Amusing Ourselves To Death
There is no such thing as television news in this country. There are networks that peddle entertainment under the guise of news. Networks care about narratives, stories they can fit into familiar boxes and bundle for audiences. If a suspicious package was left at a mall in Toledo on Sunday, cable news would’ve covered it with greater care than they did Louisiana this weekend. Why? Because it’s Islamic terrorism, and that’s scary and an obvious ratings boon. Hurricane Katrina received non-stop coverage, but that was about race and class and privilege and a famous American city – human suffering was merely incidental. It’s not that such stories aren’t deserving of coverage. The issue is how comparatively little attention a story like this receives, a story of devastating consequence, and, clearly, a story that doesn’t fit neatly into pre-established media narratives. It’s just regular people living out their Sisyphean nightmares in places no one cares about.
He’s right, obviously. Obviously. But we all have a responsibility to refuse this garbage when it’s fed to us — and a responsibility not to add to it with stupid offense-taking. For example, I woke up this morning to this completely ridiculous, manufactured controversy attacking the comedian Ellen DeGeneres:
Ellen DeGeneres says she’s not racist after receiving backlash on social media for posting an edited photo of herself riding on the back of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.
The talk show host said Tuesday on Twitter that she’s “highly aware of the racism that exists in our country” but that’s “the furthest thing from who I am.”
DeGeneres posted the photo Monday with the caption: “This is how I’m running errands from now on.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 15, 2016
Meanwhile, back in the real world:
And so on and so forth. This photo below has been going around Facebook. It pretty much sums up the view from here. LSU had a meeting the other day of its football team. The guy in the camo is the team kicker, Colby Delahoussaye, a Cajun who had been doing what Cajuns all over south Louisiana are doing right now. Perspective, folks. Perspective: