NPR: Go back to sleep, Amerca

Beer GlassI’ve been waking up to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition for a long time.  As I drifted into consciousness this morning, I noticed that I was listening to an in-depth piece about how Indianans are suffering under their state’s antique Blue Laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays.  By preventing Hoosiers from buying a cold beer, these old laws can ruin a ballplayer’s whole Sunday afternoon, as I was told.  Snore. Who cares?

Instead of going  back to sleep, I hit the off button and went in search of online independent news sources and some coffee.  Whoa, I’m awake! There was a military coup in Egypt, Bolivia’s president had some trouble traveling through EU airspace, our kitchen ceiling is leaking again thanks to the climate-change-induced days of heavy rain in Washington DC—and the out-of-control, unregulated expansion of gas-fracking is poisoning our water supply.

Not in Indiana on a Sunday?

Not in Indiana on a Sunday?

NPR’s fluffy filling surprised me.  I hope this isn’t a trend.  PBS still airs some great news stories, but even they caved to Koch corporate coercion.  It’s become increasingly difficult for me to watch cable TV “news.”  I can’t stand the megaphone messaging.  But in our era of short attention spans… most people have probably stopped reading this by now.  (Click “like” if you’ve read this far.)

I’m just sayin, if you choose bits and bytes of infotainment over news be aware that you still have a choice.  And ask yourself, “Was it the image of a convivial crowd drinking and watching a belly dancer or was it the commentary on vacuous mass media manipulation that kept my attention?”

In these time-starved days, I tend to follow the writing of journalists, bloggers and social media mavens more than any particular publications or channels.  CommonDreams.org , a nonprofit news aggregator, is a good source of articles from great thinkers, scholars, investigative journalists, and diverse, progressive news sources.  Even those with short attention spans can catch the memes of opinion and breaking news by scanning these headlines.  Then follow the thread if you want to know more.

There’s a lot going on and so many sources.  It takes some effort to fact check and stay informed. Don’t be lulled into slumber!  Our world needs your thoughtful, informed attention.

2 responses to “NPR: Go back to sleep, Amerca

  1. They use to have Blue Laws in Richmond, Va.. I’m not sure if they still do or not.

    Yes, we live in a world of “I want it now” and “how long will it take”. The quality of news is not immune to the toxic pace of today’s world. We asked for fast and we got it, but there is a price for living at 3.0GHz. I think our short attention spans are in part a result of the fast paced world we live in. I read MSN, NPR and the Huffington Post to form my own picture of the world and at my own pace. We need to slow down and smell the news.

    Your post is right on point.

    • LOL! Slow down and “smell the news” roses? Yes indeed, but some of it smells rather foul. It’s not easy listening to hard, often malodorous news, but we’re better off taking the time and paying attention, aren’t we?

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