Partisan 3 Ring Circus

Posted: July 26, 2011 in News and politics
Tags: , , ,

Bread and Circuses

Today there are two very enlightening offerings in the Kitsap Sun. One is a political cartoon I would name “Bread and Circuses” about a man and his son rejoicing over a deal. The wife (it’s funny how women are seen as divorced from politics) looks in and asks if the Deal was reached by Congress. The response was “No! The NFL…” On page 8-A we are caught by “President decries `partisan 3-ring circus’”. Is the reference to the government including the 3 branches of the government? Nah. That would include “The Supremes”, as Molly Ivans called the members of The Supreme Court. They haven’t been called in to resolve the dispute… yet. But, in the other two rings we are seeing competing entertainment.

If there is a silver lining to this cloud I would say it is maybe drawing people from the “bread and circuses” that tend to distract from the business of governing. If the press does its job the masses will be directed to that all important business which they should be continuously watching, this being a democracy and all. To paraphrase a saying, “a functioning democracy relies on an informed public” is to add more perspective to the picture. I read a piece about the press that advanced the idea that for an item to be newsworthy it must tell a story. To say it must elicit the public to read it is to give credence to the “bleeds to lead” criteria. The cynics, who don’t read the papers because all they want to do is sell papers. They would decry the efforts of the press to make the public want to read the papers as shameful commercialism.

I have often wept (metaphorically) over the declining readership of our papers. I deliver the local paper in an effort that goes way beyond the paltry pay I receive; after taxes and other expenses. I don’t get complacent about the fact that very few people stay at this effort for very long. Keeping up with the “partison 3-ring circus” and to let our attention be diverted from the “bread and circuses” serves us well in our staying prepared to be an informed citizen, so as to vote intelligently. Yes, you have to filter the chaff from the wheat that nourishes our civic soul. A well honed discipline to focus on just what is important makes us good jurors in that quest.

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