Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A Letter to the FCC

Dear Mr. Genachowski (Chairman, Federal Communications Commission):
I am writing you to request a radio policy change to protect parents from harm and emotional distress. I do believe in the concept of free speech and of the general right of radio stations to operate free of onerous censorship.There must, however, be limits.

On the morning of June 2nd, I dropped my infant son off at his daycare provider and began the drive to my place of employment. Everything was fine until KGSR (93.3 FM) of Austin callously broadcast a deeply troubling song. I had just left my son, so I was in a vulnerable frame of mind. Numerous dust particles apparently got into my eyeballs, as they became quite watery.

This song was "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin. This cautionary tale excorciates a dad for neglectful parenting. It implies that the neglectful dad will wither and die alone in an abusive nursing home with only a congealed cup of lukewarm tapioca pudding for comfort. He will name the pudding "Tappy" and carry on long conversations with it just to have some human interaction.If only he had played that game of catch with his son all those years ago!

This song should be outlawed during the morning commute! During this time, the roads are full of parents who have just handed over their children to caretakers. We must do this so we can work and pay our bills. We already feel guilty enough as we head to our cubicles without having some radio station stick a dagger in our hearts. I would love to play a game of catch with my son, but these spreadsheets aren't going to validate themselves!

"Cat's in the Cradle" has its place, and that place is not the morning commute. Think of the danger posed by thousands of distracted melancholy drivers who suddenly find dust and irritants in their eyes. Think of the risk to our economy if thousands of parents suddenly quit working to play catch and fingerpaint!

I beg your office to take action by banning the broadcast of this hurtful song between 7 and 9 a.m. Thank you for your understanding.


Chris Sieber

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