A penguin and a polar bear are sitting on an iceberg. The penguin yells, "No Soap Radio!" They both jump in the water.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Attention white people, I have an annoucement

"S. Robert Lichter and Daniel R Amundsen undertook the time-consuming task of content analyzing television news stories from 1972 to 1992. They found that stories about Congress and policy matters fell nearly 20% while stories about Congress and scandals increased 400%.

... Television, with its fixation on stories of sensational wrongdoing, with its ability to incite visceral reactions from viewers, and with widespread public reliance on it for news and information, is in all likelihood the most dangerous medium in the minds of those who worry about public perceptions of our political institutions." - Hibbing and Theiss-Morse, "The Media's Role in Public Negativity" (emphasis mine)

Television news rots your brain. News stories, like election ballots, are better when they're put on paper.

Also, Jesus was black, Ronald Reagan was the devil, and the government is lying about 9/11.

Eat it, bitches.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Whoa, I wrote something

The Carolinian -- I remember figuring out there was no Santa Claus in the second grade. Maybe it was sooner, maybe I held out hope past that, but the real moment of realization came during our second grade Christmas pageant.

During our school's pageant, a term I'm using from memory rather than accuracy, every teacher, school official, and parent was present in our school's gymnasium/cafeteria/theater. When we returned to our classrooms, a small gift waited on each student's desk. Santa had brought us the present while we all sang, they said. Outside of the tall old people in that gym, I knew of no other adults. It made sense to my first grade mind.

The next year I knew the routine and scanned the crowd for any missing or, potentially, bearded faces. Wasn't long before I noticed our school's janitor was the only person not in the gym. He, with his armload of keys, was the only person with access to every room. That explanation made sense too. It was somewhere in the course of this particular day that I applied this reasoning to the actual Santa Claus theory, and it clicked. Our teachers and parents had lied to us. (Full column here)

This is the sixth piece I've written for the paper this semester, making this my least prolific five months in the past three years. (It's also too long and unrevised, but that'll happen when you pen something at 3 a.m. to fill space.) I'll have to figure out some better sort of schedule next semester.