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Supermarked media

What are the citizens reading?
Media and information sources are discussed here all the time, I know, and like most of you I have realized long ago that the corporate media is not the place for us to go if we want to learn anything of substance. I did not know just how bad the choices for supermarket reading had become, though, until yesterday.

Because I am working on an art piece that requires some graphic war photos, I thought I would pick up the latest "news" magazine at my local market and see what they had to offer. Surely there would be 'the glory of war' splashed across their pages. The first task was to find any magazines that did not deal with movie stars and their trials and tribulations. Then were were the soap opera digests to hunt through. There were magazines for every hobby imaginable, and some I had never heard of before, craft ideas, dog fancier magazines...on and on. No news magazines. Then, by the checkstands, down at foot level, I discovered the latest issues of "Time" and "Newsweek". Already surprised by the dearth of topical information, I was even more shocked to see on one of them the face of Nicholas Cage and what amounted to an advertisement for the latest 9/11 movie. I picked it up anyway, and found around a very slim magazine, mostly filled with advertisements and nothing about the latest war; what might have caused it, and what solutions might be reached. No discussion. The other magazine had a cover full of stem cells. That is a serious topic, I agree, but I did expect some information regarding the war issues.

Of course, this was just one little market, and I do not know who made the choices regarding the type of magazine offered there. Still, I was shocked and dismayed that a large body of shoppers would be satisfied with those offerings. Perhaps we have reached the point where our citizens really do not want to know what is going on. It might be true that the infotainment push has indeed turned us into a nation of idiots.

As I write this, I know how naive this must sound to most of you, but I am a person in whom "hope springs eternal". I turn to Indy for information and discussion and I understand that millions of us have decided long ago that corporate media has let all of us down. Still, it was a shock to go looking for information in the 'regular' places yesterday.