Flooded I-10/I-610 interchange and surrounding area of northwest New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have you ever noticed how little information there is in the “news?” Traditional news on TV and other media is spectacle and entertainment, designed not to inform, but to garner ratings and advertising dollars. Car chases are a big deal in cities, but who really cares to watch the police do their job apprehending a solitary driver?
When Katrina happened, we were in Northern California on vacation. The networks focused on interviewing individuals trapped in New Orleans to show the human side of the tragedy, but a task that required no real effort on their part. I turned to PBS for information and in one thirty minute segment, I was informed about what was really happening in New Orleans. The networks could inform the public if they chose, but the owners of the media and the 1% mostly don’t want an informed electorate. It’s easier to get what they want if the rest of us don’t know what is happening. So to them, no news is truly good news.
I Love Lucy (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)
During the 1950s in Chicago, if my memory serves me correctly, we had our choice of four channels: CBS on 2, NBC on 5, ABC on 7 and WGN on 9. Most shows were 30 minutes long and most people watched the hit shows, like I Love Lucy at 7:00 pm on Monday nights. Now there are so many channels that most people are watching different shows. My point is that in the early days of television, TV united us culturally while today TV is a divider.
I think that it is shameful that two shows on Comedy Central, The Daily Show and Colbert Report,
Stewart with correspondents (from left to right) Samantha Bee, Aasif Mandvi, Jason Jones, John Oliver and Rob Riggle (2008) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
provide better information on the state of our politics than do the three major networks, NBC, ABC and CBS.
All About Evil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In fiction, evil is portrayed with horns, red eyes, fangs, green scaly skin, sharp claws, cloven hooves and a tail. In real life, evil has a bland, everyday look that blends in with the crowd, just as the spokesmen for the NRA are ordinary looking people. After the terrible events at Newtown, the American public got a really good look at the real faces of evil, as opposed to the fictional faces of evil as portrayed in movies and on TV.
When I see a pundit on TV talking about the deficit or about shared sacrifice and he is obviously not hungry, I see eyes and a nose and a mouth swimming in a sea of fat and trying desperately not to drown. It tends to cancel out anything and everything he says, and it reflects poorly on the fat-cats he is trying to represent, the people who pay him/her big bucks to persuade legislators and the rest of us, the 99%, that shared sacrifice should not be shared by the job creators, the 1%.