03/12/2016 15:28 SAST | Updated 03/12/2016 15:28 SAST

SA's Shock Jocks Are Cliffhanging By A Thread. Here's Help.

In this photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 South African Idols judge Gareth Cliff, is photographed outside the High Court in Johannesburg. The local television network M-Net dropped Cliff from its judging panel for the reality singing competition after a tweet that some South Africans thought was racist. Cliff, who said his tweet was not racist and was instead a defence of free speech, then won a court case against M-Net and was reinstated on Idols South Africa.

What's going on out there, guys?

Spiking your colleague's drink with Vodka is not shocking. Childish, maybe. But not shocking. Let's remember why we got into this game to begin with. Say it with me: Money! Money! Money! Ever heard of shock value? At the moment ours is zero.

Okay, here's what we're going to do. We're going to up our game. Hinting at solidarity with racists through veiled references to freedom of speech is not going to cut it anymore. No more candy coating. Moving forward let's speak from the heart. That's shocking.

Let's talk appearance. V-neck T-shirts have never shocked anyone. If anything, they soothe. Blonde hair cut short back and sides fill people with hope, not fear. Let's remember our idol. Picture your idol right now. Is he wearing a black leather jacket underneath a wild mop of black curls? I hope so. I know we work in radio, but let's at least look the part. There are always opportunities to shock outside the studio.

Speaking of, let's avoid having our picture taken while passing the homeless digging through trash. That's shocking, but for all the wrong reasons. Pose with a Mexican drug lord. Club a baby seal or whatever. Shock on your own terms.

You want to know the truth? Your audience is used to getting shocked. Nothing shocks them anymore. At any point during the day they'll hear things like "grab her by the pussy" or "state capture" and carry on like it's nothing. The goal posts are shifting. We need to keep up.

So what do we do? For starters, we don't publish a book before we've upped our shock game. Ever heard of the book, 'Kardashians: The Early Years'? Of course you haven't because it doesn't exist. And while we're on the topic of self-promotion, let's hold off on the movie. At least for now. Sly pulled off Cliffhanger in '93 because he had biceps and a $70m budget. We have neither.

Next, let's look at our personal lives. We've got nothing to hide and that's not good. A DUI every now and then wouldn't hurt, now would it? Can we make a sex tape? Can we join a terrorist cell? Let's keep our options open.

Okay, let's recap: We're going to grow our hair, or at least dye it black. We're going to be clear on whether we side with racists or not. We're going to hold off on the movie and admit, publicly, that writing a book titled Confessions of a Shock Jock is perhaps the only shocking thing we've ever done.