A recent post by my favorite curmudgeon in the blogosphere inspired me.
Usually the fellow is full of what my Southern grandmother would have (if she were not a blueblood) described as piss and vinegar, though always amusing and sometimes even eloquent.
Come to think of it, the post is filled with these essential elements, though to an appropriate end.
Western societies so frequently swell up with pride over the fact that they are free. We are breathless in wonder at our own brilliance, virtue, superiority over every backwater republic on the planet. We think we are better. We think we are civilized. We think we are entitled, and we pass judgment accordingly. We’re like adolescents mindlessly jockeying for boasting rights.
The free press is the worst of such offenders. But ironically what passes for journalism is trivia, human interest fluff pieces. Few in the business possess the intellectual capacity to research and present the news of the world; instead of focusing on policy, it is much easier to toss a few barbs about affairs, or errors arising from the nature of being human. Today as I ran the usual Saturday errands the magazine racks were stuffed with news about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and surreptitiously-gained photographs of Hollywood stars wearing no makeup, and soap opera news rags. The press understands that we are not about desiring substance; instead, we respond to turmoil and scandal.
And so, I suspect we get what we deserve. We are the bystanders rushing to the accident scene, not to assist but rather to indulge our unhealthy curiosity at sight of carnage.