Saturday, December 10, 2016

I read the news today, oh boy

“About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph.”

Words taken from “Day In The Life” by the Beatles were comments on the information we associate with the term “News”. You remember, the one with the big long piano note at the end.
So what is “News” today?
Someone somewhere says they heard or saw something and through their interpretation of the event spouts it for all to see. Is it factional or fictional or just gibberish? How can you tell anymore?
Once there were limited sources of information. Handwritten manuscripts were few and were read only by those with education and access. Laws and rulings and even religion were based on the repetition of what the philosophers and theologians and those of wealth who could obtain this knowledge and repeat it until it became common belief. Reality was based on prophecy.
The advancement in technology to the printed page provided more books kept in libraries that were still only available to a few. Mass production and education spread the ability for many to read and expand human intelligence.
Books provided common answers to frequent questions, platitudes for further discussion, theories for the unknown, ideologies and a recipe for Grandma Nana’s sweet relish. Some books became controversial and were burned, but the publishing continued.
Photographic images captured of events giving visual proof of the words printed.
The masses were craving more and more information and newspapers filled the need. Every town published one or more weekly and then daily newspaper giving local news of government, crime, social activities, births, deaths, and what was for sale from local merchants. With enhanced printing techniques photographs were added to the printed page giving familiarity to foreign locations and representations of people making the news.
Radio brought more immediacy to events but the listener still used their imagination to link the sounds to a full understanding of reality. “War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells and presented by Orson Wells proved the point that listeners believed that what they heard as truth.
Television provided photographic images and sound combined presenting news in a real-time format. The journalists who read us the news were the same from radio but they had to look better for the camera. Our trust in the relevance of the spoken word changed from a byline on a newspaper page to an actual face.
We became familiar with these talking heads and believed that they and their news staffs under due diligence were presenting us with factual unbiased information. The Kennedy assassination would have been worst if we hadn’t had Uncle Walter there showing his emotions of the moment but still soldiering on to read us update wire reports that was a bit faster than the telegraph.
As cameras became lighter, journalists were assigned to events to reports on the scene activities as they happened. Still transmission back to the studios where the reporting was broadcast took time. The public wanted more.
Satellites and digital technology and all that other stuff that is still evolving (you can look it up) has sped up the access to established news agencies, but it presented another problem. The Internet was formed.
As an open communication tool for colleges, scientist, physicians and other professional fields this networking has become irreplaceable to the sharing of knowledge, but for the news agencies it has become a slippery slope.
Everyone has an opinion. The Internet allows people to express their opinion. There are some filters but no one can tell what is fact or fiction anymore.
Even reliable news agencies have turned to entertainment to keep the viewers attention. Social media grouping sites are becoming news sites where ‘friends’ can give their comments on daily events without realizing the consequences of their remarks. The last electoral campaign showed us just how nasty we could be. Comedy shows have formatted a faux news trend that, if watched enough, will be believed.
Turn on your television or computer and go to a news channel. There are news reports with streaming text and live reports with video and sound and sometimes a background musical soundtrack (pay attention boys and girls). As people wondered if Neil Armstrong actually walked on the moon, the barrage of images and delusions of words could be manufactured or manipulated by a 6th grader. 

So what do you believe?


I saw the news tonight, oh boy
About some guy who got killed in a fight;
and though the newsmen showed the gore
Well, I just wanted more,
That’s what I’m asking for....

They blew his brains out with a gun
they didn’t notice that he was a cop,
A crowd of people came to see
but they were turned away
which started a riot like the one down in LA

I went to a flick today, oh boy
A fat old lady took off all her clothes,
A crowd of perverts stood and drooled
but sitting quietly stared
I watched her body as it went bare.

I hate to turn this off, oh off, oh off, oh off, oh off.....

Picked up, got into bed
pulled my shirt over my head...
we had our fun for a couple of hours
had a smoke and then a shower
grabbed my shirt and then my shoes
she kept complaining that the rent was due
I told her to cram-it and I didn’t want to see her
went down to Pete’s to have a beer....

I heard the news today, oh boy,
one bullet hole was found in Officer Blake,
and though it blew off half his head
the man on the radio said,
"When Blake arrive they pronounced him dead..."

I hate to turn this off, oh off, oh off, oh off, oh off.....

* private salt’s homely farts rubber band, circa 1970.

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