Nothing will induce my 83 year old mother to look at a computer screen, or the Internet. When asked, she quotes New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who once said that the Internet was a "sewer". To my mother, this is the last word. There is no discussion.
She is wrong, of course. The Internet may have its murky sloughs and fetid, evil pools, but it also will let you read Yeat's poetry, identify a wildflower, re-connect with school mates one has not seen in thirty years, learn about Armenian cooking, and read the New York Times-
And it plays music from radio stations all over the world. I turned to it a few years back when our local Nashville Public radio station went to an all jabber all the time format, relegating classical music to the hours between midnight and four am. And I am going to come out and say it- I want less talk, not more.( If I want to hear politicians lie I can go to CNN.)
I can remember my mother listening to Public Radio many years and many mornings ago. Vermont Public Radio broadcast Robert J. Lurtsema's show. It began each day with the sound of birdsong from New England fields and woods. The Veery, the chipping sparrow, the drumming of a woodpecker, and then, Mozart.
And WGBH in Boston still plays the birds singing , but only on weekend mornings at six. Yet now it plays to everyone. Everywhere. All over the world via the Internet.
And WQXR in New York does as well. How pleasing it is to hear of a 70 degree day in Central Park, when one is sweltering in Nashville. To pretend one is in the world's greatest city -
Or consider Sky-FM and their free Piano Jazz channel. Music to cook dinner by, indeed.
Or- my favorite. Radio Classique, from Paris. Mono-lingual barbarian that I am ,I understand not a word its announcers and program hosts are saying. But just now I listened to Edith Piaf, and then to Sinatra. I understood them perfectly. I imagine a blue evening in Paris.
I wish my mother had a more open mind.