Saturday, November 21, 2015

"You can't help that said the cat, we're all mad here..."

The world has gone mad again.

When I was young, I realized that we shouldn't think of evolution as something in the past. It seems clear that the human species is still evolving. Back then, I believed that we were on an upward progression. I no longer have any such certainty.


The above was the start of a post I doubt will be finished. (It will join the pile of discards, where it will find much company.) Partly because I'm not feeling my best (nasty-ish cold running through the system), partly due to time constraints, partly because the writing of it is likely to make me scream at nothing in particular in order to vent building frustration and anger. To resume writing what I had in mind, I'd have to go back to Facebook or some other form of 'social media' to collect images and information. Blogs are social media, but they are different; one can take a little bit of word time to actually express (or attempt to express) one's thoughts or observations. Blogs also have to be sought out, or one has to click on a link. They aren't part of a scrolling feed.

The problem started with the terrorist attacks on Paris. People on Facebook immediately used a program which superimposed the French flag over their personal image icons. Other people immediately responded with links to blogs, mostly think pieces which declared why they wouldn't comment on the terrorist attack on Paris; where were the cries of outrage for the week's other terror attacks, they demanded to know? - those victims were passed by, not mentioned - not worthy - as Paris is a White city, not a place of brown skin people. Now, those posts had a bit of a point, but to post someone else's article about the terrorist attacks on Paris to demonstrate why one isn't posting about Paris is a kind of internet passive aggressive statement of extremely annoying and cloying condescending superiority - and some odd attempt to prove that the poster's heart bleeds for the world more than their ill-informed reader's.

Those posts began to get a response. The me-me posts proliferated. The news media and the video clip posters ran the same footage constantly. The news media did scrabble to send their top anchors or writers to Paris to find the woman who was standing three blocks away from the stadium who heard the bang of the bombs and grew fearful. (Okay, I made that up but the exaggeration isn't that big.)

Then the politicians began chiming in. As most folks who read this blog probably know, I live in Vermont. Our local tv and video news sources originate in one upstate minor city, or from Boston. Both cover the New Hampshire market, where the first primaries in our upcoming (one year away) Presidential contest will be held. We have been inundated with political advertising for months already. Most of the advertising has been for the Republican side, which seems intent on reversing any possible upward trend evolution might provide. They, and a seemingly large segment of the population, have centered on stopping any influx of Syrian refugees into the country (but they're okay if they are Christians). The issue has become a social media war. The images proliferate, with commentary which exposes the sad state of American language skills, the sad state of American education, media, news - oh, hell, the responses below (from people I know to be kind, decent folks) are as frightening as the terror attacks.


It's been a sorry, disgusting spectacle.
This doesn't seem to be particularly appropriate, but it makes as much sense as anything else this past week: Here's last Saturday's radio show. The show did start off with a comment, albeit musical, on the current events before paying birthday tributes to musician-conductor-composer Billy May, singer Jo Stafford, crooner Johnny Desmond (the "G.I. Sinatra"), one of the sadly forgotten early jazz men Eddie Condon, and the 'Father of the Blues' W. C. Handy. Handy was the subject of, and guest on, the show's featured broadcast - 'The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street' of June the 14th, 1940.

As always, I hope any listeners enjoy the show. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tis a sad sad world we live in.