Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rant: Radio in Oman

Mr. Sythe, over at Muscat Mutterings is running a poll about radio in Oman, which you should go and fill out because I am asking you nicely.

Mr. Sythe sent me a facebook message today asking me nicely to fill out the poll. I did so and then replied with something akin to the following:
"There is not a space in your survey for me to put in how much I hate every DJ in this goddamn country except Faiq on the Mike and that Canadian guy they fired and also why in the name of god are there still expat people on the goddamn national radio station who cannot actually speak English please someone explain this because jesus fucking christ we have been trying to achieve Omanisation for like 20 goddamn years I mean what is this even. furthermore I want to light all the annoyingly chipper british dj's on fire and I will buy the petrol if you think we can get permission to do it in the interest of public service "
So Mr. Sythe said maybe if I had such strong feelings about the radio I should blog it. That is a good suggestion since I have little else to do with my time except for trying not to fall to the floor screaming in the grocery store because EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE and I feel like I am living in some sort of extremely boring expat housewife version of groundhog day.

What follows is a rant, where I am going to say mean things. If you don't feel like reading it you should go somewhere else now. OK?

So, Radio Listeners of Oman, here is everything that I wish there was a space to put in Mr. Sythe's survey about English Language Radio in the Sultanate:

  • What happened to that Canadian guy on 90.4? He was the best thing that happened to radio here in Oman since 2003 or 2004 when there was a very funny lady who would sometimes co-host the morning show with Faiq.
  • When you really really really think about it, Faiq on the Mike is an incredible DJ. I will love him until the oceans dry up and the earth is a cold, dead hunk of carbon circling a burned out star. 
  • The music is the worst, presumably chosen by a 12-year-old girl. 
  • The music is all the same. I suspect the director of programming at all three stations is the same 12-year-old girl. 
  • How can there be so many annoyingly chipper people who sound exactly like a narrator in Minecraft videos and how did they all get here and are we paying them ACTUAL MONEY and are they all mildly retarded because I think they would have to be in order to engage in chatter as banal and mindless as that and lastly how can we persuade them to please go away? 
  • No, really, the chatter is so vapid that I feel it is an insult to the intelligence of the entire nation. 
  • Actually, the best thing that ever happened in Oman radio was back when HiFM didn't have any on-air talent and they were just broadcasting music from Eihab's iPod. The mix of music was great except for one day when the Electric 6 song Gay Bar came on. It played for almost a minute before somebody managed to skip forward to the next song. THAT RIGHT THERE, was the single most entertaining minute of radio in the history of the sultanate. 

  • Finally, can anybody explain to me how it is possible that we have not fully Omanised 90.4 FM, and if we have failed to Omanise it why we have thus far been unable to staff it with expats who can actually speak English, or who are able to provide more entertaining content than asking questions my kindergartner can answer, and reading shit from Wikipedia verbatim? Why? Why? Why??? 
  • Slightly related to the point directly above, I give you the real, actual, very best moment in Omani Radio History: This happened on 90.4 FM in maybe 2006 I think. I was driving home from work late one night and the DJ was asking questions and callers were calling in to answer the questions live on air. 
    • DJ: A, E, I, O, and U form what part of the English Alphabet? 
    • Caller: Those are Vowels.
    • DJ: I'm afraid not, would you like to guess again?
    • Caller: VOWELS. A-E-I-O-U are vowels. 
    • DJ: I'm sorry, but that's still not right, Would you like to know the correct answer?
    • Caller: Um, I guess? 
    • DJ: It's Waavvles!  A-E-I-O and U are WAAVLES!!!!
    • I ran my car off the road and nearly into a tree because I was laughing so hard. 
  • OK, that was the ACTUAL best moment in Oman Radio History. 
I feel surprisingly better having got that off my chest. Thank you, Mr. Sythe! 


T said...

Made my day!!!
Talal from Oman FM

Anonymous said...

^^^What she said

Anonymous said...

Now that was entertaining.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

My Omani husband seems to love 12 year old girl music;). He was like, I liked that "Hannah Mountain" song they played.... jjkn. Though, oddly he does like that song, but if we were to trust his taste beyond Arabic music then we'd also be hearing weird Russian pop music that sounds like it is from Japanese anime cartoons aimed at a 12 year old white girl demographic :). If people not born to English music are choosing, it could be forgivable right? Then it could be like me saying to Arabic music lovers, that occasionally Haifa is not the worst singer in the world? I don't know... But since there are some non-deaf English ppl working over here...

Serriously, I stopped listening years ago when I heard Hillary Duff, terrible hip hop, and Hannah Montanna on the radio... THAT IS (IS IS IS IS IS!!!!!!) 12 year old girl music.

Ahmed Panty said...

To be fair, 90.4 runs The Selector by the British Council, which is amazing. Merge started with Adam Beyer, John Digweed, and Carl Cox's weekly mixes but took them off air. Now only HiFM has Roger Sanchez on Thursday nights. http://music.britishcouncil.org/the-selector
LOL @ Vawwles btw, that's just ridiculous.

Ahmed Panty said...


Anonymous said...

I concur.. also who is that Geezer bird they put on HIFM in the morning? It sounds like they took Denise van Outen, and chavved her up in Burberry and forced her to talk shite for 2 hours each morning.

Unknown said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Was there 10 years and listened to my own music than the local radio when driving.

I recently ranted against my own nations Radio. It's gone down the drain

Unknown said...

My name is Christine and I'm a producer for Top Secret Swimming Holes (Travel Channel). We are filming in Oman at Bimmah Sinkhole (Nov. 4),Tiwi Beach (Nov. 6), Wadi Shab (Nov. 7) and Al Khaluf (Nov. 9).We're looking for English-speaking locals who are fun, athletic, and between the ages of 20 and 40 to cast in the segment, just jumping in the water and having a good time. Sound fun?
We are in Oman these dates & places:

11/4 - Bimmah Sinkhole
11/6 - Tiwi Beach
11/7 - Wadi Shab
11/9 - Al Khaluf Beach

At Tiwi, we want to do snorkeling.

At Wadi Shab, a male cast might be best, as we want to do some cliff diving.

In Al Khaluf, it would also be great to do some kind of 4x4 driving on the beach and surrounding dunes, or find some other cool activity that's the kind of thing you can only do there.

The show is here - http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/top-secret-swimming-holes

We pay $75 USD per person for each day we shoot with them and we provide a lunch. We are looking for athletic & enthusiastic people between 20-40. Groups of friends & couples are especially urged to submit.

Would you or your friends be interested?



Anonymous said...

All the morning shows are diabolical. Fake, unintelligent talk by a load of twats.
Please HI FM and Merge. Put someone decent on to start our day on a high!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mrs Stone. My comments:
- June is the most God-awful presenter in the history of radio. I can only think that she's a very nice lady and 90.4 can't bring themselves to fire her.
- That guy 'Marcus' who claims to be Canadian. What even is that about? I honestly can't believe English is his first language
- Completely agree re Faiq. He's a natural, with his own unique style.
- Agree with commentator above. The Selector (British Council, played on 90.4) is one of the best music programmes on the radio anywhere in the world. HiFM presenters: bloody well listen to it and learn something
- HiFM: heaven help us. What complete and utter shite. And it has been from Day 1.
- 104.8: at least they play a little quality AOR. But I really wish they would cut the CNN-style dramatic shouty tone and the cheap estuary-English pronunciation (e.g.: 104 POINT "ITE")

Don't despair though... you were nearly retired in NZ.


Muscato said...

Good god... I can honestly say I haven't though about Faiq on the Mike and all things Omani radio in a good five years. Brings it all back, I'll give you that much. I was amazed at how much not better things were up in Abu Dhabi - or for that matter, I continue to be surprised back in here in Washington. Pop radio isn't what it was in the days of Wolfman Jack and even the annoying but now rather missed Kasey Kasem...

Anonymous said...

Muscatooooooooooo! :))


Unknown said...

The 'Waavles' guy must have been the "Kilopatra" chap! He used to provide us with so much tax-free entertainment. That nasal neither American nor regular English accent was a CLASSIC!!!!