Children don’t need to sex education. They will figure that out soon enough. What they do need to learn is skills they need in everyday life – how to balance a checkbook, build a fire, change a tire. Attributed to Loretta Lynn
I’m adding to that list. A journalism class should be a requirement for every living child that prides themselves on making it alive through high school. The news and journalism are a business – meaning for profit! I’m not criticizing free enterprise and I glory in the life style I am able to live because of it. BUT, what I am saying is that it is a mistake to take as gospel truth anything you are spoon fed to keep you freaked out and tuned in, logged on or what-eh-ver.
Case in point. Mr. Husband, an otherwise highly intelligent man, believes everything, and I do mean everything, he hears on Fox (righty tighty, Gawd ‘n Country, but only our way) news. On the other hand my highly intelligent mother believes everything she reads on smirkingchimp.com, a mish mosh of way far left, conspiracy theory, if you’re Republican, you are delusional, type of news.
If Mumsy went any farther left she’d come full circle and be on the right. If her and the hub-man ran into each other on their way around the far left/far right circlet of hysteria it would cause an explosion on the order of matter/anti-matter coming together The universe as we know it would come to spectacular end.
Anyone watching from another universe on a telescope would laugh and ask “What is wrong with these people? Don’t they know that the Great Pumpkin is the source of all that is true and good?”
One of the most interesting projects I had in journalism class was to take some bit if innocuous news and compare the description of the event from 2 different news sources. I chose Ford falling down the steps of Air force One and 2 Boston papers. I wish I had kept the essay. So I’m making this up as an example. Paper 1; he didn’t actually fall, he bent over to tie his shoelace. Paper 2; he didn’t fall he was given something to make him dizzy and pushed down the stairs by the opposing party in a desperate grab for power.
People tend to slant the “news” about themselves in exactly the same way. Come on, you know you do. What to listen for is a convoluted answer to a straight question. I going to use Mr. Husband as my research example. He’s handy and radical so he makes an excellent test subject.
Wifey: What Color is the sky?
Hub-man: Well yesterday, I went to the store and noticed in transit that is was sort of blue-gray, mixed with streaks of purple probably caused by those damned Democrats doing some kind of protest.
Wifey: Again, what color is the sky, now, this moment?
Hub-man: Well according to satellite imagery it will be dark and we might get hail, do you want to put your car in the garage?
Wifey (through gritted teeth): what-color-is-the-sky? Bend your neck, look up.
Hub-man (looks up): Parts of it are a bluish color, but can we really see the sky for all the liberals trying to change it? Maybe the word blue isn’t politically correct anymore?
Wifey: I give up.
Note to Mr. Husband: This is what happens to my brain when I am subjected to news programs before coffee.
What part of ”I don’t give a rat’s ass” do you not understand?” I always want to say that to anyone who wants to talk about the downfall of society with their eyes bulging in a hysterical fervor of righteousness.
Ordinarily I hate to talk politics, but since this my own personal monologue/soapbox, I will. I am a Democrat who accidental voted for the other guy, Mr. What’s-his-name who ran against Obama. My nasty little confession is that technically it wasn’t really an accident. I got lazy, I admit it. Due to an extreme case of apathy, I didn’t get around to voting Democrat to cancel out Mr. Husband’s vote for the Republican du ‘jour. I can’t even remember his/her name.
Oh now it’s coming into focus. It was the guy who chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. I remember thinking after all the shouting was over with, “well now, when push comes to shove, people on the fence will vote for a black man before they risk a woman near the throne, I mean presidency. We have not overcome quite yet. Still a few bigotries left in our collective closet. Don’t really have room to gripe since I didn’t vote, but I’m still gonna say my piece anyway.
I’ll put it nicely and say I think Palin was inexperienced. Then I’ll say what I really think. I don’t care how pretty the package is, if someone believes that the end of days is near and that the remnants of society after the big housecleaning by a vengeful God are going to straggle to Alaska? I’m not getting on that hay wagon. It’s true! I saw her talk at a her church on You Tube. ***chuckles***
I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday. Furthermore, I don’t want to go to Alaska unless it’s via cruise chip to admire the glaciers from afar while sipping champagne. How’s that for “let them eat cake!” ala Marie Antoinette? But she got punished for her political ignorance with a trip to the town guillotine. Maybe I better wear an iron turtleneck and watch my back.
Every once in a while I buckle down and try to get to bottom of what the hell is really going on. What is the true meaning of the latest 870,564 page document that heralds a new tomorrow, a chicken in every pot, protection from ourselves, blah, blah, blah.
It usually boils down to the mother of all headaches and the synopsis goes something like this:
“We have decided to create another level of bureaucracy where we can charge $5,838 for a toilet seat. It will help the economy, remove warts, and wash your dishes too. The consequences of such self-interested foolishness, er uh, wise stewardship, we will blame on the opposing political party. If it goes really wrong really quick, we will claim that we are suffering the consequences of the a previous bill that the those fool hardy bimbos on the other side of the political playground rammed down our throats.”
The child hood book “The Emperor’s New Clothes” should be required reading for anyone who thinks they even begin to understand all this. A healthy dose of skepticism all around is the order of the day.
This is my opinion and I am perched on my fence and stickin’ too it! Until I change it.
Mr. Husband is vigorously opinionated about every conceivable subject, but almost to the point of fanatical when it comes politics. He is also so conservative that he makes Rush Limbaugh sound like one of them tree huggin’ liberals. His main ideology is: Obama is the spawn of Satan.
I’m a democrat. There is no hidden agenda in that statement. I don’t have a log list of specific democratical beliefs. All it means is that, when push, comes to shove, I usually vote the democratic ticket, but not always. Basically a lesser of the evils. I don’t loose any sleep over it or worry about what is going to happen if whoever gets elected.
My mother is just as fanatical as Mr. Husband but she is a Democrat. In contrast to the hub-man, who likes to pontificate from his bark-o-lounger, dear old Mom is as active as she can be in her limited universe. She volunteers at the voting stations, telephones, anything that she can do or get to without driving there. Her philosophy is: Bush is the spawn of Satan.
The first time she came to meet her son-in-law, she was wearing a John Kerry campaign button about the size of a dinner plate. Didn’t ever know they made them that big. Husband and Mom were previously taken aside and threatened with death if either of them instigated a shouting match about politics. They behaved remarkably well. I ended up being the one who had a meltdown over something, don’t remember now what it was.
How do a Republican and a Democrat manage to survive in a marriage? It is not easy let me tell ya. One of the things we bump up again is news programs. He believes it, I don’t. Should be simple. I can survive quite well without listening to the news at all. Seriously, it is easy to do. At the office, it’s impossible to avoid overhearing people talking about the latest overblown disaster or tear jerking tale.
Husband greats me at the door half the time with a juicy news tidbit. “Did you hear about that lady who had her eyebrows blown off in a freak lawnmower accident in Blowvindia?” If it were possible to have a news feed installed directly into his skull he would go for it in a heartbeat. Even better if he gets a good daily dose of the latest hysterical, foaming at the mouth, radio talk show host. Hellfire, brimstone, it’s their fault [insert scapegoat du’ jour here] the world is going to hell in a hand basket. The economy is circling the bowl with such rapidity that it will make the great depression look like a mere blip on the radar. We’re talking famine, pestilence, dogs and cats living together. etcetera, etcetera. ZZzzzz
I like to go all literal on him and pretend to believe what he says. “Really, honey? Oh my God, well what can I do to help? Should I stop buying M&Ms out of the vending machine at work? Should I stand on street corners in dark sunglasses holding out my hat? Just tell me, what should I do?” At this point, he realizes I’m jerking his chain and stomps off in a huff.
Along with the news is a running commentary a la Mystery Science Theatre. If someone on the TV voices an opinion contrary to his, darling husband immediately changes the channel, mid sentence. What I have to wonder though is this. Is his opinion really his? Sometimes he quotes, verbatim, some political rhetoric and genuinely seems to think that it’s something he thought of all by his little lonesome. At times like this I end up staring at him dumfounded thinking, who the hell are you and how did you get in my house?
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