What we really care about

Late Saturday night, our apartment suddenly filled with the noise of hovering helicopters. I peeked out the bathroom window and saw at least four, just sitting above us a few blocks away. I looked out the living room window and counted six. Clearly it was a news frenzy, so I flipped on the TV for the beginning of the eleven o’clock news.

They did the little “Breaking News” teaser before the news show started, showing on overhead shot of a suspect leaving a car with his hands over his head, and told us that a man wanted for a shooting had been caught by police. After the opening sequence of graphics and music, I expected them to launch into the story immediately. I called for Doug to come out to see what was going on, but instead of hearing a report on the shooting suspect down the street, the two of us instead sat through ten minutes of coverage of Paris Hilton’s return to jail.

As I sat there, I honestly could not believe what I was seeing. We sat there, stunned, as the anchors effortlessly shifted from the Paris story to the shooting suspect being apprehended down the street. It was one of those moments where the absurdity of life here simply left us speechless.


  1. Erika, that is shocking indeed…

    It goes to show that modern media is communicating through an epistemology that suggests all is entertainment. The medium is the message. not sure if you’ve read Postman’s work called Amusing ourselves to death, but in it he says that any serious discourse that comes through the liturgy of television is in fact just entertainment…so that means, religion, politics, and serious tragedy as well.

    It must have been quite the experience to sit through the stereo sound of what was happening outside while the news station focused on the coming apart of Paris….

    sadly the only soothing remedy offered by the stations to those witnessing lamentable realities is simply, …and now, a word from our sponsors.

  2. It really is a sad day when Paris Hilton’s “plight” (which I can hardly call a month in jail, with special treatment, any sort of plight) takes center stage in the collective conscience of the nation and its news media. What a sad, sad commentary on this nation’s “concerns.”

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