An American Quagmire-The Beginning of the End
One “side effect” of living in Washington DC (an exceptionally unpleasant city for reasons I will explore later) is news overload. Newspapers blow in the streets like tumbleweeds. People manhandle their morning papers then abandon them on coffee shop tables where they become public commodities. Newspaper dispensers are lined up reassuringly on every street corner so that more news is never too far away...
The radio is also prolific. News analysis shows in Washington have an endless supply of policy experts armed with wonk-speak and eager to fire away. Back in the Wild West, our first public radio station debuted less than a year ago and believe me it was an exciting time, at least in my life. But now I’m in public radio hell. At least three stations churn out more public radio than you could ever desire, and now it comes with commercials, too.
You might think this proliferation of media alternatives would translate into a wider variety and/or higher quality of news. You would be wrong.
The term “news” used to mean something like “what’s happening.” But when flagship publications like the Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times fail to report news, such as the memos showing President Bush lied to Americans while secretly planning the war in Iraq with his roast-beef buddies, I get the impression the meaning of the term has evolved.
Personally, I don’t want to listen to semantic discussions about where the Ten Commandments can be legally displayed. I don’t care where they are displayed. I want someone to talk about something that MATTERS TO ME, like why haven’t we initiated proceedings to impeach George W. Bush for lying about the war in Iraq? As far as I am concerned, our “democracy” is one in quotation marks only.
Responding to yesterday’s feel-good war speech by GWB, the New York Times has this to say; “We did not expect Mr. Bush would apologize for the misinformation that helped lead us into this war, or for the catastrophic mistakes his team made in running the military operation. But we had hoped he would resist the temptation to raise the bloody flag of 9/11 over and over again to justify a war in a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attacks.”
Apologize for the misinformation? Apologize for catastrophic mistakes? The NYT was hoping the president would stop drawing false connections between 9/11 and Iraq?
How about a feature on who castrated the NYT?
Lola Bites Back: And Other Inspirational Tidbits
- Name: Lola Bites Back
- Location: Bissingen an der Teck, Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany
Laughing all the way...
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
An American Quagmire-The Beginning of the End
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
At least this week's forecast is consistent: Overcast with occasional thunderstorms, temperatures in the mid-eighties. Every day. Yesterday my walk to work at eight in the morning felt similar to a light steam bath. As July closes in on the capital city and we brace ourselves for the real chokehold in August, I notice more and more people complaining about the miserable summer weather...
Humidity is the Great Equalizer in the world of weather; everyone suffers and suffers a lot. That is what I like about it; the fact that humidity is objectively miserable gives us all a legitimate reason to complain. Sure it's true that wet, stinky clothes, incessant sweating, and the inability to breathe can make for one seriously unhappy camper (mosquitoes or those enchanting sand flies from the Andaman Islands can add a whole new dimesion to the misery).. But in an age where there are innumerable perceived miseries to complain about and rarely any actual ones, shouldn't we all take a moment to appreciate the difference? I mean, how many people can say they live in a swamp??! Buck up, people!
Monday, June 27, 2005
Bonjour tout le monde,
In spite of the overcast, steamy morning, I'm feeling grrrrrrrrreeeeat! know why? 'Cause even though today is shit, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel, I can't seem to shake the feeling that somehow things are going to get better. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not this decade, but SOMEDAY I will find my way out of this cage.
I have identified my current problem as one of AVOIDANCE, though I can't seem to identify what exactly I am avoiding. Maybe I should check with mum.
In the meantime, there are a host of pressing topics to discuss. Among the current list of possibilities, a year in Thailand teaching English and eating Thai food is sounding great...a semester in the Gulf Coast of Mexico (Veracruz) doing the same sounds worthwhile, too. Then perhaps a year or so wandering around India with my dear friend SAG. We figure a good $6,000 duckets will adequately fund the venture. In an effort to distract ourselves from our relatively unfulfilling lives, SAG has suggested that we each produce a list of ten things we want to accomplish before we die. I agreed it would be a worthy exercise, but so far have been procrastinating it (what am I avoiding?). As I still have six hours left in the work day, maybe today is the day...
My weekend was unremarkable. Worse, actually, it was more like a downward spiral. To start it all off, I took a nap on Saturday afternoon that produced a horrible nightmare that put me in a funk for the rest of the weekend. I dreamt that I was with my friends and family on the metro when it crashed. I managed to find a stairwell leading up to the street where I frantically wandered around looking or help. When I finally found a rescue worker and explained that there were people trapped below, he didn't believe me. He blew me off, saying something like "those people were already rescued by the Red Cross." As you might imagine, I was a bit upset about this and went back to my stairwell. When I get back, nobody I knew was there and in their place were a bunch of creepy guys telling me I should stay. I wanted to run, but they surrounded me and were insistent I should stay with them. Thoroughly CREEPED OUT, I finally managed to make a break for it. That's when I woke up. It was 9pm on Saturday and after that my weekend was shot.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Lola Bites Back. I owe the priviledge entirely to the oppressively boring job I have held for the last three months.
Three months of reading the New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, and Imperial Valley Press (on the web) have left me numb and disillusioned. Excepting the Imperial Valley Press, aren't these papers supposed to be leaders in the *industry*? Molly Ivin's latest column hits the nail on the head; it depressed me so much I'm going to share it with you: http://www.creators.com/opinion_show.cfm?columnsName=miv
But before I get caught up in another tirade about the useless American media, let me just acknowledge that I myself am doing very little to help turn this country around. So far my efforts amount to calling my best friend in Geneva several times a week to commiserate over having been born in Southern California, aka "the epicenter of hell." Oh and I moved to the DC to see if I could get into some political trouble, but so far I'm just an overpaid secretary; a "healthcare slut" if you will. Yup, I'm doin' it for the HEALTH COVERAGE, just one more scary aspect of being an American.
But the game ain't over yet...there is a way out of this country and I will find it. In the meantime, I'm going to try to find nice things about my new life in DC, the first and foremost being that I NEVER HAVE TO DRIVE AGAIN.