April 4, 2014

Trash news for America

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:24 pm

The Pravda Syndrome, according to a reliable source, refers to the condition that developed in Russia when people automatically doubted the state sanctioned version of the news.  A news story would immediately generate a belief that the exact opposite must be true.  The USA, he warned, is beginning to show symptoms of an impending epidemic of that malady.  (Starting with Fox?)

Will the Gulf of Tonkin resolution be fifty years old this year?  If so will the free press take a critical look at how the American voters got fooled?

Will the news stories about the century anniversary of the start of WWI tell Americans about how a little lie about the cargo on the Lucitania got them into a war thousands of miles away from the homeland?

How credible were the reassurances that the troops who took part in nuclear testing in the desert had no worries about long term effects?

A controversial topic can always be exempted from debate by labeling the issue a conspiracy theory and then all dissent must halt immediately.

The ecological damage done by Fukushima, any possible explanation of what happened to MH 370, and secret negotiations with Russia to avoid WWIII are all “off-limits” topics for journalists and so pseudo news is becoming a viable industry so that Americans can see something that can be extolled for providing an example of freedom of the press, which is always one of the defining examples used to motivate the poor and middle class to send their children off to war in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a country that wants voters to be fully informed so that they can make well-informed decisions, giving controversies an automatic exemption from debate defies logic but since it is an American tradition, if you don’t like it . . . go jump in the lake just like the fellow did in “The Manchurian Candidate.”

Greenpeace has been asserting that the oceans of the world are littered with trash and the more false alarms that satellite photos generate for the people searching for the remains of the missing MH 370 airliner the higher the likelihood that rubes in flyover country will eventually come to the conclusion that the forecasts of impending ecological disaster could generate a preemptive response.

Part of the standard Conservative response to Liberals (including the “save the whales” faction) is to question their sanity.

Conservatives expect Americans to assume that the Oceans are pristine pure and that any time any satellite photo shows some flotsam and jetsam, people must automatically exclaim:  “That must be from MH 370!”

The Greenpeace movement has been dismissed by Conservatives as a bunch of whacko altruists who make absurd claims about seeing an island of trash in the middle of various Oceans.  If there are too many examples of false alarms in the search for the missing airliner then there may come a time when the Greenpeace assertions become uncontestable.

Shouldn’t a Greenpeace spokesperson be getting face time on the Network News to show satellite photos of the Island of Trash and predict that the debris from MH 370 may never be found?  Would a humorous “we tried to warn ya” be copasetic?  (Isn’t that a Sixties word?)

If the Conservative News Nabobs aren’t vigilant in their mass mind control duties, the curious incident of the transponder that didn’t bark may wind up being the biggest factor in a gigantic spike in the performance graph for the ubiquitous Greenpeace fundraisers who solicit funds from High Street in Fremantle to Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley CA and beyond.

The fact that the nightly exercises of excellence in propaganda (AKA the Evening News) are not mentioning the Greenpeace explanation for the false sightings indicates only two possible explanations:  incompetence or deliberate planning.

If all of the nightly propaganda programs miss the obvious through incompetence, the prognosis for democracy is grim.  If the error is premeditated, then expecting voluntary preventive ecological measures is irrational.

When the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster occurred, business owners raised economic objections to installing fire escapes.  Expecting modern capitalists to increase production costs just for (hypothetical?) extreme long range goals is unrealistic.  Greed will always trump altruism in a capitalistic society.

Isn’t the Supreme Court going to take another look at the American tradition that lets team owners grow richer by exploiting athletes while being exempt from many regulations about workers’ rights?  Don’t the corporations known as colleges have the same rights as wealthy team owners?

A past TV report (BBC?) indicated that manmade trash is washing up on the beaches on Wake Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Many years ago, media in the USA carried reports that beachcombers on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja peninsula were finding some very intriguing debris.  Specialists were sent and it was determined that the curious detritus was actually trash from the Battle of the Coral Sea.  It had taken approximately 20 years to make an Eastward crossing of the Pacific Ocean.

Would it cause a big sensation if the search for MH 370 produced some wreckage from Amelia Earhart’s missing airplane?

We wonder if any of the talking point readers who are “covering” the search for the missing MH 370 airplane on temporary assignment in Perth will on their days off go down to Fremantle and the beach at Cottesloe (we understand there is a “free” beach just North of that world famous beach) and if they will sample the local music scene.  (Google hint:  who is playing at Mojo’s this weekend?)

Abandoning the search and adopting the nihilistic “Such is life” philosophy may seem crass and coldhearted but in the Golden Age of Austerity the search can’t go on forever.

Will the Fox faithful ever get to hear a feature story about the Pravda Syndrome?

Was it inevitable that shooting rampages would become routine news and hence slip out of the “hysterical obsession” category of news stories on the 24/7 cable news networks?  It seems that historical milestone was reached this week.

The 36th annual St. Stupid’s Day festivities were held in San Francisco this week.  Rumors are rampant in Frisco that the media in-crowd in New York are asking if San Francisco is the new New York.  If they have to ask that question, that means they already know the answer and they won’t have to wait until they see it in Pravda to believe it.

[Note from the Photo Editor:  Sixties icon Wavy Gravy participated in the St. Stupid’s Day parade in San Francisco on Tuesday and we got some photos of him.  What’s not to love about a Sixties flashback?]

It wouldn’t be prudent to use a notorious excerpt from Lenny Bruce’s comedy (?) track titled “Non Skeddo Flies Again” as the wrap it up quote and so we will note that back in the day before 140 word limits were considered cool, Lafcadio Hearn, at the beginning of “Midsummer Trip to the Tropics” went on and on about just how blue the ocean would be where he was going.  We’ll use a self-imposed limit of one sentence and for the closing quote use just this one:  “The painter who should try to paint it would be denounced as a lunatic . .  . .”  (The journalist who tries to report the news [especially the countdown to JEB’s Inauguration] accurately will be denounced as a lunatic.)

Now the disk jockey will play Charles Trenet’s “La Mer,” Slim Dusty’s “I can still har dad swearing,” and Judy Collins’ “Send in the Clowns.”  We have to go finish reading Pete Hamill’s “Why Sinatra Matters.”  Have a “don’t bother; they’re here” type week.


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