Posts Tagged ‘news’

    If it bleeds…

    Monday, May 12th, 2008

    As though the cyclone in Myanmar last week that has killed nearly 30,000 weren’t enough, another natural disaster lashed out today, this time in China, where the death toll from a magnitude-7.9 earthquake has already reached 10,000.

    The news followed up a sad weekend story, in which about 25 people in the Midwest and South were killed by tornadoes and violent storms.

    And who can forget the weeks-long saga regarding unrest in Tibet, which I’m sure has not vanished but has merely turned into an afterthought, regarded as passé by finicky editors around the nation.

    This is a snapshot of my work day, and these are the types of events that comprise it. I read story after story — violent crimes rising in cash-strapped cities, Shiite militias planting roadside bombs in Iraq, the number of home foreclosures hitting a record high — gauging whether one tragedy can top another enough to make it on the front page of a 15-by-22-inch newspaper.

    In my industry that’s called “news judgment.”

    Who will save you?

    Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

    When I looked at the most recent box office figures, I was astonished to see that “Iron Man” grossed more than $100 million dollars in its opening weekend. The second best top seller was “Made of Honor,” bringing in $14 million. That’s quite a gap between No. 1 and No. 2.

    I have yet to see “Iron Man,” but its popularity got me wondering: Do Americans want to be saved? What is it about superhero movies that has us coming out in droves, handing over nine bucks to the high schooler behind the counter who knows the ugly truth behind the “butter” in the buttered popcorn?

    All movies have heroes, but not all of them are as super as Superman, Batman, X-Men or Spider-Man, to name the most popular. These characters have a fan base that is hard to match, let alone rival.

    So what’s behind the fanaticism? Could it be a cry for help?

    With the state of the nation in so much despair, it makes sense that we’d want superhuman powers to solve our problems.

    How cool would it be if Superman were our next president? What if Wolverine, Rogue, Cyclops and the rest of the X-Men were our indestructible soldiers on the battlefield? Spidey, the bookish guy that he is, would be perfect for the top seat at the Federal Reserve, where he can solve this damn credit crisis. Batman could help us find Bin Laden and those tricky weapons of mass destructions that have eluded us for so long. And maybe all of the above could convince us that we’re just as strong and capable of helping humanity.

    Woo-hoo! Stupid adults!

    Friday, March 9th, 2007

    So, has anyone seen Fox’s new television show “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” I just watched it today for the first time, and lemme tell you — I have never seen grown adults feel so accomplished that they are on the same mental level as 10-year-olds. 

    Is stupidity what our country has come to celebrate? Sad, I say.

    Today, a woman lost her chance at winning $50,000 because she thought a rhombus had 10 sides. Another guy had to rely on a 9-year-old girl to stay in the game over this question: In what month does summer end? His answer: August. Correct answer: September.

    Each contestant has a chance to win $1 million. If they don’t and are eliminated, they must look into the camera and say, “I am not smarter than a 5th grader.” How freaking demoralizing. The show is hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, remember him? And I wonder: Is it coincidence that the host is someone who got famous for his redneck jokes? Hmm..that’s Fox TV for ya.

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