News? What News?


Pic of the day, part i:  The Massacre at Chios, by Eugene Delacroix

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No one talks more passionately about his rights than he who in the depths of his soul doubts whether he has any. By enlisting passion on his side he wants to stifle his reason and its doubts: thus he will acquire a good conscience and with it success among his fellow men.

Friedrich Nietzsche; Human, All Too Human

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I try not to get my information from the same sources that most people do. I don’t watch network news, and I read news that I search for,  not news that shows up and announces itself to me as news.   I cannot, unfortunately, avoid getting news from the same sources as everyone else.  That would be impossible, but I try to keep my immersion in that pool of bullshit to an absolute minimum.

Which leads me to think;  Why do people read, listen to and watch the news that we watch?   Is it because they tell us what people are interested in?  Because it informs us what is going on?  Because it is a way to while away some time learning about the goings on of the world, while not doing much anything else? Because we feel left out if we don’t know what’s going on?  Something completely other?

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I am of the mind that news should be, at least in some sense participatory.  I find it hard to just listen to what someone else wants me to hear.  The same story about Romney or Obama or Bernanke or Merkel holds no appeal to me. I not only don’t watch the news on television and just let it wash over me, I don’t allow then to tell me what stories are important.

I have only the eyes in my head though, so I have but a limited ability to find a different pool to look into.  Looking for news into any particular company, regardless of the company, will generally come up with glowing good news about them.  Even Bank of America, a generally not very much liked company, comes up with mostly good news.  Monsanto?  All good news.  Citigroup?  All good news.  Alcoa?  All good news.  I could toss a ton of other company names (Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, etc, etc.) that I have searched for with nothing but good news coming up…

And yet, Employment?  Bad news.  Job Market?  Bad news.  Hiring?  Bad News.

That strikes me as odd.  How could there be nothing but good news about companies that live and work here in the United States, and yet we hear so much bad news about the economy?  Unless they really aren’t in that bad of a state, and we are all being fed a line by people who stand to make out by feeding us that line?  I just don’t know.

Stands to reason that if all these companies, all the ones that I can think of (save Barclays and a few other banks, who are having a bad time for reasons of their own choosing, and who will be out of the news cycle in a week or two) are doing well, where is the uncertainty coming from?  Dunkin Donuts? (nope) Kraft? (nope) Exxon? (nope)

Or more properly put, who is feeding us this crap and why?

I’d say we’ll never know, but if we are so stupid that we simply don’t know, despite the fact that they tell us every day who they are, then we are idiots, and deserve whatever fate befalls us while they buy the election and anything else they can get their grubby ugly mitts on.

Just saying…

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Pic of the day, part ii:  Dante and Virgil in Hell, by Eugene Delacroix

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Our dangers, as it seems to me, are not from the outrageous but from the conforming; not from those who rarely and under the lurid glare of obloquy upset our moral complaisance, or shock us with unaccustomed conduct, but from those, the mass of us, who take their virtues and their tastes, like their shirts and their furniture, from the limited patterns which the market offers.

Learned Hand, The Preservation of Personality

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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