March 2014


Okay, enough with the breaking news coverage of the missing Malaysian airplane already.  Not that this isn’t a tragedy and a huge mystery all wrapped into one–it definitely is.  But we’ve now had several days of wall to wall coverage of a story we don’t really have any information about.  So what we get is a parade of experts (read: people who once flew on a plane) theorizing about what might have happened in a hypothetical universe, and we get CNN’s Don Lemon playing with a plastic toy Boeing that’s “exactly” like the real one.  Who wouldn’t love that gig?  If I have to hear the words “All right, good night” one more time, I’m going to take a U-turn into the ocean myself.  Nobody knows if those words mean anything, nobody knows if they’re important or not.  And I can’t see how endlessly dissecting half-imagined facts is helping those who have loved ones missing in this disaster.

I finally had to turn the television off when one of the hosts shared this gem with the audience:  “And this shows that whatever happened, happened.”  Thank you for your deep insights, news media.  How did we ever make it through crisis situations without you?

As if I didn’t already know that I should.

You know those Zimbio quizzes which are all the rage on social media right now, where you find out which character you are in your favorite movie or TV show…well, in the past couple of weeks, it has turned out that I am:

The Emperor in Star Wars:  “Manipulative and cunning…you’ve devoted your talents to the dark side.”

Book in Firefly:  “You’re a calming presence in a tumultous world.  You preach peace….always believing in the goodness of people.”

And, naturally, Fozzie Bear:  “You’ve bravely faced the worst life has to offer and come out laughing.”

Either these quizzes are just an entertaining waste of time…or, if not, my multiple personalities problem is far worse than I suspected.

It’s a lazy, rainy Saturday over here, and I’ve been listening off and on to CPAC speeches.  Some observations:

Michele Bachmann:  still as grating as ever.  She wants us to build “that dang fence”.  Good luck winning over the Latino voters.

Dr. Ben Carson says that of course gay people should have “the same rights,” just not “extra rights” like marriage.  Um, no.  If I have the right to marry the person I’m attracted to, and a gay person has the right to marry the person he/she is attracted to, that is the SAME right.  Now, giving yourself the authority to tell other people what they can do with their relationships–there’s an “extra” right if I’ve ever seen one.  Dr. Carson says he wants the right to put what God says ahead of what man says.  Well, God said all kinds of interesting things about stoning all kinds of people to death.  Good luck winning over the millennials with this stuff.

Still not sure why Kesha’s “Die Young” was played after Newt Gingrich’s speech.  Did the speech make people suicidal?  Trying to attract the teenybopper crowd?

Ann Coulter did her thing and she also does not show much desire to appeal to the Latino voting block.  Her favored solution to the immigration problem is self-deportation.  She says that after all, the immigrants who came over the border knew perfectly well that what they were doing was wrong!  Ever ponder why people might be desperate enough to do something they knew was illegal?  But no, not a twinge of compassion in Ann’s face.  She says that if amnesty ever happens, it’s “game over” and it’s “time for death squads for the people who wrecked America.”  Lovely.  Moving on…

Mike Huckabee–yep, still talking about Benghazi.  It’s obvious they’re getting ready for 2016.  Now just pull out Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress and they’ll be prepared.  Good luck winning over the non-conspiracy theorists….

So, do the conservatives actually want to win upcoming elections?  That remains to be seen…I’ll keep watching.

In my continuing quest as a news junkie, I spent time this weekend trying to get more information about the Fukushima aftermath, as mainstream media reporting on this topic has been sporadic at best.  And right down the rabbit hole I went.  All the usual websites have a Fukushima conspiracy theory, and a video with scary synth music to match, talking about all the bad stuff going on in the Pacific.

But there really is lots of bad stuff going on in the Pacific.  Up and down the West Coast, starfish are disintegrating due to a mystery disease.  Sea lion pups are dying at unusual rates in California.  On land, moose in North America are collapsing and dying, and we still haven’t figured out why.  And polar bears and seals in the Arctic are losing fur and suffering open sores.

I was left with a sad conclusion–we’re poisoning our ocean and coasts.  There is no hard and fast evidence linking any of the above things to Fukushima, but it doesn’t matter if there is.  There is plenty of other pollution to go around.  Fukushima or no Fukushima, we are throwing chemicals and trash and plastic and overfishing and climate change into the mix, and sooner or later will experience the consequences.

Fukushima may still turn out to be a much bigger radiation disaster, but even if it doesn’t?  We’re doing an excellent job of killing ourselves and our world off, anyway.

CNN finally seems to have woken up from their nap today and has started covering the Ukraine crisis in a serious way, and it took the Russian Parliament voting for military action for them to do so.  Not that there wasn’t ominous stuff going on in that part of the world before today, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from looking at my TV machine.

Once again, I’m completely frustrated by the lack of international news coverage in the American media.  I like MSNBC for the political stuff–yes, I admit it, they reflect my bias–but they’re better on the domestic stuff.  I can’t take Fox News for the constant Obama bashing–I think that’s their full-time job at this point.  And CNN has been useless lately.  Endless Oscars specials and Justin Bieber gossip, while the world has been coming apart at the seams.  Were they joking about the “News” part of their name?

So I’ve been left with Al Jazeera.  They’ve been doing in-depth reporting on the Ukraine, and it’s been quality reporting that doesn’t appear to be too heavily biased in one direction or another.  I realize that a lot of people wouldn’t touch Al Jazeera, mainly because of who has created and owns the channel.  All I can say to that is that I would gladly watch American news channels if they improved their coverage of the world outside our borders.  But as long as they continue focusing on awards show red carpet BS, I don’t have too many options.