The Bert Show Blows (his) Own Horn
I haven't been listening to the show. I've been listening to classic rock on 97.1 (The River) instead. But I tuned in to the Bert Show a couple of days ago during one of their "closure calls." In these bits, people have the Bert Show call their ex to see if there's any chance of reconciliation. This particular day, the story was that the woman had cheated on her ex and married her partner in crime. The marriage had tanked, of course, helping her find god, and she wanted to give the ex a chance to say everything he must have been holding inside--all those ugly things about her he'd never said. Evidently, he'd just walked away after he found out she'd cheated. No words had ever been exchanged. Now, she was ready to take her licks (and, well, if there were any chance he'd like to get back together...). End result, the guy told the show through email that the gal was a delusional sociopath and he wanted nothing to do with her. Upon hearing that, she WENT OFF and proved his point that she was a lunatic, calling him a coward and pathetic and blaming him for the fact she cheated to begin with.
It was all extremely entertaining, being that I'm so easily entertained, and it reminded me of what I do like about the Bert Show and why I've suffered through it in the past.
So I turned it on again this morning, and they were playing a segment about this good samaritan who goes around to gas stations treating people to a tank of gas. It was a sweet story meant to inspire us all to do random acts of kindness during these tough times. Awesome.
But then Bert had to turn around and tell us about how he decided to do the same thing. He talked about how he chose the downtrodden recipient of his charity--the lady with the beat up (and dirty!) mini van. He told us about how the $60 to fill her tank was no big deal for him since his family was doing so well right now, having made some lucky business choices. Blah, blah, blah. It was all related with a tone of aw-shucks false modesty.
Then the calls started coming in about what a great guy he is.
I've mentioned his self-aggrandizing as one of my beefs. It's right under the mutilated grammar. It used to REALLY grate on me when they did a week's worth of Bert's Big Adventure on the air, live from Disney, milking those kids and their families for all their worth. Holy cow! Do a good thing. Promote it on the air. Let it work for the station and show as you get the public involved, contributing, excited. But let it stop there. Not only did the lengthy live coverage seem exploitive and manipulative, it was also boring radio. Booooooooooooring.
It's a good cause, don't get me wrong. Go help 'em out, even.
But don't go around announcing it to the world if you do. As the poet William Hutton put it, "The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation."