It’s ‘Reality TV,’ Stupid

Stupid me. And, I thought it was the economy.Reality TV blog

Or, the national debt. The jobs. The immigration. The education. The etc., etc. As in truly weighty issues that require some serious thinking caps (vs. dunce caps) be donned AND not thrown in the air with relief and/or jubilation UNTIL these types of problems are solved. Or, at least, until some solutions are in sight and consumer confidence is restored. But, I guess we’ll just have to sit on the edges of our seats until “the show” resumes production. SIGH.

One can only hope that next season will be smarter,
with more focus on character development.

Can you tell I’m frustrated? This is my first post in about three months, because I’ve been on an odyssey of sorts. After traveling to an actual spot on the map (Russia), then to a very fuzzy state of mind (jet lag), I finally embarked on what I hoped would be a journey of enlightenment: to the business and political news world — on the Internet, in newspapers, on TV and radio. It was a little mind-blowing at first, because I wasn’t knowledgeable enough about those subjects. But, I wanted to write about the U.S. economy without sounding like a doofus, so I tuned in more and more to National Public Radio (vs. my gossip & entertainment station, MyTalk 107.1), and I chose to spend more time reading a healthy variety of in-depth news articles (vs. Facebooking and playing Words and Scramble w/Friends). Changing habits is not easy.

Basically, I found myself studying topics such as: the Federal Reserve’s policies; the history of America’s middle class and the growing gap between the rich and the poor; the unemployment numbers; and, the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act. (Note: By using the proper name for the national healthcare policy, I’m choosing to be respectful. For now.) Even tho’ I frequently felt like I was riding a roller coaster because I was seeing and hearing “recovering economy” and “sluggish economy” on the same page/in the same breath, I was beginning to accept this pattern as the new normal.

Unfortunately, I had failed to heed the mounting political threats (Blah dee blah dee blah … Am I right?), and there I was, suddenly engulfed in an imperfect storm — as in the government shutdown — which violently swirled all around me. (Note: This last shutdown — the first since 1996 — is the 18th since 1976. I kid you not! For those who think Obama has been under constant fire since taking office, how about a little love for Jimmy Carter … Five shutdowns during his ONE TERM in office!  And, HIS OWN PARTY controlled BOTH the Senate AND the House the entire time! Jeesh, peanut farming must’a never looked better. But, enough about him. Back to me.)

Much like Dorothy Gale, I found myself in a Land of Nonsense.
Jackasses. Pacydinks. And, Brain-sucking Pundits.
Oh, crap. (It was ugly, I tell ya.)

Finger-pointing. Name calling. Cold shoulders. Backstabbing. Headlines promising even bigger drama than the previous hour. Don’t EVEN try to stay above it all and NOT get sucked up in the latest episode of D.C. 20004!

And in the end, the brouhaha over defending the “loser boyfriend” (let’s call him O.C., short for ObamaCare) turned out to be one BIG. FAT. JOKE. A lot of his friends are now dissing and abandoning the O.C. cuz — so far — he’s proven himself to be an even bigger loser than many people said. Technically speaking, he doesn’t work. AND, he doesn’t deliver on his promises. (Imagine lots of head shaking and hand wringing.) True to form, an intervention was staged, and there are plans for rehab. His friends have decided — for now — to keep him and try to change him. (Well, we all know how that goes … Don’t we, Ladies?) Guaranteed, some will be rooting for his sorry patootie, and some will want to kick him out the door for good. OMG! Will the drama never end?! Isn’t it time for a commercial break?!

Don’t worry about missing anything. Our infotainment friends — living large in the Fourth Estate — will beat the drums and sound the trumpets if our attention spans wane. Say for instance, we choose to turn away from their brand of “Reality TV” and focus on our own real worlds: Working our jobs or looking for work; paying the bills and/or saving for retirement; taking care of the kids and/or our parents; and — when we have the time and can afford to do it — helping out our neighbors and others who may need some support. You know what I mean … Doing the right things.

So, “Why don’t you tell us what you REALLY think?!”

OK, what I’d really like to say is that I think THEY’RE ALL A BUNCH OF POOPYHEADS!!! Yeah, you heard me right … POOPYHEADS! Democrats, Republicans AND “The Media”!!!

Oh my. I do feel better, but that was uncalled for … Right? Sorry. I don’t know what got into me. Maybe I drank too much “Infotainment XTRA-XTRA!” Kinda makes you wonder what they put in that stuff, doesn’t it?!

Seriously tho’, I know it’s not fair to lump them ALL together; I do believe many Democrats, Republicans and journalists are responsible types, trying their darndest to do the right thing. But, even Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Clarence Page warns against (too much) infotainment, which he says “shrinks the news.”  Try “shrinking our brains.”

So, what I really, really think about this whole mess is that because the Democrats believed enough in the Affordable Care Act to push it through Congress more than two years ago, ALL of them should’ve been more responsible about overseeing it “from start to finish.” I have a couple of questions: Am I wrong in believing the U.S. has the greatest number of technological geniuses at its fingertips?! Why weren’t they enlisted for that part alone?! Yes. The Democrats SHOULD BE embarrassed and TRULY SORRY. Regarding the Republicans, if they don’t like something, they SHOULD STOP being the “Party of Critics & Obstructionists” and come up with their OWN PLAN! Hello!!! Try being a part of the solution and not the problem, why don’t cha?!

As for the President … He REALLY SHOULD’VE read all the fine print before selling it to the country. In fact, here’s a novel and refreshing idea: Have the kahunas to tell the truth! That a national health care plan — in order to cover 30 million or more uninsured people — is probably going to cost some of us (maybe a lot of us) more in premiums and deductibles. How could it not? The administrative expenses alone — part of the overhead — will be greater and passed along to payers. (By the way, my husband’s and my premium and deductible will be higher.)

And, last but not least … “The Media” and US, its audience. In the words of respected journalist Clarence Page, “there is a need for the analytical and investigative role that holds the powerful accountable and keeps the rascals on notice.” Responsible, intelligent journalism IS paramount to our way of thinking and freedoms, and it deserves respect. Infotainment may be entertaining (I admit, I watch it), but it’s NOT responsible. And, it’s not dignified. It’s always trying to stir up trouble, pitting “this group” against “that group.” And, the more we “hang out” with it, the less dignified we become. Because of the government shutdown and what looks like the slow and painful death of the Affordable Care Act, there’s been a lot of serious talk about who’s staying and who’s going in the next elections. Let’s not forget about our “friends” in infotainment. Pulling the plug on them could be truly lifesaving for our minds, our souls and our futures.

** Stock photo

19 thoughts on “It’s ‘Reality TV,’ Stupid

  1. Right On, Nicki, good post, I tried to comment on your site, but the link failed. Coming to MSP Nov 25th, will you be there? Mark

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Yeah, You go Girl! Keep telling us what you really think. That was a thoughtful, well written piece. Oh, for people being respectful, and trying to find solutions to our problems. rather than being critical, hateful, and destructive.


  3. Ralph Nader mentioned the Canadian health care act is 17 pages. Ours is 2500 pages that no one in the Senate or House read. Nuff said.


  4. Very well put..I appreciated you talking to both sides..stop blaming folks and do something to get us on the right track. Have been embarrased by the way our government has behaved! Thanks Nik I really enjoyed this post! J


    1. Thank you, Bird! Honestly, I was stressing about this post more than any other I’ve written, because politics can be so divisive. But, I decided to “go for it.” You know that I’m more a Moderate (or Centrist, which is becoming the more popular term), I’ve always tried listening (and reading) for the “fair and balanced” views. I agree w/ the Republicans on some issues, and the Democrats on others. What I’d love to see is a serious 3rd-Party/Independent candidate who has the guts to be honest w/his or her views regardless of public pressure. I like Chris Christie for that reason, although I don’t agree w/his position on gay marriage. Still, he seems to be fairly independent, which is why his own party’s not too keen about him. We’ll see how it goes for him as we get closer to 2016.


  5. Thoughts from Mexico:

    1. FACT: your insurance premiums and deductibles would be higher WITH or WITHOUT the Affordable Care Act. Have they stayed the same over the last 10 years?

    2. DREAM: We have long trusted Our Government (Of the People, By the People) to provide our national security, to educate our children, to build and maintain our transportation infrastructure, to care for our elderly, and to provide for our war veteran’s health care.

    Why not work towards the day when Our Government can efficiently and compassionately provide basic “Chevy Station Wagon” health care to ALL of its citizens (like the majority of the first world countries in the world). The government can print enough damn money to do this as easily as it can print the damn money to finance wars and congressional perks and subsidies for huge corporate farmers. Only then will the US health care system value the need for a healthy population over the necessity of a healthy balance sheet, stock value, and executive compensation.

    Mexico may not be perfect, but 5,000 well-trained doctors graduate each year from the Medical schools WITHOUT DEBT. They receive a mostly-free education in exchange for two years of public service with a small stipend in the government medical system.

    Like in Mexico, the private health insurance industries and a smaller for-profit health care industry will certainly step in to provide for “Cadillac-” or even “BMW-style” health care to those individuals and businesses who are willing to pay for it.

    4. READ DON’T WATCH: In the words of one of my favorite college-days recording artists John Prine, “Blow up your TV…” Intelligence does not seem to be valued by those who make up the television industry, including the “Kardashian-culture” that passes for broadcast news.

    I have been able to maintain a fairly informed life through limited, but well-filtered media exposure, sticking to reliable sources with different, but clearly stated editorial biases such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and my personal favorite, The Week Magazine (available free for smart phones and tablets!)


    1. Thanks, “Boss”! I agree w/everything you’ve said, and I’ll check out The Week Magazine. I appreciate the tip 😉

      My beef w/what’s been happening — no matter who’s in office — is the lack of honesty and straight-forward education of policies. It’s been said by his own supporters that Obama lacks transparency, and that his “highbrow” way of explaining issues is too convoluted. In fact, he doesn’t like to be engaged w/the political process; he finds it distasteful. A lot of people do; otherwise, more people would run for office/school board in their local communities and states. But, in his position, such disdain for the process is — as the ACA/Obamacare proves — disastrous. Still, as I stated in my post, I hold the entire Democratic party responsible. They pushed it through, and they should have made sure the product they delivered was a good one … regardless of the opposition to it. It was their plan/their job.


    2. BTW, even Dr. Craig supports a national health care plan.

      Oh well, when it’s “all said and done” (after the ACA/Obamacare has been tweaked and twizzled), we’re both hoping we’ll have some kind of national plan to depend on in our “old age.” 😉


  6. Ah, my darling niece. Nice to see you doing something creative. But if you want to take a good look at reality, think about this. There are no, or practicly no, honest politicians. You can tell they’re lying if their lips are moving. The only one I trusted over the years I’ve paid attention is Ronald R. & he even did a couple things that were questionable. They are all self-serving & want to leave their mark on history. Most do but for the wrong reasons. Just look at how self-destructive we’ve become & this is what we’re leaving for our kids to muddle through. Enough of my rant. Just keep in mind as you wander down whatever path you chose, that opinions are like butt holes – everybody has one. Love always, Uncle Bruce


    1. Hi, Uncle Bruce! I’m glad you’re now following my blog 😉 Also, I appreciate that you kept your comments fairly tame. Word Press likes to keep their sites clean. I know, I know … I called Democrats, Republicans and “The Media” Poopyheads, so I guess you throwing a “butt hole” out here isn’t too bad. 😉
      I like to think there are some honest politicians; in fact, I think a lot of them start out w/the best of intentions. But, working w/the system/needing to make deals w/everyone to accomplish something must be very frustrating and intoxicating. Love to you and Aunt Paula! Nicki


      1. Got it & checked the proper boxes. I like the 3rd party concept but I don’t think it would stand a chance. The big money interests seem to rule.


      2. Yeah, both parties have worked hard to block a third party, because they would lose money. One group, however, who might succeed in organizing a viable effort is the Tea Partiers; they already have a ton of money behind them, and the mainstream Republicans want to distance themselves from them. I could support a more pragmatic Republican Party because I agree w/a lot of their fiscal policies. Or, a Centrist Party … one that moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats would gravitate to. Evidently, the problem w/Centrists is that they don’t have enough “activist” blood in them. I’m guilty of that. I have opinions about what’s happening and what I like to see happen; I just don’t want to go all “rah-rah” to become really involved in the political process.


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