17 May 2007

Another News Round-Up...

The last time I did this, I had the misfortune of reporting the news of the Virginia Tech massacre. I am pleased to say that this time, I don't have anything nearly as gruesome to report on.

In the presidential debate, Giuliani and Edwards both hold stock in companies doing business in Sudan. Both claim they were unaware of the investments, both worth thousands of dollars. While both candidates say they are shocked and will quickly sell the stock, this raises the question of why aren't our politicians looking at where there money is going? And if they don't know what they aren't on top of their own investments, will they show similar care with the nation's finances?

Today was doubly rough for Rudy, who was rejected by James Dobson. Whether or not the founder of Focus on the Family should have a say in who the Republican candidate will be is still up for debate, but for Dobson's many supporters, the former mayor is on his way out. Giuliani, who attempted to defend his stance on abortion at a Baptist college in Texas, is having trouble courting the religious right. Despite leading in some polls, this may cost him the election (the same way it won the election for Reagan and George W).

As far as the religious right is concerned, they are mourning the loss of one of the prominent members, Jerry Falwell, who died yesterday. While I disagree with Mr. Falwell on many issues, I pray for comfort for his family and friends.

In other political news, a bipartisan group of politicians have agreed on an immigration reform plan. Official debate begins on Monday, though many congressman from both sides have criticized it as either too harsh or not harsh enough (generally a good sign that it's a moderate proposal).

In Hollywood today, Paris Hilton (I want to cry for actually putting her in my blog) dropped her appeal for her less than two month prison term. What gets me is the one-liner near the end, "She could have a cellmate." On the other side of the legal spectrum, Lindsay Lohan will not be charged with grand theft after it was ruled that there is not enough evidence to move forward with allegations of her stealing a shirt. I'm sure that somewhere, a preteen girl is excited over this.

Again, I do this to take a look at what our media tells us is important. If I'm reading this correctly, the only things in politics is the presidential election, illegal immigration, and a congressional stalemate over Iraq. Meanwhile, an important preacher died and two of America's royalty are having some legal troubles. Never mind that the presidential election is more than a year away. Never mind that while immigration is an important issue, the country has some other major issues to deal with (whatever happened to the concern over Social Security?). Never mind that the use of war as a means for political gain (on both sides) is disgusting. Never mind that many Republicans have changed their opinions on Mr. Falwell to court his followers. And never mind that the people young Americans care about the most are over-privileged and over-paid and yet under-talented. Never mind that there is actually more in the world than the US, its border with Mexico, and Iraq.

It is said that the media shapes the minds of the people. But it is also said that the people tell the media what to play. So where did this all begin? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? And where will it end? When will we finally decide to wake up and realize that our culture is nothing more than a simulation, a copy, and a poor one of that, of the ancient Romans, with our bread and circuses (bread replaced with fast food and chariots replaced with bad movies), fed to us in thirty second sound bites? And we thought that the Matrix was just a movie...

Rock on.