Long ago on radio, and not so long ago on television, a voice-over would here and there blurt forth, ”And now this“ — a prophecy that the alleged entertainment would be making a transition into something more overtly commercial. ”And now this“ seemed polite enough on the radio, but on TV it came off a bit forced. And while one could easily appreciate the blurt‘s integrity — it had a 100 percent accuracy rate — it also raised unsettling questions: Was it worth saying? Was someone getting paid to say it? If it was prerecorded, did that make it a lie?
You may have noticed that, like radio and television, the Weekly also has ads — about two pages for each page of editorial copy, the standard ratio among American free newsweeklies. These ads, almost without exception, look like ads. Our editorial content, almost without exception, does not. As ad-saturated as the Weekly is, then, its numerous and obvious stylistic variances, gutters and borders between sponsor and sponsored obviate the need for ”And now this.“
Compare this KFWB-AM 980 traffic report from a recent Thursday at 11:02 a.m.: ”That’s about it for Orange County. Otherwise, we‘re in pretty good shape. Now, if you’re heading into L.A. County, it is a . . . uh . . . well, an eerily quiet ride. You‘re gonna have some heavy fog to look out for, but that’s really about it. Now, there is an accident in the heart of the Sepulveda Pass, on the south 405 near Mulholland. Most of the wreckage is over to the right side, but there is some debris in the right lane, with delays as you make your way down from the 101. San Fernando Valley lookin‘ good, no problems anywhere. San BernardinoRiverside County’s also in good shape. Acapulco Restaurants serve the most delicious Mexican food in town. Look for huge savings at Acapulco in the coupon section of this Sunday‘s newspaper. You’re gonna love the food and the savings at Acapulco. Traffic on the ones. Our next update at 11:11 on KFWB News 980.“
Without so much as a pause.
Since its implementation, this new KFWB policy of enlisting citizens of the state to do the work of the church has become a thrilling new series of lumps in the oatmeal of commuter radio programming. Every 10 minutes, ‘round the clock. And why not? The notion of restructuring a traffic report as non sequitur ad copy is nothing if not brilliant: When you think ”Stuck gargling bus fumes and subwoofers for three hours on the 405 with no hope of making it home (and much less of going out) for dinner,“ think Acapulco Restaurants! And now this:
#The KFWB Webservice (www.kfwb.com) is, in fact, an excellent source of news, traffic, weather, radar, CNN, recent earthquakes and the like. The ever-popular Staff Photos section (www.kfwb.compixpictnew.html) is still going strong, but not as strong as the link to on-air bloopers and significant outtakes (www.lifechange.comoldtimerssounds.htm), formatted for your RealPlayer entertainment. Lime Barty recommends: ”Turtle Eaters“ (www.lifechange.comoldtimersAudiobl2turt.ra).
#You give us 28.8kbps, we’ll give you the world. Andover News Network‘s lovely Internet Traffic Report site (www.internettrafficreport.com) goes around measuring worldwide data flow in terms of ping echo responses, packet loss rates and that sort of thing. From this data, Andover creates a (briefly) fascinating traffic index, along with some dorky li’l maps.
#Neil Young (anagram: Online Guy) wrote a song about one of Acapulco‘s most famous visitors, ”Cortez the Killer.“ In the early 1520s, Cortez spent about 10 years near Acapulco eating the most delicious Mexican food and building a huge fleet with which he planned to go a-conquerin’ up the California coast. And now Acapulco Real Estate (http:members.xoom.comacapulco) would love to sell you an Acapulco restaurant and four Acapulco hotels for a total of US$5,730,000.00. The folks at ARE have even written a little poem about the restaurant, which I‘d like to share with you now:
RESTAURANT FOR SALE — US$1,600,000
By Acapulco Real Estate
This is a front view of the restaurant.
Here’s another front view.
This is the view from the restaurant.
Inside the restaurant.
More of the inside.
Inside of the piano bar.
Inside of the piano bar from the other end.
The owners house that is also included.
The kitchen from the restaurant.
Another shot of the view from the restaurant.
And now this: