Oh boy! Bahrain, what have you done?   Sadly such a lot of what you hear through media is sensational, ‘licensed journalistic’ fabrication…  and most all of what you ‘DON’T hear is more likely the truth.  Meantime: Telecom companies are the only ones to continue making a fortune out of personal misery as if they actually sponsor wars ***  Dubai thanks us for bringing it out of recession 15 years earlier than predicted *** Religion continues to be an instilled way of life rather than a belief  *** and we are all still being tortured by Radio Bahrain advertising.  End of blog!!!!

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   You want more?   Well ok, under Bahrain’s own National Action Charter of 2001 and in particular; ‘Chapter 1 – Forth Element’ I can almost say what I like about you and worse still, you can say what you like about me.  I do have some serious b*tches to get off my chest and most of it, if not all, concerns media.  Oh….  You know that already and the intimidated hate builds up.  The poor horse, that was so cruel.

Local Government controlled media is progressing in in leaps and bounds at the moment.   All due to the situation in Bahrain of course and at last, more of an interest has now been taken in it from the top, thus it has become a lot more open and somewhat more interesting. The rest of Gulf stays the same, yawn.

Professionalism wise, no improvement, but with time and training and a firm hand, Bahrain’s media could be great for a little Island, as it was back in the late 70s and early 80s.  Since then,

output in Bahrain has been dire and NOBODY cares, nobody controls it, nobody contributes.  Will we see more options any time soon? I am not counting my chickens, but then again, I am not interested in political based radio or TV anyway, there is gallons of that on satellite, full of talking heads all sprouting absolute dung. I want quality entertainment and information, professional advertising and if you did but know it, SO DO YOU!

The Dude from ‘let’s blame society’ blog describes his tirades as ‘rantathons’ and he/she is right.  My posts are just that, massive juicy rantathons and I love getting on my box.   As I always say, I pay for the space, I love you to read it, I love you even more if you agree with me and I love you still if you don’t.  Well a little bit anyway  – just for coming here in the first place.



I’ll get the point in a minute, hang on.  The British Club of Bahrain just sent around a missive threatening to disbar any member who discusses politics in the ‘social’ club.  Bizarre and although worded as such to generalize, I thought it probably related to some punchy under-the-influence misdemeanor or something, but apparently not. Rather it seems someone or many obviously tried to take unethical advantage.  I reacted because the audacity and wording of the missive initially raised my hackles, as it did a few other folk who read it. Imagine, we are currently under ‘Safety Law’ in Bahrain and the world’s media is chomping at the bit to have a go at us and ‘nobody’ is talking about it at ‘social’ gatherings!  (Their highlight).

On similar lines, Bahrainis and Bahraini-ates in number read my missives when I get time to post and there are currently a lot of raised eyebrows pointing at me, wondering why I am not on Facebook for now (which I use as a blog)  and no new posts here recently.  Is Facebook the place? I guess why not!  Is my little website blog here the place?  I guess why not! Obviously the British Club who might feel more comfortable dictating what we can’t say, would prefer not to be.  Bravely, Mr. Andrew Savage the Chairman of the Club’s Executive Committee (give order) promptly replied putting my mind at rest and indeed admitting it was his wording.  A ‘good hand’ as they say in the Navy. I don’t know him, but I think I like him.

Besides, as I said, I am not particularly interested in endless debate about how to run a country or persuade someone to think beyond religion when it is an utterly fruitless task.   No… no… no, the real reason for my silence is TIME!! TIME!! TIME!!  Oh!  Did I say TIME?  And besides, who needs yet ‘another’ opinion right now?  

Had we had better ‘local media’ here in the first place, it could have been on a plate for the International Media.  Hell, a lot of what did go down, might not have happened in the first place if only……

No, I have not had time, but ‘times’ and feelings are extremely sensitive around the Island at present, with most of the world utterly confused as to what Bahrain is all about and just the motions of trying to explaining it to someone will upset one side or the other.   To me, ‘The sound of an opposing mind, is the first endurance test for democracy’ whatever that democracy relates to or covers, but I think we might be a long way off that psyche yet.   Its funny really, because in these so-called democracies, rarely does elected authority do the right thing anyway. It’s like a Praying Mantis or a Black Window; to consummate elected promises, the candidate will for sure be eaten by the public. Ironically, ‘Democracy is more about the safety and rights of the *MINORITY* than the status quo of the *MAJORITY*’ but that doesn’t seem to apply in theocratic states. If an autocratic government relents and allows ‘free’ or ‘freer’ media, the theocratic element will not.  Dilemma!

Time is something I am short of and I don’t get paid for times when I am making a nuisance of myself and upsetting the incompetent with my words, so I have to work for a living and fortunately, happily and shamefully for my home Bahrain, right now, as always we have a very full order book from afar.  I am not so much a God person, but now I thank God for small mercies as for sure the media industry in Bahrain is going to be severely bruised for a while if not wiped out for some, unless this perfect opportunity is grasped and we create new media platforms in good old fashioned competition and make it open and fair – and in particular radio.

The country cannot commercially sustain more than one or two independent entities despite numerous ‘connected’ upstarts who think they know it all and want to saturate the market to a standstill with their deluded ideas.  Just how many sharwarma stands can we sustain?  Good God, one only needs look at the number of Advertising Agencies in Bahrain and across the Middle East.  Well that is what they call themselves, but the pressure on each to make money for sustainability is cheap labour, no skills, knock it out at the lowest price. In the broadcast field, it is all aimed at near ‘monopoly’, all Government controlled platforms’, no choice, no level to aspire to.  It is not much different with print or what can be placed on a billboard. So the lowest price is ***tendering*** and you cannot tender for art, it must be pitched and at a price. Nonetheless, there seems to be plenty of takers if you look at the standards up on billboards, in the press or OMG on the radio.

To be profitable locally in a level playing field is near impossible, so they have to look further.  Looking further means even greater pressure on professionalism,  greater pressure on accuracy and indeed freedoms and above all – trusted responsibility, which comes with the territory.  Then just let’s sit back and see how many ‘real’ takers we get.  It would be great for Bahrain if it led the way and at least left it open for those that want to try.  Oh stop!  Some serious training and talent is needed first though.



Coming right back at you, I live for media, I love radio and I absolutely crave professional advertising which is the only way I can make any living in media around these parts.  I used to make my living entirely by radio production and placement, but locally that dried up 6 years ago, as it did for anyone else not prepared to get in bed and scam.  We thought we had boycotted local radio of our own accord out of protest; so from what could have maybe been a million Dollars or so per year of independent revenue for them, we divert and spend elsewhere.  Oh Lord!  How deluded we are.  We were at first prevented from contributing and then our clients told that ‘we were not allowed to’ after we challenged the ‘privileged’  very dubious ethics.  Not even production according the Mafia. Of course that was utter bunkum and cruel deceit but clients believed it. Who wants to pay for quality anyway?

How many times do I say it? How many times to many others say it? The quality of broadcast has declined to abysmal over the last 20 odd years culminating in the last six very long years of pure torture with excruciatingly bad advertising incessantly repeated and minute by minute repetitively banged at us by a monopoly running a monopoly whose only criteria is to cash in in their contracted time.  They knew they would be rumbled (found out) on the very first day by people like me, but that doesn’t matter, they have that piece of paper which reads ‘6 years’ uninterrupted.   Bizarrely advertisers, not to mention authorities are sucked into this and from what I can see nobody from top to tea maker complains. Ah but look at my earlier posts.  I have said it all before and I will continue to say it, even if they destroy another horse to make a point.



Not perceiving or even remotely aware of the cause of the decline in broadcasting as a viable platform and consequent loss of revenue, new replacement, incompetent Civil Servants completely out of their depth,  see a dream coming true with an offer of money pouring in and having to do nothing for it. So they fell beautifully into the Venus Fly Trap absolutely oblivious to the damage they caused and the absolute denial of opportunity to any other long time, loyal patron.  ‘Oblivious’ is not a strong enough word really for they are ‘benighted’.



With the current situation and no doubt many demands still floating about, I have absolutely no idea what thoughts are mulling around the authorities regarding competitive free media platforms if any, but it seems the Lebanese ideas I posted of earlier might not now be too favourable after all.  I am under no illusion though, because the group has deep routes and large threads and they are home to roost.

Right now, it is so difficult to get an ear, although I do have some very good suggestions and a lot of experience and none of those avenues lead to the selling off of assets to ONE ENTITY – a monopoly in exchange for a fee or percentage.  That is criminal!  Yet rumours abound that such plans are afoot to do just that again and I mean from credible sources within, themselves oblivious to such a massive faux pas. I have been told on more than one occasion now that this time, it is to be a tender,  which is the authority’s ludicrous idea of appeasement for those who complain or don’t get a look in.  Can you believe it, once again there is talk of not only all airtime on English Radio Bahrain, the most viable and potentially popular channel for advertising, but all Arabic channels including television.  Does anybody read history or look at notes?

I even doubt the tender will go out as only the absolutely ignorant of reality will respond with no thoughts for professionalism, quality or content, merely dazzling monopolistic opportunity to make a few bucks.  In the end, the authorities will probably default to what exists without any consideration for others.  I hope I am so wrong.

The whole idea is just a giant NO NO, the antichrist of all norms, but twice we have endured such folly with someone waving a wad under their noses, so there is an extremely high risk of signatures being exchanged and another potential 10 years of thorough hell.  Pray it is only rumour, but sadly I fear not and I stand corrected with a scalding if necessary.  Worse still, I am not allowed near the place to lobby.



In between my devotion to the studio and 50 cups of coffee at day,  all regulars know that I also spend a lot of time challenging the likes of Main Stream Media, often having a go at Sky News, CNN or similar.  My pet hate is the ’non commercial’ BBC and for donkey’s years I have stalked this pile to the extent they delete my comments and just don’t answer my complaints. Same with the UK Guardian.  I use different names to get around it,  but I think they guess who it is.  In the next missive, (currently being sanitized to closely following this) I will indeed share a few Main Stream Media thoughts with you and in particular the BBC agenda which clearly a lot more of us have suddenly become aware of. But for now I am more concerned about the future of local media because I don’t intend going anywhere soon unless someone upstairs decides to throw me out.   

You all know, a lot of people think I am barking mad and eccentric.   I hear it sometimes as if I am not standing in the room.  Yes, I bark on and on about local media and its standards or thorough lack of.  Time is now ‘critical’ and I pray someone is listening because I fear an even bigger disaster is about to befall Radio Bahrain and the rest of the Government platforms, more so than we have torturously endured during the last 6 years. How would you feel it if was your life, passion and loyalty to a country and its radio industry was just wiped out in a blink by an  uncaring, unaware eye; allowing a new monopoly being given carte blanche over a monopoly simply because of more incompetence?  A wholly unfair business practice which smacks of mafia like corruption which literally deleted local radio as an industry from anyone else’s reach; those who previously supported it or relied on it for work and income?  You’d get a blog like this and try and fight it!

Coming up:  THE SILENCE OF THE BAHRAIN LAMBS – International Media -  “Until recently, I thought I was on my own in a padded cell fighting this massive International Media Machine agenda”.

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  1. Khalid Izzeldin on July 5th, 2011 11:42 am

    There is nothing I love more than reading your “rantathons”!

    Alas, it is true, a couple of new “monopoly” channels went up, SSDD, and it’s all a reaction to the lack of competent local media in the past decade and a desperate attempt to kick start the horse, or rather, jump start it with high voltage pads and all.

    Too little too late; but in hindsight this might have been the agenda of the mafia carrying incognito the green-stained yellow-flags from the land-of-the-cedar-tree all along; this at least makes sense: drive the media to the ground, let people lose interest, let standards drop, hit them with “outside” media when they least expect it and are most-ill-prepared to respond (The Lambs). Fertile cloak and dagger conspiracy theory stuff of dreams.

    Shall I continue to pray?

  2. Khalid Izzeldin on July 5th, 2011 11:44 am

    Oh, btw, this MP3 is now my ringtone! 😛

  3. Geg Hopkins on July 5th, 2011 1:02 pm

    This is extremely observant OB1.. I admit I never thought of the subversive angle, but then I should – because the fear instilled in autocratic regimes is of subversion whereby security personnel outnumber administrative by thousands of percent, which in turn outnumber creative by infinity percent. So yeah.. I must ponder this aspect, especially since Mr. Aoun has aligned.

    You have inspired the ‘urge’ to blog another response.. TOO MUCH to answer in a comment reply. I will do it now.

    Do you know; a brain like yours’ is totally wasted in the 3rd world and valuable space taken up by your fear of something called God. The world needs you elsewhere.

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