Yesterday, two of my grandchildren, the youngest boy (Sean) age ten and girl (Joy) age 21 took the ALS ice bucket challenge and posted videos of themselves on Face book. Meanwhile, the Washington Post poured cold water over the idea in an op-ed piece (‘Myths about ALS’ Outlook section, Sunday 8/25/14). I don’t care who is right, I think its wonderful youngsters can find a good cause to become excited about.
Meanwhile, the granddaughter most concerned with her looks, posted a note on FB stating she did not like getting her hair wet, so she was making a monetary donation instead.
Whenever someone speaks knowingly of the millennial generation as (chose your adjective) I want to scream. This is not a homogeneous generation. They are not all alike, just as my generation (WWII babies) were/are not all alike. People are individuals, not parts of a group.
Okay, I earned my keep as a social scientist, and we love to group (cluster) people and detect patterns of behavior, so we are to blame for all this chatter about “demographic” groups. I used my skills for purposes of marketing, whether politics or products, and later for the Census Bureau which produces much of the information politicians, pollsters, and pundits like to use and abuse.
One thing that became clear to me over time was that individuals don’t fit neatly into marketing clusters, much to the chagrin of manufacturers of one tale or another. Another thing that became clear was that an ill-informed public is at the mercy of these lies.
There was a time in our history when members of the “lower orders” fought for the right to become literate. To have access to information, they fought and died to have the Bible translated into their own languages, whether English or German or some other tongue.
The story of the working class in the West, how it pulled itself up, became literate through reading, and established public schools and libraries, is an awesome tale.
These days, many people think the way to acquire information is “look it up on the Internet.” Unfortunately, many young people are reading scurrilous stories told by wicked people. Hence the recruitment of ignorant young men into groups of nefarious individuals who have become a worldwide menace.
But enough of that. My concerns lie with the purveyors of information who put a twist on much of what they report. That might not matter if they got some things right, which occasionally the odd report does. But how can you know when you are hearing the truth?
Dick Klade (link below – Gabby Geeezer) wrote recently that he had stopped watching both Fox and MSNBC because they were so slanted in their reporting. True, some slanting exists in some programs on both networks. But I must take an exception with certain hosts on Fox, like Chris Wallace (son of Mike) and various reporters who actually “report” the news from the White House, the Pentagon, and other places…some of whom migrated to Fox from CCN or vice versa.
PBS, which I catch most nights, drives me nuts with some of its programming, but hey Judy Woodruff from the News Hour has appeared on Fox in a panel along with Bob Woodward. George Will, Brit Hume and Charles Krautheimer (PBS and Fox), along with Moira Eliason (PBS) also appear regularly. And, PBS reporter, Margaret Warner, is in Kurdistan, traveling with the Peshmerga…how brave is that?
I must add CNN to the list of cable networks who report more opinion than news..at times. Especially if it has to do with a sensational case involving race. I swear, I heard a CNN reporter say “Fergastan” when reporting on the Michael Brown case in MO.