Friday, August 7, 2009

A Needed Break

I see I have now gone an entire week without a post. This is the longest span since I started my blog. The explanation? I'm on vacation in my home town of San Diego. I've meditated in a Japanese tea garden, spent a day at Catalina Island boating and swimming in the sea, read Dean Koontz, gone to a baseball game, and dined at the new Bing Crosby Restaurant. Good stuff!

The advantage of all of this is that for an entire week I paid no attention to politics, and neither watched nor read the news - not even The Daily Show!

Today I looked over a few headlines and video clips. The same old things: Blue Dogs attempting to undermine the public health care option, Obama too prone to compromise, etc, etc, etc.....

But the week off, besides being a good cleanser for my soul, has added some perspective. I noticed today - not for the first time, but with added clarity - just how odd our media is. Take for example, a term they use: "centrist." I've often wondered what this means. I've finally got it.

A centrist simply means "a democrat who always votes as his corporate masters require him to." That's it. That's the whole definition. A Republican who operates the same way will be called simply a Republican.

I don't know why this is so, but such are our terms.

Another odd term: Moderate. For years I wondered what this meant. I get it now. Our media wishes to appear moderate. What this means is that they propose Barack Obama (who is to the right of most genuine progressives and self-proclaimed liberals) as the far left, and Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and the rest of the far right lunatic fringe as the "conservatives." Then, our media presents both these options (excluding a dozen or so others that are out there) as equally valid and refuse to take a side for one or the other. Oddly, this media is thought of as "liberal" because it does not champion the far right.

There is one more use of the term moderate. Sometimes a Republican is called moderate because, although he or she is right wing in almost every respect, he or she is "pro-choice," in favor of same-sex marriage, or not particularly religious. All in all this is a bizarre use of language.

To see this, look to the birthers. Obscene lunatics who, despite repeated and complete demonstrations to the contrary, insist on believing that Obama was not born in the United States. Such people should be ignored by our media. But they are mentioned almost every night. Why, in the name of all reason and sanity, are Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sean Hannitty, the tea-baggers, the birthers, and others of their brood carted out every night as if they actually had legitimate, rational, or even sane views?!

In short, my message tonight is: (a) our media is a joke; and (b) the terms "moderate" and "centrist" are meaningless, let's please stop using them.

Now I return to my vacation for the rest of the weekend.

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