Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Threatened Sanity


As I may have mentioned once or twice, I have a long commute. I have what I am increasingly deciding is a bad habit of listening to National Pubic Radio under the misapprehension that I am making some positive use of the time.

Currently they are doing the common lazy journalistic stunt of rounding up random nobodies-in-particular and getting them to talk about why they are going to vote for candidate A or B.. In this case 50% of them are going to vote for the Cheeto dusted megalomaniac.

These people all have one thing in common. They are blithering idiots who presumably are able to dress themselves or they wouldn't be out in public, yet that seems implausible. I discovered that I cannot listen to their drivel so I have to turn the radio off for a couple of minutes until I'm sure it's safe.

Many people are now questioning the viability of our electoral republic. The tolerability of letting idiots vote is dependent on the proportion of idiots in the population and it is evidently much too high. Of course there is a disease vector for the epidemic of idiocy -- the corporate media.

There are signs that some editors are waking up to the horrific danger they have created. The New York Times has improved a bit in the past couple of weeks, although they are still gasping desperately for balance, as with a recent long-form piece discussing Bill Clinton's extramarital adventures. But even the victories are Pyrrhic. We're talking about how the candidate insulted a former beauty queen and whether he pays taxes. As Krugzilla notes, we aren't hearing a word about the crisis facing industrial civilization; and I could add, pretty much anything else of substance. Apart from the border wall and the Muslim ban, both of which may or may not currently be operative, the people don't know anything about policy differences. Well, okay, one candidate doesn't really have policies but he will sign everything that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell put on his desk and appoint Rush Limbaugh to the Supreme Court.

The discourse is so debased and depraved that it makes you wish for a philosopher king.

2 comments:

robin andrea said...

Thank you for writing this post. I think about it, but can't bring myself to write about it. Yikes. What have we become that this beast is so close to White House? And yes, the most serious issues of the day NEVER get discussed. I didn't watch the first debate and won't watch the second. It is the worst kind of theater and more than I can stand.

Don Quixote said...

Thank The Force for Scott Stossel, Andrew Rosenthal, Nicholas Kristof, Paul Krugman, and many other editors and honest-to-god journalists who are sounding the alarm. I have referred to NPR as "National Pentagon Radio" (not my moniker, but it fits) for years now. I remember living in Boston at the time of the first asshole Bush's first invasion of Iraq, and thinking, Okay, NPR has caved to the tyranny of "embedded journalism"--we will no longer be getting any news of susbstance--rather, we will be hearing what the corporate overlords want us to hear and the talking heads (or disembodied voices) relay to us.

Hurricane Matthew is terrible but the true shitstorm facing us is not going away. Brexit succeeded and the recent cease-fire in Colombia failed because of the willingness of the populaces to co-sign their own death warrants. That is what we will do if we elect the would-be-Hitler, the former Drumpf, who Trumpets his megalomania and hatred and narcissism with the permission of a brainwashed, corporatized media. May god or whatever "Force" you believe in help us all.