It’s been a while since there has been a funny This Modern World and today is no exception. However, what it lacks in humor it makes up for in the things that make you go ‘hmm’ factor.
Usually the humor is done after the comic section of my morning, but today Glenn Greenwald is pretty funny too. Falling in suit with the rest of the country a couple days before the new year, Greenwald does a best-of list; this one involving quotes. It starts out as some funny ones – funny in a sickening way – but then it gets just plain angering and depressing. The media in this country is one of the most imperative parts of our democracy; they are the bridge from the what’s going on in the world and in Washington to the US people. It is their job to sort through all the bullshit that we’re all told, figure out what is probably not true or being covered up, and search for the truth so that we can all be informed. I can understand when the politicians or CEO’s don’t want the public to know things, but when the media starts to do it, that’s when we’re all in trouble. The media is also key in any revolutionary effort that would ever take place; they are the ones who inform the people in Kansas that the people in Oregon are up to something- and not with a two-paragraph blurb on page C-25. Since the media being all propaganda is one of the first sings that a democracy is failing, maybe the media starting to do it’s job again is one of the first signs that the people are regaining control. It is up to us to stop reading all the bullshit, stop watching the news channels and start writing letters and emails and making phone calls telling the papers and magazines what stories they should be running.
The Anonymous Liberal also takes offense at our media, but his is directed (today) at Slate writer Paul Krugman, who wrote a blog that AL quotes at length about how the Democrats need to stop compromising. Krugman says that the Dems need to start being partisan, that that’s what the US voting population is looking for, not a party who bows down to the other side over every decision. AL says that this is false; the voters in the middle are the voters that every candidate needs to go after. He then goes on to talk about how most voters don’t care about the issues anyway; they just care about the personality or likeability of the candidates. He backs this up with some quotes from just after the ’04 election from people who disagreed with Bush because he lied to get us into war or only helped the rich, but voted for him anyway because he has personality. I don’t really understand his argument with this one because he claims that a candidate should not be partisan, but then uses Bush – who is just about as partisan as they come – to make his point. It doesn’t matter either way, whether we vote for the candidate we would most like to have a beer with or the one whom we think has the best grasp of the issues we are most concerned about, we are fucked just the same unless we see that it is our duty to do more than just vote for our representatives. It is our job to make sure they are doing their job every single day, and if we decide they aren’t then it’s our job to do something about it.
I was watching The Sopranos last night (I am in Jersey) and began to think about good and evil. We are preached at in school (my school anyway) that everyone has a basic goodness, and a lot of people in my classes seem to think that anyone can be helped, that no one is truly bad. I know Tony Soprano is not a real person, but there are plenty of people exactly like him who are evil. Maybe they weren’t born evil, maybe it’s not their fault that they ended up evil, but none of that changes the fact that evil is what they are. I still believe that the high majority of the world is good, but seeing stuff like this leaves no doubt in my mind that there is definitely a section of us that does not stand a chance. I preach about how jails are bad and they do more to hurt people that get locked up than to help, but I have no solution about what to do with people who kidnap a large number of kids in order to make money.
For the first time in the short history of my blog, I have breaking news. At a rally in Pakistan, a suicide bomber killed former president Benazir Bhutto. There isn’t much information available yet, but apparently there was a rally with a few hundred people, someone blew himself up, and now one of the leading dissenting voices in Pakistan is dead. This goes towards proving my theory that the right wing is crazier than the left; Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated, John F Kennedy was assassinated, Malcolm X was assassinated, and so on while the crazy right wing guys like Ronald Reagan, Adolph Hitler, and George W Bush survive. When something like this happens in the US, we tend to cry for a couple days and then move on, but most of the world doesn’t react like that. I’m very interested to see what will happen throughout the rest of the day in the already very fragile country of Pakistan.