Monday, January 02, 2006

Same Soup, Different Bowl

Neon Sign here.

I had to laugh when Arnold, who I'll admit has been a less than amazing governator, told his Austrian hometown to cease use of his name to promote themselves after they felt called to a sports-stadium-name-revoking condemnation of his decision not to pardon convicted murderer and gang founder Tookie Williams. This, the town of Graz said, was because the EU doesn't recognize the death penalty. Of course, in Pakistan and other places where such behavior is vigilantly ignored by the UN and EU alike, institutionally approved death is freely dealt without trial, appeal, or chance for clemency as a religious excuse to kill girls from toddlerhood for their inevitable womanly sins.

While I'm not encouraged by the wide number of places it's still accepted to physically assault and murder people for being gay or female, some report the number of honor killings are dropping. We'll see it if that stat is true.

But on the good news front, here are ten scary stories from 2005 that turned out to be more media splash than statistical substance. You're not really surprised, are you?

Meanwhile, Reed Johnson, of the LAT chronicles the desperate swings in the nature of the MSM as people keep customizing their media choices. One quote: "I'm afraid that that sort of tailoring one's universes to one's tastes creates a sort of self-imposed ghetto of tastes," says Albert Borgmann, a philosophy professor at the University of Montana who has written extensively about technology's social effects. "It can put you in touch with lots of people, but they're all your kind of people."

Don't you believe it. People get bored and people explore, just like they're doing with their new media choices. Disappointment that I won't accept someone else's agenda as the last word and that I'm interested mostly in unpreachy reports from the field doesn't mean I'm ghettoized. I feel like I have a better handle on a variety of perspectives than ever before and more ability to ferret the facts behind sensationalized, skewed, simplistic headlines. Any media organ that feeds me trustworthy and in-depth information about current topics of interest can win my readership/viewership and loyalty. I wish they'd try.

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