Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


It's 8:22PM as of the start of this correspondence. I've lifted the massive remote control that the Comcast God's blessed me with and have cycled through the three major cable news networks in search of something, anything important going on in the world. Here's what my endeavor unveiled:

Channel 26 [HeadlineNews]: Nancy Grace, er, graces me with a breathless account of Britney Spears' very predictable loss of child custody.

Channel 63 [MSNBC]: Keith Olbermann seamlessly crosses over from his tired anti-Bush diatribe to a story regarding some loon who's amassed a collection of stolen parking meters.

Channel 76 [Foxnews]: Bill O'Rielly and the lawyer OJ made famous are hammering out some very important details regarding what I thought was a long dead horse, Anna Nicole Smith.

Infotainment at it's best.


Keith Olbermann managed a seamless crossover back to his tired anti-Bush diatribe through the very nascent humor (ground breaking, really) regarding Bush's public speaking disabilities. Cutting edge stuff, that Olbermann.

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aelkus said...

hahahah, nancy grace......

that's what katie couric is going to become when she's old and bitter.

deichmans said...

Wow - you get digital cable in Vermont? What would happen if all y'all seceded from the Union? :-)

G said...

Jay, have you ever read "The Age of Missing Information" by Bill McKibben? It'd reminded me of this post. You'd probably like it. It's a little on the eco-warrior side but it's about a guy who tapes one entire day of cable TV (all channels) and then proceeds for the next couple of months to watch it, then he compares that, through the perspective of information gathering, to a day spent alone in nature. There is some interesting insights in the book. My favorite is how he notices how many different species there are during his day in nature, but through the months documenting the one day of TV he notices that TV tends to focus on the "cute" or normal animals and rarely shows the great diversity of life.

Adrian said...

I like Keith Olbermann. He reminds me that somewhere out there somebody is angry about the crap I am angry about, outside of the permanently angry people.

Jay@Soob said...


Sounds like an interesting read. Television has certainly gone a long way toward limiting human kinds cognitive awareness. While you'd have to pry my own remote from my cold dead hands I do often wonder if we'd all be a bit more intellectually "deep" without television.

Ymarsakar said...

Television's problem is that evolutionary wise humans are designed to believe what they see. Prey/Predator vision functions, you know. Deers are evolved to believe what they smell, for example. For us, it is sight. And next on the list is probably sound/speech and so forth.

So given that, when people see things on tv, they don't question it. Thus this decreases the amount of knowledge that can be passed along to individuals via the medium of tv.

Adrian said...

Similar to Ymarsakar's point - a TV program can be entirely accurate and tell a story that has all the facts correct, but still "lie" by creating a false impression through what it does not show.

Also I don't know why my post isn't showing up here as linking to this post. I can never get the trackback things to work.

Jay@Soob said...


Your post shows up at technorati. Thanks for the link.

I agree that facts can be introduced and then "spun" to meet a certain ideological goal or conclusion.


I like the prey/predator vision functions angle. The finest aspect of blogging is virtually meeting and conversing with people who don't rely on their eyes for knowledge or "truth." Rather they rely on the finest element and organ of humanity, their brain. Further, within my own virtual network the cognitive aspect goes further as most within set aside or look beyond religious, ideological and political convictions. This isn't to say that we don't have our own ideological foundations from which we speak. Certainly Adrian and I will go to the ballot box in '08 with very different ideals. But our discourse goes beyond the ideological constriction of partisan favor.

Though, were we to discuss futbol vs football...

Adrian said...

Football (I mean real football now) is much more important than mere partisan political issues.

Some people say that football is as important as life and death. I think they are totally wrong. It is way more important than that.

Bill Shankly, loosely quoted.

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