While I sit here contemplating Icemageddon, I have a few peeves to impart to the media in particular and the world in general.
First let me say that I do not watch reality TV. I don’t watch a lot of TV at all, since I don’t wish to have my brain implode with nonsense. However, since I am on my own in the evenings and it is very quiet here, I have turned on TV to make noise. And noise it does make.
I have never watched Duck Dynasty. I don’t even have a clue as to what it is. I don’t want to know. I only know that someone from the show (who is now filthy rich with absolutely no reason that I can understand) said some very offensive things in a magazine article. Now we get all sorts of people on one side or the other complaining about free speech infringement, ad nauseam. Free speech in this country does not mean that you can say hateful things about a group or a person. Free speech, when our forefathers wrote the Constitution, meant that you could express your opinion about an issue and not face imprisonment by your government. At least that’s what I always thought. I could be wrong. I’m most often not though (and there’s my free speech).
There are all sorts of strange lunatics out there making enormous amounts of money as a result of the writer’s strike several years ago. At that time network TV decided to run unscripted programs because they had no writers. So now we have “celebrities” who are so weird you wouldn’t have a beer with them anywhere you could be seen. I would say it’s the dumbing down of entertainment, but I don’t think it can get any dumber. Give me old movies any day. I’ll even watch home renovation shows if I’m bored.
I would like the media and anyone else with an opinion to shut up. The idiot from Duck Dynasty is now being talked about as if he’s normal. A clue – anyone with a beard that can feed 10,000 fleas is not in the norm. Regardless of what he says or does – don’t even think for a minute that you can expect sensible discussion from him. It is totally unrealistic.
There’s also someone who should have gone away years ago messing in this story – Sarah Palin. Whatever your politics, recognize that she is on the fringe of weird. I had only to hear her voice to know that something is just not right. One more comment about blood and treasure ………..
Now to the other side of weird. Healthcare. Obviously our healthcare system in the States is going to be in trauma for years. I can be calm about this because I am not one of those involved in losing healthcare or having to pay a huge premium and deductibles to be covered. This law was not well thought out. That’s a mild statement. Once it did become law though, it was expected that the administration would be able to implement the law. Well maybe not. So either the law goes belly up and we do something else, or we have complete chaos with no one knowing anything about their insurance, no doctors wanting to deal with it, no healthcare at all. The best column I’ve read on this is here http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-story-of-the-year/2013/12/19/1d862c98-68f9-11e3-ae56-22de072140a2_story.html and it’s well worth reading.
On the media side of this story – let’s just shut up about it for a while. Or at least just let it putter along as it does. It looks like we’re going to have a crisis here shortly and we’ll need everyone to not be anesthetized to the problems. I have lived in a country with national healthcare. It was not free and we had to wait for care. Sales taxes were around 20% and income taxes were anywhere from 15% to 70%, depending on your income. In Canada, there are only 40 million people. Contrast that to 300 million in the States and we have a much more expensive problem. We could have covered all the uninsured people with the money spent building a government website and left the healthcare system alone. It seems to me the only way this will be solved is if it is stopped – and it may be too late for that. I am just sick of hearing about it. If the sky is falling, let it fall in silence.
In short – I don’t give a rat’s ass what a reality TV millionaire thinks about anything. As my mom used to say “Consider the source.” And if I hear one more breaking news that isn’t breaking news about healthcare ………… until the news dies out – I’m watching Fred Astaire.