The other day I had happened to mention CNN and Christy had, my paraphrasing allowed, jumped in quickly: “CNN? Scary.” I didn’t understand, I hadn’t watched CNN in eons.
Today I was walking Mouse in the Bruce Pit here in Ottawa (off-leash, in the “on-leash area”) and I bumped into a fellow with whom I had previously discussed matters of Life, the Universe, and Everything. He was quite excited to tell me about a show on CNN called “GPS”, which I have yet to see.
So after having dressed up the house, scared the wits out of some kids (and some adults too, and also compassionately removed my mask for those little ones too scared to approach – we have a bit of a rep in the hood to uphold, the scariest house on Halloween for decades now), and had snacks at the neighbours, as I settled in, bacq at home, I noticed CNN in the guide and flipped to it.
I gotta tell ya, it was scary, kids. You see, Christy has taught me to read and view with a critical and empathetic eye, and to find the meaning often hidden. Who wrote or produced this? Why? What is the intent of the author/producer? Who is the intended audience? What messages is that audience meant to receive from this piece of work? I now run an auto-loop that asks and checks, I cannot help it. I empathize, and imagine myself as both author and audience, and I answer those questions. And tonight, watching CNN, just in the first few minutes after flipping to it, it came up scary, very scary, across the board. As I watch, I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the madness I am viewing, so I will limit this to what I saw in those first few minutes. Yikes. I’ll turn it off.
First, a piece on halloween retailers, what kind of business they were expecting to do this year, and how that would contribute to GDP. All upbeat stuff this.
We cut to an ad for GM.
Next up is a piece on an Al Qaeda bomb builder, and how he had built a bomb for his brother to use, suicide-like, to attack a foreign politician. Yemeni, it was. Big problems in Yemen with Al Qaeda, they say. Didn’t kill the guy, just injured him – but brother successfully blew himself up.
Ad for SAP.
Next is a piece that states “If the polls are correct, there will not be a single African-American congressman in the next congress”. “As a person of colour, I would like to see [a black man elected]…”said the host.
Cut to an ad by JPMorgan, claiming they are saving America and are pointing “The Way Forward”.
Then on to the special of the evening, “Boiling Point at the Tea Party”.
Ok. This is too much, I have boiled over. Now the analysis kicks in.
!) Building GDP through Halloween: Ah, no. Frivolous celebrations do not create wealth. They are a luxury. Failing administrations love to support them to keep the public distracted. Remember Rome? I supported this luxury this year through the purchase of a $5 pumpkin (self-carved), two boxes of mini chocolate bars, our two giant boxes of miscellany and old sheets spray-painted “BEWARE! VAMPIRE”, and a twenty-year old piece of two-inch blue foam insulation cut to look like a gravestone, with “Mr Bones: May he rest in pieces” that Christy wrote on it with a Sharpie. [I am ridiculously proud of this joke – xty] More Halloween spending is not what we need to either have a good time, or to get back to economic health, OK? Great, we can have QE2, lots of scary masks, and it costs twice as much to eat. Yeah, that’ll work.
2) GM ad: If you have been following the bouncing ball, you know you now own most of this company. You are advertising to yourself through CNN. The least efficient of the US auto makers, I believe, and one with a huge pension liability. How was this a good investment of US taxpayers money?
3) Al Qaeda: Yes, there are lots of bad people in the world. We have more important things to worry about, believe it (yet) or not. Maybe we should stop the war on drugs so that there is no longer any profit in it, and these bad people would not have enough money to buy guns and bombs and threaten us. Oh! Sorry, scratch that! Then we wouldn’t be able to sell weapons to the US Government (and their adversaries) to fight the “war on drugs”! Good grief, people, open your eyes!
4) SAP ad: If you have ever had to use this software, you will understand. It is a classic example of non-evolved, but “planned” software organization. If you are in IT, stay away. There are many better choices out there, but your management probably won’t let you pick the superior solution, as SAP is part of the cabal. I’ll bet all the major weapons manufacturers (and GM!) use it.
5) Colourful Congress: This was an unbelievably racist piece. Vote for people with the same, good ideas as yours, not the same skin colour, folks (as CNN blatantly suggests). Soon we’ll have affirmative action being called for in Congress. Oh, the hypocrisy of these people in their overt racism while decrying racism in others for espousing the importance of ideas and principle over skin colour. It truly is 1984 Orwellian double-speak. Logic and reason are dying… words have been co-opted for political purposes…
6) JP Morgan Ad: “We’ve helped over two hundred thousand Americans keep their homes.” Yeah, by losing their mortgage title, so now they can “legally” resist foreclosure and live rent- and mortgage- free. Thanks, JPM! Let’s see how you are doing at the end of the year on your silver and gold shorts, as well as those mortgages, shall we?
7) The Boiling Point: This was a blatant attempt at a smear/hatchet job on the Tea Party Movement, cleverly timed to achieve maximal (negative) voter-impact. I thought we had biased political coverage in Canada, but this was over-the-top. It was like they were trying to position this constitutionally-based, ground-up, grassroots movement as a “conspiracy”. They slagged Terry Rakovitch and Rick Sancelli and tried to make them look hypocritical and unhinged, and as though they had “planned” the whole thing. And they didn’t do a bad job, I must say. Goebbels would have been proud. They seemed to have missed the fact that the movement emerged from the independent thought and action of Americans who have recognized that they lack representation in their current political system, and that system has drifted far from where the Founding Fathers intended. Without Christy’s tools, it might have washed right over me, and into my consciousness. Thanks, Doll. Eyes are open now.
I’ll take a look at this CNN “GPS” show, that my dog-walking acquaintance suggested I watch, if I can find it, but I gotta say, the first 10 minutes of random CNN content were very, very scary indeed, if it is true that their viewership takes it all at face value.
Viewer beware (of vampires – get some silver while you can!).