Monday, August 9, 2010


On Sundays, as we wait for Reds pregame to start, my dad, grandmother and I often watch Fareed Zakariah and GPS on CNN. It's one of the few things we can watch on cable that doesn't seem to propagandize or make us less intelligent. He has on interesting guests with divergent points of view, and he asks very insightful questions. This past Sunday, he started his show by talking about the debate over the proposed Muslim cultural center.

"I can't believe they want to build a Mosque at Ground Zero," Nana said.

I replied that during the commercial break, I'd refute her.

"What did she say? Did she say that she'd refute me?"

(I certainly didn't say I'd refudiate her.)

But GPS, instead of going straight to commercial, went to its first two guests: former secretaries of the treasury Robert Rubin and Paul O'Neill. They discussed how difficult and complex economic recovery is, and while they disagreed what the correct course of action should be, there seemed to be some common ground. By the time the show went to commercial break, my dad said, "Are you sure you want to do this?"

Nana was asleep in her chair. Even if she'd been awake, I would have let it go.

I see fear and ignorance and emotion as the biggest enemies to progress. Because when we leave those things out of the discussion, the right answer seems clearer. I may be biased, but I believe truth has a liberal slant.


strugglingwriter said...

"I see fear and ignorance and emotion as the biggest enemies to progress." This is quite true.

The only reason those on the right are making an issue of this is to get people mad and not thinking straight and to distract voters from the fact that they favor corporations over regular working Americans.


August said...

Absolutely. I was watching an old episode of "Family Guy" last night. Mayor Adam West was in hot water for erecting a gold statue of a frog in the center of town that wasted a lot of money; everyone was really angry about it. So to get out of this mess and to distract citizens from his mistake, he banned gay marriage. Problem solved.

The media play right along because, of course, they're owned by the same corporations. Enough to make you scream.

Thanks for the comment!

Aki Mori said...

Great post, but I'm not so sure about "emotion" being an obstacle to progress. I think it's quite the opposite. Until a critical mass of people get emotional progress NEVER occurs, don't you think?

August said...

I guess I'm thinking of those baser emotions, fear and anger. But perhaps it depends on how those emotions are directed. I had the misfortune of watching some cable news, and it's quite amazing the extent to which the play up the "fear" aspect of any story at the expense of reason. And I feel condescending when i think, "If only people would get angry about things *I* think they should get angry about!"