11 September 2008

in defense of the assholes in the media

in defense of the major media's obsessive coverage of 'personality' instead of 'issues'

'issues' debates/coverage is to 'personality' what cabbage is to candy. no one can eat cabbage for hours on end, but many can do so with candy. and predictably it rots your teeth, expands the waistline, and dulls the brain to the point of making you so sick as to throw-up. but the tastebuds will remain undeterred and will very quickly resume their cravings for more.

also there are a lot more policy 'issues' (each with at least two sides, often many more) than there are 'personality quirks', 'life history elements', and 'public records', all of which combined still are only capable of painting a fuzzy image/idea of what any person will do in the future when given the power and responsibility, under foreseen and unforeseable circumstances.

and of course, experience has shown that politicians running for President have been known to tell at least one big lie. ("no new taxes", "most ethical administration in history", and "a humble foreign policy") Presidents, once elected, have also been known to do things completely contrary to all of their previously known records, statements, and character assumptions. (Nixon-China, Reagan-Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaties, Bush41-Clean Air Act, Clinton-Welfare Reform, Bush43-Aids Funding)

thus the discussion of 'issues' is often a rather barren field, and in the opinion of the many, a waste of time in relation to questions that help determine what a person's character is made of. temperament, judgement, values, methods, etc. those qualities are revealed over the course of many months and experiences in a political campaign, even under the less than sober and serious examinations that constitute modern American political news coverage.

humans are hardwired by their DNA, developed over millions of years of evolutionary experience, to make instantaneous judgements based on body language, vocal tone, choice of words, posture, accessorizing, affections, facial expressions, etc. but since the "gift" of Gutenberg, they have had the written record and it's newer technological manifestations, to supplement their instinctive senses.

it is highly meaningful that those voters who have the ability to read and the desire/motivation to spend many hours educating themselves as to the records, life histories, campaign assertions, and issues, vote overwhelmingly one way, while those who do not make such an effort and rely upon their basic human instincts, vote overwhelmingly the other way.

therefore, the major mass media, with their conflicting missions to inform and make money, will choose to spoonfeed candy and not cabbage. that's where the money is, because those who consume it can never be full. as with anything of real value, if it is wanted, it must be searched for and worked for. no one will hand it to you. that is, after all, what makes it valuable.