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General News    H3'ed 7/6/10

I found out why we're neck deep in doo-doo

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Message Ed Tubbs
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To say that the state of Michigan, and, in particular, the Detroit metro area are deep in distress is like announcing it's dark outside, at midnight. Thus, with all the myriad issues -- from economic violence to the violent crime that statistically tends to accompany economic violence -- one might reasonably posit that Detroiters would be heads up, frothing with interest in the issues that matter.

I mean, that's a reasonable postulation, isn't it? Problems are rife, so you want to learn all you can about why, and what might be done to ameliorate them.

Ah . . . silly me. I went on line to Freep.com, the Detroit Free Press web site, drawn there out of curiosity how my childhood stomping grounds were faring in the deadly heat wave that's crushing the entire East. (Note: From the midwest east to the Atlantic, it was the second such intemperate climatic attack this season. And Glenn Beck and Senator Inhofe both continue to claim the idea of climate change is a liberal fabrication, to install socialism from sea to shining sea. Except that not much shining in the Gulf; a lot of glistening, but no shining.)

In addition to the report of one person in the Detroit area perishing from hyperthermia, I learned that the Free Press stories that on July 5 garnered the most readership were, from No. 10 to the champion Numero Uno:

10.Medical marijuana law in Michigan runs into workplace rule.
9.Toledo's Jack Miller could be Michigan's next center.
8.Three up, three down in minor leagues.
7.Piston'sTayshaunPrince describes 'horrible' season.
6.How we'll remember ex-Red Wing BobProbert.
5.MikeModanoto dine with Red Wing's Ken Holland, watch Tigers.
4.JoeKocur:Probertwas the brother I never had.
3.Nation (The paper didn't say which one)
2.BobProbertwas boating when chest pains struck.
And . . . can we have a drum roll here! THE NUMBER ONE STORY: Mitch Album: Bob Probert's (Red wing hockey player) tough story ended far too soon.

Two out of TEN stories that had any element of interest beyond 'sports' were all that garnered much matter! Not to pick on or single out Detroiters, but this nearly total absence of seriousness seems an apparent reflection of what's transpiring nationally. Except nationally, from the media ratings and dominant polls, we also are sad witness to an abject willingness to disparage even a moderate level of genuine inquiry into the why's and the wherefore's behind this country's difficulties. On Fox, it's demonize anything and everything that doesn't work to reinforce corporate interests. On ABC, CBS, and NBC, whether it's the morning programming or the evening news, it's trivialize to the lowest common denominator. Give short shrift to stories that demand analysis and explanation, and equal time to the mindlessly sensational or that which is intended to promote good feelings; the brutal murder by a mother or the cat that awoke the family to fire.

Folks, we must cease blaming the media for not delivering the kind of information requisite of an informed electorate, en route to casting an informed ballot. Ain't the media's fault. The proof of the pudding is in the ordered stories above. There exists no more exquisite example of a business that responds to the market, what, by their behaviors, the customers really want, than the entertainment business.

Absolutely: terrible movies and terrible television programs get made, and aired. But, unless the market embraces them somewhat wholeheartedly they disappear in a flash. Money has a smell, and if the producers can't smell a lot of it . . . If a movie or a television program or a radio show hang in there, that's unmistakable, irrefutable evidence that demonstrates that that's the material the market (us, and U.S.) wants.

If and when you're inclined to pine over the demise of the condition of the country, pause for just a brief, responsible moment, to stare thoughtfully at the mirror, or at your relative or acquaintances, and ask yourself what programs or stations you or they are watching or listening to. The answer is right there! Exactly as is at least part of the solution.

Doncha kind of think it's past time we grew up and began acting just a tad more responsibly, and demand, as well, that those around us do the same?

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An "Old Army Vet" and liberal, qua liberal, with a passion for open inquiry in a neverending quest for truth unpoisoned by religious superstitions. Per Voltaire: "He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity."
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