Tuesday, July 19, 2016

They cry peace, peace, but there is no...what, what?

I've tried to avoid the toxic fever-swamp that is the GOP convention like I try to avoid bad beer, vegan barbeque, and sleeping with people crazier than I am. But it's really hard to keep out the sickly stench of the hate, paranoia, rage, and fear that seem to rise from off that seething heap of "conservative" pismires like stink off a fresh pile of park dogshit.

I have no sympathy for that niddering throng of past-their-sell-by-date-Eurocentric/Christopathic-morons. Largely because of their weapons-grade stupid rallying whimper:

Make America Great Again!

I hear that and I can't help thinking; seriously, people? Because we're living in a post-apocalyptic hellscape? WTF?

But then I pause for a moment and think about the sort of input we're exposed to in the present Information Age. Ed over at Gin and Tacos had a sort of paranoid-fear moment the other day:
"With the unbroken string of horrible, crazy shit that has cast a pall over the world in the last few months, and without the events in Dallas, in St. Paul, and (the first) Baton Rouge being fully digested and comprehended, there was no part of me able to even take in another story along the same lines. Throw in the major European/Asian terrorist attack of the week and I didn't just ignore the news on Sunday. I actively avoided it."
Yep. Especially if you're a news junkie. CNN and MSNBC and (of course) Fox "News" is full of this shit. If you take their "reportage" at face value you'd begin to believe that we really ARE living in the End of Days. Wars, rumors of wars, fire, murder, headchopping Muslims, cats and dogs living together...


Stop. Think for a moment.

When was the last time your entire town or city was burned by an invading horde of horse nomads?

When was the last time your neighborhood was shadowed by a towering pyramid of the freshly-harvested skulls of your family, friends, and neighbors?

When you consider the sort of fucking ginormous catastrophes that litter human history – famines, plagues, folk-migrations, full-on civilization collapse – we really are living in pretty tranquil times.

That doesn't sell advertising minutes on CNN, though, so you'd never know it. But, really.

It kinda amazes me when I stop and think of CNN covering the Black Death, or the Mongol invasions of Eastern Europe. THAT would have been epic.

That frame for the story helps me keep my perspective.

That, and avoiding fucking CNN like I try to avoid bad beer, vegan barbeque, and sleeping with people crazier than I am.


mike said...

For awhile I gave up American TV in favor of radio and print. They seem just as bad now. Then I went to BBC, but they seem to cover more American news that Brit or Commonwealth. Can't find the Can-eye-dee-ans on CBC any more on the dial.

So the good news is I have retreated to the den and doubled up on reading history or an occasional mystery novel.

But the bad news is my bride is a news junkie so I hear it from her. Or from my golfing buddies. Or from the people in line at the grocery store.

FDChief said...

I see and hear this stuff, mike, but it doesn't gag me for the reasons I listed above. Perfect example; the murderous asshole truck driver in Nice. Bad day there? Yep. While, at the same time, about a gajillion other towns and cities in France celebrated peaceably. The Tour de France rolled on. Thirty or forty people died in crashes on the autoroutes, in bed, from trips and falls.

We saw no world wars. No pogroms. No mass migration of one people into another's lands with the attendant slaughter and misery. No plagues. No famines.

These 24-hour news channels are utterly worthless except for rousing paranoia, fear, and rage sprung from helplessness. If I were king I'd shut them all down and mandate no more than three hours of news a day; one hour each in morning and evening with a third that would have to be an in-depth look at one issue. It wouldn't solve the problem of bad reporting and news-as-infotainment, but it'd help.

It also won't solve the there-are-a-shitton-of-fucking-stupid-people problem, either. But at least it would help cut back their exposure to toxic "news"...

Anonymous said...

Viceland has popped up on my viewscreen these days, a new TV channel, and is fast becoming where I go when I sit a spell.

I caught the first 2 episodes of


The Trio visited the Bundys, before they were hauled off to jail. Interesting bit.

And a couple of my fave TV series are back, so I'm happy sans 24/7 cable spew and get what I want of news as I will.


FDChief said...

I keep getting Viceland ads during the Tour de France coverage (my Bride is a Tour junkie so we watch every night...), basil, and to me it looks like a mashup of "Jackass" and a fraternity selfie video. Fun in a sort of guilty "Christ-am-I-really-this-shallow-as-to-enjoy-this" kind of way...

Anonymous said...

Depends upon what you watch, the aforementioned "does America", there's another one, "Cyberwar", and their seasonal show on HBO do good journalism IMO. The other stuff is as you say jackassery, though Huang's World mimics Bourdain decently enough.