Journalists or Rag Pickers
It seems that journalism today is confined to reporting on stupid people doing stupid things, or milking personal grief stories ‘til they’re coming out our ears. They seem to have glommed on to the Harlequin Romance formula and applied it to their trade.
I mean, who ever heard of Oscar Pistoreous? Yet to the media, he is some sort of South African royalty who’s had a terrible tragedy visited upon him. They play it over and over – and over and over, every half hour or so. You’d think by now they’d have tipped to the fact that the tragedy is visited on the family of his girlfriend – you know, the one who was on the other end of his pistol, in the bathroom. It’s not even a tragedy for the girlfriend. She’s deader’n a doornail. She doesn’t give a rip about what happened to her. She doesn’t even care who done it. The tragedy is on her family and friends who will never recover from this terrible act, not on this footless idiot.
Well, I remember years ago watching a move with Clark Gable where he was a rough, tough chain-smoking newspaperman, doing all sorts of things to get a sensational story. Can’t recall the name of the movie but his motto was something like ‘sensation sells newspapers’, and I guess nothing’s changed.
So I figure journalists can’t really be blamed for wanting to hold on to the bottom line. They need to eat, after all. They have a ready market in all those people who don’t have lives of their own, who feed on this garbage to sustain themselves. It’s rather a sad commentary on humanity. I’ll tell you, it kind of reminds me of Old Man Hoban who used to drive the “Honey Wagon” for our local municipality, cleaning out all the outdoor toilets on a regular basis, back before the days of indoor plumbing. I have no idea where he’d take all this crap, but obviously there was a place for it and it was consumed somewhere by someone, so the analogy is a pretty fair one.
Well, Old Man Hoban never came home stinkin’ like his truck so I guess the municipality musta had some pretty good showers them days. Missus Hoban mustn’t a minded because between the two of them they raised a whole raft o’ little Hobans. So I guess the journalists do the same thing. They collect the crap from around the world and dump it on the people who have no lives of their own, wash it off and forget about it.
It’s not a bad way to make a living I suppose, but you’d think somebody would have the integrity to support some of the grief – stricken victims of human stupidity. It would certainly be more rewarding. It seems we are all smitten with an insatiable appetite for crap and garbage, with no interest in human dignity. I know that every time I turn on CBC or some other news channel, I get that unmistakable smell of Old Man Hoban’s truck driftin’ through my memory. To quote Angelia Baldwin; “Beam me up Scotty, there’s no intelligent life on this planet!” Well, that’s exactly how it all seems to me from up here on the top shelf.