Monday, March 13, 2006

Opinions In the Trees

I received this in email recently and considered it an interesting impression. I decided to get in touch with the original writer and ask permission to quote the opinion. It was granted, and so here it is...

My Sunday mornings are usually spent in intellectual, rather than religious, pursuits. This involves reading the Toronto Sunday Star and the Saturday Globe-and-Mail editorial, insight, and commentary sections from front to back. Except when I'm sitting on the porch, I intersperse this marathon with flips around the dial to see what is on the "Sunday report" programs of the various networks. For the American channels, these discussions of the week's political and economic events have grown wearingly (and frighteningly) similar. Most consist of a panel composed of 1/3rd liberal (or right-of-centre anywhere else in the First World) and 2/3rd conservative (fascism with a bible) politicos and reporters who treat every subject as a shouting match where they beat up their opponents using jargon, trite statements, and emotional threats. Truth stands for little. Sober, intelligent reflection -- much less, cogent speech -- is completely unknown. It is depressing to see "intelligent" thought in the world's most militaristic nation having no more depth or lasting effect than a elementary school shouting match.

By luck, between diatribes on over the president's popularity or which political party covered itself with more merde in during the previous week, there was a passing discussion yesterday on the political snub to the United Arab Emirates concerning the port management contract and the its effect on America's oil-backed dollar. What was said was almost as fascinating as what wasn't. Would the Arab world ever stop buying American treasury bills? Of course not because, otherwise, "where would they get their fighter aircraft from?" The BBC speaker who suggested from European manufacturers was shouted down or ignored. The question why the Arab world would even need to kiss America's ass to get a 15% discount on a dozen jet fighters every 5 years went unanswered. Even more pointed was the fact that several speakers brought up the scenario of China, Europe, and most of East Asia dumping their American reserves. This was repeatedly dismissed by the glib comment that they wouldn't do that because "they need to buy from us". Buy what, I asked? Everything in view on the TV set, from the clothes everybody was wearing to the furniture they were sitting on, had either been manufactured or assembled outside of the USA. It was as if everyone was so isolated, they were still believed that it was the 1950's. The unspoken gaps in their worldview and on how economics and realpolitiks work was on a par with 1970's Albania. These people were so blinkered that you are forced to pity them.

You'd think that the end of the 3M reports would have been a cause for national concern amongst the intelligentsia. Apparently, nothing less subtle than outright ridicule can impinge on America's short-term attention span.


Ferdzy said...


I neither watch television nor read papers very often, but I used to hang out at a recipe website. About 90% of the participants were Americans. They weren't living on any planet I've visited recently.

Lone Primate said...

I can sure understand wanting to believe only the good about your country, or not wanting to credit the signs that things are changing and you might not be indesputed king of the hill forever, but really... there's so much evidence out there that the framework's crumbing and the US is doing terrible things blithely in the name of maintaining its own grasp. Can they really be that oblivious? I honestly believe it takes an act of the will... something Orwell told us about.

Masnick96 said...

Very well written by your e-mailer. I stopped watching the Sunday News Shows long ago when it became evident that Freedom of the Press/Expression was slowly being eradicated in the US