It's time for us to sit down and take a good long, critical look at this
so-called "Trivia Marathon" on KVSC.
For one weekend each year, Your so-called Sound Alternative transforms all of
central Minnesota from a quiet, complacent college-minded community to an
abnoxious anarchist all-out aboration, and for what? They'll tell you, as
in fact they already have, that this is some sort of good-natured escape from
the mid-winter blues, a chance to flex your mental muscle, an excercise in
teamwork and the competitive spirit, or any other number of dirty lies necessary
to secure your participation in this parody of a true mental sport, but let's
filter out the lies, the propaganda and the trivia dogma for a few moments and
look at this so-called competition through the all-encompasing lense of critical
Every Tom, Dick, Harry, John and Jane Q. Public within seventy miles of KVSC has
been the subject Saint Cloud's largest behavior-modification program for months
now. Each and every one of us has been teased with promotional spots, mailings
and billboards, proudly proclaiming the coming of T2KAOS, but how many of us
has actually taken the time to look below the surface of this music, history,
science, sports and pop-culture mayhem to see what really drives the always-
elusive trivia organizers at this so-called "public education radio station"?
How many of us have seen the agonizing sweat-shop conditions under which phone
slaves lament in the trivia phone bank? Those of us who've been around over the
years will undoubtedly remember a time when the phone bank was featured
prominently on local cable channel six's simulcast of the competition, and those
of those of us who can put two and two together don't need a math major's help
to deduce that the last two years' lack of television coverage was nothing more
than a reactionary response to the attention the phone bank had attracted from
human rights watchdogs around the world. And those of those of those of us with
an un-named source on the inside are appalled to have found that conditions for
the phone bank slaves have actually worsened exponentially since the watchful
eye of the concerned public was poked out for looking where it wasn't welcome.
As if the phone bank wasn't enough, KVSC's regular staff of volunteers, sometimes
even their friends and families, are forced to spend endless hours preparing and
maintaining this travesty, only to receive their final reward in the form of a
sleepless, payless, nutritionless weekend trudging back and forth from studio
to studio so that we, the regular public, can be entertained by their suffering.
Don't be mistaken, though. We're not left out of the mix. After we've given up
our money and time, our very souls for that matter, in as fast and mindless a
manner as to bring a tear to the eye of Jim Jones, we're set against each other
in a furious competition fueled by stimulants, junk food and sleep deprivation.
The whole contest is pointless, of course, because your average man or woman on
the street doesn't stand a snowball's chance of winning this competition. The
whole thing is an elaborate mirage, an illusion presented to us under the
premise that we too, with a little dedication and effort, could some day be the
winners of the coveted first place trivia trophy. In reality, only a few teams
possess the resources to compete for first place, and they count on the rest of
us, who've been manipulated into substituting pranks and challenges for
intellectual prowess, to keep any would-be Cinderella stories tied up with the
more jouvenile aspects and away from them.
The competition isn't without corruption and intimidation either. What do you
think the real reason the Saint Cloud Police Department formed a team was? Are
you naive enough to think that they actually enjoy what they're doing, or can
you see the truth: That their only purpose is to protect the top three scoring
teams from the rest of us, perpetuating a cycle of trivialization that is as old
and more tainted with the blood of the innocent than any other such intellectual
dictatorship to date.
Play along if you must, but don't deny what's really going on here. For
fifty straight hours, we will all bare witness to some of the most massive
violations of morality, ethics and human rights Saint Cloud has ever seen. We
will deprive ourselves as we deprive those around us, and in the end we will
drink to the point of amnesia, and forget the true cost, and the real impact, of
the painful struggle we both endured and perpetuated over some silly first place
trophy, which by the way is made entirely of fools' gold, and the illusion of
status that comes with it.
For KVSC, I'm the Peoples' Poet.