Monday, July 21, 2014

The Same Page

Pozdrowienia, Media Magnates!

Take a look at this photo:

Okay, now have a gander at this one:

Similar-looking photos have inspired the following meme:

But actually there is a difference. There's a helluva big f#@king difference.

In the first olde-timey photo, commuters are being informed about what's important by a horde of independent, muck-raking journalists. Literally everyone is on the same page. In the second photo it's much more likely that people are texting their lunch plans, watching cat videos or playing Candy Crush.

'C'mon, Dave,' I can hear you saying, 'Isn't that just a wee bit cynical?'

Okay, fine, then. Let's just say for argument's sake that everyone in the second photo is doing some independent research - *Pffffttt!!!* - on climate change. The question then becomes are they watching this:

Or this:

Let's look at another example. Say I wanna investigate the income gap in the United States. Do I go watch this:

Or do I watch a report that tries to re-brand the issue as "class warfare":

Maybe I want to check out a retrospective on the Iraq War. I could go with a learned, well-researched documentary featuring expert testimony:

Or watch an op-ed segment featuring a moron who can barely read a teleprompter:

If I'm keen to understand the current strife between the Israelis and the Palestinians I could scope out this reasonably well-balanced animated summary:

Or I could listen to a platoon of hyperbole-spewing tub-thumpers regurgitate theie politically-motivated marching orders:

Speaking of Obama, how's his new Affordable Care Act doing? Well, here's an opinion piece which features the increasingly-rare use of something called "facts":

Or I could subscribe to landed immigrant / professional contrarian Stuart Varney's view and throw the public health care baby out with the President's bathwater simply because the "progressive" ("Ewwwww!!!") desire to improve a country's standard of living should always be rejected wholesale as rank "socialism":

And herein lies the big difference.

In the first photo a clutch of well-informed citizens arrive at work, gather around the lunch table and engage in rabble-rousing conversations about society's genuine ills. In the second photo everyone is cherry-picking whatever re-enforces their own myopic view of the world, even if it's flat-out wrong.

So, until most of us get back on the same page together and the concept of "liberal" and "conservative" are abandoned in favor of the much more sensible paradigm of "right" and "wrong", the divide will continue to grow between us.

And not much of anything is gonna get done. 

EPIC NEW RULE  Leave it to Bill Maher to summarize this concept very nicely.

A "FAIL"-URE TO COMMUNICATE  So close yet so far away.