Saturday, June 27, 2009


The king of pop has passed. It's sad in a way. I was never a fan of his music but I certainly recognize the impact he had. He was also an extremely tragic individual that one couldn't help feeling sorry for. But what concerns me is the magnitude of coverage occasions like this garner in the press. I just don't get it. We have wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our economy is in the toilet. Katrina victims are still living in dilapadated trailers. Hard working Americans are finding themselves unemployed and unable to care for their families. I'm sure any of you can name a myriad of examples that should be more newsworthy than the passing of an entertainer yet we will be bombarded in the days or weeks to come with stories on Mr. Jackson and his family. And this doesn't stand alone. What the hell is going on in this country? I find this type of "news" coverage to be somewhat embarassing.

Is a night on the town with Paris Hilton or Lindsey Lohan really newsworthy stuff? Do we really care about "Brangelina" and the other celebrety couples so seemingly integrated into our culture? What is the fascination with Britany Spears? Why does the news of MJ's death completely overshadow that of Farrah Fawcett? Anna Nicole Smith? WTF? Who determines the magnitude of these events and how much coverage they should get?

We do. The "news" media has itself become an entertainment industry. We don't see "news" anymore. We see what some executive has decided will attract viewers. And as I've said many times, we are becoming a nation of morons so, get used to seeing moronic news. The only way we are going to stop it is to raise up as a country and start a campaign to educate and intellectually stimulate our lazy, ignorant, apathetic selves so we will WANT to see news worthy issues in the news.

What do we watch on TV? American Idol. Survival. The Great Race. The Bachelor. OK, not we... but enough of us to concern me. I watch a lot of the History Channel but even that has stooped down to accomodate the idiocy we have cultivated in our society. Ever see "Monster Quest"? The show examines whether actutal "monsters" exist out there living among us. Some are more idiotic than others but the bottom line is THEY NEVER SHOW PROOF OF EXISTENCE!!! The closest we come is someone insisting they "saw" the creature in question and it wasn't a dog, cat, bear, shark, whatever.... I'm guessing it was a hallucination brought on by a night of heavy drinking.

What can we do about this? It starts with our children. Or maybe it's too late for that and needs to start with our children's children. We need to impress upon our kids that Michael Jackson was NOT necessarily someone they or our grandkids should aspire to become or emulate. I mean come on, the guy was a suspected pedophile for crying out loud. And talk about mal-adjusted. Who in their right mind subjects themselves to that level of plastic surgery? Think about how unbelievably low your self esteem needs to be before you go that route. This is someone we want to canonize?

Our priorities are completely screwed up. American citizens are living below the poverty level but we spend billions of dollars a month on wars we can't win and unfortuantes who will probably never even set foot on American soil. We tolerate abuses by our sports heros and celebreties but won't allow gay people to get married. We stand up and cite constitutional rights and allow hate groups like the KKK to exist among us but throw those rights out the window when it comes to tapping our phones and monitoring our emails in the name of national security. Why are we outraged by the crackdown on protestors in Iran but not outraged by our failure to find WMDs in Iraq?

I would like us all to take a moment to mourn the passing of Thomas W. Wolfarth. What? You never heard of him? Well, "Wolfie" was a the president of the Delaware County Emergency Health Services Council in Pennsylvania. A career EMT. A man who had received several commendations for the excellence of his work. I guess his most noted rescue was the 7 1/2 hour life saving extrication of a worker, injured, bleeding, and trapped "15 feet below grade in an unshored excavation". Wolfie was 42 years old and passed away due to complications from a brain tumor. Now think about it. Is Wolfie's passing any less significant than MJ's? Personally, I'm a inclined to mourn Wolfie a little more.

Maybe we could funnel a few of those billions into cancer research. Perhaps if we had, Wolfie would have made it.


Common Sense

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