Monday, June 19, 2017

Can't we wait to pontificate until the blood is squeegeed away?

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all agree that...
     No, scratch that, since we can't all agree on anything. And "nice" is pretty much off the table when it comes to discussing matters of national import. "Vile" is much more apt, and I can't see how the free-fire zone of contempt can be called a "discussion."
     So I'll just toss this concept out there, a single idea hocked from the frontal lobes and spat into the enormous bruise green whirling cyclone that is Media 2017.
     Wouldn't it be, ah, useful, if we could all at least consider that the period — say the first three days — immediately after the mass shootings which increasing mar and define our country is not the ideal time to chew on matters of public policy?
     Because really, what good does it do?
     The drawback of that is once such shootings happen every day — we're almost there now — then it'll never be appropriate to debate each other rationally about our political problems. Which is sort of where we are now anyway, though in the immediate after-echo of a bloodletting we are even less capable of civil discourse than we usually are, which is really saying something. 
     The news hits.  
     There is a moment of stupid shock, gazing dumbly at whatever carnage has just occurred. And then the howl is raised again. Everybody talking, nobody listening.
     Extremists who live to hate a particular group feel extra vindicated that their mean little biases have just been proved once again. On the opposite end of the spectrum, dewy dreamers who hope for impossible standards of warm political brotherhood announce that now is the moment when Americans who...

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  1. if we dismiss reasonable folk encouraging political brother hood as dewy eyed dreamers hoping for impossible standards as easily as extremists who live to hate we likely will never be any more capable of civil discourse than we are now. then you are as guilty as them for not being able to even consider that others have points of view that deserve at least to be considered instead of denigrated and ignored. none of us have managed to develop the perfectly correct point of view on matters of public policy, nor truly on much of anything no matter how certain we are that we have. we must learn to listen more closely to something other than the thoughts in our head or the sound of our own voice whether its the day the carnage occurred or three days of reflective mourning after the event. you too Neil often seem to struggle to hear others and insist that you are correct. this is not the exclusive purview of the right or of the media, mainstream or social

  2. "if we dismiss reasonable folk"

    I saw no dismissal of reasonable folk in the column. Your initial premise for commenting is incorrect, making everything that follows suspect.

    I should note that it is impossible to denigrate and ignore simultaneously, another accusation directed at Mr. Steinberg. When someone is being denigrated, by definition, they are not being ignored.

    I further note that punctuation evolved to wrestle rambling, lazy, disorganized thought into a focused, understandable form. Give it a try.

    "Neil often seem to struggle to hear others and insist that you are correct"

    If there is a writer on the planet who shows more empathy and awareness of all sides of an issue I am unaware of that writer. You simply don't like that Mr. Steinberg gives careful thought to hot button issues and rarely sides with what currently passes for conservative thought.

    I'm reminded of something I read in an Amazon review of a book that demeaned liberals: "Arguing with a right winger is like playing chess with a pigeon; no matter how good you are at chess the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board and strut around like it's victorious."

    1. thank you mr fisher for your attempt to engage in civil discourse. are you an english teacher? i should note i graduated back in 76.

    2. FWIW, I took FME's comments as a generalization, not intended to disparage Neil's column. That said, everyone has an opinion, and I'm pretty certain no-one believes he or she is right about every issue imaginable (our current president excepted, of course).

      As far as someone's non-capitalization, or other picayune grammatical issues on a blog ... meh.


    3. If that's being done by text message, could be easier to not capitalize when dealing with small phone keyboard.

  3. Dennis; if you are going to attempt to correct the punctuation, perhaps you should include the entire sentence (You too) rather than create your own version.

  4. During the 2016 Democratic primary I perceived Bernie Sanders supporters as dewy eyed dreamers with hopes of a better world to be if only there was just a little more socialism in our country. Many are aging hippies dressed in styles fashionable during the turn of the last last century, guys with a little too much hair, ladies in earthen color floor length dresses with flowers adorning their hats. Then there was Gene Lyons writing columns with little or no supporting evidence, week after week, about BernieBros and how vicious and nasty they were in general and there mistreatment of Hillary and her supportrs in particular. I thought Lyons was nuts or worse, a partisan engaged in the worst form of journalistic hackery. So now the truth has been revealed, it pains me to admit I was wrong, Gene Lyons is a true man of genius.

  5. Bernie is providing a valuable service in telling the world what gun toting Bernie Sanders fanatics look like. When next persons charged with protecting our safety see aging hippies dressed in styles fashionable in the last century, etc. they will know to take necessary preventive measures.

    I don't recall Gene Lyons launching vicious attacks on Bernie Sanders people, but he was one of the few journalists willing to defend the Clintons against ad hominem attacks, of which there were many.


    1. Hi Tom,
      I think you may have missed the point of my comment. I was describing my impression of Sander supporters as harmless. During the primary Gene Lyons wrote many vindictive colums like this column, that really ticked me off. At the time I visited the Chez Pazienza website and viewed the video evidence. Contrary to Gene's narrative, there was no footage of disruption in the Clinton rally, her people were always very thorough in vetting attendees. People were leaving the event, the videos showed a medium small group of Sanders supporters staying behind barriers holding acceptable political signs shouting the usual slogans with shouts of "frack you!" Then a cellphone video showed one crying child, pans the Sander supporters then points at the ground at which point the audio comes through real clear and you can hear nasty obscenities. I've heard of air horns, none of which were heard or seen in the videos, only Lyons can tell us how to blow sirens in peoples ears. Gene Lyons came up with some hard evidence for his opinion there, yeah right. Read his columns, clearly Gene Lyons saw the Bernie Bros for what they were, with little evidence to back his opinion. I saw hippies, Lyons saw nasty people, I was wrong he was right, okay?
      I've studied the Whitewater and Refco scandals in detail, and know where the Clintons crossed the line into unethical choices. Gene Lyons also knows the details and wrote columns ignoring or misstating facts, and doing a complete whitewash of Hillary every chance he got.


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