Hypocrite National Radio


It shuts up a voice criticising two programs for encouraging gender violence.


[n.b. Words in blue were added to this article after it was sent to the press. {Comments in curly brackets were added for this English translation.}]


On January 24 (Saturday) I heard on Radio 3’s “Toma Uno” {“Take One”} (National Radio) a song that, in my opinion, makes light of - or even advocates - gender violence. I was spending a few days in the mountains, away from internet connections, so I could not upload the following comment to blogs of the 2 programs mentioned until Wednesday. (The same had happened when I heard “Hey, Joe!” months ago.) However, this delay allowed me time to review what I’d written and I did this, polishing it a little for hours every day. Before quoting this comment, I want to make two details clear:


For months (in the case of “Toma Uno”, years) my affection for the 2 programs has been growing, and it was never my intention to be rude, abusive or insulting. This affection and the fact that “Esto Me Suena” {“That Rings A Bell”} often make jokes and the presenters swap jokey, affectionate insults led me to use a jocular [“Wow, Manolo! Aren’t you ashamed? “] tone in the commentary that could be misinterpreted.


Not for a moment do I think that the presenter of these 2 programs admire gender violence. But their lack of introspection and - as you will see - their subsequent censorship help keep open a festering sore that needs a thorough cleansing. My comment {on the blogs} can be read from here to the line of +++++++++++s:


Open letter to Manolo Fernandez, host of “Toma Uno” on Radio 3 [copy to the team of “Esto Me Suena” and others for the press]


Wow, Manolo! Aren’t you ashamed? Months ago I was shocked to hear on National Radio the song “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix, a song that glorifies gender violence. As you know, the singer asks his friend, “where are you going with that gun?” And the friend replies that he is heading to kill “my old lady”, who was [and here an English term, “messing around”, which could mean anything from “flirting” to “fucking”] with another man. At one point, male solidarity leads the singer to tell his friend: “Shoot her one time for me!”[1] This is a supposedly comic comment and makes the song more “fun”. This song has the mitigation that was written in a time before the influence of the feminist movement. The fact that Tom Petty did a cover version in the XXI century is inexcusable.


What shocked me most about hearing it on Radio 1 was that they played it precisely during the “week against gender violence”! And only a few moments after announcing this week. But here there are also 3 extenuating circumstances:

1) The announcers of “Esto me suena” are not famous for their knowledge of English.

2) The music, the songs are of secondary importance on this program and lyrics of even less interest.

3) It was the anniversary of the death of Hendrix... And which is his best-known song to honour him?


Well, Manolo, these three mitigating circumstances do not serve for you at all. Your English skills are sufficient. The importance of music for you is obvious. And you quite often comment on the lyrics [lyrics in English] to show that they, too, mean much to you. The fact, then, that you just [Saturday, January 24, 2015] broadcast another apology for violence, “T for Texas, T for Tennessee, T for Thelma”[2] [another dialogue sung between two friends, one of whom has a gun to “make my baby jump” plus a shotgun for “the other man”] and you made the comment that it is a jewel of “irony” [do you realize that there are women who DIE for these gems of “irony”?!!!] is SO disgraceful that I've decided to stop listening to “Toma Uno” (one of the jewels of Radio 3... until now. [I even set an alarm to remind me to tune in*]) Unless of course you apologise publicly (for this comment, in addition to broadcasting a song so violently macho) in both the Toma Uno Blog and on the program. And I ask you to send me a personal email because I might not hear the program when you do apologise.


How are we going to end the scourge of violence against women and children s if we keep making light of - even applauding - artworks, jokes, books, and/or songs that encourage that disgusting message: “I killed her because she was mine.” {This is a famous quote in Spanish.}


* Incidentally, I started with a prejudice against country music. 90% of the lyrics are rabidly patriotic, openly xenophobic, militaristic [the US government knows very well how to use country music (its favorite for this purpose) to fan up enthusiasm for their wars], apologies for racism [the famous “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynard Skynard is an arrogant response to “Alabama” in which Neil Young sings - sadly - about racism in that state], rancidly sentimentalist (or sentimentally rancid), ultra-conservative, and / or sexist. But 10% is worth hearing, and 2% are true gems (e.g. Dixie Chicks, Lucinda Williams, Kris Kristofersson...); and Toma Uno broadcasts this 10% in perhaps 40% of their choice, songs that could hardly be heard in the “normal” radio stations of this country. It is a pity that 60% of its selection are songs from the 90%.


++++++++++++ [Lest anyone accuse me of painting myself more attractive now to the press - or believe that there was anything more offensive to my original comment that I’ve now hidden - I affirm that I have not made any changes since uploading {the above comment} to the 2 blogs on Wednesday (not even to capitalise “Esto me suena” nor to correct Lynard Skynard to Lynyrd Skynyrd, nor correct my grammatical mistakes)... apart from removing my signature, which I move to the end of this article, and to add 2 footnotes.] The Internet connection that I used on Wednesday is in the computer room of the council hall of a small town in the mountains. This town hall was closed before I had time to send copies of the comment to the press. But I had time to find out that – in less than 45 minutes after appearing - the comment had been deleted from both blogs. [Interesting detail: days later I realized that “Esto Me Suena” has discontinued its blog, and I (searching with Google) had uploaded my comment to a blog from 2013. Still, it appeared in the defunct blog... and it was deleted shortly thereafter.]


Failing to send copies to the press on Wednesday has given me time for reflection. I try to be fair, and I’ve thought of two reasonable explanations for the disappearance of my comment:


1) The 2 programs wanted to hide the comment until they had time to formulate their response. After this time, my comment and their answer would appear together. This also seems like a form of censorship (because it removes the opportunity to other people to make comments to me during this time) but not as severe. With this in mind, I've waited more than 36 hours before sending this letter to the press.


2) That a National Radio worker (I'd hate it to be a female employee) is responsible for filtering the comments, deleting the offensive ones and thus “protecting” the sensibilities of the presenters. This worker took a unilateral decision to delete mine, so neither Manolo Fernandez nor the “live” “Esto Me Suena” team have even read it. If this is the case, how do I get the message to them aside from offering it as open letter? How do I give them the opportunity to enter in on the debate if a worker is censoring their mail?


Just 3 more points:


That – although he plays some songs that are quite nauseating - Manolo Fernandez has also introduced me to some phenomenal artistes, who would not be part of my “repertoire” if it were not for him*. And for that I want to thank him.


This one is a repetition. But it bears repeating. We will NEVER eliminate violence against women and children if we continue to deliver messages that support it or present it as normal. It’s no excuse to say that a song is “ironic”, because the kind of man who kills his companion DOES NOT UNDERSTAND IRONY.


And - in my opinion – it’s not understood by much of our youth. By pure coincidence, on Wednesday after uploading my comment, after seeing how it had been removed, and while I was debating with a friend who does not understand English but who was defending the position that “perhaps the singers really are presenting us with an ironic song... in order to encourage debate”, we saw (on “El Intermediario” {“the Middleman”} on La Sexta {the Sixth – a television channel}(the show with El Gran Wyoming {his artistic name}) that there’s a just-released survey in which 70% of Spanish teens believe that “jealousy is a proof of love” and that 33% believe that “you have to control your partner”. Then they broadcast - with appropriate commentary by Dani Mateo [the “El Intermediario” team really IS conscientious] - samples of some really disgusting, creepy songs (with subtitles in Castilian of the lyrics for songs both in English and in Castilian, lest the details escape us). In one case, a female singer sings (I’m paraphrasing here): “I love it when you punish me because it shows me that you really love me.”


[here’s the signature with which I signed the 2 blogs:]

Sadly, Jimmy Hollis i Dickson

(Jimmy Hollis i Dickson is the author of “Not Now, Daddy!” an illustrated children's book to be published this year in two trilingual editions: Catalan / English / Castilian, and German / French / Italian. Another children's book, about how. from an innocent joke, a spiral of violence grows between 2 schoolboys, is in preparation... and someday a book – for children – about gender violence will be coming.)


* Some of whom have produced masterful songs AGAINST domestic violence:


(a song not heard in the program, but it’s worth your seeking out EVERYTHING produced by these two artists that you can)

[1] You can hear the song and read the translated lyrics {as well as the original English lyrics} to "Hey, Joe!" => Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E62xCJaLTZ4 (Note that the Hendrix fan who created this video did not write out or translate that beautiful comment of solidarity that you can hear at 01:47. "ALRIGHT! Shoot her one more time for me" {here I translate that into Spanish}. It’s an interesting detail which I had never noticed before - since I don’t like to hear this song – that Hendrix asks his friend to shoot her again... when the woman IS ALREADY DEAD!

[2] Here the original lyrics [1927] as covered by Lynyrd Skynyrd (ca. 1976): http://www.lyricsfreak.com/l/lynyrd+skynyrd/t+for+texas_20086138.html

The cover version broadcast by “Toma Uno” is MUCH more recent and that "ironic" pair, Lyle Lovett & Robert Earl Keen, has added another verse that includes "I gonna buy me a pistol [...] I'm gonna shoot poor Thelma, Just to see her jump and call (? crawl? fall?) {here I translated} I give up (I have no desire to listen to this song ever again) - you try to decipher it: http://mvod1.akcdn.rtve.es/resources/TE_STOMAU/mp3/1/1/1422105451411.mp3  (45:16) [you can also listen to Manolo Fernandez praising the song.]