The end of the Mayan Calendar is in just two days. It truly marks the end of a concept of social interaction. When the Mayans were around and wanted to convey their ideas, policies and dictates….they had three veritable ways of do so: (1) Send Smoke Signals. (2) Have a Meeting of the Tribe and (3) Sent runners to various villages to let them know the news. When the King made his statement…it could take months or perhaps years for all of his constituents to “Get the Message”! December 21st, 2012 lands on the Winter Solstice and coincidentally ends the Mayan Calendar of 5127 years on that date. So, what could happen?
Growing up in the United States, Europe, Asia or South America in the 1940’s things had changed a bit. Ham Radio was a method to send you words around the world. No one much was listening, but when you hooked up with someone that spoke english in Burma……you were stoked. You might have even had a “handle” that became popular and you might have even had 15, 20 or upwards of 100 people around the world that you could reach and attempt to communicate with. When you got those verification cards you plastered them above your Ham Set on the wall. Ship to Shore phones were another method if you could pay the big money while taking a high dollars cruise aboard the Matson Lines to Hawaii or aboard the Cunard Lines to Europe and such. Newspapers of course were all the rage and when you went abroad it was a challenge to read the French or German Newspapers. Radio, television brought us the dramatic news of the day. Clete Roberts and of course Edward R. Murrow reported from the various war zones around the world. We even heard the bombs falling!
Not much changed until the 60’s. James Bond shocked us all with his high tech beeper, tracking devices and car phone. Technology was changing, but most people still went to coffee shops, read the morning paper and became addicted to subscriptions to 10 to 20 magazines….especially if you were into cars, girls, guns, science and the Readers Digest. We still had the big three Network News outlets and when JFK was assassinated, people got glued to their televisions, radios, newspapers and U.S. News and World Report or Time magazine.
When Cable television came along, it was a pretty pathetic excuse for first class media. The 70’s and 80’s were really for promoting movies on HBO and Showtime. Provocative girls in leotards doing exercises with Chamber Music was very popular. Cable pushed ittle known news journalists that tried to exert their personalities into reporting the news. Bernard Shaw and Peter Arnett come to mind from CNN. They made history when they reported from Baghdad as our Cruise Missile pounded the area around their hotel. Welcome CNN and the Ted Turner Network during the reign of Bush “the Elder”. The “Desert Storm” war changed everything. The Media Feeding Frenzy was immense. Every major media outlet, stringers and independent reporters rushed to the war in the desert on the borders of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. One of the first reports as our forces massed on the border; a black soldier on a tank was asked what he thought about going to war? His answer was priceless: “Hey, I’m short and I’m out of here pretty soon – so I don’t know!” That was the last live independent report allowed. The following days were covered by “Pool Reporters”….and their reporting was checked prior to be dispensed to the public for the rest of that war.
The 90’s were strange. We had Waco, Whitewater, Elian Gonzales and the more or less under or unreported war in Yugoslavia. Monica Lewinsky and the Impeachment of Bill Clinton filled the second Clinton term. We did have the Assault Rifle Ban in 1994. CNN became mainstream. Some yelling, screaming guy named Bill O’Reilly showed up on a brand new Fox News along with Geraldo Rivera. B-1 Bob Dornan was even allowed to sit in for O’Reilly on occasion. The reality however was that most people weren’t willing to pay the big money for Cable. Many did like the X-rated fair. The pricing was awful, but eventually the things they put on Showtime and HBO were far superior to what you could find on the Big Three Networks. “Inside the NFL” with Len Dawson and Nick Buoniconti was worth the price of HBO, plus all the great movies. Cable had finally become worth the high pricing! We still watched John McLaughlin Group every time we got the chance.
After 9-11, all bets were off. The 24 Hour News Cycle was in full swing. That was in 2001. This is now over 12 years of sociopath media. Each item covered is considered controversial, inflammatory, dramatic, outrageous, stupid, misrepresented and in many cases – outright lies. FOX NEWS sets the standard for the so–called Right Wing Media. MSNBC is now the poster boy for the LEFT. All the Major Network and Affiliate News is slanted, twisted or controlled. Hey, its fine, because we now have “The Web”. Finding the truth is harder than finding “hens teeth”. Every nuance of the news has an agenda. In the morning, we watch Charley Rose on CBS. When he goes off at 9am we switch to KTLA, Channel 5 Los Angeles with a great crew of news, weather and entertainment. At 10am we then switch to “The View” for that hour and the following hour of local and national news that follows from KABC 7, Los Angeles. After that, we have to switch to Wolf Blitzer on CNN and make faces at the television. CNN follows with some real losers and we usually switch around again. Sometimes we are lucky and get WGN in Chicago or BBC America. In the evening, we watch Ed Schulz, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews….what are we goin do? We can’t take Don Lemon or Anderson Cooper…so much!
Today, kids get all this stuff on the Androids, I-Pods and Laptops. Some even understand that their every choice is being tracked by paid advertisers, the government and anyone else that is willing to pay to track your clicks. They don’t even care, because they think they are popular having all this high tech stuff. Paranoid? Hardly. Realistic. There was a movie called the Truman Show about a guy that had every move followed every day. Welcome to the Truman Show folks! Hey, but it all doesn’t matter – we have to create jobs someway. The world has changed and this is what is now called PROGRESS. We do have to protect everyone from weirdos, terrorists and maybe your mean mother-in-law or grandma. Don’t we?
So, where do we go from here? The news as reported may not be exactly, nearly or almost what has truly happened. How do we find out the truth? We blog and argue and try to determine the facts, both as reported and as they truly appear. Sometimes, we get it right. Sometimes, misrepresentation by someone we read is wrongly believed. Sometimes, even someone that you consider to be a reliable source….turns out to be not only wrong – but determinedly so! How many forwarded items have we all read and thought: “That’s just terrible!” or “That’s so mean!” or “That’s so wrong!” Do not feel alone. We have yet to meet someone that is right 100% of the time. We are now mired in words, so-called facts, lies and misrepresentations. We have to filter these things out and we need to filter our responses to others. What we think we know, may simply be determined by a “bad source”. How would we know? We do what Ronald Reagan said: “Believe but verify!” Pull up your favorite 100 web sites…..and get the news!
Our suggestion is to take in as much information as you can. You really need to do that. For example, the price of our car license just went up for 2013! The Cost of our Health Insurance just went up by 100% for 2013! We got a $16 increase in our Social Security payments per month for 2013! It all doesn’t seem to balance out. The cost of phone service for our AT & T landlines go up every year too! The cost of our food goes up 30% in the last two years….and we don’t want to buy everything at Costco or Walmart. These are choices. The cost of brand prescription drugs is going up 15% in 2013! Amazing how they fail to cover these things on CNN or Fox News.
In any event, we don’t know what the Press is anymore. We see talking heads on every Sunday Morning News Show. We hear about taking away guns, taking away a Fiscal Cliff, taking away more Republicans, taking away necessary increases for Medicare, Medicaid and Cost of Living increases for Military Retirees, Seniors and Social Security recipients. So, what is the truth and what is the Press in 2013? Maybe the Mayans were right….just send up smoke signals, send runners and have a community meeting….then we can all – really get the news! Wonder what he would do with Instant Messaging and Texting? Right now he would be doing a Google Search for various villages he needs to visit and watching You Tube Music Videos of great Mayan Tribal Dances!