The Mr. Nice Guy Show Blog

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My thoughts on what's goin' on in the world,

just like years ago on the radio.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Real Places, Real Lives

It was probably a year ago - maybe even to the day - I was living in Cincinnati. I lived within the city limits, in a decent neighborhood, but one filled with ostentatious shitheads. You just would not believe the snobbery. There were some cheaper apartments to be had...and I had one of them. Perhaps in another rant, I'll discuss the scatterbrained bitch of a landlady who never returned my security deposit.

Anyway, I was in one of those moods: gotta get out of the city, see some land, see a small town, someplace a little more real...a little more placid.

On the particular day I'm thinking of, I headed east about 20 miles to Batavia, Ohio. It was a cold day and I remember parking the car and walking up and down the main street of a typical American downtown of that size. Lovely old buildings, lots of desserted retail space, a charming small city that the big box stores have almost killed off, yet many people still live there living sensible, quiet lives. Reminded me a lot of my hometown, Oswego.......and Batavia, NY.......and Ottawa, KS, which I took a similar trip to just a couple of months ago.

News story the past day has told of a US soldier in Iraq, missing for a week, who - according to the AP - "was shown unhurt but clearly frightened in an Arab television broadcast in which the 20-year-old was surrounded by masked gunmen who offered to exchange him for imprisoned Iraqi fighters and claimed they had more hostages."

The soldier, whose name I won't even mention, has been identified as resident of Batavia, Ohio.
A news story I heard this morning described him as having worked at a Sam's Club, I'm guessing the one that I visited often.

To pResident Bush and Donny Rumsfeld, these are just names and numbers. The anonymous poor, young, lower class who must do their dirty work work while they sip martinis and slap the backs of their rich friends.

To the people of Batavia, and even to me, based on just a 20 minute walk there a year ago, the story is real and sad and it hurts. A lot.


Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Let's Play Cards!

From the clever folks at the Internet Weekly Report, it's the fun

Bill O'Reilly GOP Playing Card!


TV News

Here, folks, is a perfect explanation of why I've stopped watching local TV news...

I use My Yahoo! as a good jumping-off point for finding out what's goin' on in the world. Nice aggregation of stuff I'm interested in, fairly easily configurable.

One of the options I've selected in my preferences(you won't see it on the link above, though), is to see a listing of news stories from the local newspaper (a Knight-Ridder paper I'd describe as slightly better than mediocre) and a local TV station (the CBS affiliate, owned by the big yawn TV conglomerate, the Meredith Corporation).

At the very same time, here's what the newspaper said was big local news:

...Headlines Apr 12 4:52am CT
Tax fight puts funding in limbo
GOP bill challenges judgeship system
Clothing color led to killings, police say
County aims at Internet crime
Spring break for those without
City goes all out to snare tenants for acres near airport
Sebelius won't budge on veto of concealed carry

BUT, here's what the TV station ("Live. Late-Breaking. Investigative.") was highlighting:

Local News from [call letters and catch-phrase] Apr 12 9:36pm CT
Officer Struck By Vehicle Near Central Patrol
[Name of City] Woman Hung To Death In Home Accident
Mother, Children Thrown From Vehicle During Crash
Power Outage Darkens Midtown Businesses
Police: [Name of City] Man Explodes Pipe Bombs In Back Yard
Vigil Held After Violent Easter Weekend
Teen Shot To Death At Easter Party

Do we notice a subtle difference in the type of stories?
Do we notice proof of the old adage that, on TV, "if it bleeds, it leads?"
Do we notice unconscionable bastards, ratings whores, who take delight in the pain, suffering, misfortune and tragedies of others and use them as a means to profit???