Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Stupid Human Tricks

I think this has to be a uniquely American thing:

Motorcycle vs Car

Several years ago when I was traveling through Europe and living in Hungary at the time, a good friend (who has a unique talent for putting things in the proper perspective) wrote a letter and pointed out that only in America do things like hot rods exist. It was then I realised how absurd things really are in this country. Wackiness and insanity goes on here that you just do not see anywhere else and, more importantly, could *never* see anywhere else. Take the story linked above. Could someone name any other country where people do crazy stunts with motorcycles? Or drag race?

Well maybe it does exist elsewhere. Maybe it's because this is the kind of 'news' we get on a daily basis instead of real information? Now more than ever, I've come to define 'news' in this country by what is not reported. On June 2nd, the FCC will meet to vote on ratifying a plan to change the rules limiting ownership of media companies. This could possibly result in one major corporation owning most or all of the media outlets in many cities. The folks at FAIR point out that people who rely on TV news for information (most people in this country) would be hard pressed to have heard of this issue. Not surprising as the only folks who will benefit from this are the parent companies of the TV networks.

A quick scan of the headlines at the Seattle PI says it all. Top two stories are about latino enrollment at a small seattle suburb school, a donut shop being sued for sexual harassment and a story about the mentally ill. And of course there are the obligatory daily articles about the Laci Peterson case (if someone can explain to me why this particular case is getting so much attention in the press here, I'd appreciate it) and other fluffy entertainment pieces. Curiously, I could find no mention of the FCC issue nor any stories about what's happening in Iraq.

Information is power and an uninformed population is a powerless one. And that does not bode well for future elections, which is perfectly fine for those currently in power.


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