I am really tired of......the television media pretending it's covering news when it's indisputably producing its attempt at entertainment. My latest example: The coverage of Michael Jackson's death. Yes, I understand that Jackson was, at one time, very BIG on the music scene and his death affected many people. However, the manner in which the networks and cable television stations literally POUNCED on the Jackson story the moment he died and have stayed on it non-stop - in sensational, gossipy fashion - typifies - in the ugliest way - that in the United States, there is no longer any clear boundary between news and entertainment.
I am really tired of.....Israeli leaders and supporters of Israel complaining about the Obama administration's approach toward old issues in the Middle East being "different" and/or "harder on Israel" when, in fact, Obama is simply trying to initiate more strong, clear parameters between Israel and the Palestinians. The Obama administration has been resolute - so far - in telling Israel to stop constructing any new settlements in the occupied territories, and, unlike past administrations, so far, Obama's team has not allowed exceptions. I applaud Obama for this firmer position and hope he can stick to it despite enormous pressure ahead. It seems the only chance for change is dependent on Israel having to make concessions it has not made in the past AND that the US is the only party to make that happen.
I am really tired of......hearing so much propaganda and confusing bits of news out of Iran without hearing more of the truth. I fully realize that the Iranian regime has literally constrained the press from doing its job in recent days and that it's extremely hard to find more of the truth to share; however, it just makes me angry at the Iranian clerics in control for their crackdown on dissent and more eager to find out what's really been going on. If, in fact, Mousavi really won the election, what kind of continuing tension and discontent will exist? And, won't it worsen over time? I still believe - even with the tremendous obstacles to reporting - that we should know more than we do now.
I am really tired of .....hearing any news or gossip or speculation about Sarah Palin. Unless and until she goes through a radical transformation and becomes a knowledgeable, more articulate, thoughtful public servant after 10 or 15 years of research, hard work and personality changes, I don't think she deserves more than the tiniest bit of further attention.
I am really tired of.......former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney cropping up on television news talk shows as a leading spokesman for Republicans. Romney also does not deserve the attention. Romney ran in primary after primary last year and all kinds of people in very different states rejected him, his positions, approach and style. Why should he be invited on these talk shows? I don't think I should have to see this guy so much.
I am really tired of.....seeing references to "Jon and Kate Plus 8." I am very proud to say that I have not seen one second of that "reality show." In fact, all I know is it's a reality show about a couple and they were reportedly getting divorced? My question: Why have I seen little headlines - repeatedly - about this show that suggested it was very important and why have Jon and Kate gotten more attention than, let's say, North Korea's recent threats against the US?I am really tired of....reporters practicing "pack journalism" so often. When a theme surfaces, it seems "The Press" cannot get out of the habit of all spouting the same line or opinion -- whether it's to say that "health care reform is in trouble" OR "People are growing concerned about the deficit" OR "People are worried about too much big government" I respect those reporters who seem to think for themselves - like Christopher Hitchens (who I often disagree with) or Bill Moyers. The same "pack journalism" is found in sportswriting - and, is, in some ways, more striking there. I love it when the conventional wisdom is proven wrong.
I am really tired of....... seeing little gossipy items in the newspaper about Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen. Thought I am a big fan of Brady, why should we - or, they - be subjected to seeing SO many little updates on this couple's whereabouts? Yeah, they're good-looking and "successful" in their fields, but, the coverage grew tired and boring long ago.
I am really tired of..... technological efficiency being regarded as more important than content. I confess I have avoided new technology used by millions - such as cell phones, Blackberries, Twitter, Facebook or the use of text messaging. However, I'm still waiting for someone to give me any reason to rush into the habit of "texting". What is the big deal about writing a little phrase on your phone and sending it to someone? Oh, I guess, it's the enormous benefit of doing it in "real time" if you're in the middle of doing something else. Well, that doesn't sound so great to me. Why not wait until you can give the person a call and have a real human exchange?
It's painful for me to write that I believe, for many, form, method and process are more important than substance. I don't care about reading someone's "Tweet" saying: "We just saw the Grand Canyon. Fabulous!" I'd much prefer to wait until that friend returned from their trip and told me in person how they experienced the Grand Canyon.
It seems the underlying thread to new products is to allow consumers to experience something when they normally, or, naturally, couldn't otherwise -- Part of that seems good, I guess, but, the advance in products brings bad things too -- like, let's say people texting while driving OR talking on their cell phones while they're interacting with people in person. (These trends all started a downhill path with "call waiting" - which I hate, to this day! - which put efficiency and convenience ahead of natural realities and the natural "order" of things.
Then there is the consumption of huge, big-screen TVs and DVRs and every gadget imaginable. Yet, the new technology often transmits mediocre content. I'm thinking of those incredibly loud, obnoxious previews at movie theaters in the impressive "Surround Sound" -- The only problem is the movies previewed seem to get worse and worse over time. Who cares if the sound is great or they have better special effects? I'll take good characters and writing.
I see the overall tendency of people emphasizing form, speed and appearance over content in many different areas of life. I recall, at one particular job, a supervisor who seemed to care a lot more about the appearance of a chart than the subject or substance of the chart. That's not good. Maybe that's different than texting or cellphones, but, it seems related somehow to me!