Monday, January 29, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #140 (January 29th, 2007)

Dave Sim's Collected Letters Volume 2 will be released in late spring/early summer 2007. Until Dave (who currently has the flu) is feeling better – and to whet your appetite for the book! -- The Blog & Mail will run two-page excerpts from the manuscript each day.

Today: Pages 59 & 60:

Ray Earles

16 June 04

Dear Ray:

Thanks for your letter of April 22 through June 7, inclusive. As you write in your opening sentence, "There is just too much news happening out there, all over the place, like some kind of incredible exploding elephant leaving a mess all over the living room." You are a most precocious individual. At your age of twenty-six, my only real interest in the world was where within it I was going to find my next bag of marijuana and how I was going to pay for it and then where I was going to find my next bed partner. It wasn't until my early forties when I was getting within shouting distance of being stone cold sober that I finally awoke to just what an intricate puzzle the world was in the current events category — and not until 9/11 that I started getting even a laughably cursory overview of the interlocking pieces. There is definitely a selection process that is on-going. As an example, yesterday I had my latest five questions from the Yahoo group to answer (a full day's work, done properly) and had therefore hoped that the mailbox would be as bare as Mother Hubbard's cupboard when I got there. Instead there were about seven letters including multi-page offerings from yourself, Sonny Strait and the first installment of D.B. Little's promised treatise on "people who mean well" in their worship of God. I returned to the studio and put my newspaper in the recycle box, virtually unread. And without regret, I might add, even given that we're in the middle of an election campaign up here. A very interesting assortment of input and ideas-on-view that I figured would be more interesting than the paper, and which proved to be the case.

REPLY: your April 23 segment

"Every moment away from reading the news, though, means more of the world slipped through my fingers and lost forever. You see, the news has a way of changing after it's first been reported."

As I say, you are precocious. This is something that I never noticed until late in the day. The first major instance that I saw of it was one of the major anniversaries of the Kennedy assassination when PBS chose to rebroadcast CBS's file tapes of the entire day's news coverage starting at 1:30 ET when the network had first broken in with the news bulletin umpty-ump years before. What was interesting (among other things) was that about two hours in they had the first reports of Oswald being sought, but simultaneous with that they had another all-points bulletin for another fellow, whose whereabouts were of equal importance for a period of about forty minutes until word came in that J.D. Tippit had been shot. At which point, the other fellow vanished into the mists of hypothetical history and it was all Oswald from then on. Now, I used to have a major Kennedy assassination jones and used to own at least a half dozen books on the subject. I had never heard this fellow's name before and have never heard it since.

"The further you get from the moment of impact, the more that is lost and replaced and lost and replaced again, until, are you even reading about the same thing — whatever happened all that time ago? No one seems to notice this; remember; or care much either, for that matter. For my part, it makes my hair turn white."

Well, yes, certainly as, to a lesser degree, it does mine. There is a lot of vested interest at stake, particularly with television factored into the equation. Norman Mailer used to say, "Don't try to understand me too quickly." And, it seems to me, that that's a good working definition of television news: Because of the nature of the medium, it is compelled to understand things too quickly. In a way, Survivor is television seeing itself in Caliban's mirror. TV news is produced by "voting all other ideas off the island" on the assumption that that leaves you with the truth. Which is pretty funny. This whole outfit balanced on a single individual who sincerely wants millions of people to watch them do their job as bingo caller is charged with determining the nature of reality. Which is then conveyed to the unwashed masses in predigested two- and three-minute chunks. As an example, your letter is the first I'd heard of the Diebold electronic voting machine scandals — that Republicans have statistically swept traditionally set-in-stone-Democrat districts which have recently switched to Diebold electronic voting machines. It's certainly something to conjure with. The hanging chads of recent memory alone confirmed for me that we might be on to something here in Canada with our slips of paper, three-sided-cardboard-box on a card table "voting booths" and paper ballot on which we place an x with a futuristic device known as a pencil. Say what you will about the pencil, it is very difficult for the CIA to rig. My own view is that this is pretty typical of the Democrats, devoting a lot of time to finding a conspiracy theory to explain why they're losing elections instead of looking at the more obvious reasons: like the complete takeover of liberalism, leftist and centre-left politics by feminists who just keep moving further and further left.

As Ronald Reagan once said, "I didn't leave the Democratic party — the Democratic party left me." The Democrats have chosen to become the pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage party, as have the Liberals in Canada. The pro-choice euphemism has been stripped away by ideological zealotry. The Democrats aren't, in practical terms, pro-choice, they're pro-abortion. Those are extremist views. They are only mainstream views to people who have voted all other viewpoints off the island and therefore only talk to each other. The island is getting smaller by the day.

But, let me try to pull back to an overview situation: I quite agree that staying current with the news, being well-informed is an impossible task. The news is like our ever-expanding universe and like the sun, with interior elements breaking forth into the exterior and then subsiding into the interior to be replaced by other elements, all shifting...

If you wish to contact Dave Sim, you can mail a letter (he does NOT receive emails) to:

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