July 17, 2009

Guest Post Party: Current Events by Danz

I pestered. I begged. I had strange dreams. I hoped.

I finally wrangled my first guest post evar and it was from Danz. I don't know if I necessarily consider this a guest post since he & I are basically two sides of the same being. So...I guess this means I have an open guest post policy now? I mean, why shouldn't it be a party. Then again Blogger is free. Shiiit, if you want 2 or 3 more viewers hit a negress up.

Anyway, Danzy also blogs at his own damn place, Give Him A Mask, where he waxes poetic geek wit & spends most of his time being a gloomy bear and/or wishing he were half as awesome as me.

A brief disclaimer: we unfortunately don't share a brain. Daniel's opinions & thoughts are his own and don't represent me or this blog. In short, take shit up with him. I have his number AND home address. And now, the post:

    So. Current events. It is said that a well-educated and productive member of society keeps abreast of the times, such as they are. Said by whom? Surely somebody said it. Stop asking silly questions and pipe down, I'm waxing philosophically here. When I go to an online news source, I am bombarded with new and interesting catastrophes and trivialities. I provide for you a snapshot of CNN.com's homepage.

    Just look, preferably not at the Twitbin bit of the picture. It's a myriad of curiosities, non sequiturs, developments, and misery.

    The Jakarta incident has been updated several times since I screen-captured this, going from the title you see, to "At least 8 dead" to 'Deadly blasts strike 2 Indonesia hotels," because, I can only assume, someone didn't like the feel of the aforementioned captions or there was sufficient new data to revamp them. Now there are links to video of smoke pouring out of the windows of one of the hotels, as well as a section titled "Indonesia no stranger to bombings," which, though true, just sounds like, although they are titling it Breaking News, that it's just more of the same to CNN. And it is. And it's just more of the same to us as well, the news-consumers.

    So I'm supposed to keep up with this. We are supposed to keep up with this. As a culture. And have an opinion on it. Which we can most readily. Each of those lesser captions/headlines I could write a single post about, on how when I first saw the ones about the 1969 "moon walk" I immediately thought of Michael Jackson, or the senselessness of the death of the family here in Florida, or some saucy innuendo about the musician with the world's fastest fingers, or some snarky commentary on NASA not being concerned with their shuttle having "dings."

    These are our current events. Provided for us in as real-time as real-time gets, with mistakes and all, but those which can be easily adjusted with a click of the refresh button or five minutes away from the television. The incompleteness and impersonality of how we receive our news has shaped not only how we view the world, but how that news is presented to us. How we can become enraged over pronoun usage and salacious implications in a local news story but feel nothing when we read that dozens, hundreds, thousands have died, are dying a thousand miles away in a place we have no vested interests. How a senator in our country can leave his job on a whim, lying to his staff and family about where he is going, return and say he was in a different hemisphere breaking up with his mistress and still keep his job.

    And so we deal with it.

    We have to, it seems, "understand" an awful lot these days. Deal with realities that we never wanted to have to fathom, have our deepest, most fundamental faiths shaken, and yet move on with our day simply because it's "news."

    Our world is not to be seen through glowing, rectangular frames. Our opinions, our lives, our sufferings deserve more than that, I think. People seek equanimity in media, but don't realize that this is simply a filtered version of life, a shadow of our planet, an incomplete replica. News has replaced experience and thought. We have allowed ourselves to accept more than we should. We deserve better. We deserve truth. And we sure as hell can't get that from the news.

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