Friday, October 27, 2017

penis pole vaulting, among others

Back in the age of the "penny postcard" -- i.e. when I was a kid -- aural news was generally delivered on the radio (no TV and no internet) once an hour and frequently only for five minutes. It used to piss me off that I had to wade through so much talk in order to get to "The Lone Ranger" or "The Green Hornet" or whatever other drama I was waiting to hear.

A penny postcard got its name from the fact that the stamp cost a penny and for that you could communicate with friends and family at a distance.

Now, of course, there is all news all the time, and stamps cost 49 cents, assuming someone should remember how to write.

But the news math is strange. Five minutes per hour leaves 55 minutes for something else. But instead of getting more news during the all-news-all-the-time era, what I hear is merely a loop tape of selected stories that might easily be wrapped up in five minutes. So many news stories plant the seed for an interesting, deeper look, but what is planted as a seed is rarely seen as anything resembling fruit ... on news stations among others.

Why does the U.S. hate Iran -- how much is real and how much is manufactured? What's happening in the rest of Russia or Africa or South America or the Pacific Ocean islands? Did chop sticks precede the fork and why didn't forks gain more traction in the Orient? Is penis pole vaulting a possibility and what implications might that have for sexual stimulants that warn users to "call a doctor if you have an erection that lasts more than four hours?" A gazillion questions, not all of them weighty, might bring depth and color to the 55 minutes that has a hard time mustering a good action drama.

I guess if no one can get a 60-minute hour -- it's an 'hourly' rate dontcha know -- with his or her psychologist, there's no reason to expect the news business to be more honest.


  1. If the news was complete and comprehensive, we'd get smarter, or at least better educated and so perhaps less vulnerable to the bullshit machinations a percentage of us are able to see through. This would go against the last fifty years of shrinking the education dollar to prevent another thirties through the sixties style renaissance that could destabilize profits. Those who enjoy such profits don't want that and are in a position to prevent it. Soooo, the news will remain crap. Sorry.

  2. I thought knowledge needed to be actively pursued. Otherwise the information received is always part of someone else’s agenda or idea of what’s newsworthy. I am not please with any of the three major cable news stations CNN, FoxNews, or MSNBC. Given they broadcast 24/7 none of them do much digging.

    Fox’ propaganda is just so obvious,

    Sometimes I think of taking some academic courses. My wife took a Writing course. Seems to have gotten a lot out of it. I took a short course on the Bhagavad Gita. It just scratched the surface. It served to whet my appetite. There I met up with an ex-Swami who is now a so-called “lay teacher” who will do a short course on Vedanta this winter. There something to be said for both an academic approach and an approach by someone living a practice. Think a course given by a political science professor and the same course a successful politician like a former Senator. Very different takes on the subject.

    Other times I think of just tracking down the lecture circuit, yet I rarely do. I’m so embarrassed living in commuting distance from Columbia, NYU, the New School, etc.

    I think the last lecture was to hear environmentalist Bill McKibben.

    BTW - Speaking of the college circuit the last Shakuhachi concert I went to at NYU was by Ronnie Seldin. I learned he passed away a few months back,