Buzz was reading D Magazine last week and was knocked out by the in-your-face, take-no-prisoners journalism. Beneath a cover illustration of a gagged and straitjacketed teacher, the headline blared: "THIS CHAOS MUST END: What We Must Do to Save the Dallas School System." Other stories on the cover were "The School Board: How the Clowns Control the Circus" and "A Public Grade School that Works."
Inside, we were enthralled to read about the powerlessness of teachers in "Blackboard Jungle Dallas Style" and the abundance of it in the superintendent in "The Kingdom and the Power."
Whoa, Buzz! you're saying. My copy of D had a fascinating cover story about Dallas' very best breast enhancement specialists...or was it top ten funeral directors?...
Whoops, did we forget to mention that we were perusing a September 1980 copy of D kindly sent to us by an elephantine-memoried reader?
Guess the lesson is that some things never change--in the case of Dallas schools. Or, sadly, that some things do--in the case of D.
Thanks to some new software, Dallas has been making noise on the World Wide Web lately. Nerds around the world can tune into the Dallas Police and Fire Department radio transmissions and Dallas/Fort Worth Area Air Traffic Control (www.policescanner.com). That is, if you have nothing else to do with your life.
All you need is a computer with sound capability and RealAudio software, and you can hear--as the RealAudio hucksters like to say--the "Web Roar." Or in this case, crackle and pop like a cheap Bearcat scanner.
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But we have to admit that just when Buzz gets cynical about another advance in the brave new world of the Web--like when we are offered a chance to turn a $3,000 computer into a $50 police scanner--something wonderful happens. We're offered a chance to turn a $3,000 computer into a $15 FM radio!
Those same advances in online audio offer a solution to the city of Dallas' embarrassing WRR-FM dilemma. For those readers who don't favor a blue rinse, let us explain: The city-owned WRR classical station (one of the few government-owned stations north of Havana) is worth a ton of money on the auction block--up to $38 million. But the city council is hesitant to give up its experiment in socialism--mostly because peevish North Dallas classical music lovers have a tendency to jerk their council members around like a dog does a rat.
But the online audio revolution presents a solution: Take the $38 million for WRR, then buy the WRR diehards each a Web-capable computer. They can tune into KRTS-FM in Houston (www.audionet.com) or, better yet, KING-FM (www.king.com) in Seattle for their classical fix--in stereo. Not only do the KING announcers know how to pronounce the names of classical composers, but their weather reports are about as accurate when applied to Dallas as the local ones.