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Media-Induced Malaise

Lileks has more thoughts on the subject:

It is amusing, really - after sticking people's heads in the muck every day for years, promoting every faddish scare, fluffing the pillow beneath every yuppie worry, swapping the straight-forward adult approach to news with presenters who emote the copy with the sad face of a day-care worker telling the children that Barney is dead - in short, after decades of presenting the world through the peculiar prism that finds in every day more evidence of our rot and our failures, they wonder why people are depressed. Hang the banner, guys: Mission Accomplished.

Of course, not everyone feels this way; I'd guess that people who watch television news are more inclined to pessimism. But there's another side to this: the pessimism among some may not stem from some impotent feeling that one is a cork toss'd in a sea of cruel destiny, that you can't do anything, that nothing will get better - no, the pessimism may arise from the suspicion that there's something abroad in the land that's had a good hardy larf about "Horatio Alger" and all the other manifestations of individual initiative for 30 years. The cool kids and the clever set have always smirked at that sort of stuff. You can get them going if you make a speech about our ability to solve things, but you'd better phrase it in the form of a government initiative, or brows furrow: well, then, how do you propose to do it?


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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on June 23, 2008 6:04 AM.

Cognitive Dissonance was the previous entry in this blog.

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