Saturday, November 1, 2008

Meanderings: Spare My Feelings, Please

I'm standing on line for coffee at me local bookstore, when I hear the velvet tones of the "One" issuing from a cell phone behind me. It wasn't difficult to figure out the story, as OB had been in town the previous day. Apparently, Mom and/or Deb had been at the rally with the trusty cell phone and were now in the midst of reviewing their cinematography. They were so thrilled that it did not occur to them that someone, me, standing within earshot might not feel the same way. I turned and took in the duo, both tall, blond and somewhat horsey. From Mom's striped tailored shirt to her pressed khakis to her modish loafers, her appearance spoke money. A**, I thought to my self, you're the one that's gonna pay not me. Enjoy it. I couldn't decide if it was real money, in which case she could afford to donate to her favorite politician in the form of increased taxes. I suspected it was wannabe. Wonder how she's gonna feel in a few years.

Henry over at Babalu has been quoted as saying that he has been interested in politics since he was five. Some have mocked him. I understand. In Cuban American households, politics is the mother's milk of discussion. One of my earliest memories is of sitting on my father's lap with the Daily News in front of us. I just focused on the pictures, as I did the evening my uncle was forcefully kidnapped from Anguilla Cay, causing an international incident.

The point is that as a voracious reader and watcher of news, I find myself at loose ends. To describe the loathsome transformation that has overtaken the media as bias is the mother of all understatements. There is no limit to the scurrilous, the mean, the petty when it comes to this election. I've been giving Newsweek and Time a wide berth for some time now. Just reading the table of contents is repulsive. I don't read the tabloids. And I made the mistake of picking up Harper's the other day, figuring I would read the nonpolitical stories. I never made it past the editor's letter in which the most civil description of John McCain was that he was "senile."

I have been reduced to watching Fox and only Fox News these days. Their evening line up has been incredible recently. On the web, I float between Babalu and Drudge with the occasional visit to Townhall or NRO. Although reassured that there are still those who have not become pod people, I am saddened. This is not what I want.

I don't read or watch to have my opinions reinforced; I read and watch to learn about people, events, places to which I have no access. I learn to form my own judgements. And I am old enough to remember a time when I was a loyal subscriber of Newsweek, when I could even read the New York Times, the paper with a record at this point. Although to be perfectly frank, I only read the Sunday edition. The layout has always sucked. They no longer write for me. By becoming shills for the Obama campaign, they have lost a reader. Maybe, they don't care. Maybe they only want Democrat readers. Have the business brains given a thought to the effect on diminishing circulation? As it is, some of them already look like circulars.

I have been so turned off by the flouting of journalistic ethics, the patronizing ethos that I am so stupid that I must be instructed by those who never broke a sweat in their lives on whom to vote for president. It is beyond repulsive. I don't know who will win this election. However, it is the press that has lost; and in losing the press, the country has lost. How the mass of citizenry is to make educated decisions is beyond me.


fermi said...

That's their point, my dear. Let those who are enlightened, who have been educated in the finest universities, assume 'the bright man's burden' of having to think for the great unwashed (who for no fault of their own, have not the wherewithall to make intelligent decisions about their future). It must gall the illuminati that their vote counts the same as that of Vince the Barber, Wanda the Housekeeper, Larry the Bartender, and (GASP!) Pedro the Gardener.

rsnlk said...

Well said, my friend! "bright man's burden" LOL