Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Hypertension news

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 3.39.33 AM


When a guy I know through Facebook posted the story above, from 1989, I commented, “At this point, I have to let the 30-year-old crimes go. There are so many new ones every day that it’s hard to keep up.”

“It’s about the Jussie Smollett story,” he said.

Oh, sure, I thought:  What’s the Jussie Smollett story?

I looked it up, still didn’t grasp the full impact of what he was trying to get at, and moved on.

That’s what happens when you more or less take the weekend off from the internet.

Sure, I dipped in here and there (I felt compelled to note, for myself at least, that celebrating Presidents Day didn’t mean I celebrated all Presidents… and far from it), but for the most part, the long weekend was spent catching up on comic books, writing, going to the gym, running my playwriting workshop, exterminating super mutants in “Fallout 4” and reading the newspaper — in print. And here’s what happens when you set social media aside even just for three days and then come back: Suddenly, you recognize very little.

Most of what’s trending on Twitter will never wind up in the newspaper, and that’s fine. But the real insight is this:  What’s trending is fleeting, but because most of the trend is tied to outrage, and there’s always something new trending, the outrage is constant. Marshall McLuhan’s statement that the medium is the message was never so true.

Some of the people I follow on Twitter are professionally outraged. I don’t mind the act when it’s Lewis Black doing it for laughs; I feel differently when it’s some professional CNN guest pumping people up to sell his latest book. The one guy did a livestream of his appearance on CNN, so all you’re seeing is his side — and what I saw was a trained monkey grinning at the host and punching up his own one-liners. Yes, he purports to be some sort of journalist, and yes, he’s got a new book, but that book is just a collection of his outraged posts and opinions. That’s not a journalist — that’s a late-night comic who isn’t funny.

Catching up, it seems that Jussie Smollett is now accused of having fabricated his story of being assaulted in a hate crime, and then the fake journalists over on Fox were having a laugh about that, but then Smollett strongly denied having fabricated the story. And Smollett appears to be an actor on some show I’ve never seen and had never heard of.

This seems as good a time as any to post a cartoon I also found on Facebook. It applies to more than just television screens.



3 Responses to “Hypertension news”

  1. Dan Says:

    It bothers me more than a little that everyone on every news show, chat show, puppet show and animated cartoon these days is selling something.

    As for the cartoon, back when I was taking elderly & disabled people to medical appointments, the ones who watched Faux News seemed to go around in perpetual fear of Ebola, Race Riots, Manchurian Candidates and the Liberal Media.

  2. Lee Wochner Says:

    Turns out they were right to be worried about one of those things. (The third one.)

  3. Jim Markley Says:

    Gee, what was Jussie selling? Racial hatred, filing false police reports, squandering public resources, self-promotion, and victimization, to name a few. That’s what many your liberal friends are buying and asking for more. As far as the alarmist view of Fox News, maybe the reason they are the #1 news source in the ratings is precisely that they DON’T walk in lockstep with ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and so on. In case you missed it, The majority of the media self-identifies as liberal, near 90% are registered Democrats. So the charge of liberal media is valid, and is dismissed only by those standing cheering as the naked Emperor rides by. And that’s today’s response from your only conservative reader!

Leave a Reply