Friday, June 11, 2004


Once upon a time, my ISP (that is, Juno/NetZero) provided limited access to the New York Times online on the the prefab homepage they provide to their users. (I think this homepage somehow, presumably through advertising revenues, enables them to charge their customers half as much as other ISPs do.) I suppose NYT has its flaws, but I was pretty happy with this arrangement. Then, a few months ago, NYT was suddenly replaced by USA Today; nobody asked me about this, and I can't find any where to send a complaint. As you may already be aware, USA Today is just a shitty newspaper. A shitty newspaper. They *might* even have a political agenda of some kind.

So why bring this up now? Because they seem to be pissing themselves over the glory of Reagan, the Fallen God. Now, I admit, I don't miss Reagan even a little bit, and I count him one of the poorer presidents of the 20th century, etc. But even if he was the awesomest of the awesome, how does his funeral, the preparations for his funeral, the ETA of the plane carrying his carcass, what Nancy was planning to wear, what she actually did wear--how is any of this NEWS? As I write this, Juno's "News" (as opposed to Sports, Money, Life and Travel) headlines provided by USA Today are
"Reagan praised as 'enduring symbol of our country.'"
"Reagan family, supporters gather for funeral."
Even NPR and the News Hour with Jim Lehrer are in on this. Perhaps this is all some kind of national self-congradulations for "winning" the Cold "War," which we're expressing through blithering elegies for the Gipper?

Whatever the case, I expect Sunday will see a short segment of On the Media treating just this little episode. The folks pounding out Media of all kinds, it seems to me, know that something bizarre is happening, know that real news, events of real consequence, are not being covered because of this. And in a week or so they'll probably spend some time remarking on just this interesting trend in American media.

Suppose you are ill; you know precisely the nature of your illness, and you have the remedy in your possession. But you decide not to take the medication, instead choosing to discuss some weeks later the fact of having neglected to take it.

In this case, "talking about it some weeks later" would actually be another inflamation of the same sickness. If the disease were sufficiently serious and you behaving this way, the Catholic Church wouldn't allow you to be buried in consecrated earth. I'm guessing that most of the people involved in "media" have enough foresight that they could have written all the words I've just disgorged; they're not exactly penetrating insights after all.

I'm sure some with the full complement of verbiage for Spectacle and that could provide a more interesting discussion. My point is that a problem arises; an easy and obvious solution presents itself, and no one bothers to actually implement the solution.