January 24, 2008

"Blinding you with his razor-sharp acumen...."

1. Keep the razor blades away from my eyes.

2. This is not acumen, John Gibson. This is pure stupidity and ugliness.

3. Even as he mocks the poor Heath Ledger for (apparently) using drugs, John Gibson sounds groggy and slurred. What does it take to overcome your normal inhibitions — whatever residue of humanity you've got inside — and to go on the radio and emit material like that?

83 comments:

Rick Lee said...

The link goes to a Dick Morris column.

goesh said...

I thought it was just me

Ann Althouse said...

Damn. Sorry. Fixed.

Ann Althouse said...

Damn that Dick Morris. He's everywhere.

For the post that link was meant for, go up 2.

goesh said...

"He's giving a bad name to good guitars", said one respondent - Wow! You need to lure that wag here, Ms. Ann. Yup, fat John could have done much better, at least to have harped on the tragedy of a man of means and intelligence not availing himself of resources to sustain his life. I think now Heath was just wanting to ease some psychological pain and was taking too much of the medication he had on hand and had no real intention of killing himself but the toxicology report may well prove me wrong. It still pi**es me off that people with means don't make use of said means when so many are without and have to suffer and that's why I won't glorify anything about Heath. John is being an oaf, no doubt and I would expect much better of him.

SGT Ted said...

It's why I don't watch Fox Shows. Too much stupid like that.

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Middle Class Guy said...

"The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason."
Hunter S. Thompson

Cedarford said...

There is a place for mordant, gallows humor. The death of a well-liked young man from unknown causes is not one of those times. It was grotesque. Sick. Totally out of place.

Gibson and whatever producer(s) decided Ledger's death would make for some fine black comedy need to apologize, and then sit down with a few people that can help them distinguish between a proper period of mourning and respect for the feelings of others - and the snarky laughing a year or so after the demise of some noteworthy recipient of the Darwin Award.

rhhardin said...

I will have to comment after I've heard it (the sound card is tied up on Imus), but don't mistake ridicule of the audience for soap opera with ridicule of the money-making soap opera event.

The point is to offend the soap opera audience. They take themselves so seriously, and the media need that to make money off their eyes, which they sell to advertisers.

The complaint is that it takes over all the terrain for media, as if everybody gave a damn about celebrities. They don't.

rcocean said...

"There is a place for mordant, gallows humor. The death of a well-liked young man from unknown causes is not one of those times. It was grotesque. Sick. Totally out of place."

Oh come now. Are you similarly upset at whatever Imus and Stern said? I doubt either was grieving.

I think all this 3rd-hand "grief" over the death of a relatively obscure actor is rather weird, excessive, and off putting. I won't defend Gibson, but his comments on Heath are simply another side of the phony media hype over this man's death the purpose of which is to to sell ads.

Pogo said...

Well, that first taste of John Gibson commentary suggested less a seat at the Algonquin table than a seat in the lunchroom with the other freshmen at Podunk Junior High School, where the next comments are "pull my finger" and "that's what she said."

rcocean, I agree that celebrity is a disease and there is more greed than grief from the media here, but mocking a man not dead for even a day, especially a largely unobjectionable and minor player on the world stage, is unChristian to say the least. It's also rude, boorish, and unfunny.

rhhardin said...

Okay, I listened. Nothing exceptional. The thought that maybe he had a position in the market was amusing.

Can we talk about sympathy?

The point of sympathy (``Sorry about your father'') is to cut somebody some social slack for a while. His work project can be a little late, and he needn't laugh about the 1000th retelling of the same joke, which otherwise he would have to laugh at.

Sympathy is offered because it is useful to him, not because you gave a shit about his father. It's a grammatical formulation so that it doesn't seem like a gift, as if you actually were sorry about his father; so as not to obligate him to you. It's a double gift : slack, plus he's not obligated for the gift, because it's disguised as sympathy.

If you don't know the guy or his friends, who actually may be in mourning, your sympathy is your own entertainment of yourself. It's of no earthly use to anybody else. Get over it.

Advertisers know about this form of self-entertainment, and go wall-to-wall to sell you to advertisers for as long as it works.

Women are the worst. Once there's any empathy pathway opened in their little brains, nothing else functions for a week.

Take a cold shower.

Pogo said...

If you don't know the guy or his friends, who actually may be in mourning, your sympathy is your own entertainment of yourself.

I disagree. Too much Ayn Rand in such utilitarian indifference.

Proper respect for the newly dead is a minimal expectation of common human decency. One should avoid Pincess Diana-like excess, to be sure, but avoidance of mockery is de minimus.

Even you agree that one should offer sympathy to those near him, but Gibson's comments could very easily have been heard by family or friends "who actually may be in mourning", and thus he violates your own narrow rule.

rhhardin said...

who may actually be in mourning

The price of a celebrity friend.

The higher value is mockery of the vast celebrity weeping audience.

rhhardin said...

It is, in short, the expression of a refusal to follow.

Highly valued in today's media market.

Which is why I've heard it so far from John and Ken (KFI), Imus (WABS), and now this Gibson person that I've never heard of.

I agree he's not particularly amusing, not worth tuning in. But get the criticism straight.

You need to get at the soap audience disgust a little better.

Freder Frederson said...

The higher value is mockery of the vast celebrity weeping audience.

You are a true prince. And he wasn't even mocking the "celebrity weeping audience", he was directly mocking Ledger and making all kinds of unsupported assertions about the circumstances surrounding his death.

It is amazing how many of you have no understanding of, or empathy for, people with mental illnesses or even acknoledge that Ledger might have been suffering from a potentially fatal mental illness.

Freder Frederson said...

It still pi**es me off that people with means don't make use of said means when so many are without and have to suffer and that's why I won't glorify anything about Heath.

Which just shows how little you know about mental illness.

Cue Maxine to tell us how there is no such thing.

Pogo said...

So, rhhardin, no reaction to the idea that Gibson's commentary might in fact be heard by, say, his mother, someone in mourning, and that that violates your own rule about offering sympathy.

Rejecting the soap opera mentality is one thing, but it's damn superficial to demand a relentless adherence to such a belief when its application causes you to ignore your own codes of behavior.

In other words, watch where you swing that thing; someone might get hurt.

bearing said...

Not to mention that the proliferation of broadcast snark in the face of tragedy filters down to how regular people treat each other and how they expect to be treated. (Much how family-sitcom sarcasm, written for its entertainment value, has filtered down to the actual way that actual children relate to their actual parents).

It's already difficult for many people to find appropriate words for a friend or co-worker who's experiencing grief. We're not making it any easier by suggesting that the proper response is to make snarky jokes about lost loved ones and follow it with "Hey, lighten up."

Joshua said...

I fail to see how saying "You're dead" is really a send-up of the "soap audience", but then I don't look to intellectual worthies such as "John and Ken (KFI)" and "Imus (WABS)" to tell me what to think.

Beth said...

John is being an oaf, no doubt and I would expect much better of him.

Goesh, I agree with the first clause, but have no idea why you'd expect any better from Gibson. This is wholly in character for him.

Beth said...

Too much Ayn Rand in such utilitarian indifference.

Pogo, well said.

rcocean said...

Pogo:

The media grief at his death, and the media mocking of Ledger - and the outrage at the mockery - is all just part of the same media circus, which has no connection to reality.

As for speaking ill of the dead. Isn't there a difference between "real" people and a celebrity? These celebrities are media creations. I don't know Ledger, he's an image on the screen. So why should I -or you - care what's said about him? And I don't think his family care what I or the media circus says.

I find it strange how people bond with images.

Finally, we're not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but what about Ted Bundy, Sadaam, or Stalin? Were we supposed to allow their families to mourn?

Pogo said...

but what about Ted Bundy, Sadaam, or Stalin?
Naked evil warrants only brief respect in death, if only out of recognition of shared humanity.

Mockery and jubilation are to be avoided even then, but in extreme cases like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Sadaam, and only in such very rare instances, rejoicing is fully understandable.

How these exceptions fit in with Mr. Ledger is unclear.

rhhardin said...

In other words, watch where you swing that thing; someone might get hurt.

150 million are in fact offended by the media schlock, and mocking that comes first.

Working rule : It's funny until somebody gets their eye poked out. Then it's still funny, just not around that person.

ZPS said...

Funny that Gibson wants to mock the weepy media attention and "not necessarily" Ledger (a rationale that some of you have come up with), when it was Ledger who relentlessly avoided media attention and deliberately stayed out of the limelight. Funny that in doing so, Gibson has deliberately thrust himself in to the limelight (which he so obviously loves) and got people salivating and fuming over him.

When Gibson dies, he can only dream of the same kind of public outpouring. I hope his family will be able look back at his body of work fondly.

It's no secret that we mourn certain artists (I consider Ledger an artist, not a celebrity) because they touch our lives and possibly reveal things, through their art, that are reflective of ourselves or the world. Why is this so difficult for people to understand?

Mocking the public for crying over a dead celebrity they never knew is was one thing...but diminishing someone who gave us enlightening performances is the work of a crude baffoon.

Kovacs said...

Seems clear that Gibson's comments were motivated by homophobia--he specifically has contempt for Ledger because he had a role in a high-profile gay-themed movie. I doubt that if, say, Mel Gibson died in similar circumstances (not inconceivable), John would avail himself of the opportunity to lampoon the "vast celebrity weeping audience." He's the hackiest of the Fox News hacks--you give him entirely too much credit as a social satirist.

rhhardin said...

Up with crude buffoons!

Let the media know their day is over.

That ought to panic them. No more easy advertising dollars.

rhhardin said...

I agree that Gibson seem to be going moralistic. That's a reason not to listen to him.

That he offends the weeping masses is not.

rhhardin said...

Interesting fact : on an average day, with no particular tragedies, 10,000 Americans die. 100,000 people in the world die. Every day.

Each one is important to somebody. They go into mourning.

That's life. Life nevertheless does not become unbearably oppressive because the tragedy is distributed widely and variously, an individual thing, from time to time.

Against that more or less healthy appearance of tragedy in life, mixing in as it does with everything else worthwhile, there is this media hysteria with some case that makes them money, owing chiefly to the susceptibility of women to schlock they can empathize with.

An evolutionary talent they were given to help actual neighbors, that instead gets applied to self-gratification over the TV.

Who's the lover of life here?

Pogo said...

An evolutionary talent

I fell out of love with evolutionary explanations for behavior. They are circular and irrefutable, and thus unscientific.

Why do we cheat? Cry? Dream? Paint perty pictures?
Evol. biology has an answer, you betcha. Cain't prove it none, but answers they got.

rhhardin said...

You prefer to say women empathize for no reason?

There was no evolutionary advantage to it?

I think it's a good explanation, and explains why they get something out of it, and it's interesting to them.

It's just that modern communications have hooked into it and provides only the reward but not the good. So much easier for women!

Like porn for men, you don't have to deal with actual people yourself.

Pogo said...

There was no evolutionary advantage to it?

I'm saying evolutionary explanations for behavior are unscientific. It seems quite plausible, to be sure. But it's another Just So story, gussied up with ten dollar words.

But that ain't proof.

rhhardin said...

A lot of life is unscientific.

Scientific is a specialization of ordinary life, not a higher version of life.

It gives, for example, ``proof'' a specialized meaning.

That meaning is parasitic on the ordinary meaning in ordinary life, not a more precise version of it.

Think of the role of white lab coats, if it helps.

James said...

Funny, weren't the Fox News folks the most upset about people like Hitchens "making fun" of the death of Jerry Falwell, talking about "finding his carcass in his office" and the like? At least we can make an argument for Falwell causing serious harm in society (even if you disagree with that argument). What did a young, quality actor like Ledger do to deserve mockery with his death? Or is playing a gay guy in a "gay movie" enough for the likes of Gibson to no longer believe in the "respect for the dead" line they advance when figures they like die.

Middle Class Guy said...

rhhardin said...
Interesting fact : on an average day, with no particular tragedies, 10,000 Americans die. 100,000 people in the world die. Every day.



And they all die in alphbetical order. Strange how that works.

Pogo said...

A lot of life is unscientific.

Of course it is. But behavioral evolution purports to be scientific, and wears its vestments. To then reject demands it play by the rules of science is disingenuous; to further deride the request is chutzpah.

If you're saying such explanations are merely a working narrative that is untested because untestable, well fine.

Then it's called sociology. Not science.

rhhardin said...

I'm not doing behavorial evolution.

I'm saying why women are empathetic.

Think about how it worked when there was no radio, and no TV, and they were still empathetic and enjoyed it.

As opposed to guys, who happily hang out alone, but get dragged into it.

peter hoh said...

Pogo, does it make a difference to your son that Ledger's death is not clearly a case of suicide?

Pogo said...

It was among his first questions, so I told him suicide was unlikely. An accidental overdose seemed plausible, I said.

I was hoping very much that was true, and not suicide or chronic drug abuse.

ZPS said...

I long for the day when Althouse posts about some obnoxious liberal radio personality mocking the death of Charleton Heston.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, rhhardin has to say then.

Just warning you rhhardin, your comments here are great copy & paste material.

rhhardin said...

what, if anything, rhhardin has to say then

This must be like the weird potential mates that friends suggest to you.

``Where in the world...?''

Revenant said...

Pogo,

I'm saying evolutionary explanations for behavior are unscientific. It seems quite plausible, to be sure. But it's another Just So story, gussied up with ten dollar words. But that ain't proof.

There are two basic ideas here:

(1): Humans evolved from earlier forms of life.

(2): Humans have elements to our psychology that are biological in origin.

Now, point (1) has, at this point, been proven true beyond any reasonable doubt. Point (2) was controversial for much of the 20th century, mostly because the Marxist/progressive belief that humans are perfectible "blank slates" caught on and took hold. But the evidence for "human nature" is overwhelming, and it is generally accepted today that much of human psychology is hard-coded into our biology.

Now, here's the kicker: if both (1) and (2) are true, then it necessarily follows that the basic premise of evolutionary psychology -- that the innate psychological traits of humanity are the result of evolution -- is true. If our psychology comes from our biology, and our biology is the end result of evolution, then the process of evolution led to our psychology.

Theories like "women are more empathic than men because of evolutionary pressure X" are not, as you say, "just so" stories. We can test them both with models, and by studying how other, similar species have evolved and adapted. If women are truly more empathic than men then it isn't a matter of proving "oh, they evolved that way". We know they did. The question is WHY they evolved that way; that is what we need an explanation for.

Revenant said...

Let me add that we don't know how much of our psychology comes from biology. But we know for certain that a lot of it does, and those bits are the bits that evolution must necessarily have had a role in. We might have a "soul", but that "soul" still gets depressed when the brain's serotonin levels turn wonky, feels good when flooded with endorphins, etc.

Pogo said...

You are correct about how this can and is tested, but that's not what usually happens, Rev. Instead, the conclusion is given as evidence.

It's been 2 years since I have read up on it, but at the time it was all 'just so'. I believe behavior must have been evolutionary, to a large extent, but not exclusively. But so far the evidence is scant, conclusory, or circular.

rhhardin said...

that much of human psychology is hard-coded into our biology.

Just an observation that will seem to be on Pogo's side (I am as anti-science as he is, in a certain way that overturns ``experts,'' making scientific what is not), hard-coding is a term whose function is to prevent you from wondering what's past it. You're happy with it, in other words.

Why are you happy with it? A lit. crit. question. Because it imports the idea of writing, and so all of language.

A sort of self-reference puts a circle there that prevents the mind from wandering past it.

That sort of wondering comes up when you seriously try to implement some computer processing of language, and make no progress, say for 60 years of trying.

So you begin questioning what the question is, and how it appears to simple, and comes out so hard.

It's because you're not doing what you think you're doing.

Women mostly are not tempted by the initial question and so avoid the trap entirely.

The dogmatic philosopher stands sad and discouraged, as Nietzsche put it. What if truth is a woman. His methods of winning her are clumsy and inopportune.

Thurber's _Is Sex Necessary_, ``The Feminine Types'' is an excellent expansion of this.

rhhardin said...

Then it's called sociology. Not science.

Check out Erving Goffman's _Asylums_ sometime, to see how good sociology in fact is at its best.

Judgments based on soc 101 survey forms that turn up in dorm mailboxes are way too narrow.

Revenant said...

I have no idea what rhhardin just said.

rhhardin said...

Ask ourself why somebody is happy with ``hard coded into our biology'' as a final term in an explanation.

Call it a psychological trick he plays on himself.

Revenant said...

Ask ourself why somebody is happy with ``hard coded into our biology'' as a final term in an explanation.

If you think I'm offering "hard coded into our biology" as "a final term in an explanation", you don't understand what is being discussed here.

Icepick said...

What did a young, quality actor like Ledger do to deserve mockery with his death?

I ask myself instead: "What did he do that merits seemingly non-stop attention of the general (i.e., non-entertainment industry related) news, so that I haven't been able to click on a major news site or turn on a news channel for two days now without getting bombarded by Heath Ledger news?"

His career wasn't very long and he was NOT one of the huge box office draws of his time. His death, while tragic for him and his friends and especially his family, just isn't that important. And the media reaction is of no consequence whatsoever.

Heck, Bobby Fischer had a much bigger cultural impact than this guy, and he was just a chess player. Fischer's death just got a mention in the general press, and that mostly because Fischer was one of the better known kooks of our time.

Basically, this is similar to when Princess Diana died. She was famous for being famous, and for being a broodmare to princes. But she was pretty, so she got lots of attention and sympathy. If she had looked like Mother Teresa she wouldn't have gotten a passing mention. Mother Teresa died a few days after Princess Di. The news casts were all "MY GOD HOW CAN WE LIVE WITHOUT THE GLORY OF PRINCESS DI IN OUR LIVES???? (And by the way some ugly old woman died in India.) AND PRINCESS DI IS STILL DEAD! OH, THE HUMANITY!!!!!!"

Really, the media is making a big deal out of Ledger's death just because he was a pretty boy, and that makes good copy. That's it. If he had been an ordinary looking man the media wouldn't give a rat's ass that he was dead, and neither would the public.

rhhardin said...

Can I recommend the fine NYT article Diana's Death Resonates With Women in Therapy , that probably would not be written today.

Blake said...

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

Jennifer said...

Icepick - I think that's oversimplifying. Brad Renfro died just a few days before Heath Ledger. Also young, also a "pretty boy". But, his death got very little attention. He was a known drug user and not a particularly talented actor. I think it's reasonable to assume that Heath Ledger's death received more attention because it was more of a shock and his talent represents more of a loss.

That said, I agree that the coverage is too much. I just disagree that anyone cares only because he's hot.

Jennifer said...

Also, Princess Di was young and died in a quite shocking and unnecessary way. Mother Theresa was clearly a better person and a more important figure in society but she was old and her death was less of a shock and less controversial. It wasn't a case of similar circumstances, different looks.

rsb said...

John Gibson also mocked Princess Di when she died. He said he always thought she was a dimwit and this was before she was even in the ground.

reader_iam said...

Quite apart from this specific thread, this one is an observation with regard to rhhardin:

If we listened [only--added] to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
-Ray Bradbury


Just a thought.

reader_iam said...

Steve H. of Hog on Ice weighs in.

Gary Rosen said...

"There is a place for mordant, gallows humor. The death of a well-liked young man from unknown causes is not one of those times."

C-fudd has such respect for the dead, as long as they're not Jewish.

rhhardin said...

Too bad your wings depend on celebrities.

I was holding out for real life.

rhhardin said...

Here's John and Ken on Diana, and more two weeks later .

And on JFK Jr's plane going down

All of them about crazy women as experienced by guys.

Why is it good to feminize these guys at large, rather than just getting your way with your own personal guy in the usual way, one on one?

You have to offer something positive.

Icepick said...

evil@$$I just disagree that anyone cares only because he's hot.

Find me an example of someone on the same relative level of fame & success & career longevity who was also butt-ugly for whom this kind of fuss was made and I might believe you are correct. (And the media didn't go crazy over Renfro for the simple reason that he ws't as sympathetic: probably didn't have the pretty ex & small child left behind, either.)

Blake, Donne's words sound nice, but are impractical at best. How amny people die each day? How many of them die in much more tragic circumstances than Ledger? If we concerned ourselves with every single death of a human, none of us would ever be able to function.

Besides, the death of some people is an addition to the rest of us. If the bastards who recently burgled my home had died in a car wreck before they got to my house, my wife and I would both be in much better shape. As it is, their lives have detracted from my existence far more than their deaths ever could.

Jennifer said...

What does evil@$$ mean!?

You've given me an impossible proposition. A young, famous, butt-ugly actor!? I mean seriously.

But, I think you've already acknowledged that his looks aren't the only factor in this frenzy. The story has a lot of qualities that the media like to go nuts over.

Icepick said...

If we listened [only--added] to our intellect ... we'd be cynical.... You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

First, remind me to never travel with Ray Bradbury.

Second, on the way down to the bottom of that cliff, intellect will be more highly prized than impulsiveness. (And it would be unfair to criticize the intellect for being cynical in those few moments: "That idiot is expecting me to save his dumb-assed self AGAIN?"

Third, if we never listened to our intellects we'd be dumb as rocks. And I've known plenty of people who rarely thought about anything that were cynical and bitter as hell - usually about their stupid love affairs that were clearly bad ideas from the get-go.

My point is not that intellect should be the only factor we use when making decisions about our lives. But to not use it when opportunity allows is down-right criminal.

Icepick said...

What does evil@$$ mean!?

It means I can't type. That wasn't supposed to be there. Sorry about that.

And yes, his prettyness isn't sufficient to explain the media frenzy around his death, but it is a necessary factor.

I'm starting to wonder where the media swarm broke out. If it started with outlets owned by Warner Brothers.....

Jennifer said...

It means I can't type. That wasn't supposed to be there.

Gotcha.

I'm starting to wonder where the media swarm broke out. If it started with outlets owned by Warner Brothers.....

I'm trying to decide whether that or the paparazzi swarming around to catch footage of his dead body being rolled out would be more disturbing.

Icepick said...

What does evil@$$ mean!?

And most specifically, it means I've just had to change my password again. (That was a part of the old one.) All burglars should be shot on sight. (And no, that is not a non sequiter.)

rhhardin said...

Charles McCord, of all people (public persona wise, he's very correct), makes a Heath Ledger joke this morning at 8:33, on Imus.

The latest female absurdity hard to resist joking about, for guys.

Moreso under threat of sanctions.

Jennifer said...

Ha, imagining the possible passwords that end in evilass. lol

Yes, burglars are horrendous creatures. We had one when I was young that looked through our family photo albums while robbing our house. Talk about disturbing.

Icepick said...

We had one when I was young that looked through our family photo albums while robbing our house. Talk about disturbing.

Yikes! That is major league creepy. The ones that hit us (it appears to have been a professional crew) did go through all of our drawers, but just because they were looking for stuff. My wife is still creeped out about that. Me, I'm still pissed off that they tracked dirt into my house. The bastards!

Jennifer said...

It's a major feeling of violation to have someone pick through your belongings, for sure. And they are never tidy! The bastards!

reader_iam said...

rhhardin: They don't. You're a fool for thinking otherwise, or blinded by your generalized mysogyny.

Also, you bore the hell out of me, and that's saying something, given my high toleration for blog-commenters and their little quirks and memes, and my natural inclination to find something interesting about almost anything and anyone.

reader_iam said...

Icepick: And you should know better, of all people, damnit.

Icepick said...

Apologies, Reader. I missed the context of your remark.

rhhardin said...

Also, you bore the hell out of me,

Trouble at home is a good part of the joke, when guys mock the media this way. Something is conspicuously hedged to show the need not to speak completely freely on the matter, which is the form that speaking freely on the matter takes.

I don't believe it's part of Gibson's performance, however.

rhhardin said...

con't.

Bernard McGuirk : (some remark about who wears the pants in his family)

Imus: Bernard! Doesn't your wife listen to this show?

Bernard: I certainly hope not.

Blake said...

Icepick,

Far be it from me to try to explain Donne. You have an idea what it means; I have a different idea.

I would only point out that there's a far cry between not being able to attend to every death that occurs and mocking one that we're aware of.

rhhardin said...

I would only point out that there's a far cry between not being able to attend to every death that occurs and mocking one that we're aware of.

Are you unaware that there are 100,000 deaths a day in the world?

Or maybe you're really only arguing for the importance of soap opera.

Blake said...

Don't be obtuse, rhardin.

I'm only aware a couple actual deaths, however, this one and another one, largely ignored.

And yet, I've managed to get through the week without mocking them, or even any of the other 699,998 people.

Call it "soap opera" if you like, but you seem to be offering "shock jock" as the alternative.

rhhardin said...

The alternative that I was proposing was no media hysteria.

But that won't happen because there's money to be made feeding the soap opera audience.

Then it takes over all the terrain, and you get the quality of public debates we have today.

The jokes are against this audience. The death is inconsequential, as all those 99,998 are to you, unless it's you or a neighbor's.

The instinct to soap opera is very positive, just like the instinct to sex. And the result with modern communication is soap for women and porn for men, when it turns out you can make money out of hooking into it.

Blake said...

OK.

I must have missed the part where anything you said reflected on anything I said.

rhhardin said...

What did I fail to reflect on?

That we're all connected?

Hmmm.... Yes! It's online, Barthelme here