Friday, March 16, 2007

Why I follow the news...

...even when it makes me angry.

A great friend has been writing about how avoiding the news makes him feel better. I can understand that; when one's own life is unsettled, why make it worse by seeing what dimwitted things others are doing?

I think my fascination with the news comes down to one simple idea: the ways public fools, knaves and unsavory characters around the world act are how many people in my own life act. Those in the news are simply playing on a larger stage.

Example: The reaction to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's confession that he was responsible for planning a horrifying litany of terrorist attacks, including the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. This is a man who bears the responsibility for many thousands of deaths, most innocent people. And yet, the left-wing loons in this country are howling in outrage, not at him, but at the U.S.A. Why? Because we tortured him while he's been in custody.

I don't approve of torture in general, but this is simply bullshit. Better we should have housed him in some country-club minimum-security lockup where he could maintain eternal silence in comfort?

Even more bizarre is the contention of one Rosa Brooks, wacko mouthpiece on the Los Angeles Times editorial pages. She feels that KSM's confession is politically timed, meant to divert attention from Bush's firing of eight federal attorneys, an act that has thrown the Democrats in a tizzy.

Example: The horribly childish behavior of those who "lead" us, echoed by the pundits who make a living babbling about it from their various viewpoints. Listen to them long enough, and they'll convince you that they can do things that are (at a very minimum) unethical and harmful to the nation because "the other side" did the same thing. When any of them are confronted with this hypocrisy, they say things like "why bring (Politician X) up? That was a long time ago, and we're talking about (Politician Y now)."

Likewise, if you want to blame a political opponent for every misdeed under the sun, do it. As long as you control the reportage, you'll never be called upon to come up with facts to back your assertions.

I heard -- by mistake -- a well-known right-wing "commentator" today who was yapping about how the lefties are destroying all our freedoms. The same guy comes close to having a stroke if anyone mentions abortion, and would cheerfully shove all gays back into the closet.

I could go on and on. This isn't even the tip of the iceberg.

But the point is this: just as all these jerks have ready-made excuses for acting badly and affecting (negatively) the lives of others, so do too many people I have interacted with in recent times. Break promises? Lie? Steal? Hey, everyone does it! These days, the best defense is not to act with honor, but to go on the offense and rage at the person who catches you in the act. Blame the victim.

Or blame society. Just blame anyone but yourself.

This may be a reason why I rant about politics so often. I can see the unattractive features of most of the villains in people I know, or have known. But, somehow, I can't bring myself to shame the latter by specifically detailing the ways they behave. I don't like the idea of causing them embarrassment or unhappiness.

Does that mean I'd like to see Jorge Bush, the late Ted Kennedy, Henry Waxman, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and numerous editorial writers and reporters publicly humiliated and driven to seclusion by the scorn of good people?

Hell, yeah.

But then, I'm not trying to con anyone into believing I'm perfect.


Anonymous said...

I usually try to avoid the news. Of course you can't help but hear about the major stuff.


Anonymous said...

You know how I feel about the news...!
On the other hand there is news and there is NEWS
ps can you tell who posted this without my initials?
also, how is Hobbs?
I may have missed that...
I'm "Catching Up.."
I responded to comments on my farm entry with a bummer story about Zao... it was lated in the day than when you were there so I will tell you...he got out today. and got into it with a big red dog. I"alpha"ed him...whew!

MrScribbler said...

lz -- most times, I can tell which comments come from you.

I'm sorry Zao got into a confrontation, happy you got him out of there!

Hobbes is doing better...he's still a little wary of me -- I'm still giving him medicine -- but I just finished giving him a good brushing a while ago, and he's on the chair next to the desk, looking quite content. Until the next pill!