I bring you greetings from the worldwide web of independent media and thought …
… and Wallace and Gromit (a reference to a red Wallace and Gromit tie worn in ref to the theme of the day, to wear something red).
On Tuesday I went to McDonalds, Sandy Bay and had a cup of tea, fries and a salad, while I took advantange of Maccas’ free WIFI to keep the little tassietimes website going because my broadband at home was down. (I thought of knocking on Mercury’s door for free broadband, but thought that was pushing it a bit in spite of the sometimes extreme forbearance of Editor Bailey in my time working there).
And it occurred to me, as I sat there in Maccas, that here is why Tasmania needs Edge Radio.
Maccas is all about the package: dumbed down, mass-culture food easily and cheaply packaged and readily consumed.
Like so many networked, dumbed down, cliched radio networks.
Edge Radio puts two-fingers up to all that.
It is a riposte, a bite back, a line in the sand against increasing conformity, mass dulling culture, uniformity and predictability.
Billionaire financier George Soros – perhaps an unlikely philosopher – once said that creativity is to be found at the edge of chaos.
I took this to mean, in part, that creative impulse is unleashed not by uniform, regimented, predictable, dulling conformity, but by uncertainty, by some desperation, by a little madness, by that moment when you cling to the edges of life by your fingernails.
I think that may adequately describe Edge Radio’s current predicament. Clinging to the Edge; clinging to the sometimes wreckage of modern life.
What a tragedy if there was no more Edge Radio.
Because it is a bite back against this increasingly commodified, predictable, canned music world. It is intensely Tasmanian, supportive and reflective of local culture in a way that programs decreed and packaged by networks never can be.
Edge and its current life on the edge reminds me so much of what has happened in my own beloved industry: Journalism.
Journalism, like Edge, is increasingly confronted by the savage advance of dumbed-down commodification in which news – too often highlighting and splashing miscreants and malcontents in the stocks, car accidents, victims, celebrities, jocks and cuddly dogs – is packaged around advertising and promotion, celebrity and superficiality; drip-fed, in thrall and dependent on PR and promotion, the triumph of Churnalism over Journalism.
Don’t let any of this happen to Edge.
For god’s sake, don’t allow free-thinking, sometimes anarchic radio, to become yet another Woolies supermarket.
Or McDonalds … even with its free WIFI.
Other speakers included Dane Hannerup, Lisa Singh, who pre-poll won $200,000(?) funding from Bartlett Labor for Edge, James Brookes (UN Youth Association), Wayne Brooks, Mel Page. All are welcome to publish here their speeches or views of the vital role of Edge