Be Careful What You Read

 Sometimes a different perspective can make you think.

I was driving around with my son today and I mentioned that there had been a road rage-related shooting in our city yesterday. I said something along the lines of all the weird things that had been going on in the city lately. 

He said something back that made me think. He asked if the frequency of odd events was actually higher than normal, or if it was just that the news covered it more because people are tired of hearing about covid and the other news-making events that have been hitting us over the head lately. 

The internet is an interesting place and for the most part news sources have had to change the way that they deliver the news. No longer does news come in the morning when the paper hits the front step. In some cities, the morning edition and the evening edition have become things of the past. To think about it, I don't think my kids would even know that such a thing had ever happened. 

News is reported as soon as it happens, and that isn't always a good thing. On the plus side, we are always aware. On the con side, we are always aware. News agencies aren't always able to ensure that the facts they are reporting are correct, and information often spreads more quickly than the facts do. 

There is another problem with mainstream media. The local papers used to be just that, local. Newspapers reported stories with an eye on how these stories would affect us locally. Now the papers and news sources are owned and operated by large companies who may not be aware of what impacts the stories they are telling have. 

Then there is the conspiracy theory angle. Along with the supposed anti-mandates performance, the element of mistrust of the mainstream media was a strong and encouraging undercurrent. When people mistrust what information is readily available, they begin to seek out sources that report news from their own viewpoint. 

Gone are the days of impartial reporting. Lloyd Robertson and Walter Cronkite have long given up their microphones. While we still have Lisa LaFlamme, we still need to take in what we hear with more than a grain of salt. Being critical of media is an important part of media literacy and in my opinion, is another thing that should be taught in schools. How we choose to take in the information given to us, and what we do with it is up to us. The days of blind belief in what we are told need to be over. 

When my kids first started ingesting media, I told them to always question what they hear online. I didn't think about the news, but that is probably where I should have started the lesson. Media has biases just like we do, and we need to remember that. And a little bit of caution before you spread an interesting tidbit can go a long way. And think about what great Canadian Marshall McLuhan said: "The Medium is the Message".

Music Corner

I didn't want to go somewhere to tinfoil hat related to the song of the day, so I went with one that kind of fits, but mostly is a good time. The Cover of The Rolling Stone by Dr. Hook is my jam of the day. If you're like me you sang the title in your head instead of reading it. 

Written in 1972 by noted poet and all-around interesting fellow Shel Silverstein (who also wrote 'A Boy Named Sue" for Johnny Cash) the success of the song even got the band on the actual cover of name magazine, sort of. The cover in question featured a caricature with three of the seven band members, and the copy on the cover read: "What's Their Names Get the Cover".

While the song was very successful in many countries, the BBC wouldn't play it because it mentioned a trademarked cover. Eventually, the song became too popular to not play. So a couple of BBC DJs recorded themselves singing "Radio Times" over Rolling Stone and the song was played. Even though you could kind still hear the original banned part in the background.

Shopping Corner

Walter Cronkite's Book

Lloyd Robertson's Book

Where the Sidewalk Ends


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