The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Wednesday, December 08, 2004
ON FINDING MYSELF IN A BOOK: Andy Opel's
Micro Radio and the FCC: Media Activism and the Struggle over Broadcast Policy (Praeger, 2004) is a short history of the micro radio movement in the late 1990s. What you are reading right now is not a review of it. It's a statement of how strange it feels to pick up a book and read about yourself. Not a passing reference, not quick citation of something I've written, but a lengthy treatment -- two chapters! -- of some listserv debates in which I was a vocal participant.

It's a little unnerving to see your theoretically transitory words come back to you between two hard covers, though I can't really get upset about it. For one thing, I quoted a few posts from the same e-mail list in my own book on radio, so I'd be a hypocrite to complain. For another, the portrait of me is actually pretty flattering. I have only one comment in the book that I really wish I could rephrase, mostly because I imagine that anyone who reads it will scratch her head and say, "What the hell did he mean by that?" (It's a brief, barely coherent aside about my arcane views on incorporation laws.)

I haven't read the whole book, but it looks like a nice treatment of the subject. Consider this a provisional recommendation, with special force for anyone interested in reading my old flame wars. (Surely there's at least a couple of you. Uh...Mom, maybe?)

Footnote: When not chatting with radio's outsiders, I occasionally talk with a radio insider. Reason's interview with FCC chief Michael Powell, conducted by Drew Clark, Nick Gillespie, and myself, is now online.


posted by Jesse 5:15 PM
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