A new year and all is changed . . . but don't worry, dear readers, some things will always stay the same, and your favourite radio columnist is crankier than ever. Not only that, but I'm fixated this week on some old, familiar annoyances. Such as:
Why do RTE believe that someone's broadcasting talents are indefinitely transferable? Kathryn Thomas has been filling in for John Murray all week on Radio 1. The show, for what it is, is grand: no better or worse than a dozen exactly similar programmes. And Thomas is grand.
But that's it, really. She's grand. No more than that. Why, then, was she given this job? RTE are always doing this: they think you can just transplant someone from one medium, genre or channel to another.
It's like someone thought to themselves: "Well, she's presented a travel show on an entirely different medium for several years -- why wouldn't she be an excellent choice to host a mid-morning radio show?"
Because she hasn't the experience or skills or broadcasting nous? Because there are several, much more deserving candidates? Because these presumptions are really dumb and irritating and lazy?
And what's with all the annoying cod-American accents on our airwaves? They seem to be getting more and more common. It's horrible.
Have you heard that new ad for some brand of Irish cheese? Apparently you can't "beedit", but you can "eedit". I actually find this painful to listen to, like someone jabbing a knitting needle in my earhole and wiggling it around.
I think I hate this stupid Americanised accent more than anything, this dreadful twangy "media" accent, where everything is "pardy" and "siddy" and "rilly" and "Twidder" and "dod-ie". And the other day I had a weird moment of realisation: this accent is getting more like Stephen Hawking's robotic voice-box every day.
You know what else is annoying? Radio's continuing obsession with text polls.
Kathryn Thomas had a debate about sexual attractiveness: somebody called John O'Keeffe argued that the Irish are the ugliest race, thus betraying a rather ugly, "whipped cur" mentality himself.
Clearly it's idiotic to pick out one race as being ugliest. And weirdly enough, he had that annoying quasi-American twang too.