Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Pope, Jackson & Shaivo; May it end soon!

Well, we've survived another week in bizzaro world, where small is big, old is new and stupid is smart.

The news media have managed to feed the lardass American public a savory soup of scandal, lies and misinformation. Hey, it's easier than actually doing any hard reporting. That has too many downsides; it costs money and it takes time and a modicum of intelligence. And for most media outlets, particularly the TV stations and cable networks, all three of those items are in very, very short supply.

But I want to take a moment to look at each of the honorable people mentioned in the heading of this blog.

The Pope. For some reasont that belies understanding, the networks feel compelled to report on every vague movement of this poor guys head and arms. "Hey was able to do the sign of the cross today..." Admittedly, there are a lot of Catholics in the US, but I bet you that hardly any of them are as obsessed as the media is about this man who is supposed to represent God on earth. They don't wish him any ill-will...but they simply are not waiting for the next "Pontiff Update." My guess is that research has incorrectly indicated to the network news programmers that people care about this. After all, what news you see is now based almost entirely (as is all political rhetoric) on polling and focus groups. It gets down to "give the people what they want." However, it's easy to misinterpret research. In the case of the Pope, if you asked a practicing Catholic, "Is the Pope important to you and and your faith?" the answer would likely be "yes." If instead, you asked, "Do you want to see constant updates on every twitch of the Pope's hand?" I doubt people would answer to the affirmative.

Michael Jackson. Just stop right now. This is like watching a train wreck, except you get to see what the dead people look like every day in court. It is the classic American carnival. Take the time you've spent watching court coverage and do something to help abused kids in your town or city.

Terri Shaivo. If Jackson is a carnival, this is a three ring circus. And the ringmasters are The Bush Brothers! If you were waiting for the nadir of the American republic, wait no more. This is it kids. The man we elected as the President of the United States, a man who (along with his Christian-freak followers) spouts off about the "founding fathers" all the time, has decided that the constitution and the founding principals of separation of powers and states rights are just too darn messy for him. After all, the man who ignored 9/11 warnings and started a futile war (1500 dead, thousands wounded...and counting) says he'll come down on the side of "life." Swell; if you define life as a woman with a liquified brain, which, of course, he might. And while the freak show in Washington with Dubya, First and DeLay is going on, Jeb is not to be forgotten. Jeb wants to get out of hell-hole Florida and move up to that de-luxe house on Pennsylvania Avenue...and he figures the xtians will help him do it.

So take a deep breath and get ready for a new week ahead. And if you have a few minutes, listen to Dylan's "Desolation Row." It's all there.