2008


By: Bob Parks

Every year, people come out with their “New Year’s Resolutions”; their wish lists of things they hope to either accomplish or see accomplished during the coming year.

As we all know, many of these wishes, or “pledges”, are broken within days, so I don’t hold much optimism that these will hold, but there’s nothing wrong with hoping…

The End Of Campaign 2008

Because of the “early” start, many of us are already sick of this campaign season. There are political ads flooding our markets with presidential candidates making promises they know they can’t keep, as they don’t know what the political make up of the Congress will be.

Yet, they’re all over our television sets making promises (and threats), and in the coming months, we’ll “meet” their wives, husbands, and homely kids. They’ll tell us how great we are as Americans, and how much better everything will be if we just trust them with our vote.

Let’s not forget, as we go down this road every four years.

Presidents, outside of during a time of war, have very little to do with our day-to-day lives. The president doesn’t hire all of us. The president doesn’t feed us or pay our rents or mortgages. The president doesn’t heat our homes.

Usually, it’s the Congress that forces us to do things we don’t want to do, and thanks us by taking money directly from our paychecks before we even see them.

But here’s something to watch for.

In the coming months, your local congressional candidates will attempt to show us all their softer sides. However, have you noticed how down right arrogant and mean they can get when while on committees to testifying citizens? These candidates are acting for us now. Too bad they think so little of us they have to “act” in order to get elected.

Hire More Male News Directors

While there’s nothing wrong with having what could be a glut of females at the helm of many news broadcasts, there are many “takes” on news items that are getting real old, especially when “the children” are constantly interjected into the stories.

When a bridge collapses, how will it affect the children? When an assassination occurs overseas, how will it affect the children? When a new bill is introduced on Capitol Hill, how will it affect the children? When Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House, she surrounded herself with children, and it became apparent that all legislation would have them in mind.

Now while there’s nothing wrong with children (that is, until you have some of your own), some of us are getting tired of hearing about the effect some news item will have on “the children”. Some of us just want to get the news. Whether or not it will affect the children or not will be up to people who have them.

Maybe if we place less public emphasis on them, they won’t act as if it’s all about them. If a news director or anchor is pregnant, that doesn’t mean we’ll all see a story through the prism of “How will it affect my child.”

Just a suggestion.

Less Public Advertisements of ED

Ever notice how you can find more commercials, during primetime, about male member enhancement? Besides the fact that Elvis is probably rolling over in his grave due to the misuse of the song “Viva Las Vegas, I’m growing tired of all the ads during sporting events and early evening viewing for things that make you get bigger.

Seeing imagery of horny old people is kind of gross.

Setting The Record Straight

I’m hoping someone puts the Recording Industry of America back in its place. Their “place” being an industry that values their customers instead of looking at us a people who are damn lucky to be able to buy their overpriced products in the first place.

We now know that the RIAA considers it illegal for us to convert a song on a CD we bought into an mp3 to play on our computers or cars. Seeing how almost every computer you buy nowadays comes with some kind of software that enables one to do so, why is this illegal?

Because the music business not only demands we buy these CDs, but also buy the same song from that CD as a download.

As I’ve written many times before, the reason for the slumping sales in the music industry is not due to excessive downloading from peer-to-peer sites. It’s because few consumers want to pay full price for a CD that has one good song on it.

Like the television and film industries, the talent is thin at best. How many times do you need to watch a program or DVD with the closed captioning on because the “actors” have never been taught the fundamental of enunciation? How many times do we have to listen to CD’s with “singers” who haven’t mastered the art of vibrato? As long as the “artist” is “pretty”, that’s all that seems to matter.

However, people who BUY the products would like more than looks. It, again, comes down to CONTENT. If the product is lame, so will be the sales. If the RIAA expects us all to buy lame music just because we have no choice, maybe we should show them we do.

2008 would be a great year for a music boycott. We may be one or two high profile lawsuits of ordinary consumers away from a boycott.

We can only hope….

Ditching Pop Culture Role Models

It seems with every Tinseltown or sports icon train-wreck, the question is always asked about what kind of message is being sent to “the children.”

Well, whose fault is it that these people have that kind of power in the first place?

Professional actors (and actresses) and athletes have no business being “role models” for the children. These people live in a fantasy world, are surrounded by leeches that look the other way when their meal tickets do wrong, and we’re always asked how we explain this to our kids.

Part of the entertainment biz is being noticed. Thereby, good (and bad) behavior is the means to the end. Celebrities busted for DUI receive the publicity they crave. They pay the fines, do the time (albeit sometimes reluctantly), and get a reality show.

That’s entertainment.

The Settling Of War Issues

A few things I’d like to see resolved, but this is a wish list.

Some fair and balanced coverage would be nice. When American servicemembers were killed, the media couldn’t wait to announce it, both locally and nationally. But since the success that is The Surge, we see little to no news coming from Iraq. We all know the media has chosen sides and its agenda has gotten the better of their journalistic ethics, but again, this is a wish list.

How about some good news?

Is it “torture” or interrogation tactics?

The enemy really knows how to mess people up, yet we (for some strange reason) never hear about their torture rooms where the terrorist’s victims can be in agony for days. Our human rights activists are up in arms because we “torture” a prisoner (to get hard information about pending terror attacks) for a couple of minutes.

Must be some damn good torturing going on.

It would be nice to have some perspective.

My list will increase as the year drags on. As I said earlier, maybe, hopefully, once this election thing is over with, we may get back to some normalcy.

That’s another wish.



Bob Parks is a member/writer for the National Advisory Council of Project 21, Senior Writer for the New Media Journal, VP of Marketing and Media Relations/Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, VP of the Massachusetts Republican Assembly, and commentator for the Intel Radio Network.

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