Posts Tagged ‘news’

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The first five minutes are the same as the last five minutes

April 16, 2013

“Hey Tina the Lesbian?” I say.

“Yes?” says Tina the Lesbian.

“Does this make me a bad person?” I say.

“Depends on what ‘this’ is,” says Tina the Lesbian.

“Well, I found out about the Boston Marathon bombing in the late afternoon while I was out of my house,” I say.

“Right…” says Tina the Lesbian, nervous.

“And when I got home, I took a nap,” I say. “I didn’t turn on the TV, didn’t check the Internet, nothing.  Just sat my ass on the couch and went to sleep for a few hours.  I don’t think I was even tired.”

“So why did you take a nap then?” says Tina the Lesbian.

“Because I wanted to miss all the bullshit coverage of the bombing,” I say.  “You know what news networks get right in the initial rush of a tragedy like this?  Nothing.  You know what they get right after that?  Still nothing.”

“And you’d certainly miss the rush of Facebook and Twitter posts wildly speculating on things too,” says Tina the Lesbian.

“By the time I woke up from my nap is when the news reached the human interest part of the tragedy,” I say.  “When they start interviewing anyone and everyone who was around when the bombs went off.  They really have nothing much to add to the story.  I forgot how much time a newscast can cover by just getting someone to talk about something being loud and then people screamed.  The first couple people you hear it from, yeah, it’s a harrowing tale.  Seventh and eighth people… now you’re just padding out the broadcast because you don’t know fuck-all about what happened.”

“You didn’t miss much by sleeping through the initial coverage,” says Tina.  “I had just as much correct information about the bombing at the end of the day then I did at the beginning.”

“And whatever was going to happen next didn’t require me to watch it,” I say.

“Wake you when it’s over,” says Tina the Lesbian.

“Pretty much,” I say.  “Because any distress I was feeling over the bombing would have been compounded by hours upon bullshit news coverage.  They found someone, they didn’t find someone. There’s more bombs, they’re not bombs. I don’t need that shit making things worse for me.”

“So you’re asking me if you sleeping through the direct aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing makes you a bad person?” says Tina the Lesbian.

“In the interest of missing bullshit news coverage and Internet hysteria over events I have no control over, yes,” I say.

“Actually, you probably did the best thing possible,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “You don’t know anyone in Boston so you didn’t have to check if they were okay.  You weren’t going to be informed by the news so why bother watching it like a hawk?  And you have no one who would need comforting or consoling so your lack of availability isn’t an issue.  Fuck, now I wished I slept through it.”

So I sleepily stumbled into something mentally healthy.  Not many people can say they’ve done that.

tinasmallnote

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The selective outrage wheel has landed on murderous mothers in Florida

July 10, 2011

“Did you follow any of this Casey Anthony stuff on the news?”  I say.

“No, because I have better things to do with my time, like being a ninja,”  says Ninja Vicki.

“I didn’t either, but the day of the not guilty verdict my damn Facebook erupted with all sorts of wails and howls of injustice from people I know,”  I say.  “And all I could really think as I saw all these hysterical status updates was that there are surely other dead children out there whose murderers will not be caught and punished who won’t register a single blip on their emotional radar.”

“My rule is that if Nancy Grace is covering it, it’s not important to my life,”  says Ninja Vicki.  “Furthermore, if Nancy Grace is covering some criminal case and she starts demonizing the accused, place your money on the accused getting off.”

“CNN Headline News is like the anti-matter of news networks,”  I say.  “If they’re covering it, it’s not relevant to your life.  And that’s probably a good standard to go by for most other cable news networks as well.”

“It’s like you said last August, news is now an emotional enema for people,” says Ninja Vicki.  “News shows are not there to inform, they’re there to give people an opportunity to feel emotions in a comfortable setting where nothing is personally at stake for them.”

“Exactly, and the emotional outburst for the Casey Anthony verdict fell along two distinct lines,” I say.  “Mothers were so upset about the verdict and wanted to cry, and guys were pissed off about the verdict and openly wished for Casey to get shanked in the street.  It was an interesting view of how differently men and women deal with this sort of irrelevant media-driven dreck.”

Ninja Vicki gives me a funny look because she is a woman but – as previously stated – she is also a ninja, meaning her first instinct is to sink sharp objects into people, so I correct myself by saying it was an interesting view of how differently men and women who are not ninjas deal with this sort of irrelevant media-driven dreck.

“So I guess now we’re just waiting for another blonde white girl to go missing so this whole news frenzy hype process can begin again,”  says Ninja Vicki.

I guess we could devote our efforts to topics of more importance to the population, but I don’t think our brains really want to grasp the horrors of  ecological disaster, the slow slide to global financial ruin for everyone not already a millionaire, or the de-evolution of the last 300 or so years of social progress.  When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back into you, and your brain says “Holy shit, that’s scary, let’s forget we ever did that and go look for a less scary abyss to look into.”

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