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4 Modern Sins Pretty Much Every American Is Guilty Of

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  • 4 Modern Sins Pretty Much Every American Is Guilty Of

    4 Modern Sins Pretty Much Every American Is Guilty Of

    ...

    #4. Staying Misinformed

    Yellow journalism is nothing new, but historically people only got subjected to it for an hour or two each day. With just a few major broadcasters, there was no need to pretend a day contained 24 hours' worth of news. Americans received a fairly accurate account of the world, or at least had an excuse for their inaccurate one.

    But now newspapers are dying, the Internet only serves up information relevant to its secret profile of you, and Ouija boards still haven't made contact with Walter Cronkite. Sad, no? This has led to shoddy gimmicks like reporting "live" from the police station where they took the suspect five hours after the crime occurred, or its anchor counterpart, "breaking news" on a story that's already wrapped.

    Sure, you can still access real journalism if you subscribe to The New York Times, but understanding its relevance to you is expensive, since first you have to move to western Connecticut. For the rest of the country, it's hard to feign interest in a Lifestyle profile on what five bankers are having for lunch followed by an Arts bio of the world's last living six-toed ballerina. Turning the page, you read a Dining review that's mostly an apology for enjoying plebeian food. And every single one of those articles jams in an ill-fitting reference to Marcel Proust and his madeleines.

    Come on, New York Times, I just wanted to know which parts of the world were exploding, and instead I'm reading the most awkward hip-hop profile piece ever, and I still can't tell what it has to do with Young Preezy's "M.A.D.E. Linez."

    So TV news it is, even though TV is trying to stay competitive by becoming the worst parts of humanity, much as radio did before it.

    The 24-hour cable news networks are, in order of ratings:

    FOX News -- If FOX News were a person, it would be a teenager with an adult haircut whose dad bought him a DeLorean driving backward through time and complaining the entire trip. The only thing worse than FOX News is FOX News on fast-forward, because then you absorb three times as many lies before you can avert your eyes. The reason they're a TV network and not a tailor shop is that you can't sustain the new clothes trade with so few emperors these days. According to their business model, when owner Rupert Murdoch gets to hell, he'll buy it out and spend billions convincing the residents to pretend it's heaven.


    MSNBC -- FOX might be a gaggle of dickheads, but MSNBC is the strap-on your girlfriend whips out during sex with no prior discussion. MSNBC is FOX News for the kind of liberals who only exist in conservative fantasies and liberal nightmares. You have to watch it 40 feet from the kitchen or all your gluten, meat, and dairy turn to arsenic, soy, and smug satisfaction. So long as three TVs in a building are simultaneously tuned to this channel, everyone inside is a spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street.

    Or at least that's the untested theory, because nobody really watches this circle jerk. The only MSNBC personality who pulls decent ratings is Rachel Maddow, because she's the only one who isn't a cartoon. There's Chris Matthews, of course, but he's less a personality and more of a haystack someone trained to do verbal pratfalls.

    If you want to see the real face of MSNBC, look at Ed Schultz, host of the electrifyingly titled The Ed Show. In the body of public discourse, Schultz is the goiter. He's sort of like Bill O'Reilly minus an audience that wants to hear a lump of bread dough grumble. The Ed Show is targeted at what I can only assume are very irate little men wearing socks and Tevas in Napa Valley. Nobody, not even Ed Schultz, knows what the purpose of his program is. He's the only man in the world whose mirror reflection changes the channel.

    CNN -- Deserted by the right, then the left, the weary news network has tried to stay hip with holograms and touchscreens. If CNN still showed news, you'd get it without a political agenda, but the network loses half an IQ point every time they treat Justin Bieber's Instagram feed like news.

    HLN -- This is CNN for mothers who like to angrily cluck their tongues and mutter something unintelligible about "those people."

    Al Jazeera America -- Stands on a reputation for solid reporting, but still a good five years away from convincing Americans that watching it won't red-flag your NSA profile.

    One America News Network -- I have no idea what this is, but it sounds like the mouthpiece of a totalitarian future state.


    The Fix:

    As you can see, it's hard to form a real idea of what's going on. You have to seek reputable news sources and be willing to mistrust the things you most want to believe ... so that you can confirm or correct their validity by testing them.

    If you don't, you're left with whatever brand of panic the news networks want to sell us, and that leads to ...

    #3. Stereotyping and Demonizing the Opposition

    ...
    "There are four lights!"

  • #2
    I didn't follow the link to read the rest. Is that one of the two remaining sins? If not, forming opinions while being partially informed should be.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bob Loblaw 3.0 View Post
      I didn't follow the link to read the rest. Is that one of the two remaining sins? If not, forming opinions while being partially informed should be.
      #2. Everyone Has to Be Right All the Time

      ...

      #1. We Don't Have a Sense of Humor About Ourselves
      "There are four lights!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
        #2. Everyone Has to Be Right All the Time

        ...

        #1. We Don't Have a Sense of Humor About Ourselves
        Doggone it, ya literally wrecked a good joke (well... I thought it was funny anyway, and that's all that matters to me).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bob Loblaw 3.0 View Post
          Doggone it, ya literally wrecked a good joke (well... I thought it was funny anyway, and that's all that matters to me).
          I didn't realize it until it was too late. Sorry about that. I committed sin #1.
          "There are four lights!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
            I didn't realize it until it was too late. Sorry about that. I committed sin #1.
            Actually, I was joking against myself. Sorry about the collateral damage.

            Comment


            • #7
              The writing at Cracked is awesome. They totally sucked as a magazine (think rip-off of Mad Magazine done by fifth graders), but are a gem on the 'net.
              “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
              I aim with my eye.

              "I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
              I shoot with my mind.

              "I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
              I kill with my heart.”

              The Gunslinger Creed, Stephen King, The Dark Tower

              Comment


              • #8
                I think it's charming that a writer at 'Cracked' is taking some steps away from the Darkside. On the other hand, both the problems and the fixes discussed are pretty much useless. In a post-modern culture.you can't really treat the problems as very post-modern but treat the solutions as very philosophically Modern.

                That's like making vegan food out of bacon. It's a terrific idea but essentially pointless.
                "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

                Comment

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