I hate it when he's right, but the times, they's a changing.
First, Stephen Page leaves the Barenaked Ladies. Okay, BNL will never be accepting an award from the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame, but they've also been severely underrated. Funnest band I've ever seen in concert, and over the last nine years, the only band I've seen everytime they've come through Denver - usually between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I get it...he effed up. Bad. As a group they'd sold out, made some deal with the devil, er Disney. Released a Christmas album and a children's record with big things on the horizon - possibly millions of dollars lost for the group. And as a band, you can't forgive somebody for that. But god, it sucks. I saw BNL at Fiddlers Green, when it was still Fiddlers Green, with my wife seven months pregnant with our son. I saw them in the theater district when my wife was eight months pregnant with my daughter. And it will never be the same. Change really blows sometimes.
Speaking of change, tomorrow is the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News, a Colorado mainstay for 150 years. It was my parent's paper of choice when papers mattered. It was my wife's paper when I met her. It's a stupid thing to think of, but it's played a part in my life since I've been born.
But, more serious than the loss of BNL, the crisis in America's newspapers is a serious issue. Since Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine and the constriction of media ownership over the last twenty-five years, a vital part of our country has been dying a slow, apparently unnoticed death. An uneducated electorate is a dangerous electorate. I have no doubt Bush won his second term because of the lack of media presence calling him out on the bullshit of the previous four years.
Media today is a joke. It's TMZ. It's Murdoch. It's Disney. If Nixon pulled the shit he did today, he'd get away with it, but we'd sure as shit know which days Brittney decided to leave her undergarments at home.
Undoubtedly, part of the problem is the interwebs. Free information means no advertising dollars for newspapers. The other major issue is the consolidation of media ownership. But the biggest problem is the media consumer - you and me. Mostly you. Just saying
Where's the fucking outrage? Goddamnit people! Our country was started by some pissed off dudes who took on the most powerful empire in the world. Now we're so fat and satisfied, we don't care that our country has been in two wars in a row that were not declared by legal means. No, the president can't declare war - only congress has that power, and even though congress gave Dickhead authority to use military force in Iraq, no declaration of war ever was passed. Shouldn't this bother us somewhat? But so long as we get our Cinemax and American Idol and our iPhones work and the microwave doesn't burn our popcorn, we don't care.
And as long as the media can feed us pablum, we'll eat it up. We'll decide elections on three-word slogans, whomever has the most money to repeat those slogans always winning. We'll ignore important issues, possibly boring issues, to read about Octo-mom. Well, that's not true. Most of us won't read anything.
Change has been a theme this country's heard a lot about the last 18-24 months. Some of it sux.
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