Notes on the Nightly Blues

“Nobody loves me but my mother
And she could be jivin’ too
Yes, nobody, nobody loves me but my mother
And she could be jivin’ too
Now you know why I act so funny with you, baby
When you do the things you do”

B. B. King understood that love could be conditional, and something you can’t always be sure of; a good lesson for all who are forced to sell themselves in the market place of contrived importance. And now, concerning the sad plight and downward flight of the NBC news anchor. It is the strange act of the news industry reporting on, but not really telling on itself. The truth is that the line between news-reporting and news-entertainment was crossed long before Mr. William’s tenure; and to be fair to him, he is (literally) the product, not the cause of the problem. The “news-reporting” industry creates its own false set of narratives like: “broken Washington”, “both the Republicans and the POTUS have a health care plan to critique”, and not calling the planed Netanyahu visit for what it really is; and then they repeatedly cover these stories to reinforce their own interpretations. I imagine that Boko Haram must be wondering: “What level of atrocities do we need to commit, to get serious international press attention”. It is as an insincere effort on the part of corporate journalism, as is their claim to: “journalistic objectivity”. The hypocrisy is the pretending that all of the nightly news programs are not all made up for entertainment purposes. (In my best Claude Rains voice) “I am shocked, just shocked that inauthentic news reporting is going on at NBC!” This world is a circus that is only waiting for the next trick; or the next accidental fall. They both draw an equal amount of applause. And then there are people like Marshawn Lynch and Kanye West who have figured that out; for they both are wise to the absurdity of this society, and play the game to their advantage. The “celebrity” who engages in quiet acts of kind and compassionate service, won’t come near the number of social media “hits” and news coverage they could acquire by doing something stupid, or acting “off the script”. The entertainment business has efficiently trained us the consumers to generously feed at the trough of the meaningless, irrational and silly story; but also important is the story of the famous brought down to share in the miserable existence of ordinary life. Ok, everyone (with an ordinary life) can feel better now. But unlike Mr. Williams the ordinary unemployed don’t have a huge fortune to carry them through a job lost. And there are a lot of people in this nation who are painfully struggling to live each year off of the $20,000 fine Mr. Lynch so casually “grabbed” from his NFL bosses. Act contrary, do the wrong thing, tell a half, or full lie; or don’t speak at all; it can all be made to work in America. Just as long as celebrities know that they are useful only as long as they are marketable; and then you are dumped for the next sellable product. The “counter-culture” is the center, and not counter to this financial culture. This market-driven society ultimately reduces anything worthwhile to “entertainment”; that is its strength, and that is also its sadness. If the culture-controllers were really serious about getting information to us, they would make Jon Stewart the NBC nightly news anchor; maybe then we could get some real news!