Ignorance Really Is Bliss

Jul 23rd, 2012 | By | Category: Columns

In a world that’s ever changing, it’s good to know that any information we want we can easily get. From the latest celebrity gossip, to world events, and even that small tracking device you embedded in the skin of that cute girl from the Orange Julius–information is streamed to us through our smartphones, tablets, and PCs (or Macs for you “trendsetters” i.e. “dopes”). We live in an age of free information where, if we’re ignorant to worldly events, it’s because we choose to be, not because you missed Wolf Blitzer’s magical bearded face on the “Situation Room.” With that information so readily available to us, it makes one wonder what purpose, if any, the twenty-four hour news channels serve at this point.

Back in the day, when AOL was found in the homes of the upper echelon and Netscape was placed in schools, the cable news channels reigned supreme. You’d walk into the family living room to hear James Earl Jones proclaim in the voice of Mufasa that you were watching CNN; and the strange thing? Their coverage was on actual stories that contained (wait for it) facts and nothing but. There was no speculation, there was no political spin, they used only relevant information. Now, I’m not saying they were right 100% of the time, cause they weren’t, but they at least had the professionalism to go on the air and apology and correct a mistake they made in a story.

However, that was all back when journalism’s purpose was to keep the masses informed, now, it’s about scaring the ever loving s*** out of you. The world has, for the most part, remained unchanged, and certain things will continue to ring true. Humanity will always have bouts of violence, Mother Nature will continue to whip up various catastrophes to try to wipe us from the surface, the sun will always shine, and Nirvana is still over-rated. However, knowing that very little changes, the various media outlets take it upon themselves to drum up as much controversy and fear as they can. For instance: after coming home from a hard day’s work, you flip on the television as you start changing into your “bum around the house clothes”; a local news teaser appears on the screen as the anchor reads the teaser with great fervor “Could a sexual predator be living in your home? Details on this, and more, at eleven!” Now, you’re standing in your underwear, completely dumbfounded wondering if you’re even safe in your own home from yourself! Or, they might go on and on about how the deadliest of man-made chemicals have found their way into the city’s drinking water, or, or, how women who use hairspray or nail polish are at a higher risk for developing diabetes. Every report seeks to strip you of your sense of security, how you can be abducted while going for a morning jog that your car’s axle will shatter going 64mph, and how you can inexplicably be shot for simply leaving your home to get the morning paper.

The news went from keeping you informed, to making you their bitch. Every earthquake, every explosion, all of it replayed in all it’s high definition glory along with a completely computer simulated event should very thing happen in New York or Los Angeles.

Initially, I was just going to ignore Fox and their attempt to single-handedly ruin journalism but, and it needs to be said, of the “big three,” they are undeniably the most blatant in their stupidity. It’s almost as if they work hard to get entire stories in order, lay them out one by one, in a clear and concise fashion–and then, right before air time say “Fuck it!” throw everything up in the air and piece together the report based on what lands on their desk. It seems more effort is put into cover stories for The Globe and the two-headed Elvis who’s about to wed his alien mistress/daughter/Chupacabra. This is a channel that seriously went on the air with story that the Muppets’ (the lovable talking pieces of carpet) newest movie was brainwashing children against big business. Of all the things to take from the Muppets (interspecies breeding, uncomfortable relationships with farm animals, a bear wearing a collar and tie but no shirt), and the thing you take away is that colorful felt hates big business? Let’s say for the sake of argument that it’s true, that the movie was brainwashing children–so what? They’re still picking their nose and wear underwear with cartoons on them. Let’s be frank, they barely remember what they did twenty minutes ago. These things, or “children” as they’re called, have the attention span of a doped up hummingbird, and you expect them to process a concept that’s more complicated than Dr. Seuss, (and they don’t even get that 100% of the time)? What about Sesame Street and their Socialist outlook on sharing? How about Bananas in Pajamas which features two phallic symbols living together in a homosexual relationship? Look, I get that you’re the channel for the “other side,” that’s fine, really it is, but can you at least pretend to be grounded in reality?

So, not only are we let down when it comes to simply reporting on stories, we get shit that doesn’t matter anywhere, at any time. A somewhat recent example: Michael Jackson’s death. Now, “Smooth Criminal” was the greatest song I’ve ever heard, and I bust out into shoulder shimmies whenever I hear “Thriller,” but was it really necessary to have week-long coverage of his death on every media outlet? Why is Snooki’s (from Jersey Shore fame for those lucky enough to not know who this “person” is) pregnancy the lead story, and not of the handful of soldiers who died in Afghanistan. When did news start catering to people whose main source of mental stimulation comes from a pop-up book? You may be catering to the lowest common denominator by giving the people what they want, or filling their heads with nonsense, but how about you go back to the days when everyone in front of the camera had integrity? Remember Jim McKay, a sports guy, who was the person who broke the tragic result of the hostage situation at the ’72 Olympics? How about Walter Cronkite, who was the most trusted man America turned to for their news? To go from them to–whatever the hell we have now is too sad to be funny.

That was way preachier than I thought it was going to be.



Chris hates anyone or anything which goes against how he feels a sentient being with more than three brain cells should act. He hopes to use his “Encyclopedia Douchebag…ica” as a springboard into becoming a full-fledged, tax exempt religion complete with holidays and greeting cards, mainly so he can steal from its coffers. His hopes are…not that high, knowing that those who needs his guidance most, are unable to read his words… what with the extra flesh from their sloped, ape-like foreheads blinding their eyes from the truth.

When not acting like a complete bastard (which is not very often), Chris writes about all things video game related on his blog iNOOBriated, and his Twitter. He also offers his services as a freelancer for Beckett’s Massive Online Gamer. Yep, he’s a neeeeeerd.

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