Gaius Julius Caesar has decreed that I wish you a happy New Year, as Hallmark and various and sundry other publishers insist that I buy a new calendar, and while I don’t think I’m totally, worthy-of-book-and-film crazy, I’d also like to mention that I’ve noticed patterns in the news.
(“Patterns.” Guy’s fucking crazy.)
For instance, once again the press has breathlessly announced that “record” retail sales indicate a rebirth for the struggling American economy and once again, within two weeks, that same press will announce that those figures were (shock!) a seasonal anomaly further fueled by consumer frustration over two years of NOT buying a damn thing. Third headline on the topic, within, say, six weeks? “Consumer credit again at breaking point,” or something very much along those lines.
The headlines of this very day blare gleefully of “Lowest unemployment claims in two years.” By next week, this happy observation will be leavened by the more sober (and obvious) disclaimer that many had delayed filing for unemployment benefits while they had access to holiday, retail, temporary jobs.
We are often informed of new, “democratic” elections in nations long on the rogue list only to be told, a bit or two later, that said elections have since been found to be corrupt. We are assured of new lows in war casualty counts then, soon after, read of horrific body counts in “unexpected” outbreaks of violence. We watch in disgusted awe as millions upon millions of gallons of raw crude gush into a priceless ecosystem then POOF, the oil is gone. Dissipated and disappeared. All ingested, we are informed, by some oil-snacking microorganism not even the most rarified scientists had knowledge of previously.
Okay. That last one sounds paranoid, but hey, I’m not making it up, am I?
The importance of the Fourth Estate transcends the importance of anything, anything else. A free press is not simply an indication of a democratic government, it is the only thing that makes democracy possible. When I was a kid (uh oh, here he goes…) in the 60’s and 70’s, I so clearly recall the grownups bitching that “the only news is bad news.” Yet today, we are spoon fed “good” news only to have its goodness punctured at some later date in what, at least in the old days, would have been framed as a formal editorial apology.
Now it seems, in some macabre baby boomer backlash, “the only news is good news” until we (AP) get back to you with the “unexpected” details. In short, we are being treated like the children we are; spoonfuls of sugar with every dose of medicine.
Dewey Defeats Truman. When mommy flushes the toilet, Mr. Goldfish goes to heaven.
Stay tuned, however, for unexpected details.
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- boobill said: I’ve always perceived it to be the opposite actually. All dire warnings and exaggerated alarmist bulldshit and then, oh that didn’t turn out to be that bad. As I say, the Weather Channel doesn’t lead with San Diego.
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