Saturday, April 14, 2007

Opiate of the Masses

Well, just two more day's leave and I'm back into it so the posts will be few and far between now that I have three jobs in one. I need to curb my addiction too. I can't walk past my PC without checking for comments now and viewing other people's efforts. I've never been strong on self-control! Heh.

Anyway, the blogfest over the past day or so has been largely about the irresponsibility of tabloid journalists and journalism blowing just about everything out of proportion. This might have begun as a British-American trend but believe me, it's now international with the sensationalisation of just about everything. Recently in Australia for instance (I'm trying to steer clear of politics here but you'll get my drift) we've had the World Swimming Championships. Each night on the evening news (although there's only 10 minutes of news and 20 minutes of sports) we heard how many medals the Aussies won and of course the legendary performance of that Phelps dude. You could be forgiven for getting the impression that the whole event was a US/Australian comp - guess who won the most medals? Russia! Barely got a mention and they won double the medals won by America despite Phelps' sterling efforts. Australia tied 5th with France! Now if that's not biased reporting I don't know what is. And, the television coverage didn't show a single Russian Gold Medal achievement. (You should have been here during the Olympics - we won everything!)

Another instance, we all know "The Body" Elle McPherson (settle down boys). Well she and former Ms Universe Jennifer Hawkins hosted two separate lingerie launches in Sydney last week. Both on the same night and in the same city. Next thing you know, it's friggin front page news, Hawkins vs McPherson - The Battle for the Bra! Apparently there is unhealthy conflict between the two bombshells (who incidentally don't even know each other).

Also, Australia seems to have this need, this desire, this obsession with giving the world or at least it's own citizens the impression that we're suffering as badly as everyone else. That there's destruction, pain and heartache aplenty - comparable to the dreadful Indonesian Sunami, poverty in the Sudan or similar racial tention to Soweto. Here are some home truths:

Our Involvement in Iraq:
Australia's Huge Contribution to the Coalition of the Willing
Our contribution to Iraq and Afghanistan is less than 1000 troops. Iraqui troops are safely placed in the south or protecting Japanese Engineers who are now heading home. We have a small contingency of special forces in Afghanistan. Our sacrifice is microscopic (even though I disagree vehemently with the invasion of Iraq we now have an obligation to finish the job). Also, soldiers join the army to fight, not just to get a trade! It's a combatant career you idiots and sadly, occasionally they die. Fortunately Australia's only death in this four year conflict is embarassingly some nitwit called Jake Kovco who shot himself playing with a loaded gun and that was a year ago and its STILL in the news. Oh plug my bleeding heart!

Natural Disasters:
Australia Faces Sunami Threat
Well no it doesn't. We evacuated citizens of a far north Queensland town because there was a tidal wave in the Solomon Islands which was impactful on the very low lying coastal areas. So the Government combats this by putting a satellite sunami warning system between NZ and Australia in the Tasman Sea (no where near the threat zone) Why there? Because it's half paid for by New Zealand. At least Christchurch is safe Dodge.

International Politics:
John Howard Meets George W Bush for Vital Talks on Iraq
Does anyone outside Australia know who John Howard is? He's our Prime Minister - head of Government - you know the one that goes walking in someone else's left over Wallabies track suit. I wish he'd shut the fuck up and leave us as the quiet little oasis in the arsehole of the world that we are. We don't want the terrorists to make the trip, just tourists with lots of kish.

HIV Threat from Immigration
Where do they get this from? We have fewer than 200 Somali Refugee families in Australia. Seeing a black man on our streets is as rare as hen's teeth and the Somali's are particularly conspicuous with their incredibly blue black complexions. They're usually collecting trolley's outside K-Mart in their Tommy Hilfiger tracky daks. They're not a threat. They're the rich ones that were fortunate enough to come here legally (otherwise they'd be pushing jelly uphill with a hot pin in a detention centre on Christmas Island - yep, we have 'em). They've been AIDS tested and they're clean you boloxy bimbos. We should worry more about the fact that our children have forgotten the AIDS issue and are being more carelessly promiscuous than 20 years ago. Time for another grim reaper reminder methinks. Our Somali immigrants speak English for fuck's sake. How many Australian's speak Somali or for that matter, how many of our asian immigrants speak English. My Korean neighbour has been here for 20 years and doesn't speak a word! If I have a neighbourhood issue, I have to talk to his daughter-in-law! Give them a break, they're not gansta rappers or gun toting bully boys, they just want to start a decent life in a fabulous country.

So, just three of the stupid headlines from the tabloids this week. I won't even expand on:

Croc Doc's Arm Reattached (Idiot shouldn't have put it in the crocodile's mouth in the first place)
Man Falls 20 Metres Down Cliff (don't drink and abseil at the same time you bozo)
Mysteries of Sex Unravelled at World Congress (What the? They need a congress to work that one out?)
Kidman Spouse Fights Demons (Poor rich, country singer . . . all that wealth and he stil wants to put stuff up his nose)

. . . and my personal favourite:

Train Driver Blinded by Sausage Roll (I have to expand on this one, he was leaning out of the window and someone threw it from a passing train . . . sorry fella but this led me into one of those uncontrollable, knicker-wetting, laughing fits, tears streaming . . .Gold!)

I guess the thing here is not to believe all you read or see on TV. Take it with a grain of salt, try to understand the motivation. Watch Tabloid TV by all means because it lets you know what the underbelly of society thinks is truth but please . . . at all costs, try to expose the shams and scams. Read the Koran for an alternative perspective, check Al Jazeera online occasionally (there are English translations and in Oz we're particularly xenophobic in terms of our tiny muslim population). Talk to your middle eastern, african, asian, chinese, polynesian neighbour and try to understand where they're coming from and establish the truth from a position of knowledge and empathy.

So what are the sillies in your part of the world?

Speaking of eye candy and TV trash - when does Big Brother start again?

No comments: