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April 01, 2004
Pointless complaint

You know what makes me tired? Two-faced hypocrisy. Lies, fraud, misdirection, and attack politics.

(And certainly with this Administration, obsessive secrecy. If they're not actually 'up to something' in the way that conspiracy-theorists think of it, then they're working awfully hard at giving the impression they are for some weird reason of their own. Whether it's incompetence or idiocy, they're making it very difficult for those of us inclined to consider both sides of issues to give their side a decent hearing.)

Keeping up with what's going on in Washington shouldn't take four hours a day for the average citizen. Consequently I'm suggesting that we voters band together and demand an end to the shenanigans. That we demand honesty, open government, and good-faith compromise where the sides disagree.

What happened to negotiation and finding common ground? Why is politics now like talk radio - a place of absolutes where nuances aren't welcome? Why is compromise so foreign? When did we become so all-or-nothing politically?

I'm not a utopian and I don't live in some fantasy world where politics used to be a clean and lovely and altruistic but surely it hasn't always seen the pointless sinkhole it seems to be today?

It's not that our elected officials are fighting with each other that bothers me. It's the perception I have sometimes that they don't really care that much about their fights…that some of this is being staged like 'reality' tv, to get headlines.

And the perception I sometimes have that they're not fighting at all but the media is making it look like they are just to sell newspapers.

You can complain all you want about the BBC but there's a lot to be said for a fully funded national news outlet that doesn't have to sell ads or subscriptions to stay on the air. Recent problems around questions of intelligence on Iraq aside, they have a world-wide reputation most USofA news outlets have to envy.

Also? As long as I'm complaining, let me say I'm getting sick and tired of having to read twenty news sources over the course of six months to find out if some politician's statement is true or false or just semantic fancy-dancing. And then waiting another year or more for 'historical context' to make certain that what we eventually decided they were trying to say was, in fact, what they were trying to say.

I'm equally tired of having to read ten different news sources to find the full text of a story. Each outlet publishes only those bits it prefers. Is the media that biased, or do they just leap to whatever conclusion they think will sell the most newspapers in the next 24 hours? (Don't answer that. I have a few illusions left.)

If I had any reason to believe the dogged determination to discover misdeeds and uncover criminality was really on my behalf, instead of in pursuit of a front-page byline, I might feel differently, but I don't. Believe that, I mean.

I've just seen it happen too often over the last year or two. Time and again a story hits the new cycle in screaming headlines and then a few days or weeks later, we learn the rest of the story - and discover that it's not what we were originally told. (And it's hard to find those clarifications. I know I rely on the people reading twenty news sources over the course of weeks or months, to find those tiny, follow-up stories that prove the original treatment was, to be charitable, incorrect.)

I'm tired of the media today.

I'm tired of being treated like someone who slows down at accident sites to look for bodies, watches "Real Police Chase Videos" in the hopes of seeing gunfire, and turns on very variation on the "Survivor" show in anticipation of seeing people humiliated. I don't do any of those things and if any of my friends do them, they're ashamed enough of it not to mention it to me.

I do understand that millions of people are like that, or those shows wouldn't continue to draw huge ratings and those media outlets wouldn't continue to draw millions of viewers/readers.

I'm tired of all of those people, too.

Which just goes to prove, once again, that if you spend too much time wallowing in negativity, it's going to color your world. I'm considering going on a one-week campaign to link to and discuss nothing but good news. Or at least to stories about people honestly trying to do well.

In the meantime, I'm taking a very dim view of the future of humanity and whoever it is who emptied the building's junk food machine of all the chocolate is going at the top of my list.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:43 PM


what a great rant...i hope that people read this, cause you express the feelings of many. there is something essentially wrong going on, but it's much more nefarious than just political parties and the evil bush. most people believe their television and the corpratacrocy that is marketed to them. they believe that mcdonalds sells food.
we really need to step outside, smell the flowers and the manure, and be living human beings. dance to the music...make love to the person we want...eat real food...watch the sun rise...listen to the thunder...and take life as a beautifull joke. love til' it hurts.

Posted by: scott at April 1, 2004 07:19 PM