The promise of fall came to Vermont last night. Although it’s only the last day of August, the clear skies last night (with all the bright stars) allowed the temperature to drop quite low, although we didn’t yet get a frost. When I remembered to check the temperature at 8:00AM, it was 46*F. That’s pretty darn cool for August in my book. But the day warmed up and turned lovely with crisp, cool breezes.
The morning news provided little of note. The TV news media seems fixed on the Jeffs case now, just as it was fixed on the Karr case days ago. 100,000 of *OUR* cluster bombs left in Lebanon through the graces of our good ally Israel for the kids of Southern Lebanon to play near. Little concern in American news for that. Another 43 Iraqi civilians killed today after 35 killed yesterday with hundreds and hundreds wounded. Just a quick comment about that before moving on to all sorts of coverage about one man (Jeffs) and his many wives.
It’s not really news anymore anyway, at least on TV. Stories are ranked in importance by how well they play, how well they ‘sell’ to an American public more interested in gossip than facts. It’s not about information anymore or helping to keep the populace educated. It’s about revenue generation from ads and sponsers. Anything a little too controversial, or requiring the network to take a stand on the importance of an unpopular story, ends up in the byline scrolling by at the bottom of the screen. So it is reported, but minimalized to the point of negligence.
Issues such as depleted uranium, or the ongoing theft of the Social Security fund are given mention in buzzwords, but are never fully explained. Their consequences are never spelled out in such a fashion so as to create in the viewership a sense of the magnitude of the issue or its foreboding nature for all our futures. And, hence, news critical to us all becomes background blather. A sort of elevator music for current affairs.
And we are all diminished somewhat by this. There is no upside. More is hidden than is revealed by the spotty focusing of the media on matters, that in the long run, are trivial.
A recent example of this was the extradition and movement of John Mark Karr, a man whose name will promptly be forgotten as it is of no further consequence. The camera stares out at an empty sky in real time as the viewers await the arrival by air of a man charged with a crime. That ongoing shot of blank, empty sky is purported to be newsworthy by the people who make the decisions about what you will, and will not, be shown. I cannot but think that somewhere along the line, such people became merchants rather than journalists.
Seeing as I am new to blogging and yet I have succesfully started this blog, I would like to give credit to those who made it possible for me to do so. First of all, to WordPress for providing the structured environment which makes it such a painless process to start a blog. Secondly, to Peter Binkley, whose blog is found at Quaedam cuiusdam, who created the template which gives this blog it’s appearance. And lastly, but not leastly, to Harvey of Buskers.org who corrected some minor errors in Peter’s template, and enpowered and enabled me to get this on the web.