Four years ago I wrote that the political media was dead and didn’t know it yet. I thought at that time we’d quickly bury that corpse. Tonight we drove another stake into its undead heart but like zombies the only sure kill is to kill the head. I’m sure everyone feels a huge sense of relief that the elections are over. Especially when we have spent what seems like an eternity listening to the media talk about the “race”. Perhaps that is part of the strategy. We are so tired that now we are all going to go stick our heads under a pillow for another few years.
Elections always get characterized as a horse race, yet they are simply a decision that occurs on a given day. Leading up to that day seems to be an exercise in deciding what we are deciding. What is so difficult about making a good decision and sticking with it?
All my life I’ve noticed that the issues that get talked about in those final days of October every four years have nothing to do with really important issues. The kind of things that mean life or death to people, or to the species. Four years ago seemed a bit different but this year was just the same. The republicans and the media tried to make the centerpiece issue the economy. And the democrats went right along with their scheme. I guess the republicans thought that after a few years of filibustering nearly everything to stop President Obama’s plans, they could turn around and blame Obama for doing nothing. Since the media wasn’t about to remind people of the truth, they almost got away with it. Looking at the popular vote alone, you can see that about half the nation is convinced of the republican version of reality. I can’t really blame my neighbors for their ignorance. But if they watch only TV, and only a news program that constantly repeats the slogan “fair and balanced” (while essentially being anything but fair or balanced) I suppose they will come to believe most anything.
The difference between reality and what people think is the real issue that needs to be addressed. The obfuscation of reality practiced every day by the mainstream media has poisoned our political system. Without that toxic cloud perhaps people would be able to appreciate the actual facts that confront us as a nation and as humans on this planet.
For example, take a look at this graph. I linked to the image from the page at http://www.planetforlife.com/co2history/index.html. I sure hope they don’t mind.
The line marked Keeling Curve is actually where we are today. Notice that we aren’t even in the ballpark compared to past cycles anymore. As it says at that site “…the amount of carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere is unprecedented, at least in the past 415,000 years. The last time it reached even 300 PPM was 325,000 years ago.” We are headed upwards of 400 parts per million.
That anyone in the media or any political group can dispute climate change, or that it is caused by man’s activities is beyond belief. It’s the kind of thing that just makes your jaw hang open. Yet clearly the media, controlled by corporations, investors and money has a vested interest in ignoring this. Instead we watch stories that are “fair and balanced” describing the jobs that fracking oil will bring, versus the “theoretical” environmental risks of the liquids pumped into the oil shale. Yet there is more oil in Canadian oil sands than has been pumped out of the middle east so far. Not once will you hear anyone discuss the risks of actually burning all that oil. Apparently that isn’t a problem. And our government, the congress, keeps giving money to oil companies that make obscene profits already by producing a product which will change this planet forever.
The only way any of this is ever going to change is if we start demanding the truth from our media. And we won’t get the truth as long as someone with more money can buy their own version of the truth. This election was bought. It wasn’t about informed voting. It was money from my pocket and the pockets of a million other informed people pitted against the money of some big corporations controlled by a few people. A corporation is made up of people, but it is not a person. The rules have to be changed.
So when you hear the media mention Obama’s birth certificate, or run a clip interviewing someone who scored less than 200 on their verbal SAT just ask yourself if you are spending your time wisely. Perhaps you need to look elsewhere for your news. Don’t let the zombie eat your brain.