Jarring Illusions

Pic of the day, part i:  Purpurbootschwanz, by John James Audobon


We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable and complacent. We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.

Edward R. Murrow, Radio and Television News Directors association convention speech, 1958


The story continued from last time: …

After getting the cats fed and watered, it was time to go on line and look at the world and see what is going on.  Some people would turn on the TV and see what current events are going on.   But due to my previous foray with the TV, and ten thousand just like it, I’ve learned to be wary of what that benightedly stupid thing tells me.  The people on the damned thing are actors, and get paid to tell me things.  I don’t know who writes the scripts, so I try to avoid them at all costs.  It’s clear from my reactions that they don’t have my best interests at heart, so fuck’em.

Some people, knowing that, might turn to radio.  But the same exact problem exists there.  As a matter of fact it’s worse there.  The people who write for the radio are unimaginative cretins who try to bludgeon us with stupidity because they don’t have the visual medium to fall back on to create the sometimes soothing  and sometimes jarring illusions that they love to shove down our throats.

Looking at that, the next obvious turn would be to the internet.  Which gives the illusion of choice, but most times news stories are covered much the same way by everyone, so the choice isn’t much of a choice.  The internet is 1,000,000,000 voices all talking loudly about a pet subject, it takes a lot of work to filter through all the chaff to get to the good stuff.

Most of the time it’s all you can do to get any useful information that isn’t either propaganda or pure bullshit meant to simply draw you in so you can look at their ads, and maybe, by the way, read a story or whatever it is they pay the writers to write to get you there to look at the ads, which is where they make their money.

I read a few stories, some about Mitt Romney, some about Barack Obama, some about Ben Bernanke.  None of them really good, none actually news.  Each of the first two accuse the other of being assholes. Well, they didn’t put it like that, but when you break down the semantic content, that’s exactly what they’re saying. They seem to like doing it, because they do it a lot.

I read a few quick snippets of the propaganda about the Presidential race and get my shorts and running shirt, get dressed.  The cat looks at me and mews.  I mew back.  Then I sit down and read some more news.

Ben gets it easy, all he has to do is put out musings and statements on the economy, and make the stock market jump and dive like a trained seal that it is at his beck and call.  Most people who play the market, play it the same way some people play roulette.  Badly.  Ben knows this, so he plays these people like a pipe to help his friends.  Because capitalists, like all of the other (insert label)-ists are fools.  He seems to like doing it, because he does it a lot.

I read the first story.  It is a faithful representation of what the writer wants to portray.  The story is that Ben is going to help perhaps with Qe3, and the futures market dutifully went up  and went up quick, because he wanted it to.  He knows a good news story for him is one that has the effect wants it to have, and that’s why he does this.  He knows his people, both the writers and the bettors, and knows that his predecessors trained those dogs well.  They snap to attention quickly when asked.

I get up for a second from the computer and grab my sneakers.

When I get back to the computer, I put them on while maneuvering around a pile of crap near my computer, which at the moment has a cat on top of it.  I move the cat, who protests, until I scratch his ears.  Then I read the second story, nearly identical to the first.  I honestly wonder if these guys crib off of one another.  Some of these doofuses need to get a thesaurus.

Business writers suck.  But then again, they’re supposed to.  If they were good, they wouldn’t write business news.  Freidmanites don’t have the necessary intellectual creativity to be real writers.

Ben on the other hand is fun, even if he is at least partly responsible for destroying the economy a few years ago.

Seeing the way the markets react, it makes me wonder why he hasn’t just told them to fix things…

Oh, that’s right, he doesn’t want them fixed.

If he did, they’d be fixed.

I am thinking this while reading the stories about Ben’s statements, as I am getting ready to run.

I use emotion to fuel those runs, and anger gets me moving quickly, so I too know how to use the news to my advantage.  Ben’s not the only one who can play that game.  I am ready to burn before I have my sneakers on to walk out the door.

Before the run I take a quick look at the weather.   9:15 am, 83 degrees, humid.


To be continued, methinks…


Pic of the day, part ii:  Trumpeter Swan, by John James Audobon


The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.

Edward R.  Murrow


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