Well , Ada and I seem to have had no noticeable side-effects from going cold turkey on the TV reception several months ago . The Television world is going along without us , I know . Sometimes someone wants to catch us up on some interesting new sit-com or other . We were discussing
Breaking Bad a couple of days ago , because that’s the last TV show we’ve seen , I guess . We watched it on Netflix , one episode after another , all of them long after the episodes were originally aired . That is a hint of where we’re at .
I don’t miss ” the news ” , either . I used to like paying attention to the news , you know , back when ” the news ” had some resemblance to what was news . I suppose the definition of ” news ” has changed when I wasn’t looking . I should look it up in the dictionary ; check out any new denotations and connotations . If I had the right phone I might just ask the voice in the phone to tell me the answer to my quest ; but I don’t have a phone that does that . The centuries seem to come and go too quickly for me to catch up .
Sometimes , at the YMCA , when I am walking the plank , doing the hamster routine on that tread mill as I constantly adjust the speed and the incline slope , I try to get that built-in TV screen to work . Sometimes it does . I follow my old TV -addiction days routine of checking in with the news shows , switching back and forth in hopeless pursuit of gaining some kind of balanced information concerning what’s happening in the world .
The local news shows have their people standing as they report the latest cute little puppy adoption and the like between rundowns on sports games and weather .
The cable news shows all seem to have a banner across the screen saying something to the effect of ” Breaking News ” . It seems to me that their news organizations , if indeed they exist , may have actually had a tiny little bit of news a day or two ago , and now , as I watch , the umpteenth ‘panel of experts’ is assembled to discuss the item and to tell us what to think about the already -old scrap of information that they somehow managed to find . Are those so-called pundits, the professional talkers , paid by the word ? Those folks can beat a dead horse with the best of them , and enthusiastically spin some minor bit of information so out of proportion over a day or two or three that my head spins . Well , to be honest , I am only on that moving conveyor belt exercise machine for a few minutes , so my head doesn’t spin all that much .
These “news” shows , of course , are all corporate-owned businesses . Their formula programming has been effective , so far , I assume . Have you paid attention to what the used-to-be-called ‘talking-heads’ make in salary ? Let’s just say , as my friend Tom used to say , ” More than you or me makes in a month ! ” Just a few million more , perhaps ; but , after all , what’s a few million among friends ! It bothers no one that some of these corporate decisions are executed by a billionaire who’s not even an American ? As my friend Nancy would say : ” Just saying ! ” Corporations may legally be citizens , but they’re not loyal citizens by any stretch of the imagination .
So , nowadays I turn to the internet for my news . Wow . I will need to bone-up again on the nature and practice of propaganda . I know it when I see it , I think , but I’d like to explain the ins and outs of it to others from time to time so that I can retain the belief that there is some sense left in the world and that fact-based rationality still exists.
Propaganda in our new news .
I have to go now . The weather girl is explaining the weather for the next few days around the LA basin , showing her legs and the weather map . It’s going to be much of the same , with a slight chance of rain on Thursday . She didn’t say which Thursday . And a sweaty guy in boxing shorts is waiting for me to finish my routine on this treadmill so that he can wipe it down with a disinfectant towelette before he starts his run . That’s a good idea , too , because there’s lots of spoilation spreading around these days . I know that because someone re-posted an article about that on the internet .