The regression of tactful degenerative actions over the last sixty years occupying the gray region separating disturbing behavior and petty crimes, the light year contrast between scathing public politicized banners celebrating the First Amendment and Anthony Weiner selfies condemning basic decency, boils down to the elimination of the attention span. Browsing over the micro-headlines tantamount to the grandeur and superficial inclinations of the information age lacking and sort of reference to the humorous frenetic Aquanet craze of 1980’s club and office culture leads to one invariable and foretelling conclusion to the current crux afflicting these trying times, multi-tasking is the new answer to cubicles, and the process of reading an entire article is passe.
The only thing that matters is the sparkling inferno billboard wording of a headline, and the audience is transfixed, while the content purveyor receives an intoxicating dosage of validation. Whether it’s posts, tweets, or good old fashioned comments, less is more, which equates to more of less. And critical thinking is floundering in the suffocating vacuum bereft of decadence.
“Voting Machines Decide Election”, “Surging Coronavirus Cases Flood Morgues”, “Remote Obscure Cay Hosts Primal Ted Talks”, and “A86 Iceberg on Collision Path with South Georgia”, the headlines are culprits for unending rhetoric. The enticing vernacular of glittering groupings of words are as addictive as self-gratifying instant video journals polluting the entire realm of the digital sphere with half-truths smacking of idealism. As “borrowing” wi-fi access is absent from the intrigue and danger involving a 6-pack and a pair of binoculars in the quest for accessing lowball entertainment in previous decades, the redundancy of vapid headlines are simple a cheap and lazy excuse for the existence of a targeted and sophisticated propaganda campaign, aimed at unthinking reactionaries.
The gem of the previously mentioned “A86 Iceberg on Collision Path with South Georgia” title produced by the news behemoth BBC, encapsulates all that is currently out of sorts at each end of the news cycle beginning with a nefarious, but legal intent, yet ending with a climactic celebration of a three-term politician blatantly exposing himself to criminality. Yes, according to the religion of the geological eras doom is upon the wondrous Mother Gaea planet sanctuary dispensing reason. The Martians are invading the planet and only an early afternoon tea sipping courtesy with Che Guevara in the quad volleyball can render a variation of hope and saving humanity in the sordid process. Something, something about being the masters of the obvious. The plausible headline is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg to a multifaceted scheme that includes politics, heavy funding, and the goal of ultimate control.
Without reading the entire body of the related story profiling a noteworthy chunk of ice, the powers that be hope that individuals affixed to their smartphones will not do, the verbiage of the headline insinuates that the rogue iceberg is on the pathway to destruction of a sub-Antarctic island, because of climate change, or “climate crises” as universally coined by progressive democrats. Very few readers will connect the dots to South Georgia, as lonely spine of rocks in the Southern ocean made famous by the heroic explorer Ernest Shackleton in evacuating his entire crew from a failed Antarctic expedition, as their main vessel was trapped by a literal wall of ice. The area surrounding the island is a known avenue for icebergs which periodically break off from the Antarctic ice sheet and float as derelicts at the whim of ocean currents.
The massive iceberg named A86, by itself is notable and newsworthy as the daunting frozen concentrate finger appearing in satellite photos and nearly the size of South Georgia. The possibility of the shear mass beached in the shallow waters near the island’s shore has harsh short-term detrimental ramifications for the specific populations of seals and seabirds inhabiting the island. However, the implied speculation by the BBC as to a plausible consequence of humankind’s activities resulting in the floating disaster, is entirely speculation and exists as a powerful tool of persuasive rhetoric and intellectual doublethink dubiously worthy of a floundering score on the Weiner-scale of quasi-journalism. “Iceberg alley” is named for good reason, as much as an expose on the gravitation of taxi cabs in Manhattan to the endangered species list as a result of more affordable and efficient ride sharing companies, is simply indicative of a natural cause and effect, and a matter of if and not when, which absolutely has no justification of being part of the legitimate news feed. But again, this thought does not apply to the contemporary marketplace, due to the critical state of alarmingly short attention spans, and the shift in culture towards the superficial and quantity emphasized over quality.
The guerilla warfare method to hammering tidbits of information into the subconscious of the public, including serially recycled chinks of data that would have no worth in the most decrepit slums, and repackaging the detritus as news, is the driving force behind aggregates rather than newsrooms. With the continued deployment of the severely pruned and circuitous and repetitive news cycle, depth is obviously not the priority and the interface with memes and icons makes whatever illusion the facilitator is attempting to conjure up possible, even if the image represents a maladjusted teenager melting down in front of an self-described esteemed UN audience. But notable icebergs, as refugees from the global freezing scientific craze of the 1970’s, will always find a role in at least supporting actors forging a playwright deflecting the pertinent and pressing issues of society, in exchange for the opportunity to canvas for the special interest lobby.
Breaking news has never reached a status of being so blatant and yet so obtuse to a point of supreme inanity breeding complacency. One is not even required to achieve accolades or earn accomplishments to question where credibility and truth exists if not for the scare tactics of a massive iceberg filling a pathetic void where it should.
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