Monday, June 9, 2014

Code RED and ISIS in America

Recently I read a post that one of many BuzzFeed and Yahoo Trends clones assembles daily, tracking the lives of celebrities as if that's all you should care about. The title was 10 Things You Didn't Know About Wolverine. There were hundreds of comments. Another post was a rant about overrated actresses. It might seem odd to include Meryl Streep in that list, but the author did. The reason that this is not strange, anymore, is because controversy sells…even if those creating it are bogus. The writer posted his list for a reason: outrage sells, as the lyrics of rappers testify. While bogus "news" is viral in our culture, even the networks chase after it in a sad attempt to stay "relevant." I've tried to satirize this trend in what I call Not Entertainment News, but the biggest players in the game (of diverting the public from what matters) are so big that they can even satirize themselves and get away with it, as when Yahoo recently did a column on "post titles designed to make you click on them" (a pseudo science THEY made viral.) Ironically as well, a famous rapper recently did a commercial in which he implies that his raw language is an act, which he wished he wasn't forced to sing (to maintain his image.) Behind the scenes, many of these various trend setters and ball players are, for the most part, now in the pockets of soft drink, fast food, and shoe manufacturing companies. They are bought and sold by the bonus-heavy CEOs of corporations, some of whom got bailed out of their mistakes by the taxpayer, and/or allow public funds to help clean up their messes (and to pay the resulting medical bills.) They are in league with the pharmaceutical giants whose ads follow Coke, Pepsi, and McDonalds ads like balls into gloves. It's all a card game now, and it's one that is rigged against you discovering the truth. Try listening to BRANDWASHED or THE FILTER BUBBLE or ANTIFRAGILE. It may explain why books like CODE RED don't do as well as celebrity Selfie books or sports biographies, even though the subtitle is "How to Protect Your Savings from the Coming Crisis." Authors John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper relate, through narrator Jack Marshall, how monetary policy has become more frightening than any Marvel Comics villain for direct impact on your future. They tell you what you can do to survive---not Doctor Doom or Omega Red or Galactus---but the Fed Chairman, Medicare prescription costs, and the CEO of Goldman Sachs. (Fake news has fantasy teeth, but it's REALITY that bites.) ISIS in America? Try DAY OF WRATH by William Forstchen, read by Bronson Pinchot.

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