If you didn’t go to Yale or Harvard, if you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, if you’re not boasting about getting no sleep because you work all day and go to charity events all night…
You don’t count in America.
Donald Trump’s election was a wakeup call.
And the mainstream media is still asleep.
I’m not talking politics, I’m talking culture. The “Times” is an echo chamber of self-promoters who believe their interests are relatable to others. I used to be a believer in the paper, but after it got the election so wrong, I’m reconsidering.
Because of the blowback, the writers for the “Times” don’t get any. They’re all faceless and clueless. I weighed in on the election and my inbox went nuclear. The Trump supporters came out of the woodwork with their hatred for Hillary and it was unrelenting. But if you’re in the ivory tower, you don’t hear these messages.
Used to be we blamed the media for shaming women.
Now it shames all of us.
Let’s forget Fox, with its agenda. What makes the “Times” a special case is it keeps telling us it has no agenda. That it publishes “All The News That’s Fit To Print.” But that’s not true, not at all, it prints all the news it deems worthy of those stories pitched to it by publicists. Other than wars and political shenanigans, the rest of the paper is fluff for those who are part of the club.
But most people are not.
This is different from television and online.
Television is about the money. Whores who will go wherever the cash is. They anoint stars who believe their press and the rest of us sit at home and scratch our heads.
Online is oftentimes lowest common denominator, it’s trolling for doofuses and the easily swayed, but America is all about the con-man, selling that which we do not need at inflated prices to the uninformed and uninitiated. And every once in a while the “Times” prints a how-to, but it’s a bone to those who don’t care anyway, because they know better, because they’re educated and have their own advisors.
So what’s a paper to do?
Either admit it caters to its audience or open the window to what’s really happening.
This is the conundrum of film. Wherein they make flicks appealing to base emotions yet trumpet highbrow product at awards time. And then self-congratulate when the live-tweeting paradigm makes their ratings go up.
But then the ratings sank. These shows have entertainment value at best, if they’ve got that. Who wants to watch a program about that which you do not know and do not care about?
Kinda like reading the “Times.”
The other day an athlete slid along a chairlift cable to save a suffocating skier, one who was being strangled.
I’m not saying this is the kind of news the “Times” should cover, I’m saying it should dig down deep and ask what kind of person puts his own life at risk for another. That’s one thing the readers of the “Times” rarely do. They play it safe. They’ve been taught that from Day One. Let someone else do the dirty work. But how about those doing the dirty work?
How about saying no to those selling books and records and TV shows, who cares about the endless hype, and how about more investigative journalism on those who truly make this country work? Engineers keep crashing trains, how about a story on that.
Don’t tell me no one cares. How did we get to this point in our nation where everybody’s worried about the buck and efficiencies are key. That’s for techies, not newspeople.
I have no idea what’s going on in America anymore. Because there’s not one news outlet I can trust, that’s trying to get it right, everybody’s playing to their audience.
I don’t want to hear about a rich writer microdosing LSD to deal with her depression, a tireless self-promoter who’s selling a book…
I want to hear about a woman with no money and no high profile career who deals with depression every day. I want to see America in the news, not just the elite.
The elite have lost the plot. They’re busy arguing amongst themselves over identity politics, they’re no different from the bankers pissed they weren’t getting their bonuses in 2008. The elite feel entitled. They feel they earned it. What makes them so special?
If I have to read about one more party with famous names without portfolio I’m gonna puke. You built up these nobodies and now they’re stars in your firmament and what did they ever do, appear in a couple of movies?
But supposedly fame sells.
And Donald Trump is famous, I’ll give you that.
But those who elected him are not.
And the elite could dig down deep and invest in toppling the right wing juggernaut, but that’s just too much hard work. They’d rather point their fingers and feel superior.
Which road did you take? Did you sell out? Are you doing it all for the money?
Then the “Times” probably appeals to you. It gives you lifestyle tips, it makes you feel included.
But for the rest of us, even those who had advantages but questioned not only authority but our path going forward, the “Times” resonates less. It’s just another business trying to make bank by appealing to its core audience. Only in this case, it’s telling us it’s the source all the while, bedrock, the pulse of the nation, and that’s not true.
And for all you “Times” defenders…
What kind of country do we live in where we can’t criticize our institutions, try to make them better? That’s like saying you can’t criticize the President, you have to respect the office.
And this is neither a right nor a left issue. This is an American issue. How the rich pulled away from the poor and believed they earned their status. Left behind the rest of us, laughing all the while, saying they know better.
And there’s nothing that pisses a person off more than telling them they’re not worthy.
And the problems of this nation are deeper than the “New York Times.” The self-reinforcing power of the elite is a danger. Most people have no idea how the rich truly live, the advantages they have, never mind being uninformed that college is free if you’re poor and smart and you want to go to the best schools.
Then again, we live in a nation where banks, which we trust the most, because they hold our money, stab us in the back. But Wells Fargo’s CEO had to deliver to Wall Street so he could get rich.
There’s this left wing canard that Trump will have his time and then we will return to normalcy. But that’s not gonna happen. Our problems are endemic, and we are not addressing them. From income inequality to opiate addiction it’s just getting worse. Because everybody’s retreating to their corner and saying they know better. You don’t want to help anybody else because you’re too busy helping yourself.
But the truth is these are not the values of the underclass, which lends a hand expecting nothing in return.
Come on, if you can’t pay your rent how much sympathy are you gonna have for a challenged news business that can’t stop bitching that someone stole their cheese? The same people laughing at you for being stuck in an old wave job and not waking up are asleep themselves!
We’ve got a lot of work to do on ourselves. We used to rely on artists to point the way. But now the artists are all tied in with corporations while they’re not bitching too, they gave up the ghost decades ago.
So it’s every person for him or herself in the USA, the supposed greatest country in the world. And we need leaders, but we also need honest commentators, who just don’t want to hang with their rich subjects but also get it right.
Who do you trust?
I’m just not sure anymore.
The right rankles the institutions and the left circles the wagons and I’m outside dumbfounded in a world where you tread water to fall behind and they keep selling you mediocre stuff that’s not soul-fulfilling all the while portraying the winners as kings and queens of the universe that we should pay fealty to and emulate even though there’s no path for most of us to the throne.
But the truth is the throne is empty. It’s a parade of pretenders. Cheaters employing subterfuge shouting us down, telling us about their glory.
And the “Times” soaks it all up and plays it back to us.
Flying private is nice. Vacationing in a third world country is enlightening. Access to the rich and powerful can be stimulating. But they’re no match for food on the table and rational discussion about where we are and where we are going.
We need more of that.