Sunday, November 30, 2008

News headline musings....

Felt compelled to post a few of the wire headlines from Saturday morning, headlines that provoked immediate thoughts I felt like throwing out there. So I wrote a blog, then shelved it, thinking folks don't care to hear the negative stuff...afterall, by giving it thought you give the whole process power, which is what I don't want. For example, Sunday morning on a live local news program at 6am, every story was about either a murder or an accident involving death. It's NOT necessary. The majority of news directors and producers don't have the guts to quit going that cheap, cheesy, sensationalistic route. Hopefully, more and more will, or at least there will be an increasing public outcry against it.

Nonetheless, certain headlines jumped out and smacked me in the face this weekend:

"Saudi king says oil should be $75 a barrel" (AP)

Oh really....and where was that rallying cry when oil was $147 a barrel? This I've learned purely from observation: companies and individuals who earn huge, almost disproportionate profits cry a river when the financial pipeline scales back. They get spoiled driving a Rolls Royce and plead poverty when they have to trade it in for a 700 series Mercedes. No tears shed here.

"Witnesses: fatal shooting followed toy store brawl" (AP)

Two couples, with the men packing heat, go into a crowded Toys-R-Us on Black Friday, and get into an apparently non-toy related bloody fight, with the men eventually pulling out pistols and killing each other in the store. We have a serious, a very serious gun situation here in our society. Yes, if someone wants a gun they can get it on the black market if they look hard enough; however, I have been and will continue to advocate some level of gun control and registration/monitoring process. "The problem is people, not guns," opponents say. Bit of a shallow cop-out, though I'll admit there is some truth to that...individuals make the choice to carry and use weapons, and they get dark ideas from family and friends, society at large, the entertainment industry...not to mention real life examples like this that fuel someone else's mentally screwed-up thinking...regardless, guns are readily available to the masses.

The Mumbai, India tragedies will never be understood because unless you are one yourself you can never, ever understand or comprehend religious zealots, be it Muslim, Christian, or any other thought-form. Their reality and 'rules of acceptable practices' defy the logic and reason of 'normal' society.

The Wal-Mart trampling on Long Island is particularly offensive, in that individuals knew they were a part of a group mentality that was unacceptable. In a perverted way, you could argue (only a little) that stores create this 'urgency' with incredibly low prices offered at a certain time with very limited supplies...I can't say the stores don't anticipate pathetic human greediness so they can be held innocent. Still, the problem is created by individuals who want want want and grab grab grab, which is chock full of its own serious ramifications.

Thankfully, there are the stories of shining jewels like the Illinois business Peer Bearing Company and Spungen family that gave back $6.6 million to its 230 employees, based on years of service after a buyout...the bottom line is they cared, and the story stayed in the headlines for all of one, maybe 2 days. Murders stay in there day after day as some piece of information services, and stations can run the original footage ad nauseum while they rehash the horror for days of updates. It amounts to little more than re-running original footage from the prior week all to stoke the viewers' emotions. Damn shame the goodness of the Spurgen family doesn't keep resurfacing like that.

And so it will all go on, sadly. Hopefully more and more will speak up and cry 'fowl!' to networks for plying a pathetic trade.

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