Week Seven/Eight: A Clock With No Hands

Filling the Open Mind in the Information Age by Wiley Miller, It is nice to have a break from the literature with a comic and not one that is as watered-down as the For Better or Worse caption, previously in the readings, by Lynn Johnston. This piece is relevant to my next essay in which I am focusing on newspaper conglomeration in Canada and how it effects the information we receive. In the comic, a couple is trying to buy a newspaper but they don’t want one that will upset them or their ideals. My room-mate and I sometimes watch channels like CNN and comment on how what they discuss is more of opinion than news. To use the example of the Glen Beck show, the host, Beck, goes on rants that some may consider to be racist or fear-mongering but yet he remains one of the largest rating generators for the station. This not only proves that bad news sells but that there is a market for selling controversy, to those that want their news and opinion handed to them instead of digging for the truth themselves. This is an phenomenon that seems to be spreading and the outcome is frightening, especially when the government has a finger in the business of broadcasting. Throughout history we have been warned about what happens when governments control the information of the public. I. F. Stone
put it simply when he said “governments lie”, and if they control the media then dissidents will be a thing of the past. This comic is great and reminds me of something out of the New Yorker, and to have someone pointing out critical issues like this with humor is better than being defeatist or complacent.
“I’m Not Racist But…” by Neil Bissoondath: The reason I chose to write about this piece is because the other two to chose from were harder to read than a clock with no hands. This was the second shortest piece but one of the others was a cartoon strip. To make it sound better, Bissoondath’s essay was the most blunt. Racism can be found in anything, I use a HBO comedy special as an example, but as Bissoondath points out it is often unnoticed as it is done and done more than we believe. The sensitivity of the issue makes it difficult to bring up, humor allows us to laugh about how touchy it is, and there is a line that is too easily crossed. Ignorance does not improve the situation either. Many people see comedians pushing the boundaries and think that they too can do it, making them seem like racists when their intentions are purely to get a laugh. It is my belief that we should stop looking at the problem in such a small scale and start making fun of humans as a whole. An example, why did the human cross the ocean? To troll the sea bottom and kill all the large fish. Take it all on or nothing, don’t be specific. This piece finished with two lines and it was enough of a reiteration to show the message, be aware not afraid that racism is out there.
Classmate Comments: shopaholic1818: I have heard that people are anti-Atwood and I can kind of understand but she is one of the biggest female writers out there. Is it hatred or jealousy? So many people overuse the word hate without backing up why they hate. I am nottrying to pick on you, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but maybe say why you dislike her not just that you hate her.