Catching sight of a TV photo of conservative mischief-maker, Ralph Reed, (former anti-Indian tribes lobbying crony of the notorious Jack Abramoff) in the late news, recently, announcing that he was preparing once again to organize young Christians in a typical chapter of Ralph Reed chicanery, strongly reminded this pundit of the wisdom shared by Confucius, in his Analects, that: “Learning without thought is labor lost; while thought without learning is perilous.” In light of all the sudden public angst about this Nation’s seemingly unsuccessful efforts to establish a well-functioning system of public education, the last thing we need is any kind of input by the likes of the crafty Mr. Reed. Apparently, though, there is more than a little need of constructive concern, on the part of all of us, about how our young people are being educated and this brought to mind Marshall McLuhan, he of “The Medium Is The Message” fame.
In his study of the effect of technology, McLuhan noted that form is much more crucial than content to the learning process; which got this TV news watcher to wondering, how many young people are tuning in to TV newscasts, these days and how those who do, may be responding to the video sales pitches about cars, which seem to be taking up more time on the news-casts, than the news. Alas, too much news content depicts a new and disturbing phenomenon, a rash of road-side memorials, left at the sight of recent vehicular accidents, by families and friends of young victims who failed to survive them. Meanwhile, local marketers of vehicular brands (many of which were involved in the accidents depicted) continue to cram the medium, with ads that literally ignore warnings against speed and reckless maneuvers, that were once imposed procedures on every vehicular demo-ad, shown on TV. On a recent half-hour news-cast, this viewer counted seventeen ads showing new car and truck models, apparently being put through maneuvers seemingly created as special effect displays (obviously computer-enhanced), without a single warning to prospective purchasers, against any attempt to mimic them.
It’s obvious, that in the new modus of allowing pay-offs to outpoint public health and safety, whenever the two contend for legislative attention, we can expect little action from congressional connivers on this pivotal, life-or-death issue. Surely, those who now profit from vehicular violence must have some sense of self-reproach, that’s reachable. What if it were a member of one’s own family, who became a maimed or mangled victim? Roadside memorials are tawdry and useless rejoinders against the senseless and endless killing of America’s youth. Those who abet its continuance are only condoning a terrible traffic in blood-money. We should all cast a truly justifiable ‘Pro Life’ vote against the senseless vehicular annihilation of young Americans.
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