Weird Dreams and Propaganda August 23, 2006
I had this weird dream after I fell asleep watching the replay of the Phillies game last night. It was around 12 midnight when I finally zonked out. If you've never watched a Phillies game, you still might have heard of Harry Kalas. He's the Phillies' TV and radio voice. Well, he's getting old, and his vision is fading, as well as his memory. Sometimes he'll botch calls like if a ball is caught at the wall or if it goes out and the guy there tries to catch it but it's obviously way out of reach of him, he'll report the opposite of what happened. This dream was along those lines. Basically, it was a ground ball up the third base line with nobody on base, and Harry Kalas reported it as a two run homer. I was like "WTF?".
I turned on CNN after waking up this morning, and caught a majority of "In The footsteps of Bin Laden", which is an interesting, two-sided show. It ended with me feeling rather informed about where bin Laden might be, why he "hates America", why al Qaeda was formed, and all this other stuff that will cause the FBI and CIA to beeline to this website and flag it as "terroristic". Anyway, it was over, and Anderson Cooper is on the screen, informing me of the next time the show will be on. Of course, the bad part of it was, he was basically calling bin Laden a slew of names that I wouldn't say around my neices or nephews. So, I realized I didn't like news shows telling me what to think of these people. If they realized that intelligent people watch their shows, then they should assume that most people can come to their own conclusions, and they just need all the facts in order to do this, and that's why we watch the news. Telling us that Osama bin Laden is evil is not a fact, that's an opinion. It might be a widespread opinion, but it's an opinion, and one that most people would find to be "right", which doesn't necessarily make it fact.
I bought "Munich" with my limited funds, and I've watched it three times. It's a good flick. Anyway, there's this part where the dude who plays the Incredible Hulk is in Germany trying to find answers, and he comes across this German frauline, and she's a Philosopher. She comments from a work entitled "The Philosophy of Right" I think, by some philosoph. I immediately became intrigued. I haven't researched it, but I'm sure it's a real work. Now I have to read it. Because what's right to someone is completely wrong to someone else, and therefore couldn't possibly be recorded in history books as "fact". Of course, we record it as fact, and therefore it's propaganda.
Yes, the show "In the Footsteps of Bin Laden" is also propaganda. But there are a lot of facts in it, but we see just the facts about al Qaeda attacking US interests, and the US retaliating and weakening al Qaeda interests like their safe harbor in Afghanistan, the Taliban. Facts that try to sculpt a conclusion, in this case that al Qaeda is doing what they do just because they felt like it... with no motivation. The show brushes aside the fact that the US has held military posts in Saudi Arabia, Islam's holy land, for many years. This would be like going and taking a dump on an altar in a church. Because of oil, of course. They may be right. All they want is for the US to leave their land, which may be impossible without an alternative source of fuel. It just so happens that the biggest source of oil also happens to be a desert filled with people of another religion, and that religion's holy land. They'd drill for oil under Rome or Jerusalem if they knew there was a well there.
Oh well. Time for coffee. I'm not on bin Laden's side here, just saying that propaganda sucks, we are smart people, most of the time, and we don't need opinions of news reporters to shape our own opinions. It's weird how the two topics of this post intermingle. I like to watch a sporting event where the announcer is rooting for the same team I am, but I can't watch a news show where they are rooting for or against anyone. I don't know... does that seem weird?