Once upon a time, several decades ago, a televised football
game inadvertently became an example of theater of the absurd when a heavy fog
developed. If the quarterback threw a
pass he couldn't see the receivers and they would have to rely heavily upon
intuition to catch a ball that might suddenly appear where they were holding
their hands. Running plays were no less
of an exercise in absurdity. TV cameras
can no more cut through fog than human eyes so the video portion of the game
was ghostly images at best. Sports
announcers are supposed to describe the play as it happens but when vision is
impaired by fog, their job becomes very challenging. The novelty of the situation became exhausted
quite quickly and we changed channels and forgot about that bit of boring
television entertainment until recently when we tried to assess the new
coverage of the Isis battles in the Middle East.
The reporting, commentary and analysis of the Isis phase of the Forever War is similar in quality to the coverage of that forgotten game played in the Chicago area (as we recall) many moons ago. The media heavy weights get the latest official statements which are vague and nebulous. The war correspondents get to describe the carnage they are permitted to see, but they can't see over the horizon. Politicians appear on the Sunday morning gab-fests and promote their party's agenda. The bottom line for journalists is: there is nothing to see, no one will say what their secret plan for victory is, but everyone is willing to say that Americans should be prepared for a long struggle.
Coverage of the Ebola episodes is just as bad as far as the lack of quality journalism is concerned.
In a frantic effort to find some items of interest to be able to write this week's anemic attempt to provide a "that was the week that was" report about how things are going as the mid-term elections in the USA are approaching rapidly, the World's Laziest Journalist rounded-up a few small items and will lump them all together as background material for a week full of medical reports about various Ebola victims.
On the campus of the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory, the staff is, for recreational purposes, experiencing a reading via "Dr. Mary's Monkey," by Edward T. Haslam. It seems that this novel indulges in speculation and hints of a link between the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Ebola epidemic. The World's Laziest Journalist will attempt to borrow the copy of his book, read it, and report on just how likely it is that the book's fantastic speculation could or could not be true.
The Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory is formulating some speculation about the possibility that terrorists are recruiting kamikaze jihad warriors for a suicide mission that asks them to get infected with Ebola and then travel into enemy territory. Wouldn't infected blankets work just as well?
The Orwellian concept of "doublethink" was not missing from the surreal aspect of this week. Tom Frieden told Congress that the Ebola could not be contracted by sitting next to a victim on an airplane, then he added that Ebola victims should not fly.
Wasn't one of the goals of the Sept. 11 attack, to cripple the airline industry? Your homework assignment, this week, is to write an essay asserting that the Ebola fad is part of the terrorist strategy from 9-11 to destroy the airline industry in the USA, post it on social median and then wait for it to go viral.
Will cost conscious hospitals and health organizations suddenly embrace a "damn the costs" approach to containing a potentially hazardous situation from getting out of hand? Could the heath problem provide a new example of the foolhardy aspect of the "penny wise, pound foolish" philosophy?
Is Albert Camus' novel "The Plague" experiencing a surge in popularity? Can the sale performance of a book be determined on the Amazon site?
We have heard one prediction that this year's most popular Halloween costume will be a Has-mat outfit.
Berkeley political activist Mike Zint early this week posted on his Facebook page, a piece assessing the shrinking number of alternative news sources available and on Wednesday October 15, 2014, the Bay Guardian, an alternative news source in the San Francisco Bay Area for forty-nine years, published its last issue (Vol. 49, no. 3).
Quality news for Germans was unavailable during WWII and the ramifications of what their dilemma was, is a topic that will lead most online fact checkers to an familiar sounding situation. (Google hint: "gray radio WWII 600,000 watts" and also try "Aspidistra")
Do the UCB alumni have to see this year's Cal vs. Stanford game to know who they want to support? Should Americans care if Freedom of the Press has become extinct?
On a lighter note, the annual write a novel month online shenanigans is about to begin again. (Google hint: National Novel Writing Month [AKA Nanowrimo])