Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stop the Inanity Project: Day 1

Inane adj. 1. Silly; senseless.  2. Empty; void; SEE ALSO: Most major news outlets

Because I love agonizing, debilitating pain, I maintained an informal tally of the total number of times any aspect of the Michael Jackson case appeared on the front page of my local newspaper, the L.A. Times throughout the two weeks subsequent to his death. The number...want to guess? No? 

Forty Seven. Aaaand I’m lying. I kept no such “informal tally.” But, if one had, I can almost guarantee that they would have arrived at a similar number - or perhaps even greater.

Which brings up three questions:

Question #1: Why was so much coverage given to a deceased pop mega-star who hadn’t produce any work of import in at least fifteen years? 

Question #2: Does anyone but me recall the degree to which the media vilified this guy prior to his death on June ?

Question #3: Why are they now deifying him?

At what point will my newspaper go back to filling some of its most valuable journalistic real estate with actual news stories? I want the latest box office receipts! I want siamese twins navigating through adolescence! I want babies in wells! I want Branjoline! I want kitties stuck in trees!

The Fourth Estate is no longer adequately serving the informational needs of the populace, and it’s unconscionable. 

At any rate... 

...First off, I wanted to say a few things about blogs and explain why mine will hopefully be worthy of the precious slice of time you dedicate each day to procrastination (I, for one, guard my procrastination time with the intensity of an imploding star and the self-righteous ferocity of a stage mom whose only daughter was just eliminated from the finals of a Junior Miss Sparkly Gorgeous pageant.) 

For me, a good blog is one that offers fodder for intellectual discussion or debate, serves a civic purpose, entertains (beyond merely YouTube links to a University of Tennessee fraternity power-puke contest or looped footage of a midget getting donkey-kicked in the crotch by an unwieldy Great Dane), provides a forum for individuals to organize and/or voice public discontent, offers access to previously reported information on a topic, gives similar-minded individuals an opportunity to share ideas about their chosen hobby or avocation, or provides original content that has been independently researched and published by the blog’s author. 

So, in summation, good blogs look like this. And this. Oh, and especially this. And this one is pretty damned good. So is this one...and, of course, this one. And there are many more.

In other words, there are a great deal blog sites that provide real, tangible value for readers, even though these exceptional - even seminal - voices are occasionally drowned-out by the din of indulgent, puerile, often incoherent flotsam that all-to-frequently clogs the blogosphere. 

But my objective - and promise -  is to contribute to the burgeoning list of excellent political blogs - though delivered with my own unique perspective and spin. And by unique I mean heavy-handed, overbearing, self-righteous, judgmental, and irreverent.  

Oh, and I’m a liberal. But not the squishy, closeted, wishy-washy, apologetic kind. Unlike Hillary or Barack or any formerly liberal politician who feels like they need to eschew the moniker in order to remain relevant (and they’re probably right in doing so) in the public sphere, I’m proud of my liberalism: To me, it’s less a political affiliation than a philosophy: Think more FDR, less John Kerry; more Naomi Klein, less Harry Reid; more Robert Scheer, less Mark Pryor. In other words, I have an unwavering belief in higher education; a woman’s right to choose; a clean, safe environment; stringent gun restrictions; the government staying out of our bedrooms, wedding ceremonies, and pot dispensaries; smart, efficient government regulation; diplomacy; social justice; putting the welfare of the citizenry and the environment over the needs, interests, and desires of corporations; racial and gender equity; and socialism.!

(Government watch list ACTIVATED.)

As an aside, those of you who object to socialism should do the right thing and duct tape your mailbox, find a pothole to drive over, never again take public transportation anywhere, refuse service from the next police officer, firefighter, or paramedic that attempts to assist you in any way - even when you’re writhing on the ground, desperately grasping to your final moments of right-of-center life, only send your kids to private school, and vow to never, ever check out another Harry Potter book from the library again. That’s right, I said it: People who read library-issued Harry Potter books are socialists. Fucking commies.

Additionally, you might want to reconsider renting out that spare bedroom just yet. Why? Because, starting the first of next month, you - yes you - will be sharing your home with a maximum security inmate from the tax-subsidized, socialized public penal institution of your choice. But, since you don’t believe in socialism, well, all I can say is take up Judo. 

Finally, you will be refusing your social security check once you’re eligible, instead using it for kindling for the fireplace your palatial mansion - or your skid row trash can. Either one. And no Medicare for you, either. But you already knew that. 

In other words, Socialism is as American as Abraham Lincoln, apple pie, and the X-Men. Oh, and, by the way, FDR? Socialist. MLK Jr.? Socialist. Albert Einstein? raging socialist. None of them would ever admit it, but their respective philosophies and behaviors indicate that they unequivocally were.

Problem is, we stubborn Americans just cannot seem to shake images like this one from our collective imaginations when pondering the necessity for programs like single-payer health care, Head Start, or an expansion of myriad other safety nets for working-class citizens.


Much of the content on this site will be taken from recent headlines, though some posts will address issues that are a bit larger in scope - and some will even contain original reporting.) So this is your forum to question, comment, rant, and sermonize. To that end, S.T.I. has but two rules:

1. Stay on topic. In other words, please refrain from addressing non-related news items.

2. No personal attacks. 

Repeated failure to adhere to the two rules above will result in a permanent ban from the site. 

So don’t be an idiot.

And welcome.

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Stop the Inanity. by Brock Cohen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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