Thursday, January 31, 2008
Which came first?
Not the old chicken or the egg question, but short attention span and the crawl at the bottom of the tv screen. I should begin by saying I don't watch television news. The only times in recent memory I have tuned in to CNN was September 11, 2001; and the day John F. Kennedy, Jr. died in the plane crash. Well, yesterday I wanted to watch John Edwards' speech about withdrawing from the Presidential race so I turned on the television. I was astounded at all the junk on the screen. There was a little square on the right telling me how many hours, minutes, and seconds (counting down) until the Republican debate that evening. Why on earth does anyone need to know that? Isn't knowing the hour it begins enough? And then the crawl was telling me about how many were dead in Kenya, and all about Roger Clemons' drug use, and then to top it off, quoted Hilary Clinton's response to Mr. Edwards' leaving the race. Just above the crawl was a square telling in 3 or 4 words what he had just said. Oh, my God, I couldn't believe it. So, you know what I did? I put my hand up so I could just see John Edwards' face. It was his speech, his words I wanted to hear. Can we not give someone that respect? It made me think of conversations I have observed or even been a part of, when one person isn't really listening to what the other says, but is spending that time planning out what he is going to say, or worse, butting in. I think I would go crazy if I watched CNN all the time. I think it would make me feel unfocused, scattered, filled with more information than is good for my brain, and more importantly, my heart.