I’m reminded of the old term for newspapers: fishwrappers. The term was used with contempt and implied that wrapping fish was the best use for a newspaper. After all, news has always had a short time span, easily replaced by the next news.
Hardly anyone reads newspapers today and if they do, its an online version. Wrapping fish would be difficult. Still, the term occurred to me when I considered the news over just the past few months.
When I began to write this it had been less then three months since Heather Heyer was killed. Remember her? Hard to remember, maybe?
It’s probably fuzzy because right after we faced the wrath of Harvey, then Irma, Maria and the ongoing drama from the idiotic things the man in the Oval says or tweets. Or has his henchmen say to provide him cover.
Then Harvey Weinstein was exposed and the entire can of sexual harassment worms was finally opened. White supremacists tried to rally. Russia continued laughing at us. Korea held out the threat of a nuclear attack. John Kelly lost his halo (which I never saw, anyway) as he defended Trumps Gold Star lies. Florida children were shot and killed. The Florida legislators ignored the students in the gallery as they refused to take up the idea of gun control.
And the beat went on. And goes on still. Fast and furious.
With so much going on, it’s clearer than ever how short the media’s attention span is. And ours, too.
Today, Heather dies and tomorrow her story is used metaphorically to wrap fish.
Today trump tosses paper towels to Puerto Ricans, tomorrow we’re using the story as kindling for an autumn fire.
Things that infuriate us burn briefly and then, on to the next big headline.
And meanwhile…there’s other stuff we should be paying attention to: bills that have been introduced. Bills that decimate the world as we knew it before a madman moved into the Oval. Because all this stuff is distracting us from how much of what we hold dear is being destroyed.
1. HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency
2. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
3. HR 899 Terminate the Department of Education
4. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
5. HR 370 Repeal Affordable Care Act
6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
7. HR 785 National Right to Work (this one ends unions)
8. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
9. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
10. HR 808 Sanctions against Iran
and I could go on. But see, it’s hard for us to pay attention to these things when so much else is going on.
So, here’s what would be helpful:
By all means deal with the news of the day.
BUT. Let’s not get distracted from the stuff that’s being done to destroy the world as we knew it. Let’s not waste time calling names, posting memes or any of the other easy stuff. Let’s do the hard stuff: contact our representatives and let them know that we are not happy with all of the undoing of years of legislative progress. Not. Happy. Mid-term elections are key.
And media, if you’re reading this? Gone are the days when every word uttered by the man in the Oval had to be covered. In fact, your constant coverage of him and his inane tweets only gives him more life. He THRIVES on the attention. Why not leave him alone more than you do? Why not ignore some of his ridiculous histrionics? Deprive his harmful ideas of oxygen.
And to any of you who still support him: I will never understand why.