Mike the Mad Biologist

I’ll get to Noah in a bit. But first, digby describes the lobotomization of our national discourse:

Something very disconcerting has been happening in our discourse for some time, even worse than the up-is-downism that has characterized the most unctuously presumptuous members of the Cheney administration. It’s no longer just Bush who is blatantly dumb on TV. A lot of public figures these days adopt all the poses and cadence of ordinary conversation, but actually speak in some sort of gibberish language that makes no sense.

…They gesture and talk and sound for all the world as if they are speaking with intelligence and authority. But they make no sense at all.

….This Bushian elementary school level argumentation has been around for some time on the right, but now it’s becoming common in the media as well. And the Republican candidates have adopted it as their preferred mode of communication. I don’t know if it’s going to be successful this time, but unless the media do more than act as theater critics (he looked and sounded presidential!) and actually address the substance of what these people are saying, we could have another president whose communication style is so deliberately simple minded and opaque that we will spend the next four years trying to read between the lines to figure out what is really going on. (Come to think of it, that’s undoubtedly one reason they do it…)

Luckily for the country and the world, the favored winners at this point, the Democrats, are not allowed to get away with such things because their voters live on planet earth and have a bottom line requirement that they communicate clearly. Indeed, they are frequently held accountable by the press for things they never even said. But when I hear the media itself adopting these right wing obfuscatory tactics I continue to worry. They remain the ones who are “interpreting” the election for the people and some of them sound as incoherent as Bush, Romney and Giuliani a good part of the time.

Why in the world does someone who speaks and thinks like Donny Deutch have his own current events show on television? It makes no more sense than he does.

Actually, it makes perfect sense. You just have to listen to non-political media. Before I get to that, the bit about Noah. The rabbis ask why Noah doesn’t get more credit: after all, he saved the entire world. Furthermore, Noah is described as “a righteous man in his generation.” Shouldn’t that get him included among the matriarchs and patriarchs? The rabbis reply (they liked talking to themselves, apparently) that Noah was a righteous man in his generation, and his generation was pretty damn lousy (that’s a synopsis, not the actual rabbinical language).

This week, at my gym, the usual Sports Club Network wasn’t playing one morning. It usually plays pretty innocuous music, although the country ballad about the woman injured in a car crash wasn’t exactly conducive to repeatedly picking up and putting down heavy objects. But overall, it’s not bad.

On the day the feed went down, the club played a ‘music’ station. I haven’t listened to morning ‘music’ radio in several years. During an hour-long period, it played three songs. The other fifty minutes were talk radio and commercials, and the commercials were the bearable part. The ‘witty’ banter was so incredibly stupid, such that an interview with Richard Branson about ballooning and his latest Boston business venture (essentially, a gushy infomercial) seemed downright intellectual. Several people complained, including me, and there were a lot more shaking their heads at the stupidity (I find this encouraging). But here’s the real problem with that airhead crap:

It makes Rush Limbaugh sound intelligent.

Yes, you did just read that. That’s how stupid most of our ‘non-political’ or ‘non-news’ media programming is. Note that I didn’t say Limbaugh was intelligent, he just has the outward trappings of intelligence by comparison.

What’s more disturbing is that tens of millions of our fellow citizens like the stupidity of morning pseudo-music radio. Amazingly, they willingly choose to lobotomize themselves. A daily diet of listening to morons babble about sperm donation, vitamin drinks, and other random crap will make you so stupid that Donny Deutch is intelligent by comparison.

Which is damning with faint praise those who think so…

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Comments

  1. #1 CRM-114
    October 18, 2007

    I’ll have to take your word for it. I quit listening to radio 35 years ago.

  2. #2 decrepitoldfool
    October 18, 2007

    Oh, geez, where to begin? Our gym plays Fox News and CNN on two of their channels. 15 feet away from the Stairmaster is Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck. What a couple of maroons.

    And then, as a regular special feature, O’Reilly has Dennis Miller (yes, the comedian, and I use that term loosely) as a news analyst. They call it “Miller Time”. I should count my blessings; their other frequent guest analysts are Newt Gingrich, Cal Thomas, Oliver North, Ann Coulter, and Geraldo Rivera among others. You can’t make this stuff up.

  3. #3 386sx
    October 18, 2007

    I’ll have to take your word for it. I quit listening to radio 35 years ago.

    I flipped on the AM radio a little while back. Art Bell here… Art Bell there… Art Bell Art Bell Art Bell.

    Bleh.

  4. #4 Mark P
    October 18, 2007

    “Kakistocracy” is the correct term for what we have.

  5. #5 Moopheus
    October 18, 2007

    “the Democrats, are not allowed to get away with such things because their voters live on planet earth and have a bottom line requirement that they communicate clearly.”

    Really? Have you listened to Chuck Schumer lately? Not that everything said about the talking heads isn’t true, or even all that new, but the Democrats aren’t really that much better. They can fling the BS with the best of them.

  6. #6 Troublesome Frog
    October 19, 2007

    You’re missing the point, though. According to a recent poll, bullshit is the most important issue for voters in 2008.

  7. #7 Ham
    October 22, 2007

    Actually,
    The Zohar has a better reason for why Noah wasn’t so great. Of all the other times God got angry and got set to wage destruction on people, Noah was the only one who never asked God not to. (Kind of like todays Dems when dealing with Bush and Cheney’s zeal for attacking everything that has oil nearby) Noah just built the ark. Check out Abramham negotiating over Sodom, Moses at Sinai, etc… Not Noah. Oh and all the strange stuff that Noah did after the flood??? Kind of set the stage for all the mess in the middle east 😉 Biblically speaking. Afterall a curse is a curse right??

    Or maybe its the boat thing Jonah wasn’t very good when it came to boats and seafaring 😉

  8. #8 sohbet
    March 11, 2009

    Thanks Your..

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