Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A quiet week in Lake Grump-begone

LET'S SEE...Where was I before Time Warner abruptly darkened my Internet screen and cut off the phone service for a week-long, outage. Well, with apologies to Garrison Keillor, it was a quiet week at Lake Grump-begone. Oh, there were the countless calls to the company demanding Service on Demand instead of Movies on Demand. But it soon became obvious to me that Warner Cable was in charge, not me, and the cable savants would fix the problem whenever they were damned ready.

Meantime, I could only spend the down time wondering whether the Indians would call up another relief pitcher from a sandlot down south and how I could be so obtuse not to appreciate the seismic consequences of Michael Jackson's death. On some days the media coverage far exceeded President Obama's discussions with the Russian front office on nuclear weapons and the worsening war in Afghanistan. It is anybody's guess what horrendous world event would have been able to draw our attention from Neverland.

But the late Mr. Jackson's fullest measure of media coverage did serve as a another glimpse of desperation by newspapers and television to sustain or increase their audiences by whatever it takes regardless of the relative consequence to the world. It has sadly become a truism that for all of their problems, the media's front offices have yet to define journalism as a means of making a profit. And my hunch is that at this late date, they never will. There are not enough Michael Jacksons to advance the media to the next level of professionalism, if indeed that is the medium's sublimated goal.

But I did find more than enough time the past week to follow the perils of Palin. Sarah, that is. Hearing her out on her resignation as the Alaskan governor, I realized that if there was a hidden massage in her rambling comments, I was too unsophisticated to discover it. I did, however, gain a tad of satisfaction by reading some national commentaries that appeared to be as much in the dark as I was. As a blazing-comet political celebrity, Palin has become as much a curiosity as a wannabe national political force.

I could only add to the Palintology that a loopy Alaskan politician with her national aspirations could come along not more than once in a lifetime. For that, we should all be thankful.

* * * * *
Scanning today's Op-Ed columns in the Beacon Journal, I caught up with one that was headlined Sarah Palin, victim of media sexism. It was a lament by Marie Cocco, a Washington Post columnist that strongly traced Palin's problems to a male-dominated media empire. That, to say the least, is a tearful stretch. As a white male writer who has spent 99 pct. of my complaints on incompetent white male politicians, I figure I should be able to say a few unkind things about Palin, too. I'm quite astonished that a national political columnist like Cocco could bring her comments down to such an adolescent level (which, I suppose, exposes me to being a sexist re Cocco.) Ms. Cocco, the same rules apply to anybody stumbling up the tower in the political arena which includes Mark Sanford, John Ensign, etc. etc. etc. And if Helen Thomas or Maureen Dowd decide that George Bush is a adrift, I would hesitate to blame it on sexism.

Sarah Palin happens to be a woman. She also happens to have said and done a lot of foolish things. And I am a male who happens to think she is fair game.

Folks, it's good to be back!


Anonymous said...

(Glad you survived the Monopoly of Time Warner.) If the starting point for (allegedly sexist) commentaries about Sarah Palin is her ability to be pregnant, her secondary sexual characteristics, or allegations that such matter to her leadership ability, is that sexist? Perhaps you would argue that her political attraction is inseparable from her sexual attraction.

Mencken said...

The media's too much is not enough coverage of Jackson's demise has left you Palienated.