Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Worthwhile New Years' Resolution: Less Infotainment, more Info

I hate to be prescriptive and preachy here, and I know I am but one person with one occaisonally-read blog, but I have a suggestion for those of you who are looking for a New Years' Resolution that isn't really that hard to do: Read less entertainment news; read more actual news. I know, the media makes it very hard with their spotty reporting and increasing blurring between news and entertainment, and I know, sometimes it is a fun indulgence to critique Mary Kate and Ashley's wardrobe, but when you start to know more details behind why Jessica and Nick broke-up than on the U.S. occupation of Iraq or the Republican budget proposal--which have a direct effect on peoples' lives, unlike Jessica and Nick--that is call for concern. Great Powers have fallen in various ways throughout the history of humankind, but underlying many of those falls has been a society of idling minds.

Meanwhile, I will try to adhere to my resolution of spending less time on the internet and flossing better in hard to reach crevices of my teeth.


Steph said...

I remember reading somewhere that there's a correlation of increased public interest in celebrity/ entertainment info in times of war and crisis. Of course we can't infer causality, but it's an interesting observation. It seems like an understandable reaction, but I do agree that most people could stand to peek their heads outside of The Bubble. Though my own comsumption of infotainment is actually attributed to celebrity schadenfreude.

Elaine said...

Yeah, maybe it's sort of an escapist tendency, and I can't blame people for wanting some relief from thinking constantly think about the nation's and the world's ills. I also think the media is as much at fault as the public. However, it has been pointed out that the Iraq War is one of the least conspicuous wars of the modern era. Most people , as one columnist pointed out, have no direct connection with the war (like me), and the Bush administration tries to keep deaths out of the news as much as possible. I see the whole focus on celebrity as part of what is obscuring public knowledge and awareness of the consequences of this war. Now that I am in danger of sounding like I kiljoy, I will say that it is always interesting and reassuring as you suggest to see how even (and especially) the mighty can fall, so I understand some of the fascination. Thanks for commenting!