The NPR Robot Voice

Along with many people, I find NPR (National Public Radio) to be the United States’ most balanced news reporter. Apart from PBS on television (I don’t have a TV), or the wonderfully unmade up CSpan, NPR is the best way for me to find out what is going on without being assaulted by entertainment-style news that goes to ads every 3 minutes. (Of course, for sheer entertainment, you can’t beat Fox News. On an aside, there is common consensus that female anchors on Fox wear the most makeup and self-sustaining lacquered hair.) Despite this, there are times that I regularly have to mute the volume for a few seconds or so, or else cackle in disbelief. This happens regularly during an hour of listenership, because NPR often has underwriter ads in the voice of a woman that the Gotham City Insider blog describes as “insane robotic cadences”. The voice is so irritating and grating in its lack of any human tone that the only option is either laugh like a lunatic, or scramble across the room to “turn it off! Turn it offfff!” Such is the power of the robot voice to infest the brain with its non-mammalian tones.

Gotham City Insider again: “Perhaps she’s actually a robot? That would explain everything, really. An NPR announcer droid where they simply enter the daily underwriter announcements and this cyborg spits it out?”

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David McBloglin

My name is David McLoghlin, I am the author of "Waiting for Saint Brendan and Other Poems" (Salmon Poetry, July 2012); I am an Irish poet, writer and literary translator, who currently lives in New York, and blogs about its vicissitudes, while not writing other things, like my 2nd collection. I moved to NYC in 2010 to study at NYU's MFA Program in Creative Writing, from which I graduated in 2012, two months before my book was published. Before moving to the US, I lived in Ireland, Spain, Belgium, France, the USA, and travelled in a variety of countries (including Morocco, Czechoslovakia (when it was that country), Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Norway), whilst engaged in a number of pursuits. came about as a catch-all for impressions related to moving to NYC alone: culture shock, in essence, and all her ugly sisters.

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