I am the Satellite

I am the Satellite
By Pawl Bazile

It’s been about a year since I cancelled my satellite radio subscription and I’m a better person for it….. let’s back up…….

Sequence of events:

2001: A young me gives up on terrestrial radio and I made hundreds of mix CDs and leave them all around my house and car.

2002: My freshman year of college I get a radio show at a school that basically broadcasted to the cafeteria & the parking lot so I can play my music, different music, and get my grubby hands on free music. I get strongly encouraged to not going back on the air due to potty mouth lyrics in my playlists. “We can’t curse?”

2005: I’m in film school in New York, and amain thing called Limewire allows me to be a filthy music thief, yet exposes me to deep tracks, sub genres, covers I had no clue were out there. I start listening to the sideprojects, spin-off bands, and any band cool enough to cover someone I already liked.

2007: Me, “your humble narrator” throws money at a new format called “XM Satellite Radio”. The world’s answer to horrid terrestrial radio. This is what Frank Zappa was waiting for. No commercials. No censorship. Pushes the limits.

2008: XM merges with their competitor Sirius Satellite Radio. Satellite Radio now has no competitor but AM/FM radio……. which has somehow gotten worse.

2014: Talk show host Anthony Cumia is fired from SiriusXM’s “Opie & Anthony” show after tweeting about being assaulted by a black woman in Time Square. His tweets were insensitive to the person who just assaulted him. He did not hide his feeling and used his words…. strongly. Than he married his incident with a larger social commentary (as he is a social commentator). Race was mentioned. He was fired via email. See? Did you catch that? Satellite Radio, our hero, our savor and supplier of music, comedy, and commentary……. the last frontier of free speech suddenly forgot what they stand for.


Well, here’s the thing; We forgot what important about free speech, and platforms that express speech of any kind. SiriusXM forgot it too. We all stayed children. Uncensored doesn’t mean “Hooray, I get to hear bad words,” what are we 5??? Does that do it for ya? Do bad words turn you on? “Fuck”. How’d that grab you? Feel naughty??

UNCENSORED is about ideas. Remember? It’s about topics. It’s about point of view. And sometimes points of view you won’t like or agree with. That’s what it means to be an adult, knowing how to handle and confront ideas that don’t represent you. Children stomp their feet, cover their ear and play a game of censory “peek-a-boo” with things that make them uncomfortable. Growing up, that role was reserved for pain in the ass out of touch churches who thought Ozzy was the devil, and Judus Priest made people kill themselves…… that role is now filled by university-going “free thinking progressive” young people who take a twisted glee in ganging up on and boxing away points of view they don’t like. I guess it’s easier than forming a point of view of your own, or god forbid, having to defend your position.

What does this all mean for music? I noticed less people take risks, that’s for sure. Maybe that’s why EDM has surpassed live music. Nothing to agree or disagree with there, a beat, some movie clips, drop the bass, flashing lights and generous amounts of drugs. Pussy indy rocker. Socialists punk rockers. Arrogant rappers talking about god. That’s music now. It’s the music we deserve for being silent. It’s the music we demanded cause we wanted to stand for nothing. Purple hair and no opinions still makes you a conformist.

So it’s been a year since I canceled my Satellite radio account for not standing behind Anthony Cumia. Anthony now broadcasts himself and others on “The Anthony Cumia Show” online. Immediately I knew this was import, because Anthony and anyone on his platform truly is uncensored and beholden to no one.

They get my money every month. Worth it just hear them talk like real people. And as far as music??? I dipped back into my collection from years ago. I get turned onto new stuff mostly by clicking around facebook, and hearing about something new on podcasts. It’s on my computer, tablet, and phone and when that’s not there, Pandora is. That’s the thing, technoedgey is getting smaller and we have all the power. I never have to listen to what some else thinks I should hear again. And we can become our own media, if one can do it we all call do it.