November 26, 2005

Truth Floats Away

Early Thanksgiving afternoon, I pick up a friend who tells me about seeing one of the floats crash into a light pole during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. We then riffed on how everyone is secretly waiting for something to go awry... In the very early 1970s, I remember watching the Underdog float fly headfirst into the side of a building. It both frightened and excited little kid me. I also remember waiting for more crashes in subsequent years, and being bored when all went as planned.

At Thanksgiving dinner, my mother brings up the wayward float that crashed into a light pole, and how 2 sisters broke the fall of the light fixture.

Early this Saturday morning, I learn the story of NBC not covering the biggest news at the very parade their network sponsors. That even though Couric, Lauer and Roker knew something was up when the M&M float didn't cross the finish line, they bantered over 2004 M&M float footage. "There was no further comment on air at that point in time because we did not have further information," said Cameron Blanchard, a spokeswoman for NBC's entertainment division, which is responsible for the parade broadcast.

These people are globally wired within an inch of the universe, yet can't convey information taking place within a quarter mile of where they were stationed? They have satellites in space but not a walkie-talkie?! Did they not have cell phones?

Richard Huff, of the New York Daily News writes:
"If it was possible for NBC's cable network, MSNBC, to report the accident - before NBC's own parade coverage ended - then someone should have gotten a word to Lauer and Couric."

Turns out my friend and my mother knew about the incident before Lauer and Couric did, and the friend doesn't even have cable TV.

This Parade Coverup reminds me of the White House somehow not knowing about the on-coming threat of Katrina, or the immediate devastation in its wake, while everyone else in America who even walked past a media outlet knew about it all in full detail. Yes, the White House is so primitive that they still have dial-up speed internet and an antennae on the roof that sometimes lets them pick up PBS...

The White House is currently inhabitated by a batch of unconcerned liars, so I'll just let go of my incredulity over their "Katrina? What Katrina?" response. But NBC?

Our American media is far too technologically advanced to ever play the dumb card. They are too deep into too many things that aren't their business to ever pretend they don't know about something that is their business. And trying to squirm out of this by implying that NBC's entertainment division just didn't think the injury-inducing incident was worth mentioning is a really bad move. It confirms that the tail is wagging the dog, that the line between news and entertainment has been utterly erased.

These types of lies reveal the truth, and when NBC - and the White House - don't even bother to pretend to be upset about it, the truth has horrifying consequences.

November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Maybe the reason Americans don’t heavily decorate for Thanksgiving is because it’s people-based. Inflatable pilgrims in the front yard would be creepy, inflatable Indians would be politically incorrect.

Plus, it’s a holiday about being grateful, giving thanks for what we have, what we cherish. As far as decorating for that, the 58-year old banking executive certainly can’t pose his 22-year old trophy wife in a spotlight on the front lawn. Similarly, the trophy wife can’t staple gun the deed to the Aspen ski house to the front door, or hang the fur coat from the birch tree.

Thanksgiving is not attuned to decorations and ornaments because it’s a
personal holiday. As you commune with family and friends, and before passing out from too much turkey and wine, make a mental list of the things you’re grateful for.

Matt Dillon & Owen Wilson are starring in a movie together?! Sometimes the universe conspires just to please me.

The new (yes, all new) Dramarama album is not only better than it has a right to be, but it’s genuinely great. Or as a friend (and long-time fan) said after hearing the song “Physical Poetry” for the first time: “John Easdale is my new best friend.”

Possessing an out-of-print copy of Cher’s diet & exercise book Forever Fit. I can pig out mightily for the next month knowing that, when the smoke clears, she has my back, as always.

I’m thankful for all my family, family-of-choice and friends; they make for an adventure-filled, worthwhile life. May we all have a gluttonous and grateful day.