B. Thomas Marking
NEWS OF THE WORLD
I've been a tad busy these past months with selling my old home, disposing of all my excess "stuff", and moving to what I hope will be my home for the next several years. But i did make time to watch the fine new Tom Hanks film, "News of the World". Then, with serendipity, I embarked on some long overdue travel abroad.
I had the pleasure of staying at the regal Manila Hotel in The Philippines for a few days and was treated to a selection of television channels offered to their international clientele. I watched broadcasts from places like Germany, Italy, France, Singapore, Australia, and China, not to mention the BBC and Al Jazerra.
Just as Tom Hank's character brings news from far away places to small western towns quite isolated from those worlds, and to folks perhaps even unable to read on their own, my eyes were opened to the wilderness of knowledge that has been engineered in America.
Unless an American citizen makes a concerted effort to learn of cultures and events beyond our shores, they are fed a perpetual and incredibly myopic stream of propoganda from the two major parties/factions in our culture. Even those who claim to be journalists are drawn to the latest accusations of ineptitude by our warring parties, rather than providing useful context for the major forces sweeping across our planet.
What are we allowed to know of China, for example? They are the bad guys who make everything, and we are the good guys who buy it. That's about it. Wouldn't It help to understand that China is experiencing just what America did during our industrial revolution. Back then, we were the engine of change in the world. That propelled us into every corner of the Earth and to become a power that could extend and defend our realm. Scrape off the unfortunate oversight by the Communist Party and that is where China is today.
Could the United States of America become the engine of change it once was and counter the rise of China? Technologically, perhaps, but in the more important realm of politics, definately! To re-assert our moral leadership in the community of nations, we will have to scrape off the unfortunate oversight of the Republocrats who thrive by keeping the Citizenry ill-informed, ensuring that the voices of reform are stifled, and perverting the American political system to preserve their power. As I'm fond of saying, "The only cure for a failing democracy is more democracy."
And that's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are getting stronger, all the men are hanging on, and all the children were once above average.