Monday, November 11, 2013

Dirty Laundry


Packaged hysteria 
--A Murder of Quality, John Le Carre

We can do the innuendo 
we can dance and sing
When all is said and done 
 we haven't told you a thing 
--Dirty Laundry, Don Henley

Lisa has not watched a local or national news program in many years, having figured out that a commensurate amount of time spent with a worthwhile publication will render a faster and fuller data stream. However, she has taken in a couple of newscasts at a friend's house in the past week and was embarrassed by what passed as news.

The agenda is clear out of the starting gate: The three major stories to be covered are shadowed. They are presented so as to elicit basic emotions like anger, sadness, frustration or outrage; their will be a barely veiled relationship among them. The broadcast will conclude with an "Aw-gee" story -- a guy who's been toting Starbucks coffee to the cancer ward for a decade, or a dedicated canine. It is like Greek tragedy, and the viewer is left with the cathartic experience after having been run through the emotional thresher in the span of a half hour.

For those who gain their primary input thusly, it is a terrible skewed and limited view of life. In addition, what is the effect of having one's emotions so fully jerked around as pertains to their own lives and those of their fellows? It feels exhausting, and yet no works has actually been done.

We have addressed elsewhere the ET! effect and the (John) Tessification of America. While it is admirable that many continue trying to stay updated via this medium, surely it is futility.

What do you think keeps viewers watching?

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