By that I mean to say those two platforms comprise the portals through which a massive percentage of news, information, comment, and opinion passes–from which people go thither and yon to investigate or gawk or supplement whatever it is that first comes to their attention via Facebook and Twitter. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is neither here nor there, it just is. And as such, it seems reasonable to note every now and then when Facebook and Twitter gets overloaded with content about one thing or another.
Right now Facebook and Twitter are positively aflame with postings about MO. Rep. Todd Akin‘s recent remarks about “legitimate rape” and what women’s bodies may or may not be capable of with respect to the intimate dance between sperm and eggs.
There is also an increasing number of posts about the looming presidential election, the aggregate of which seems to confirm a definite polarization among the populace with respect to whether we are ruled by oligarchs or socialists (not to mention Muslims).
I’ve been thinking for a long while about the failure of the mainstream media to fulfill its watchdog role, to fulfill its role of informing the citizenry of the ways in which elected officials and institutions of government fall down on the job, making life–our understanding of it and our ability to solve its inherent difficulties–much more difficult than it ought to be.
I’ve been thinking, too, about the incestuous relationship between the mainstream media and the multinational corporations under whose auspices it operates–and the resultant game-rigging that ensures mainstream media cannot be trusted to provide truthful, germane reporting or information vital to the sustenance of an informed citizenry. That, however, is a topic beyond the scope of the present rant.
But the back and forth about Akin and about the race between Obama and Romney have me a little bit spooked. I mean, really, are we that far unhinged from reality that there’s even a debate about the heading we need to set sail on?
Don’t get me wrong. I am and have been from the near get-go a critic of Barack Obama and his highly compromising approach to leading the nation. But the so-called objectivity of the mainstream media that lends credence to bat-shit crazy notions of people such as Todd Akin and to Romney’s “bold” and “serious” Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan makes me shake my head in wonder, and I tell myself: this is not my beautiful house; this is not my beautiful wife.
And then, as I do monthly, I go to my post-office box and pick up my copy of Harper’s Magazine. Soon, all is right in the world and I remember there are intelligent people in this country who work in publishing and who support the people working in publishing who work to give people the information and the perspective they need to go forth in this world and be not addled by the likes of FOX News or CNN or MSNBC or the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.
The September issue is a veritable treasure trove of well-crafted research and logic and persuasive argument that will leave you invigorated–if not necessarily optimistic–regarding almost every topic of conversation and opinion that so many butcher so badly day in and day out on Facebook and Twitter.
It’s available at news stands everywhere. Pick up a copy and let’s talk.