Pedestrians and Cars

The end-of-week news cycle is focused on the attack in London that occurred on Wednesday. A lone driver plowed his car into pedestrians on the city’s historic Westminster Bridge. The latest reports are that four people are known dead, with another 50 people receiving injuries ranging from minor to very serious.

While the media unravels details, seeking to supply motive and all the other things that have become the norm in reporting news events, real humans have been forever impacted by one man’s act. Mary and I know all-too-well how the actions of a solitary figure have the power to permanently alter one’s personal journey.

How our news is received is now ideological. No longer are most people able to simply process information and come to a conclusion. We have grown accustomed to having others tell us what events and actions mean. It’s important to frame everything in some larger narrative—terms like “terror,” “lone wolf,” and of course, the need to link it to “Islamism.”

Personally—especially since Mark was killed January 21—I no longer care to consume news that plays to the same old binary ways of framing the world and my life.  Actually, my aversion to black and white explanations dates much further back than that.

Historic Westminster Bridge, London

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Sitting on Our High Horses

Politics often turn into morality plays. Each side sees their cause/candidate as morally superior to the other. That’s particularly problematic when the choice is a binary one.

In my opinion, it’s a shame how historically illiterate we’ve become. We seem to have forgotten our past. It shouldn’t be too hard to look back 50 years and see parallels between a candidate like Donald Trump, with appeals made to white, working-class people, and a Democrat (who later ran as an third party candidate) like George Wallace.

Of course, the brain-addled, responding like dogs to a whistle, immediately whip out their “racist” or “fascist” signs when presented with Wallace’s name because they’ve been trained to do so. Partly this is due to the small-minded lacking the ability to go any broader than that. You shouldn’t feel too bad. Wallace got the same treatment 50 years ago from the same groups of people, mainly the elite media, liberals, and other high-minded types.

There are several books that look at Wallace much more broadly than do leftist media heroes with an agenda—like Rachel Maddow at MSNBC. She’s probably one of the best at taking a thimble worth of history and turning it into that night’s hour-long screed against her chosen villain. Here’s the CliffsNotes version: Republicans were stupid before and now, they are stupid again.

Even Amy Goodman, who I once thought had some journalistic integrity, seems intent of painting with a brush designed to obfuscate rather than illuminate. Ah, the American media—mainstream or the alt-variety—as useless as they’ve ever been. Continue reading