< Seraphim >
Sunday - December 29, 2002
I was surprised to see on a major cable news network report that January 6, or the Epiphany, was the day Jesus was baptized. I had always thought it was the day the Magi arrived in Bethlehem and marks the start of Carnival. Being as cynical and skeptical as I am, I researched it and I did find an encyclopedia and a dictionary reference that cited the Epiphany as the celebration of Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist and also Jesus' miracle at Cana (turning water into wine). Hey, it's always a good day when I learn something new. All seven citations did, however, first mention the common belief that it was the arrival of the Wisemen. How could anyone miss that fact in all the citations? Hmm, sounds like they aren't giving us a complete story. Anyone surprised?
I'm not so much concerned that the network got a religious fact wrong or incomplete but that they got it wrong or incomplete at all. What good are half truths? We heed what they tell us without thought. They determine what the story is in the first place and then beat us it to death with it. Why are there even multiple news stations? They all have the same story. Whether it is 24/7 coverage of the snipers full of speculation and fiction or the pending Iraqi war. I am appalled by the shows - Wargames: Iraq, The Lowdown Showdown, Countdown Iraq... This is not responsible reporting.
They are playing right into the hands of those who want war the most. This war mongering is the greatest diversionary tactic ever. Has anyone seen or heard decent coverage on the fact the economy is swirling the bowl as I write this? What is really going on in Afghanistan? What about the citizens of the other nations we are detaining in Guantanamo for a year? Do we forget if the media isn't blitzing us with it? Why aren't the overpaid network talking heads asking these questions? Is the media really so naive or are they actually just the mouthpiece for the government. The war would make for great ratings for them. Is peace really so boring and unprofitable?
When Piro and I want to know what's really going on we watch Canadian news, listen to the BBC on National Public Radio, or read foreign newspapers. An excellent source of links to online newspapers is the Internet Public Library. They have thousands of links to newspapers all over the world. NOT that they don't have their own biases but two sides of a story are always better than one. I don't want to tell you how or what to think - just to think. Whenever you start getting complacent - think about the Epiphany and think again.
I am continually amazed by the diversity of the Megatokyo audience. It spans all ages, races, and nationalities with a breadth and depth of interests and talents that amazes me. I wish my Mother knew you. She is a fantastic lady and a dynamo who has devoted her retirement to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and a local food pantry. But her real talent lies in hooking people up with resources or the people who can help them.
One time I off handedly mentioned to her that Piro had A LOT of clothes he had outgrown and I was trying to clean out the closet. I've frankly never seen so many T-shirts outside of a retail establishment. Mom called around and found a family who had a house fire and lost everything and the husband could use the clothes that he had outgrown. We gave everything to them, from jeans to heavy boots, which got him back to work. It felt good. So, I off handedly mention worthy organizations that someone reading this can participate in or just talk about and get the word out. You never know when a word in the right ear will do make a world of difference. So, talented people, take a look at Bugles Across America, which provides a network of buglers who volunteer to perform at local military funerals. Another organization is Angel Flight, (you know Seraphim has to like this one!) where private pilots provide non-emergency medical transportation to those in need. Piro and I also donate our used eyeglasses to the Lions Recycle for Sight. Lions Club International collects used prescription glasses through Lenscrafters stores and distributes them in developing nations. There are also donation centers in France, Spain, South Africa, and Australia.
Have a safe and happy New Year!