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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Our short attention spans

The extent to which the media determines what we think about is pretty amazing, when you think about it. We're constantly assaulted by headlines screaming about whatever the latest cause for outrage is, and while we're reading about that, we tend to forget about whatever was deemed important the previous year. Or month.

Marshall McLuhan famous phrase, "The medium is the message," is far truer now than it was in 1964 when he coined it.

Up until the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke this past October, the big cause was tearing down Confederate statues, and maybe even expunging those slaveholders George Washington and Thomas Jefferson from the honor roll of our nation's history.

But when was the last time you thought about Confederate statues? October? Didn't the media portray that as a matter of utmost urgency back then? How did they slip so suddenly, and completely, from the radar? Are our attentions spans really that short?


When was the last time you thought about the unresolved questions about Stephen Paddock and the Las Vegas massacre? Or the London Bridge and Manchester terrorist attacks in Britain? When was the last time you thought about Hurricanes Harvey (which hit Houston) or Maria (Puerto Rico)?

Obviously, some events have more political ramifications, others fewer. And, of course, it's the job of news organizations to report current events, not past ones. Nonetheless, there are issues they prefer to bury, and issues they don't.

If they don't want us to think about something in the first place, they simply drop the subject after barely covering it, if they cover it at all. And it goes right down the memory hole. This is why stonewalling is such a successful tactic. This is what happened to Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, and Benghazi. The Obama administration simply refused to come clean, or release documents, and eventually, with no outrage from the media, we just forgot about them.

As the Russia investigation seems to be gradually morphing from a potential Republican scandal into a Democratic one, the same will undoubtedly happen here. The media will distract us from the matter of Christopher Steele and Fusion with more timely scandals, manufactured or not. And Fusion will slip down the memory hole too.

We all have a certain amount of ADD built into our brains, and the media knows how to take advantage of that to keep us focused on whatever they want us focused on.


Anonymous said...

The media and governments manipulate us big time. The Las Vegas massacre, what is the actual story there? ISS claimed responsibility for it. It would be nice to have the truth about a lot of worldwide events, but don't expect the truth to be broadcast anytime soon. With what information/facts that we do have, it's up to citizens to figure out the truth themselves.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
I have to admit, my attention span is as short as anyone's. I haven't thought about most of those issues in a while, was just reminded of it because I happened to see a mention of Confederate statues somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Any insights into the Parkland Shooting? So far little has been revealed, and the suspect confessed. Which is strange considering most recent shootings, the shooter usually takes his own life.

Shootings by aspies, depressives, muslim terrorists, or disgruntled people usually end with suicide I notice, while political fanatics, gang or crime related shootings, or schizophrenics, they tend to turn themselves in or let themselves be taken in.

I wonder in cases like Las Vegas or the recent one where there are few answers...if the Cabal (cue evil music) doesn't have some role....

Just kidding, but some of these shootings have a lot of information out there, some though seem to have a lot omitted or not mentioned.


Anonymous said...

Apparently the shooter is being touted as a Trump supporting muslim hating white supremacist fanatic based on his internet history.

I know what my uncle would say "It's the Cabal! A false flag!".

Seems very convenient doesn't it? Everything working in favor of THEM, the perfect white straight male terrorist they want....hmmmm.


John Craig said...

Ga --
Honestly, no. I was wondering about that myself.

I was surprised to read that he had actually escaped at first, gone to a McDonald's and a Subway. He had thrown down his weapons so as to be able to blend in with the rest of the escaping students.

I did read about how he was a gun nut, how he had been associated with a white nationalist group, and how his mother had just died of the flu in November. I also heard he'd been feuding with his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. But none of that spells out any syndrome.

John Craig said...

Ga --
(In response to your second comment) -- I doubt that he was a "plant" in any way. He struck me as just a maladjusted kid with a huge amount of resentment. And the one thing that kept him from being perfect for "them" is that his last name is Hispanic, Cruz. I was wondering about his ethnic background. He's got green eyes; is he Cuban? Or half-Cuban? There are a lot of extremely conservative (anti-Castro) Cubans in Florida.

Anonymous said...

If he doesn't have a syndrome, (not saying he doesn't, but if he does not) nor is a fanatic
( come to thin of it, fanaticism is in a way a syndrome you can gain ), I wonder why?

It could be argued if you don't have something, you become something to do something (does that sentence make sense?). Is it possible for a normal person to just do these things if they were pent up inside (but getting pent up is becoming something kinda).

Do you have a take or plan on writing about it?

This seems so frequent now it may not be possible to write or keep track of them all, or maybe it will be impossible. And these are the one's reported.

I do wonder why the media chooses to report say, one case but ignore another if two incidents are equally complicated. Is it random or is there bias? Is the bias part of an agenda?

Well I'm confused now, if I ask my dad, he will shrug, my mom doesn't follow anything, I won't bother asking my uncle again as I know what he will say.

But you did mention how he did escape, I forgot that, he would end his life if he was a plant, you're right.

It is a rare one in a long streak of mass shootings a guy escapes. That is something that makes this case unique enough to report on, but I doubt that's the reason.


John Craig said...

Ga --
Honestly, I haven't figured Cruz out yet. I've now heard that the "white supremacist" connection was a hoax engineered by some people from 4chan. And I've also heard autism and depression mentioned. But I don't know enough to have an opinion yet. If I feel I have any special insights, I'll write about it, but I just don't. And usually, early on there are conflicting reports. He'll be in the news a few more days, the picture should become clearer.

I agree, any sort of escape from a mass shooting like this is rare.

Anonymous said...

God 4chan....they can be so annoying.
If it's autism, based on what I read it looks like full blown more severe autism if that's the case.

He was adopted, so his original ethnicity may or may not be hispanic.
Not much else, but the choice to escape is weird.

So yeah it's not all clear now the story and all.


John Craig said...

Ga --
Actually the more I read, the more I lean towards autism, or maybe Aspergers, being part of the equation.

Shaun F said...

John - Concerning the shooting in Florida, one question that I wonder about - was he on pharmaceutical drugs - or coming off them? These drugs can take over your brain function and impair it in a fairly significant way.

John Craig said...

Shaun --
I don't know. I'm actually just writing a post related to Cruz right now, though I'm not focusing the pharmaceutical angle.