Higgins: 2014: The news year that wasn’tWritten by Tim Higgins | | firstname.lastname@example.org
As I look back on the year that was in 2014, I find unsurprisingly that little of it remains in my memory. A form of ADHD that gifts me with the attention span of a five year old allows me to become little different than my fellow audience; though perhaps I’ve retained enough awareness to compete with the low information voter and maybe even a mainstream media news department.
Listen, I’m not asking anyone to go back say two years (when as the president reminded us that elections apparently still had consequences); but merely the last 12 months to look at some of the disastrous events that no longer seem to be of the same importance on anybody’s radar screen, if they have a radar screen at all.
Immigration was a big deal at one point, as thousands of children (without the benefit of adult supervision) were apparently able to make their way thousands of miles from Central America, up through Mexico, and across the southern border of the U.S with far too apparent ease. There, instead of dispersing, they instead turned themselves into the first customs and immigration agent they came across for relocation to a school district near you. They were the single largest scourge in the nation it seemed, until amazingly, they became a lesser nuisance than a much of a smaller number of youths of less questionable citizenship attempting to congregate at the Franklin Park Mall on weekends.
Remember when the President and the State Department started off by announcing that Al Qaeda had been defeated, so it was OK for us to formally declare ourselves winners in a war in which the other side never surrendered and pull out troops. Then ISIL surfaced as a force while we were doing so and we explained them away as a Junior Varsity force before blowing up a bunch of our own vehicles that were too expensive to bring home. ISIL changed their name to ISIS and their troop strength reached over 100,000, so we began changing our defense to offense by flying drones and air strikes into the countries that we’d just left (and without their permission) because while we were still leaving, the bad guys had to be dealt with. Now our strategy of “no boots on ground” continues by deploying additional units apparently not wearing them to the area we pulled out of months ago. The longer the story lasts however, the less it seems to exist in the news.
Toledo was especially troubled, though not for long, by a crisis about a sewer system and Water Treatment Plant that’s been in trouble (at least with the EPA) for over 15 years. The whole thing got a lot of attention however when the Mayor banned drinking and bathing for a couple of days, but the story stunk almost worse than the water. Agree or disagree with how bad the water actually got. Agree or disagree with the Mayor’s bended knee attempts to get funding from the state or feds. What no one disagrees with however are the sound of crickets that we’ve heard on the subject since 2014 ended.
But that appears to be the kind of constant crisis reporting that we’re force fed by the mainstream media today on a 24 hour hour basis. At one point in 2014 it was the IRS and this bureaucracy’s unwarranted and illegal attacks on citizens. Not long before it was the cover up over the Benghazi embassy killings by the State Department and the CIA. And I can’t be the only one who remembers (though it seems all too vaguely at times) that we were all going to be killed by the pandemic of the Ebola virus, which though it had been around in West Africa for decades, was for some reason only now going to kill us all after a Presidential speech and a couple of ‘Doctors Without Borders’ returning.
Truth be told it seems we’re left with is little more than disconnected bits of a series of “Chicken Little”, “The Sky is Falling” full-blown panic. No longer merely ‘Senior Moments’ or Attention Deficit Disorder, this may no be society’s only way of dealing with the media’s revenue sensitive, under-staffed, and largely dysfunctional plan for access to news as a series of Irwin Allen disaster movies. Maybe the only way to deal with it in the future is to “Embrace the Horror” given us, or find a way to ignore it completely.
Tim Higgins can be reached at email@example.com.