Friday, January 06, 2006

What is News?

What passes for news in this country is getting totally out of hand. As I was watching TV last night, waiting for the new CSI to come on, our local CBS news shrunk the regular programming down, and added a second picture, of a church fire somewhere in Atlanta. This picture was larger than the regular program, although, thankfully, there was no one talking over the regular show, as well. About every 10-15 minutes, they would do that, updating the fact that the building was still burning. 1) What is the significance of this particular fire? Things catch on fire every day, but we don't see every fire covered on the 6:00 news, let alone as "Breaking News" during primetime. I'm not sure if maybe they weren't trying to go back to that church fire 30-some years ago, deliberately set, where those girls died, or more recent church fires; that's fine, but what if it was just a plain old fire? Do we really need to make controversy out of it as it's happening? 2) To what purpose do we keep getting updates? Are we all supposed to rush down there and help take care of it? We can all plainly see the fire crews doing their work in each of the live feeds; I'm pretty sure 98% of us would have nothing helpful to add. And the other 2% are likely to be in the way. Assuming any of us could even find it - I have no clue where it was. 3) The text continued to say, during each update, that the fire will be fully investigated. No shit? Wow, investigating a fire; what a concept! Uh, Retards, I think they pretty much do that with EVERY fire when we don't know how it started. I would assume someone DID NOT call 911 and say something like "I dropped a lit candle in a trash can, and now the church is on fire - please help!", so yeah, it's going to be investigated. Thanks, Captain Obvious. They did that another time, when there was a huge wreck on the interstate, and lanes were shut down (which, BTW, is pretty much a daily occurence here). First, the people that might need to know what's going on are sitting out there in the traffic and probably don't have TVs (unless that was what started the wreck, in which case, well, you had it coming, didn't you?). Second, in case someone somewhere was waiting for someone to get home from work, and they were really late, is it more likely they were in front of the TV than to be near a phone? Since I was like one of the last people in the Greater Atlanta Area to get a cell phone, I'm pretty sure 95% of the people involved were in communication with someone. And again, what was the point of broadcasting it, repeatedly? Are the cops and emergency people in need of assistance? Considering the shitty traffic, it's pretty unlikely that I would be able to get to them in time to help. I suppose I could have phoned in some help, if I knew who to call - "First, get the injured people out and off to hospitals. Second, have cops take pictures, talk to witnesses, collect what evidence you would ordinarily collect from a wreck, then get those vehicles moved off the road. Get traffic moving. WOOHOO - that'll be $500, consultation fee. Plus I want to be on TV." And how do they cover the cost of the fuel for the chopper hovering over it for 3-4 hours? It's called SAT-UR-A-TION, or my more favorite term, Maximum Density. Enough, people.

Then, after CSI was over, DH started flipping (as usual), and came across one of the news channels covering the mining disaster in WVa. Up on the screen was one of the notes one of the miners wrote to his loved ones in his final hours (I have no idea if it was by the one survivor, or one of the deceased). I about threw up; that is nobody's damn business! OH. MY. GOD. What bastard "newsperson" thought that would be a nice touch, to add a personal touch to the story? And what money-grubbing redneck family member sold out, and how much did they get? Getting new wheels for the doublewide, are ya? Going all out and getting the JD instead of the Mad Dog 20/20 or Thunderbird? WTF? And the other morning, when my favorite, Diane "I whine for money" Sawyer was covering the survivor story, they of course cut over to one of the bereaved family members, and the sound bite they decided to go with was her (didn't get a tooth count, though I'm pretty sure I saw some gaps) yelling "I'm gonna sue!!!"
Now don't get me wrong; I am very sorry that it happened, and the whole fiasco about the wrong news getting to the waiting families was inexcusable, but that's kind of my whole point here, isn't it? If somebody would have shut up for a minute, thought about what they were doing before they just had to pick up their stupid cell phone and start talking about something that was still unclear, as though it were clear, then maybe those families could have been saved all of that emotional distress. And why is it, when anything happens to anybody anywhere in this country, the first damn words out of everyone's mouth is "I'm gonna sue!"? Who knows, maybe were I in their shoes, I would do the same thing. No, I would probably wig out, but suing someone would not be my first impulse. In fact, I would probably have to be talked into it, and god knows I hate when people try to tell me what to do. Hello, they were coal miners, digging big freakin' holes in the earth, you know, underground. Cave-ins happen, and not everyone gets out alive. It's called an ACCIDENT. Now, if the mine could have been made safer by the owner, then yes, they do have some responsibilty to those families, which shouldn't take a lawsuit to settle. And by settled, I mean a dollar amount equivalent to the expected earnings of the deceased, had he lived and continued mining, plus some compensation for the loss. In the service, it's called Life Insurance and Hazardous Duty Pay; you know, those people that volunteer their lives every day, so dumbass hillbillies can sue people for their husband having to have a crappy job and an accident that just happens to be a very real risk to that job. Too bad service members can't sue the government every time one of them dies (you think the nat'l debt is bad now?). It's time to get a grip, folks. And thanks to the dumbass with the McDonald's coffee, who started all of this. If you have to be told the coffee you just ordered is hot, then you are too stupid to live, or drink coffee, for that matter, and should be shot immediately; your parents, too, and any siblings. I would say the same thing to those that use hair dryers in the bathtub, but they usually take care of themselves. Retards.

On the lisence plate of a Lexus SUV this morning: HYGENIE. What, exactly, does this mean? I'm sure, if the owner explained it to me, it would turn out to be quite clever, but on it's own? Are you actually a genie, who's name is Hy? Are you a dental hygenist, and thought it would be "cute"? You're driving a Lexus, so maybe you are a stereotypical dental hygenist who does tricks (if you know what I mean)? Vanity plates aren't cool if you are the only one who gets it. And they wonder why road rage has become so prevalent. Another one, this on a powder-blue Chrysler convertible: PRNSSS. I should note that this car, which I have seen weekly for about 2 years on the way to work, is driven by a middle-aged woman; she might be 40-something, maybe older (I drive too fast to get a good look), with the short, curly, frumpy hair, always high-necked clothes, big owl glasses; you know, librarian-looking. Okay, do you really want to be referred to as Princess? Maybe you actually are a princess, and have been exiled from your country, and are currently residing in Hall County, GA, waiting for the evil dictator in your country to either be overthrown by your personal Freedom Fighters, or choke on his dinner one night? Maybe it's just me, but I think that once you are old enough to... uh.. get a driver's license, you and others should not refer to you as Princess. Let me guess, you are divorced, and searching for Prince Charming, but all you are finding are frogs? I bet you talk about yourself in third person, too, don't you? Retard. Nice car. I have never seen the top down - doesn't want to fuck up the hair, I guess, even though I'm betting she has it washed and set twice a week, using Dead Man's Hairspray. Talk about being old before your time. Gotta run the air all year round, so that shit doesn't melt. Probably likes eating in cafeterias, too. Kill me if I ever get like that, even if I am indeed old, okay?

Turn off your TVs, read a book (try something written before 1970), and do not, under any circumstances, go out there. They are everywhere, and they may not know it, but they are out to get you. You will be assimilated!!

(Yeah, I'm a geek; you didn't already know that?)

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