Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2004 All Over Again

Another election, another round of sensationalistic media coverage. I'm not sure what scares me more -- the fact that the media must view Americans as mindless sheep, sure to flock to the nearest trough of ridiculous half-truths and sexified nonsense... or the fact that they may be right.

I don't blog much. I don't blog much because, to be honest, blogging strikes me as a supremely egotistical act, a willful decision that the Entire World needs to know the smallest, most trivial, most nose-pickingest details about my life and my inner thoughts and the drama of my tiny little existence. Because, no, it doesn't.

We used to live in a world of gatekeepers -- educated, erudite, learned members of society who could discern between the worthwhile and the worthless, the chaff and the wheat, the Dick York and the Dick Sargent. These people were given a massive responsibility -- to read the much and publish the few. And say what you will about specific exceptions, but on the whole I think this worked pretty damn well for a good long time.

Today is different, because Everybody is Special. It doesn't matter if you can barely read, much less write, because you have rights -- the right to a blog, and unlimited digital exposure. The right to say what you want, when you want, to whomever you want, without the slightest concern for content or value or, say, spelling. Warhol said "in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Dig that man up and give him a cigar.

And frankly, that pisses me off a little. This isn't the Gong Show. I like the idea of proving yourself before showing your underpants to the world. I think that's a square deal.

Except, of course, that all the gatekeepers are dead. Those men and women standing guard? Look close. They wear the colors of our enemy, sensationalist reds and envious greens and the black, black stench of decay. There is no fourth estate in this country. They have fled like 5th century Romans from Hadrian's Wall. Truth is dead. Or if not dead, then at least being carried around on the shoulder of John Cleese.

So now I come, late as usual, to the conclusion everyone else reached about half a decade ago: blogs are all we got, huh? I mean, the media has left us to the sharks, hell, they're chumming the waters, and even if the majority of blogs are mindless rambling piles of zombie dung, they're still pretty much the only hope for getting truth from Here to There.

All this is a roundabout way of saying that MSNBC should be ashamed of itself for its poll today about Obama's so-called "lipstick on a pig" remark, as it frames the question in such a way as to discount the possibility that IT IS A COMPLETE NON-STORY. He was talking about McCain's economic policy. But McCain shouted fire and the media started filling buckets before they bothered sniffing the air for smoke.

So, if you see this, this little message in a bottle that I'm throwing into the big old information super-ocean, write MSNBC and scold them once more for me, would ya?