aamusedinatx: (coffeeblack)
[personal profile] aamusedinatx
I slept like a baby yesterday from about 8pm to 6am this morning! As such I'm a much HAPPIER person!

Today's musing comes from the PEW foundation's News IQ quiz. I came across this on Facebook this morning and several people on my list took it and posted their results, as did I. (I'm so proud to know so many good, intelligent, curious, news junkies!!)

I tasked myself with answering honestly and correctly without looking anything up. I got all 13 questions right although I wobbled on Syria (I thought that spot on the map was Jordan, but I also know Jordan isn't THAT big), and on the graph being unemployment vs. something else, but my gut-checks proved correct. as I said when I posted my link "I'm informed by CHOICE not by ACCIDENT."

Folks I know got 13, 12, 11, and 10 questions out of 13 right. What I found curious was some of the 'reasons' behind what they did not know. I don't find those reasons WRONG, just confusing. I don't find those folks STUPID, just confusing.

One of Shalene's friends noted they did not get the photos of politicians correct. Her reason was, she doesn't watch cable tv, she gets all her news from the internet. Now I suppose there are those out there who still set their browser to serve up text-only, but I was completely taken aback by this as a reason for not recognizing John Kerry, or Eric Holder, or John Bohner. I may not like them (in the case of Bohner) but I sure as hell make sure I memorize that face if nothing else than to throw a pie at his ugly mug if I ever happen to chance upon him in IKEA. Then again--I'm one of those who reads the NYTimes obits every morning on the off-chance something there will make my day. Call me weird, that's fine.

My reply on Shalene's item was "I haven't owned a TV in 14 years." Like her friend, I get all my news from pod casts, internet news sites, some dead-tree papers, radio, billboards, conversation around me. Television is not a determining factor for me on whether I recognize a face or not.

But...I can remember when that WAS the case. I'm old enough to remember that faces I grew up seeing only came to me on the babblebox. Newspapers were 98% text and the only pictures were the front page headline story, an occasional obituary, and the ever increasing advertising. Oh, and let's not forget Sunday comics! In 1975, for instance, I would have to go out of my way to look for and find a photo of most members of congress. In 2013 you have to hide in a bunker to not be assaulted with visuals. We're on image overload these days.

If Shalene's lovely friend is successful in turning down that signal-to-noise-ratio by not subscribing to Cable TV and getting most of news from the Net I have to sort of applaud that ability. But it still confuses me. I would rather know than not know. Just because I don't like someone's politics, or rhetoric, doesn't mean I should completely ignore them.

Hell, I can even identify Snookie and Kim Kardashian in a police line up; I don't follow their exploits and drivel, but they are part of the pop-culture fabric of my world. I need to know who they are and what they look like; if for no other reason than to avoid them like the plague.

I'm all for 'blow up your TV'. Trust me. Edward R Murrow may have said it best, way back in 1958:

"For surely we shall pay for using this most powerful instrument of communication to insulate the citizenry from the hard and demanding realities which must be faced if we are to survive. I mean the word survive literally. If there were to be a competition in indifference, or perhaps in insulation from reality, then Nero and his fiddle, Chamberlain and his umbrella, could not find a place on an early afternoon sustaining show. If Hollywood were to run out of Indians, the program schedules would be mangled beyond all recognition. Then some courageous soul with a small budget might be able to do a documentary telling what, in fact, we have done--and are still doing--to the Indians in this country. But that would be unpleasant. And we must at all costs shield the sensitive citizens from anything that is unpleasant."

The full text of his speech can be found here.

Keep it Classy, Peeps!

~ Meri

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aamusedinatx

May 2013

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