Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Musings: Twisted Reality

After enduring some 12 hours of travel just to get here from Denver — and I didn’t even experience any delays like the eight-hour wait my seat mate and his family suffered when their scheduled flight to Honolulu was cancelled — and picking up a nasty cold and ears that rang for hours, I was again amazed at what visitors go through to vacation in Hawaii.

And after talking to the Wikiwiki shuttle driver, who told me of transporting two men who had gotten drunk and fallen asleep, ultimately spending 10 hours in the sun and suffering severe sunburns and a melted wristwatch in the process, I was amazed at how visitors spend their time once they get here.

But what do you expect from folks who are essentially brain dead? Which is what happens to people who watch a whopping 151 hours of TV per month. That’s the average amount of time an American spends glued to the screen, and it’s an all-time high for the nation. Gee, what kind of world do you suppose we’d have if folks spent those same five hours per day in volunteer service, reading, in nature, or — gasp — interacting with others?

But the real, not cyberspace, kine, because children who engage in repeated exposure to sites like Facebook and Twitter run the risk of infantilizing their minds, according to a new study. As the Guardian reports:

Social network sites risk infantilising the mid-21st century mind, leaving it characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity, according to a leading neuroscientist.

Now, that can’t in any way be a good thing, particularly when those little minds have already been warped by all the junk TV and insipid videos they’ve been watching since infanthood so their parents don’t have to deal with them.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the U.S Supreme Court is now hearing oral arguments in the state’s appeal of a Hawaii Supreme Court decision regarding ceded lands. It’s really unfortunate that Lingle and AG Mark Bennett didn’t back off, even after the Legislature passed a resolution— with only four dissenters — asking her to drop the appeal.

Lingle and her buds keep arguing that they're compelled to appeal for the benefit of the public. But aren’t the Legislators supposed to be the representatives of the citizens? If they don’t think an appeal is a good thing, why doesn’t she just give it up? And what about the interests of those members of the public who happen to be kanaka maoli?

It’s hard to imagine wanting to have that kind of action on your conscience — assuming, of course, that Lingle and Bennett, even have such a thing. And given their performance in the Superferry issue, that’s open to debate.

In response to the blatant land grab, protests are planned all around the nation, including Kauai, where folks will be meeting at 3 p.m. at the corner of Kuhio Highway and Hardy Street for a march to the state building. As for the scene in America, The Advertiser reports:

In San Francisco, hundreds are expected to gather at the Civic Center Plaza. Individuals organizing the event say they do not necessarily support OHA or any other group, but want to protect the public trusts and ensure greater accountability of those lands on the part of politicians.

That’s really the crux of the issue here, and it’s disheartening to think that a court packed with Bush appointees may be making a decision that could strip Hawaii’s indigenous people of their birthright.

Over in America, Obama tried to rally the financially fearful with his first joint address to Congress, in which he did the usual blah blah about the greatness of the nation and the need for folks to essentially stop watching five hours of TV a day and get off their asses and do something:

What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face and take responsibility for our future once more.

Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that for too long we have not always met these responsibilities—as a government or as a people. I say this not to lay blame or to look backwards, but because it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we’ll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament.


Come on, Barrack. Don’t you know the only reality the masses want is the kind they get on TV? And even that twisted form of reality is more than they can handle. You've gotta start twittering, Mr. Prez., if you want to get folks' stunted attention.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

pls dont get predictably bitter at everything. gets boring

Anonymous said...

bitter? that's not bitter; that's cynical.

Dawson said...

> Come on, Barrack. Don’t you know the only reality the masses want is the kind they get on TV? And even that twisted form of reality is more than they can handle. You've gotta start twittering, Mr. Prez., if you want to get folks' stunted attention. <

Bingo. The most mind-numbing part of the TeeVening was afterward, when pundits and politicians from David Gergen to John McCain all smiled and nodded and raided Roget for ways to say "Wonderful!"

It wasn't analysis. It was a Vulcan mind meld.

Anonymous said...

Until Jindal came on, at which point it became Vulcan kindergarten.

Dawson said...

> Until Jindal came on, at which point it became Vulcan kindergarten. <

Vulcan kindergarteners were never that clueless.

Anonymous said...

ya, gergen is not very bright



got any more gems?