is full of them too. When I turn people on to them, they often continue to listen or watch. Same goes for me. There is great stuff out there we just can’t even think about putting on radio and TV.

    How does that make any kind of sense at all?

    A removal of decency rules, or a very serious modification of them would open the door for much higher quality programming, and isn’t that interesting? The BBC consistently allows this kind of real speech, and here we are a bunch of prudes schlepping AD laden “Disneyland” type garbage wondering where all the value went…

    So that’s it. A shakeup is needed. Some fundamental change that would reset expectations and allow for a rebuilding of value perception. Or, this is it. Normal. The powers that be really do need to think hard about the expectations people are getting from the Internet and how that colors the value perception possible on broadcast media.

    Of course, I mentioned AM, because it’s the perfect test bed. If we don’t feel like testing, great! Just modify the rules for everybody and see how it goes.

    Maybe grant special licenses and exceptions so this can be studied or trialed.

    A big part of this kind of thing would be figuring out how to identify high value speech and put the incentives in line with that to discourage another failure of the parable. Shock value indecency will get the wrong kinds of numbers, and it will be tempting for the short term too.

    Or… Maybe we could more directly fund some better media. Do a BBC / CBC thing, and expand on it. A lot of the people racing to the bottom are all about competition.

    Well, that can work to the net good as well as race to the bottom. If we want better media, funding some public efforts that set the expectations might bring overall expectations up. I can hear the cries now: “NOT GOVERNMENT!!!” blah, blah, blah, but honestly?

    Can you really say private business has been a good Shepard of the public airwaves? Seriously?

    There are some bright spots out there for sure. Kudos to them. But they are kind of hard to pick out from the sea of shit we call media.

    They didn’t respect the value and quality of the corn.

    Maybe we could do the “Interstate Highway” system of media and fund some efforts to raise the bar. If this were done, private investment would benefit, just like it did when we made all those great roads.

    Just some idle muses… Happy Friday kids!

    I’m finally done with that bastard contract. 🙂

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