Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Theory of Relativity

Watch, listen and learn!
We need to stop and think about relative values.  For example, I have a buddy down Virginia way who is constantly chiding Keith Olbermann for being a "ratings failure."  I will admit that Olbermann is not for everyone, and what's more, he wouldn't be as good as he is were he to try to be as popular as O'Reilly and Hannity and cooking shows and shows about hoarders or Teen Moms and the algebra shows (Kate +8 - Jon = X ).  

Think about it. McDonald's sells a lot more fish filets than all the fine seafood houses sell Dover Sole dinners, but does that make them better food?  The inane poetry of Rod McKuen and Suzanne Somers flies out of bookstores, but does that mean that Keats, Shelley and Frost are inferior?   New Yorker readers know that comparing the sales figures of our favorite weekly to those of US, People, Star! and Time would bring a tear to our eyes.  It's relative.

And for all the braying that comedian Sarah Palin does about the "lame stream media" (and is her voice not that of a girl in your 5th grade class named "Judy," who always told the teacher, "You forgot to tell us what our HOMEWORK IS!" as the end-of-class bell rang?) I wonder how valuable anything like that is.  For instance, I went looking for some background on this Loughner person and wound up on the ABC News website.  Here, America, is what are the most popular videos being watched on that site as I write: 
  • Accused Tucson Shooter Says 'Not a Word' to Investigators
  • Palin's Now in 'Crosshairs' of Giffords Debate
  • Woman Stopped Tucson Shooter From Reloading
  • World's Craziest Airplane Paint Jobs
  • Kate Gosselin Lounges in Tiny Bikini
  • George Lopez Spotted With New Woman

So a deranged individual does what he did Saturday, and three related stories catch our collective interest.

But right after that, it's goofy airplane paint jobs, the surgical enhancement of Kate Gosselin, and a semi-famous comic with a new girlfriend.  

And they say we ain't so smart!

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