Monday, September 13, 2010
Oops, Never Mind! A Brief Meditation on the News Cycle.
Except the war was over. . .sorry about that. Nobody knew, of course, and nobody would know for weeks and weeks. The news cycle was slow back in those days. The consequences (aside from a catchy song by Johnny Horton) included a few hundred extra corpses and a President called Old Hickory.
I think about this whenever I complain about today's news cycle--instant news, instant sensation, (yawn--yesterday's news) and instant forgetting. BP? What's that? Oh yes, Best Practices. Oh? You meant British Petroleum? I forgot about that. (Look at the best practices website it's cool and a serendipitous discovery.) So on the one hand I have sensation fatigue and a sense of being overwhelmed, and on the other an understanding that not knowing can be hazardous to my health.
All in all, I guess I prefer fast to slow, as long as I remind myself that fast doesn't necessarily mean important, and that fast tends to aggregate the effect--not to mention that fast may mean that I'm hearing the same story over and over again. I did Google BP to prepare this little thing, and found one story with 137 iterations around the web. I have to remember that 137 reports of one thing remain one thing. It doesn't mean that the one thing isn't grotesque, or repulsive, or morally evil. It means that it is one grotesque, repulsive, morally evil thing. One is too many, but one is one too many.
End of meditation... be glad I didn't meditate on Lady GaGa's Costume reported at last count 2,140 times. Repulsive? Grotesque? The dress or the reporting of the dress? What do you think?