Wednesday, April 13, 2011

But What I Meant Was...

Once Upon a Time, there were things called news reports, during which somebody who looked like your dad's older brother would sit behind a microphone and read out the events of the day to you. He wore a shabby suitcoat with cigarette ash on the right lapel, a nice, quiet bow-tie and his best, or only, toupee. He spoke in a soft, rich, reassuring voice, without urgency, haste or criticism, and you trusted him. Even your dad, who sometimes thought that his older brother was a bit of a buffoon, trusted him. Besides, the rabbit ears on top of the old Zenith only picked up two channels. The information, which came to you through the sponsorship of DuMaurier cigarettes and Carling Black Label, was a coin toss. The choice to watch was yours.

Now, we have media. We've come to the realization that news is part of a bigger picture, and the picture is entertainment. No one wants to hear about political corruption, bureaucratic ineptitude, third world conflicts or Japanese earthquakes - not for very long anyway. We want to know about Kate and William, American Idol and Charlie Sheen. We are informed by the soundbite, the photo op and the panel of experts. Of course having more than two political parties involved in an election debate confuses us - maybe more than one would!

The Media (note the upper case "M", please) understand our real issues. They are the mirror to our lips, the finger on our pulses and the thermometer up our rectums. They realize how simple we are, and they have learned - God bless 'em - that when you're playin' to the cheap seats, y' hafta dumb it down.

We don't want bread and circuses, we want Mini Blizzards and orchestrated reality on a big screen LCD. Government is too complicated for most of us - best leave it to those who understand how it works - politicians, business and the media.

Let's leave it all up to them, and good things will trickle down to us in time. Don't we feel like we've been blessed by that bounty from a great height already?

(Please don't forget where you're going to vote on May 2nd)

Be well.


  1. Too painfully true . . . I have two degrees in (yes, capital M) Media and can't bear it right now, even or the tyee, or Chantal Hebert for gawdsakes. I'm having such a Conservative majority nightmare freak-out allergic reaction on top of already tough times - but I did get my voting card yesterday for May 2. I'm not worried about Libby (despite her tweets and emails to the contrary), but Ontario and Quebec. Just can't bear to look.

  2. We love your blogs - love your style. Question: Are we too media for you?