Thursday, November 17, 2022

Chicken Little reprised...The Ladies...My Office for a day


        My journalist's "fire horse" instinct is irrepressible. We'll sort through some thoughts and analysis of the "sky is falling" syndrome, but first we're sharing recent work of my favorite artist.

        When she is not doing ceramics or gardening she keeps busy making a variety of cards. My favorites are "Lana's Ladies."

        It's fascinating and entertaining to watch the population grow. Each Lady is a personality unto herself. She is begun as a water color, then Lana accessorizes.

          The process is an art unto itself. As you can see they are a combination of elements, pieces gathered from assorted sources. She uses old greeting cards, packaging material, advertising flyers, remnants of art projects, the inside of tea boxes, paper product and anything that brings a texture, color or can be imagined as something one of her Ladies would wear.
      When she was an art student at Ball State she often said artists are the first recyclers.

        Do you know this feeling? Do you need a break?
I do? Political burn out. So I moved my study for the day. Good reception, note pad, gentle breeze, lulling surf, peace and quiet.

        A simple nervine for all of us is to cut back on the volume of political junk we let into our lives. Attention is necessary, to what is important, but there’s a lot to be filtered out. Media hype for example.

        Media was up to a froth of dire projections and a near hysterical certainty by election day. I wish they would back off the addiction to polls. Are they more interested in predicting outcome than reporting? 
        Political journalism has been "game" obsessed since Teddy White's The Making of the President 1960, the book that made  inside politics the major thrust of coverage. This year was desperate in trying to read the tea leaves.

        Predictive reporting is ephemera. 
        Common sense held as voters drew the line on crazy. MAGA is too crazy, Trump is not to be trusted, and voters cared more about freedom and individual choice than inflation.           
        No plan of their own, MAGA Republicans failed in their attempt to put economic disruption on Biden. Informed voters understand the impact of Putin's war, its global economic fall out, and the rampant price gouging.
        Predicting a "red wave," the media misread voters.

        Trump is damaged goods. He's losing backers and media pimps. He has challengers, and investigations and legal battles. The GOP is in for a wild ride.
        House Republicans will be a clown car in a train wreck while on the way to the gong show. Kevin McCarthy is nakedly ambitious. It will be a side show watching a coward without virtue try to manage the asylum. Hunter Biden will be the new Benghazi. Someone should pass out Ken Starr stickers to the loud and proud.

        There is a closing note from this old scribe. The media will not do it, but Joe Biden should get a lot of credit for why and how the red wave became a light mist. He drew the line. He made the case for democracy, against authoritarians, election deniers and fascists. He pointed out the risk of falling for crazy. His mid term performance went against the historic trend, and the polls. Joe Biden knows the American voter and he has a longer view than anyone else. Sometimes the old reliable is the best bet.

        See you down the trail.


Saturday, November 5, 2022

American Twilight

         A couple of things are pretty certain. The US would not be ruptured were it not for social media and the propaganda networks. Truth, even reliable facts, are hard to find there. Millions have been radicalized and brain washed. MAGA nation, a septic tank of deceit, hate, and lunacy, stirred by con men, is evidentiary case in point-the nation is broken.

technology in the vines

            Most of us are addicted by the brain wiring gadgetry and satisfaction of our screens. All drugs have cost and side effects; the technologies of convenience and communication are destroying civil society.

            These ideas may sound heretical coming from a media/journalism lifer and a first amendment absolutist. The adherence to the canons of old have been dashed, as has almost every tradition, and norm. Once, when newspapers, radio and television were the agents of information, people worked, played and lived harmoniously, often oblivious to political differences. Even in heated campaign years, folks could back opposing candidates and parties and still play golf, go to church, live next door and even be friends. If you were not white, however, your narrative was largely ignored or it was ghettoized. On a lot of things, we had our heads in the sand.

            Mostly people avoided talking about politics and religion in any general social context. They were personal matters, left for discussion with like-minded thinkers and souls.

            Partisan media, and the unhinged platforms where anything is said, despite lack of veracity or civility, bludgeons us with cultural wedges and sledgehammers of sheer ignorance and loud stupidity. We live with the brainwashed. Even the brainwashed get to vote.

      Will a woman’s right to choose, and a defense of democracy produce more votes than personal interests in short term economies, or the ginned-up concern about “crime” and a “stolen election?” Will a wave of reaction to the reversal of Roe generate a voting block? 18-34 year olds are telling pollsters they are worried about the threat to our form of government and almost despondent over climate issues. Will they vote and by what margins? Will the polls be mistaken, again? Do people tell the truth to pollsters?

        We tend to be reactive, perhaps too much so now.
There's been a recent spate of depravity, cruelty and barbarism by brutes like Putin and Republicans who did not speak out against the attack on the Speaker's husband, or who joked about it.  Maybe that will spark some reaction of decency and humanity. 

        There’s a lot of doomsaying about a predicted election of election deniers. 

     Having reported my first election in 1968, I’ve watched as party power rises and falls and as issues come and go. I learned to trust what we used to call the common sense of the American electorate. But that was when people read newspapers and watched responsible television news and listed to authoritative radio news. That was before talk radio, social media, and propaganda networks. It was a time when people could and would think for themselves. That was before politics of division, a time when some things were considered sacred, even as democracy was taken for granted.  


        We'll see if common sense is resilient?

    See you down the trail.