I had an idea for a book that stemmed from a story I wrote. It was about the aftermath of a second American Civil War, when the country was partitioned along the mythical red and blue lines. One of the things that helped precipitate the war was good ol’ talk radio, which I’ve written about before. I keep listening to it, telling myself that great writing lie: “It’s just research.”

Not anymore. It’s become an addiction, and I’m done with it. I’ve gotten enough of the rhythms of the hosts’ cadences, from their bloviating self-aggrandizement to their shrill cries of how everyone, including the host and the listener, are stupid to know how to recreate them on paper. There’s only so much time, and only so much bullshit a man should have to put up with. Whether it’s Michael Savage railing about how people like me want to bring about the destruction of America and turn all of us into Muslims or John Ziegler screaming about how the media is getting the story wrong about Iraq because they want us to lose, I’ve had enough. (And, by the way, John, you’re 40. The Army raised the recruitment age to 42. Isn’t there a recruitment office nearby KFI’s studios?) First it was educational, then it was comedy, and now it’s just sad.

There are better things to do with my time in the car, like listen to audiobooks or learn Mandarin or memorize song lyrics. So, adios, boys. You never were talking to me anyway.

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