Reading Fayetteville as a Tapestry | Street Jazz

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Reading Fayetteville as a Tapestry

Posted By on Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 12:49 AM

For much of August Tracy and I were in Oklahoma, in a town where if someone says “I’ll be over to work on the house tomorrow, it can mean up to eight days later, if at all.” During that time our neighbor in Fayetteville kept our mail and newspapers for us.

Since that time, though we have caught up with all of the mail, I have been reading the newspapers in a random, somewhat haphazard fashion, reading a section here, a section there, and not in chronological order.

It gives the recent past a sort of mosaic look, but it gives an interesting, if skewed perspective.

It isn’t as though I don’t already have a frame of reference; I have lived in Fayetteville since October 1, 1974, and so I am not coming to any of this as someone who is approaching a completely clean slate.

But there is a fascination - in my mind, at least - to approaching the news of recent history like this. Sometimes I will know who committed a crime before I read the article of the crime being committed, though I read them all with avid interest.

Letters to the Editor, I am sad to say, do not need a date on. Right-wing Christians bashing atheists, atheists making fun of folks who have any sort of faith, folks mocking the idea of climate change (especially those who use science to back up their claim), those who think that if 60 words are great, 500 are wonderful, those who see gun control conspiracies behind every bramble bush.

The Oklahoma newspapers, I am happy to report, are much the same, only much more conservatively rabid on these subjects. It doesn’t matter what newspaper it is, though; I always dive right in to the letters pages.

I figure I’ll be left with a small pile of papers in about a week (while reading the current ones), and to tell the truth, I’ll be kind of sorry to see the box empty out. They are providing a sort of side-bar to the current stories I am reading now, like you’d read in a history book.

Reading my old newspapers in order? What a lame idea!

******

For crying out loud, why can’t you fact check? Local Northwest Arkansas TV stations promoting myth that there are more women gun owners?

Yet another television news program in Northwest Arkansas has done their part to help local gun businesses, by doing a report that more and more women are buying guns.

Well, not quite so.

Such puff pieces rarely, if ever, quote any real statistics, but the one of the few studies across the country that is cited is a 2011 Gallup Poll, which claimed increased membership of firearms.

The managing editor of the Gallup Poll has said that the increase is slight, and in fact includes many women who already own guns to begin with. This goes along with what is already well-known, that while there may be more gun purchases, fewer people are actually buying them.

Many polls, in fact, indicate that a majority of American women want tighter gun controls in this country.

It is one thing for television news to turn itself into cheering sections for sports teams (where tailgating - like it ain’t never happened before - can be considered more important news than, say, murder) or extensions of public relations for Walmart (one local station read three Wally World press releases in a row one night this week), but guns?

Surely, even in the world of giggling, grinning and guffawing (our three nonessential daily news nutrients) that passes for news presentation on local news in America today, we might expect a little fact checking, before presenting something that somewhere in the back of their minds, even the most shallow news anchor knows doesn’t quite make sense?

Ah well, hope springs eternal . . .

*****

How can you tell when a news anchor is a Republican?

When they use the political slur “Democrat Party,” instead of “Democratic Party.”

****

Quote of the Day

In many souls, a hunger and thirst exists which can only be satisfied by printed words. - Ernest Hello

rsdrake@cox.net

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