the power of visualization

I may need to stop reading comments posted at mainstream media sites because they make me think the world has gone off its rocker completely. This morning, responses to an Al Franken commentary on the importance of net neutrality would lead me to conclude that a sizable percentage of Americans actually believe net neutrality is a government takeover of the Internet.  Someone used the phrase “socialized free speech.” Apparently it’s a whole hell of a lot better if speech is owned by the private sector; the government should just lay off their plans to prevent business from ruling the waves. Anything proposed by anyone in any way affiliated with our black president (as in voted for) is in the cast of bad guys in an action film long on thrills but without a coherent plot. Wait, logical reasoning is a plot! a plot against us! Take to the streets – but first, sell them to the private sector and pay a toll to use them, because right now the government is in charge of public roadways and that’s just wrong.

I’ll wait for some rhetorician to do the dirty work of analyzing those comments and from which black lagoon they arise. For now, I’ll just avert my eyes. Thanks to Siva via Talking Points Memo via Breakup Girl! via GraphJam for this moment of blissful logic. (See? Told you it was a plot.)


7 Responses to the power of visualization

  1. Are you suggesting that the world hasn’t gone off its rocker completely after all? We have different issues but the same paranoia here…we’re currently in election mode and THE hot button topic is BOAT PEOPLE (people arriving here by boat, without immigration papers who mostly seek refugee status). Unlike the US and UK and large chunks of Europe this is not a big problem for Australia – one of the upsides of being an island at the bottom of the world in the middle of nasty oceans is that not a lot of people come here illegally – estimates range from 2000-5000 per year and over 90% of those who do come are exactly what they claim to be – people so utterly terrified of the conditions in the war torn countries they were born in that selling everything they own and buying a spot on a leaky dinghy and spending weeks (sometimes months) in rough seas with a less than 50-50 chance of making it here alive is preferable to staying put. But despite the incredibly low numbers and the genuine hardships the people suffer all our politicians and mainstream media and my fellow humans are talking about nothing but how to stop the boats and what to do about the hoards of law-breaking brown people. It is very, very disheartening.

  2. Barbara says:

    We are rarely worried about things that really are scary. We’d rather worry about things that somehow satisfy us, perhaps because we know there really isn’t a monster under the bed, but obsessing about that distracts us pleasantly from things that might overwhelm us – like the poverty and violence that makes so many millions of people flee for their lives. That’s so much harder to deal with than the people who took their lives in their hands who can’t do much to defend themselves. We don’t want to pick on problems that might be bigger than us.

  3. Jenna says:

    “Socialized free speech.” Wow.

  4. Willa says:

    “… sizable percentage of Americans actually believe net neutrality is a government takeover of the Internet.”

    Sometimes I worry about what is actually taught in school. Spelling and maths is important, yes, but maybe a subject called common sense is necessary?!

  5. Beth says:

    What is frightening beyond words is that people went to Washington, DC today because Glenn Beck told them to do so.

    When Obama was elected, I was thrilled, thinking that we were a better country than I thought we were. I was wrong; we are not good enough to have him. His election didn’t signal the end of racism, it was the starting shot for its resurgence.

    The Republicans, as guided by Rush Limbaugh, have convinced the working people of the US that they should support policies to end Social Security. These are the people who lost their retirement savings when banks too big to fail gambled their savings away. What do they think they will live on if Social Security is dismantled?

    There is hope – the government hasn’t taken over Medicare so senior citizens don’t have to worry about that.

    Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, I have been ranting, to some small degree, about the failure of the levees in New Orleans after Katrina. The maintenance of the levees was in the hands of the Army Corps of Engineers. On Friday, I referred to the book 1 DEAD IN ATTIC, today I took some excerpts from NINE LIVES (the Death and Life of New Orleans), tomorrow I am reviewing Dave Eggers’ ZEITOUN, the story of a successful businessman in New Orleans who had the misfortune to be a Muslim in the US.


    • Barbara says:

      Yes, I’ve been following your posts. Good on you.

      And yes, I find the weird parody of King’s mobilization of the best in people by Beck just appalling and frightening.

      The New Yorker story on how people’s anger is being manipulated by a couple of libertarian radicals who want to eviscerate the federal government because it gets in the way of their huge business interests (they are massive polluters) is pretty eye-opening.

  6. kathy d. says:

    It’s very disappointing and bizarre that the media barely covered the Oct. 2 rally in D.C. of 250,000 people who want jobs, equality and an end to the bigotry going on. It was a good thing.
    But the media would rather show the Tea Party out yelling nonsense and worse, than a sane, rational rally of people from many communities, in harmony, for good and necessary things, like jobs.

    It’s like in New York, when the media showed some people everyday on tv who oppose the building of a Muslim center. But the group of family members and survivors of 9/11 who wanted harmony and religious tolerance and friendship were shown on tv for one day.

    I am concerned about this government-appointed Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which is aiming to undermine Social Security and Medicare. Co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Knowles want to cut Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age to 70, which does amount to a cut. NOW has a statement at their website which explains that Social Security did not increase the deficit. And, everyone pays into that fund.

    And, all of the above points are great.

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