Way back when when I started this site, one of the things on my (pretty short) Ticket wish list was that The Hardline were not so vulgar. Profanity, explicit sexual references. I don't think much of anyone else cared about that -- never got much reaction -- so after a couple of gripes I let it go. I didn't like, it, still don't, but it's not a big deal. I still listen.
Then, a few days ago, a Confessor made note of what seemed to him to be an increasing number of dumps. He complained that whatever it was that was so amusing The Hardline was seldom, if ever, explained. Another Confessor picked up on the theme and said that he felt left out when that happened.
I've noticed the same thing. There do seem to be more dumps. But it's not only the dumps -- there seems to be a lot of inside stuff going on during the segments that distracts them, they laugh, and we have no idea what's going on. Sometimes they're watching TV and reacting to that, and the P1 has no idea what's going on.
At first I thought I'd write kind of a critical piece. But Your Plainsman tries to see all sides when there's something that's getting under his skin. After mulling it over, I came around to thinking that in some ways, The Hardline is in a no-win situation.
On the one hand, The Hardline's appeal is that it is a bunch of guys who enjoy each other's company and like to talk about guy stuff and pop culture stuff and now and then some sports. It's like they say on the ad, isn't it? Just a bunch of guys we like to hang out with on the radio. And, like almost any group of guy friends, in the course of their chit-chat, there's going to be a certain degree of profanity. And a certain degree of wandering and not paying attention and ninety-degree turns in topics that someone listening from outside isn't always going to pick up on. The Musers aren't vulgar, BaD isn't vulgar, The Hardline is. Not all buddy groups are the same, and the dynamic of this one is, well, naughtier than some others.
On the other -- well, it is annoying, as our Confessors have noticed. It can seem disrespectful -- The Hardline invites us to join the party, but sometimes things just get too inside or dirty or private or something, and they have to snicker behind their hands for a few seconds -- no P1s allowed. And, I'll go back to my old point -- even when they're not dumping themselves, there's an awful lot of cussing on the show. A lot of "f"s. I think it cheapens the show and the station, a lot of it sounds gratuitous and forced, and I'm mildly surprised that Cumulus hasn't tried to regulate it. Is there a more profane show in DFW radio?
So, we want The Hardline to be themselves, but not too much. I guess with The Hardline, like with any social group, you gotta take the real good (a very cool trio, plus the Most Famous Man in Radio, Grubes) with the bad (too cool, sometimes).
But either way, you gotta take it.
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