Is it a sin to hate your hobbies?
I just got my car back from the shop. 13 fucking weeks. Thirt. Teen. Anyway, I took all my ham radios out beforehand to minimize risk. But now that my car’s back, I should reinstall them, right?
Yes, I’ll reinstall them. It would be a fucking waste to not reinstall them, since I spent all that time and effort wiring up the fuckers.
But will I use the radios? Probably more “no” than “yes”. I mean, I can always turn down the volume and ignore the drivel.
So why a No?
Because there are other ham radio operators out there on the radio.
There’s a certain demographic that’s highly present when it comes to Amateur Radio. Older, white, heterosexual, middle-class males who lean conservatively and on the side of lawful. Almost lawful-evil. We study the rules and laws and keep each other in check so we don’t lose the band privileges. We like to toe the line, as long as we can bend the rules when it suits our needs without getting caught. It’s part and parcel of the hobbyist community.
I mean, it’s great that I studied and took the tests that proved I know the technical and procedural protocols when it comes to the communications medium, and that I can be trusted to transmit within specific frequency bands with whatever radios and modulation modes are allowable without risk of interfering on other legal commercial transmissions. But what of the messages?
I worry about representation when it comes to Amateur Radio.
I feel like I’m surrounded by white power nationalists who hang out in hamfest parking lots with American flags and rebel flags both flying from their truck beds. Who dip their camo caps and tap their noses when someone signals with the right handshakes on a cash-only deal. And I have to assume that there are a lot of men on the repeaters, and at least on the low bands, that fall into that class of blowhard assholes.
On any overnight, I can tune through and find someone him-hawing about, “they ain’t supposed to do that” and, “well if they came to my house, I tell ya whut they find when they open my door.” Too much, “me and mine,” and too little, “it’s a big world out there.” Too much, “them people are just stupid and wrong,” and too little, “it takes all kinds, and they’re alright with me.”
There’s just something that worries me about the hobby. It’s full of other people.
No wonder people are flocking to FT8. There’s no room for talking.
So anyway, I’ll be installing my radios soon, because radios are a useful tool. I just can’t remember what problems they fix.