Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Stupid of the Week #7: Anyone Who Watches the News

Some time ago, I began a rant against morning news programs, but I saw something last night that convinced me to stretch my blanket condemnation of news-watchers further to include any and all televised news programs.

The managers of my new gym apparently think cardio isn't painful enough, because they are always showing CNN on the TV. My old gym showed Food Network, which is at least a motivating kind of torture. You watch Guy Fieri eat a 5 pound hamburger and yeah, you run a little faster. But CNN just saps you of your will to live. Whenever I'm stuck in front of that TV, it adds at least 2 minutes to my mile time. They may as well pump aerosolized muscle relaxants into the room via those giant fans.

Anyway there's this one guy who's always on when I go. I thought at first he was Joe Biden, or else John Slattery, but I guess his name is Anderson Cooper. The story last night was these strange bird deaths. On new year's eve, 5,000 red winged blackbirds fell from the sky, dead from some unknown trauma. At this point I'm like "Hey, this is actually interesting." Still not relevant at all to my actual life, but freak occurrences are something I enjoy hearing about. I thought I might actually get some value out of the news for once.

I was wrong.

The next slide after the heart-wrenching picture of a beautiful dead bird (not American Beauty beautiful, this was pure tragedy) read "Apocalypse Now?" Out of knee-jerk generosity, I assumed this was a segue into a story about Marlon Brando or poor people dying in the jungle and it being all America's fault. What I would have given to have been right.

Cooper continued "Many are saying these dead birds are a sign of the Apocalypse." The Apocalypse. Really.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "And then he laughed and said 'Aren't those Tea Baggers nuts?'" Nope, not at all. He read that line with complete seriousness. And then with equal seriousness, he introduced his guest, Kirk Cameron.

In case you don't keep yourself as informed as I do of all the moderately successful people who ultimately lose touch with reality and spiral into total lunacy, Kirk Cameron was the star of Growing Pains, the 80s sitcom that also gave Leonardo DiCaprio his start. But while these days Leo is making films like Inception, born-again-Christian Kirk is going on Anderson Cooper to discuss the impending End of Days.

Kirk Cameron is a well-established idiot. I'm not here to beat that horse. My point is that this well-established idiot was a guest on Anderson Fucking Cooper.

Actually, let me back up a second. It's unbelievably retarded that this Armageddon aspect of the bird death story is even being covered on the evening news. Granted I'm sure there are some people who reacted to this event in the standard "Oh my God the Four Horsemen must be just around the corner!" kind of way. They were probably very loud on the internets. But that's no excuse for CNN to be taken in by their bullshit.

But once you decide to address this insane claim, why oh why do you turn to Kirk Cameron? Anyone who knows anything about Christians knows that most of them don't have any clue what's in the book they worship. They are especially ignorant of Revelation, which is unfortunate because many of them would wake up and smell the censer if they were forced to confront the bare lunacy of a dragon raping some woman *who is wearing the sun*. Kirk may really believe this shit, but he doesn't *know* it. Why not consult, I don't know, an *expert* in the field? Like some one who attended one of the thousands of divinity schools in this country? Or better yet, someone who translates it for a living? Then we would have at least learned that no seal-breaking, trumpet-blowing, or angel bowl-dumping leads to bird death, except perhaps indirectly when a third of the world's forests are destroyed.

By the way, even if this were one of the "signs," it's nothing we should be worried about. The signs merely herald a thousand years of famine and death, followed by a thousand years of peace after a sheep throws a dragon into a lake of fire, followed by another thousand years of general misery when the dragon returns. Only when the sheep/Jesus thing returns, apparently taking his sweet time for a millenium, and kicks the Satan-dragon's ass for a final, epic time do we actually get to the whole Last Judgment happy time with a new heaven, new earth, and no more death.

So let's review:

A news show (legitimately) reports on a bizarre and morbid event that has yet to be explained. They then give voice to a psychotic minority of Americans who think this is a sign from God that the Last Judgment is at hand. Then they give even more power to these crazies by taking their delusions seriously and inviting a similarly deluded celebrity (who has no expertise in the matter and no qualifications beyond the lack of a single active brain cell) to opine on the whole situation.

CNN, I know you're trying to reinvent yourself as "fair and balanced," and I know that's going to be a long hard road for you considering your decades of blatant pandering to the left. But you're not supposed to be fair to the crazies. It's not balanced to give equal weight to views that are unbalanced. Your method of covering "both sides" on this issue amounts to "Is there a scientific explanation, OR IS IT THE APOCALYPSE?!"

Well, sometimes, CNN, there aren't sides to a story. Sometimes just the facts are interesting enough to stand on their own. Like when thousands of animals drop dead in one place for no apparent reason. It's really ok to just leave it at that.


S. Misanthrope