We’ve come a long way. Far from harbingers of truth, our media are now increasingly used to shake the foundations of the real. We know this to be the case with television, where the stars of reality programming are frequently found to follow the blueprints of writers and producers. And we know it to be the case online, where identity has become a playground and masquerading the norm. But radio seemed different. We listen to radio because the voice, we think, doesn’t lie. The voice is immediate and intimate and present. We attach ourselves to radio personalities with an intensity we’d never dream to extend to, say, television hosts—just look at the fierce and unparalleled devotion to Howard Stern—and this is because we feel as if we know them and trust them.
It is time to question this notion as well. The next caller you hear, the next personal story that makes you sniffle or shout with rage, may be the doing of someone at some faceless casting agency, hiring actors and writing scripts designed to titillate. The point is, without something like the hoshen, an object capable of channeling the celestial spirit and telling truth from lie, we’ll never know.