The Idiot Effect

Or would you prefer, "The Old Man and the Sea"?

Or would you prefer, “The Old Man and the Sea”?

Last night, in a rash moment, my wife and I used pay-per-view last night to watch a film called “The Lazarus Effect.” The “effect” seems to be that when you use an experimental medical procedure to bring someone recently deceased back from death, what arrives is not the same person but an altered, super-powered mutation FROM HELL!!!! The movie wasn’t terrible as mad experiments gone horribly wrong films go,  but what was immediately impressive about it was its length: the thing was running credits before an hour and fifteen minutes was up.

That’s a movie? In the Sixties and Seventies there were weekly TV dramas longer than that even if you didn’t count the commercials.

Recent studies have documented the diminishing attention span of the average American, with the young leading the way. The reasons for this are a matter of debate, but there is no doubt that the news media, entertainment industry and the arts are both accommodating this disability and contributing to it. The consequences are dire. Continue reading

Ethics Quote of the Week

“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

—-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in her speech before the 2010 Legislative Conference for National Association of Counties, dicussing the need to pass health care reform.

Many, including me, assumed that reports and YouTube clips of this comment were just typical examples of the increasingly common deceitful tactic of taking one sound bite out of context to make the speaker sound irresponsible or, in some cases, unhinged. But read the speech: Pelosi really is asking her audience to trust her, the House, Senate Democrats and President Obama to pass a sweeping, life-altering, expensive and vaguely defined law, that the legislators haven’t read and the public cannot begin to comprehend. Continue reading