I’ve spent far too much time in airports lately, and I think I might be going mad. I’m sitting, trying to type while waiting, and it’s just noise, noise, noise, noise — there’s the horrible repetition of “You are approaching the end of the moving walkway&hellip:You are approaching the end of the moving walkway&hellip:You are approaching the end of the moving walkway&hellip:You are approaching the end of…”, the frequent intercom warnings that “The TSA has determined that the current threat level is orange…”, which means nothing at all, and worst of all are the televisions located everywhere, blaring out the “news”. I’ve been thoroughly packed full of all the most important news, thanks to CNN.
And there’s the problem.
I was involuntarily subjected to full-on CNN at sampling intervals of approximately an hour and a half, with over an hour of their news coverage at a sitting. There was only one story, one all-important story that soaked up all the air time all day long.
Tiger Woods is whacking a little ball with a stick again, and he’s doing a good job.
His score at some tournament was reported repeatedly, and then some self-important sports pundit would come on and seriously tell us what this meant to Woods’ self-esteem, and to the psychological state of millions of little-ball-whackers all around the world. I kept hoping at least one of these guys would stop, look incredulously at his fellow panelists, and point out that this soul-crushing inanity is not news, and definitely not worth hours of masturbatory reflection. Jeez, CNN programmers should just look at the front page of the BBC and plan on spending 50 minutes of every hour covering the important stuff. I’ll allow that they can spend 10 minutes of every hour covering pop culture trivia — golf scores, Lindsey Lohan vulva sightings, the Kardashians, celebrity face lifts, that sort of thing.
Because right now I’m just going to have to assume the media is packed full of mindless morons.
Speaking of mindless morons, my talk at RIT was ‘reviewed’ by a student named Joe McLaughlin. I see a bright future for him in American media.
I remember him well. I gave a talk on the conflict between science and religion, and afterwards, he came down and asked me some questions. Well, first he declared firmly that he was a Catholic…which told me right away he wasn’t going to have much intelligent to say. I could give a rat’s pungent patootie for his Catholicism — if he wants to ask a question, nothing is gained by declaiming his ideological position at the outset, and my answer wouldn’t change whether he’s Catholic or Cathar. But yes, I had to get his testimonial first.
Then he asked about the infamous cracker incident: Why did I offend Catholics? Didn’t I know the host was sacred? Why did I pick on Catholics and not other believers? It was the usual drivel. I answered him seriously, told him the multiple reasons I had carried out my protest, and asked him if he had read what I had written…he hadn’t. He’d looked me up on Wikipedia, and hadn’t followed a single link to the source.
Let me mention…not once in my talk had I even mentioned desecrating crackers.
If you read his article, you’ll discover that it begins with McLaughlin announcing his Catholic credentials, talks only about the desecration of communion wafers, and despite the fact that I took the time to explain to him personally at some length about the actual motivations for the event, he declares “He just did it to offend Catholics.”
He affirms my opinion of most journalists so well. He ought to think about pursuing the profession. Either that, or he can practice moving walkway announcements.
I am getting a bit exasperated at the obtuse cracker questions I still get. They’re all asking precisely the wrong questions. Here are two hypothetical newspaper headlines; which of them is trivial, and which is High Crazy, needing more explanation?
MAN THROWS BREAD IN TRASH
It’s just a cracker, he says
Or Headline B?
MAN BELIEVES BREAD IS GOD
It’s the most precious object in the world, milllions say
Most people are getting worked up about Headline A, which is ridiculously trivial (and that was the point of the exercise), but everyone who interviews me seems to sail obliviously past the weird world of Headline B.
Please, please, please don’t ask me about how I dared to abuse a cracker, or about Tiger Woods, for that matter. Neither are important. I’d like to consider the insanity of a world obsessed with trivia and delusions, instead.