intermission riff (i)

The Peckham chapter of the Taliban and a horde of Yorkshire lesbians are going to be fighting it out here for the next few days so , to remind you of how good life was before Reagan, is Radio Tirana’s old call sign.

When I first found its excellent signal on the short wave in the late 70s, Radio T was in full flow, bitterly attacking comrades in less fortunate countries for betraying The Beards while exclusively revealing the starvation in Stevenage and street warfare in Slough that made the installation in the UK of a just regime led by a clean-shaven Enver Hoxha lookalike both inevitable and imminent.
Since I was pre-razor and didn’t know much about economics, it immediately became clear to me that I was to be Enver’s local choice. This was no bad thing for, while preaching the virtues of the music of Mr Stockhausen to brimming factory halls would be somewhat tiresome, Albanian communism would miraculously instil me with the ability to talk to girls without six pints of cider insiderme.
Cider is now sold in litres, a song called All my exes are lesbies was a hit in Holland, Enver has moved on to the great bunker in the sky, Karlheinz turned out to be nothing more than an all-round loon, and I am ruled by a small cat, but Radio Tirana still soldiers on, relaying the Old Testament hirsutisms of smooth-jawed American evangelists using Chairman Mao’s transmitters. This information may be of use in picking it up. I haven’t got a short-wave radio any longer, but please tell me if the call sign’s the same.

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