I remember when I used to look at the naïve people around me who never opened a newspaper, never watched the nightly news, and were more likely to name the full cast of (insert name of wretched show here) than they were to tell you the names of important and serious world leaders (like Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer) and ponder on how blatantly and pathetically ignorant they all were. I would think on their plight with disgust, imagine them sitting around eating Cheetos in their mother’s basement, watching South Park marathons and updating Facebook with pictures of Wal-Mart shoppers.
I used to think that those people were quite pathetic until Michael Jackson began speaking to me through a popular 80’s tune regarding something about a mirror and his favorite winter coat. It was at that moment that I realized that I probably wouldn’t ever get that crazy lyrical riddle and that I knew way too much about Michael Jackson. The thing is, I didn’t know about a young Macaulay Culkin’s odd friendship with a grown man, the terrifying rides at Neverland Ranch, his hyperbaric chamber, or the secret code to “Michael Jackson’s Punch Out” because of Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media platform that I, as a serious and responsible blogger, should know about. I knew this gobbledygook because the news told it to me (except the secret code…which is still secret).
Upon the realization that the news media forced me to learn too much about people that I didn’t care about, I decided something had to give. I’m talking about the man in the mirror (pause for effect). This isn’t just about Bubbles, it’s about his intellectual equivalent Alan Grayson…and a few others. I realized that I too spend hours watching redundant compost that, in the end, brings me less satisfaction than Mick Jagger can get – even though I try, and I try and I try. What do I do when I actually read something that I care about? I probably post a link to Facebook or Twitter (only to have more people react to my Shoppers of Wal-Mart picture). It doesn’t help that I have a reputation to drive miles for Jalapeño Cheetos. It occurs to me that the only real difference between me and the imaginary recipient of loathing is that I pay rent …which further irks me (in retrospect I should have imagined him paying an outrageous price for that musty, shag carpeted dungeon).
The media brings so little knowledge that matters today because what matters doesn’t bring revenue. The little twerp in the basement, he’s a “grown-up” consumer now and he dictates what the media is going to produce more so than Patrick Leahy’s nephews who, incidentally, can’t afford condoms because they go to his alma mater. So, in between the segments on the War in Afghanistan (that isn’t a war) and the Presidental Primary outcomes you get to learn about “Why Snooki Lied About Her Pregnancy” (She had like been drinking and was all like worried because it was like New Years and she was all up in Vegas so you know she went CRAAAAZY!).
Even if you do go to legit news sites or even serious blogs (such as the Sentry Journal), you still have to succumb to the fact that most of it is blowing in the wind anyway. I’ve spent countless days of my life trying to figure out how many times the cannon balls must fly before they’re forever banned while the rest of the world ponders an equally daunting question answered by an owl regarding a Tootsie Pop. Are we really that different?
Perhaps all is lost and I, like Kirstie Alley, will keep fighting the inevitable in vain. It’s not so bad I suppose. It’s probably too late to learn a new niche and, on the upside, Cheetos are coming out with new flavors all the time.
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