September 19, 2007

The news is a freak show.

We've got O.J. back in the news. Pushing him out of the headlines is upstart Taser-boy Andrew Meyer. Phil Spector is rearing his ugly head again as jurors cannot make up their minds about whether he's a murderer. Pictures of those 3 characters dominate the front page of The Drudge Report right now, with one more right in the middle: Hillary. This is what we are paying attention to now. Oh, we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves. The presidential candidates have been in the news too long. Are we really supposed to stop everything and study the provisions of Hillary's health care plan? Would we be more virtuous if we did?

Speaking of upstart Taser-boy Andrew Meyer, how many Americans do you think would agree to get tased if it would get them the attention it got him? By chance, I was just listing to #340 of "This American Life," called "The Devil in Me." In Act One:
Sam Slaven is an Iraq War veteran who came home from the War plagued by feelings of hate and anger toward Muslims. TAL producer Lisa Pollak tells the story of the unusual action Sam took to change himself, and the Muslim students who helped him do it.
There's a scene in there where American soldiers in Iraq are tasing each other for fun. You can hear them screaming and laughing in the audio. So, if guys with nothing else to do submit to the Taser for fun....

ADDED: "I'm a total boy, aren't I?"

UPDATE: Once there was a poll following "So, if guys with nothing else to do submit to the Taser for fun...." but it no longer displays, and I have no way to restore the content.


EnigmatiCore said...

Behold, Armed & Famous' Taser scene.

You have to watch Trish Stratus (the last one).

That is one tough lady.

hdhouse said...

I'm no fan of the tabloids, either on cable or in print and certainly no fan of Drudge and his view of who/what constitute something of importance. This foodline of temporary celebs just does nothing for my tastebuds.

It does raise the issue, however, of the two sides of this, "why doesn't media cover important stories" v. "we cover the stories that people seem interested in" that line went in A Shot in the Dark "I deduce someone did this".

To do my part for perspective, I made a little list a while ago about what things I thought were important for me to know about and to keep up with e.g. Iraq, health care debates, music reviews/performances, book reviews, recently 9-11 perspectives now that the dust has settled, opinion pages and views of good thinkers, etc. and I spend my free time looking for stories about these things (round up all the usual suspects).

I've thought about sending my morphing but fairly consistently themed list to these tabloids and asking what about me? do i have to be tasered to have my list recognized? do i have to commit armed robbery and behave like a thug to take my list seriously? how about murder - surely you would pour through my private papers to see if my "list" contributed to it...

Hillary is the stumper...I could post her picture on my screensaver along with Richard Feynman, B. Franklin and Maurice Ravel and Shakespeare and see what the thought police would surmise after they hacked into my sanctum sanctorum.

I dunno. After flipping through channels last night before listening to Coast to Coast on the radio I ran into Gretta on location in Vegas with a gaggle of lawyers talking about procedure and judges on TV and OJ keeping his mouth shut for a change and figured my life would be a living hell for about 10 months or so or until a plea deal was reached....and i'm still clutching my little list of what is important...

Adrian said...

I'm telling you, I really think the freak show news focus is a good thing!
I just don't trust the media to cover the important stories, I'd much rather they busy themselves with OJ!

Adrian said...

oh, and i just wanted to add this:
"I heard where you were shot six times in the tabloids."
"Nonsense! They didn't come anywhere near my tabloids!"

Susan said...

I honestly don't understand people's fanatic desire to be famous. For me, being famous would be WORSE than being tasered.

MadisonMan said...

I would rather not be famous for being stupid, as is the case with Andrew Meyer.

bill said...

John Wesley Harding, Devil In Me:

I shot John F.Kennedy in Dallas in 63
They blamed it on Oswald carelessly
But it was the devil in me
Put Jesus on the cross, I put a gag on the Boss
I kissed him on the cheek so he couldn't speak
But that was the devil in me
It was the devil in me
It's the devil in me that's unlevelling me
Put it down to the devil in me

I made you breakfast, put poisoned sheets on the bed
I made you cry, couldda made you laugh instead
But that was the devil in me
So I killed you off, I tore your famous brown furcoat
I laughed at your cough, ignored your suicide note
But that was the devil in me.....

I blew up the bus, I started World War III
Hijacked the plane with Qadaffi, blew the hostages free
That was the devil in me
I'm sponsored by a company that I don't believe in
I advertise their things for cash, that ain't deceiving
No, that's just the devil in me
It was the devil in me....

I gave you acid rain
I polluted the sea
I covered your thoughts up
With graffiti
You can call me by my real name
Or you can call me humanity
Because it all seems just like human behaviour
It all seems like human behaviour to me
Put it down to the devil in me

It was the devil in me
It was the devil in me
Well it's the devil in me makes me do these things
Devil in me that makes me sing
Devil in me gave you a wedding ring
Put it down to the devil in me

Trooper York said...

Bill, very cool man, very cool.

Troy said...

the taser... the cops who tazed have all been tazed. It used to be (don't know if it still is) part of the training and certification of tazers -- ditto pepper spray. Any cop using pepper spray has taken a hit in the academy. They know what it feels like generally (though there are, I'm sure, exceptions.

Swampcracker said...

First you start railing about junk tabloid news dominating the headlines and then start rambling about redeemed war vets followed by Taser fun. So what is your point?