Saturday, June 7, 2014

Class Warfare at CNN


What is up with CNN these days?

CNN has a "business section" (CNN Money) which has stories that are about anything but business.  The Wall Street Journal, this ain't.

The theme of this "business section" is bifucated.   One part is all about America's Super-Wealthy and the fancy cars they drive, the fancy homes they live in, and that sort of thing ("99%ers, you can't afford these perks!")

The other part is "America's Left Behind" - weepy pieces about some slug who got a degree in advanced bullshit, and now they can't find a job (or, someone who had a high-paying bullshit job, then lost it when the company realized they didn't need a "diversity counselor" - and since they never saved a nickel in their life, they are now flat fucking broke).

Through the twisted lens of CNN, America is made up of two groups of people.   First, there the downtrodden "plebes" who are forced to commute to work in a three-year-old SUV and can afford only one Latte a day at Starbucks.

Then, there are the elite, who whisk around in helicopters and buy your children to harvest their organs.

In between these sort of bullshit stories, they put in stock-picking stories or hype about the latest IPO (such as the article with yet another pitch to buy Apple stock).

And if you read any of these articles, they are utter and complete bullshit.   For example, "Millennials squeezed out of buying a home" profiles a young couple who actually bought a home.  In their driveway, in the background of the photo, is a brand-new Honda Accord.  What gives with this?   Life is so hard for 20-somethings?

When I was that age, yea, it was hard to make the mortgage payments (at 11.75% interest, no less).   But you are just starting out in life, and it is hard to go from ZERO to something.   But not impossible.

Oh, and yea, the home they were not-squeezed-out-of looks nicer than mine!

The common thread is this:  You are put-upon.  Life sucks.  The rich are buying quarter-million dollar cars with the money they have stolen from your checking account.

This is a weird, twisted, and distorted view of reality.  But then again, it is from a Cable Tee-Vee Channel.

Who watches this sick shit?  Who reads it?   Years go, I used to go to CNN to read the "news" of the day.  But lately, I am finding it less and less useful and more and more sensationalism.   Headlines blare "You'll never believe THIS!" and try to get you to click on some auto-loading video page (whose ads are scotched by AdBlockerPlus, thank you).   The thing you will "never believe" turns out to be nothing.   In fact, these click-bait titles are like police tape, warning you away from such stories.

But I think there is a real danger to this sort of "journalism".   It seems today, more and more people are convincing themselves what a raw deal they got in life - even as they drive around in a car, live in a house with air conditioning, and microwave their hot-pockets while watching 500 channels of cable on a 42" wall-screen color Tee-Vee.  America's uber-wealthy?  Hardly - such a lifestyle describes the very poor in America today.

When I was a kid, air conditioning - in your home or car - was a very rare thing.   We didn't have it.   No microwave, either - it was too expensive.   Our flickering black-and-white got three channels on a good day.   Were we the deprived poor living in Appalachia?   Hardly, my Dad was a Vice President of an electronics firm in Chicago, and we were living in tony Lake Forest, Illinois.

In other words, the lifestyle of an upper-middle-class family circa 1967 would be considered below-the-povery-line today.   But few people see this.

And in fact, some folks argue that poverty is "relative" and that a poor person "feels poor" by dint of the comparison of his lifestyle to that of others.

And thanks to CNN, he can spend all day long comparing his lifestyle to that of the very richest people in America.

If you want to be happy in America - or indeed anywhere else - you have to stop comparing your life to that of others.   Do what makes you happy.   And if you want to get ahead, feeling sorry for yourself isn't going to make things better.

And measuring your success by the yardstick of the richest man on the planet is a sure-fire way to be miserable.

It just goes without saying, stop watching this shit (and reading it).   The television is designed to make you depressed, as depressed people make excellent consumers.

Unplug from the Cable Cabal!