I've gotten back into listening to morning radio in the past couple of weeks, mostly because the Tom and Lisa Morning Show on 95.1 FM WIIL ("95 WIIL Rock") is a lot of fun. They keep things pretty light-hearted, and it's obvious that the cast and crew get along really well ... it's broadcast out of Kenosha, and like so many things out of southeast Wisconsin/northeast Illinois, they're like their own little community, having gone to high school together and hanging out and working together for a couple of decades. Oh, and they play good "angry music" in between all the hijinks (including Disturbed's "Just Stop" this morning, perfect for the subject matter!).
Well, this morning Tom decided to get heavy, and took on the Spanish "Star Spangled Banner." His point was that it was a sign of respect, and he tried valiantly to keep the discussion wholly separate from the immigration debate currently going on. I think it took a lot of guts for him to take this stand -- this is Kenosha, after all -- and he was dutifully taking his licks from all the red-blooded, red-necked "Americans" who picked up the phone and dialed in.
When I was about halfway to work, some guy called in and asked "What language is the Constitution written in?" Tom tried to set him straight, explaining that there is no official language, until the guy went down this strange path about the French and German constitutions not being written in English. When Tom tried to explain that a lot of folks in France and Germany (India somehow made it into the conversation too) speak English, the caller was incredulous, disbelieving that people in other countries bothered to be multi-lingual.
This hit two of my hot-button issues with "Middle America" -- one, an education system that doesn't start multilingual learning until students are 13 or 14, and makes a mockery of it by only mandating 2 years of a "foreign language;" and two, a huge chunk of the U.S. population who thinks everyone in the world is just as xenophobic and closed-minded as they are, and who refuses to believe that someone in Europe or India speaks better English than they do. WAKE UP, dude, THE WORLD IS PASSING YOU BY!
So I had to call. I wore out the redial button on my cell phone, getting a busy signal over and over again. At one point I got through, but it just rang and rang so I gave up, thinking it was a phone-company mixup. D'oh! So I tried again, and vowed to let it ring until I got to work ... just as I pulled into my parking space, Tom himself picked up the phone!
So if you were listening at about 8:26 this morning and heard a guy tell Tom he had a lot of guts, and say that both France and Germany have legal language requirements but that -- as in the case of France -- that can lead to stagnation and a lack of influence in the global community, and that a lot of folks in other parts of the world speak better English than most of the people you meet on the street, and that one of the things that makes the U.S. a good place to live is its ability to assimilate the best of all cultures ... that was me! I was nervous as all get-out, and when I hung up I was shaking, but I think I was pretty clear and fairly concise ... at least I hope I didn't sound like a dork!
Of course, the next caller started by asking Tom "What universe did you wake up in this morning?", so there's a good chance my points were lost on a lot of the listenership ...
Speaking of France: Check out the Top 10 at the Trophée des Grimpeurs ("Climber's Trophy") from last Sunday! This is a pretty prestigious UCI 1.1 race that has seen some major players take the win in the past ... and coming in 10th among all the Jacques and Jean-Lucs was Wisconsin's own Garrett Peltonen! His teammate Karl "Ten" Menzies took 7th, and there's a good account on Garrett's blog. That's a pretty impressive way to start a European campaign! Congrats!
ONLY 229 DAYS TO NATZ!!