We are now at the point where I can hardly read anything in the newspaper but the comics, can’t listen to NPR, and can under no circumstances tolerate even a minute of CNN or MSNBC. It’s even so bad I can’t watch The Daily Show.
Mainstream media these days is like Fellini’s Satyricon.
So how am I disgusted? Let me count the ways:
The latest condescending Bread-and-Circuses idea by both Clinton and McCain about a “gas-tax holiday” is so cynical, pandering and breathtakingly dumb that it will probably end up winning one of them the election.
I don’t like paying high gas prices more than anybody else, but perhaps looking another direction than the purse strings of Uncle Sam could be useful? Like, oh, I don’t know, at the corporations that are making record-breaking profits? Exxon Mobil posted a $10.89 billion with a “B” profit for the first three months of the year.
Sure there’s no give in gas prices? And isn’t the whole idea that the gentle and wise hand of the market will reign in these kinds of profits?
Then there’s the perennial war in Iraq which costs $275 million per day, not to mention the mounting human costs with more people dead and maimed every day. But apparently that’s just become the weather these days, and not something that can be challenged or changed. Turns out there is such a thing as the sunk cost fallacy. Look it up.
To add points to my blood pressure, the talking point that’s been going around now for a while about how it’s all the Iraqis fault the Army can’t be pulled out—they’re not doing their fair share! Whaaa!—sounds a lot like a rapist blaming his victim for his not enjoying himself.
Monstrous and horrible as Saddam and his henchmen were, there are two important facts to bear in mind: 1) Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11; and 2) The Iraqis never asked to be invaded. I’m sure they were happy to get rid of Saddam, but blaming them for not holding up their end on some sort of coerced deal is mind-blowingly disingenuous.
And then there’s the delightful spectacle of democracy in process. If I was working on one of the campaigns I’d care deeply about who raised how much money and in which city the candidates will be on which day and what the polls are showing today. Deeply. But I’m not. I’m a voter. I want to know what positions the candidates are taking on the issues.
Yes, I know, apparently that’s snoresville these days, so call me a freak, but that’s what I’d like to see the media cover.
And speaking of issues, don’t know if you noticed, but the economy is going to hell in a hand basket with the sub-prime mortgage meltdown in the driver’s seat laughing its ass off.
Oh, what shall we ever do to keep from skidding off the road? Hey, I know, let’s bail out the banks that put us in this mess in the first place.
So what caused the mortgage meltdown? Creative banking with zero federal oversight. Simple as that. Putting the whole onus on stupid consumers is narrow-minded to say the least.
How freaking awesome must it be to work at a bank? You can come up with some squirrelly coked-out scheme, make money hand over fist, and then have the fed come bail you out when the hangover starts.
How about in each one of the banks that are getting bailed out, everybody in a managerial position is fired immediately? Oh, wait, no, that’s that “consequence” thing we try to fool our children into believing, isn’t it?
Can I have a cookie whenever I let my greed and arrogance override every ounce of common sense I possess, too? ’Cause that would be nice.
Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.
Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.
Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.
The Internet tells Nic to install Ubiquiti gear in his house, so he does, and now he has thoughts.
What I wish I’d known when I started podcasting.
Nic starts a new podcast about—gasp!—American sports.
Mostly excellent non-fiction in this installment. Includes Fantasyland, The Miracle of Dunkirk, Das Reich, The Undoing Project, Waiting for the Punch, Vacationland and Points of Impact.