Now that we’ve integrated the threat of terrorism into the experience of commercial flying (I think some people like taking off their shoes…), it’s interesting to note that the flight attendants’ speech concerning seat belts and oxygen masks gets more attention than it used to. It’s as though more passengers are saying, “Yes, I am now interested in a seat cushion that becomes a floatation device.”
So the flight crew now gets your attention. However, our day-to-day focus on other things happening in our world might be a different story. Below are three incidents of people trying to get your attention – each with varying degrees of success. Perhaps a comparison of those approaches will tell us something about the difficulty of getting anyone to listen to anything now. That is, if you’re still reading this article…
The Naked Truth
Last week, a federal judge ruled that if the female peace action group Breasts Not Bombs were to protest at the state Capitol, law enforcement could bust them (sorry…) because their technique of taking off their t-shirts to draw attention to their messages of the “vulnerability of humanity and the earth” might prompt traffic accidents and incite sex offenders to criminal acts. No, really, those were the judge’s grounds.
At other times at the Capital protestors for PETA and gay rights have tried to use nudity to get attention, and quickly got dressed when police showed up. But Judge Garland E. Burell ruled “there is no 1st Amendment right to bare breasts on the grounds of the state Capitol.” Gosh, I wish we had a right to a news reporting media that wasn’t so potato-headed that it’s predictably on-scene when women are naked. Some might still remember how much exposure (okay, almost over…) stripper Mary Carey got when she ran for governor. She had one message: Mary Carey. California media was more than happy to convey it.
Hey Arnold, Over Here!
For two days in a row last week, South Gate High School students boycotted classes to protest a lack of teachers, books, and classes. It appears their efforts were successful, as district officials and a school board member responded with a plan to satisfy their concerns.
But how does it get to this, where the kids themselves have to act up to get what they need for an education? At South Gate, some classes had more students than seats and substitute teachers were working without books and other materials. The kids had to protest! Meanwhile, our special election to defeat hair-brained propositions cost county governments $55 million and various groups $150 million to support or oppose the issues; money that was not spent on schools or books.
Death From the Skies
The Avian Flu is coming, run for your lives! Is there, in fact, a threat to us from Avian Flu? There’s certainly no threat of not hearing about it. Exactly what is causing that? Do we want ‘off’ the disastrous and sickening war in Iraq? Actually, the media may save some lives here. For example, the financial life of Donald Rumsfeld. From 1997 to 2001 he was chairman of the company holding the patent for Tamiflu. Rumsfeld owns at least $5 million of their stock, which has jumped from $35 in April to $47. I just thought I’d bring that to your attention.
This Week’s “Know Your News” Quiz
1) Rioting in France was incited by
(a) unrest in poor immigrant neighborhoods.
(b) a new baguette tax.
(c) confusion of “Evian” with “Avian.”
2) Sen. Barbara Boxer just released
(a) her rock CD, “Boxer’s Rebellion.”
(b) her first novel.
(c) Rush Limbaugh from her basement.
3) Toyota Motor Corp. posted record sales as
(a) GM and Ford offered “free candy.”
(b) Cadillacs are free with every Big Mac.
(c) Humvees are used for hurricane shelters.
(d) U.S. automakers lose market share.
1) (a) “We’re sick of cheese…”
2) (b) “It’s called Bill of Love.”
3) (d) “The new Pontiac Ballast…”