Watching the Wheels, er, War
Thursday, Mar. 27, 2003

If you're like me...well, if you're like me, then you've got problems, but I digress.

If you're like me, you can't get enough information about the progress of the War In Iraq or, as I like to think of it, Gulf War 2: Precision Bombaloo.

Yes, yes, you've heard too many jokes like that and perhaps even made a few yourself. Just let me live, hm? Why can't you just let me live?!?!?.

By the way, why does The Media (I capitalized it 'cause I think I'm supposed to) always refer to something as "II" instead of "2"? I mean, is that some kind of journalistic rule? It's not significant enough unless Roman numerals are used? Not enough gravitas the other way?

Anyway, I'm forever changing channels in search of war news, and when I'm not, I'm here on the computer, clicking frantically from news site to blog in attempt to find out something new, something that will sate my apparently insatiable thirst for the knowledge that will allow me to step away, just for a little while, from said quest. Which knowledge, duh, never shows up.

I watched Survivor and The West Wing last night and two hours of series television felt like a freaking vacation. I seriously felt guilty - a little guilty - during that whole time.

But not that guilty, because it's really okay to do other stuff sometimes. In fact, I think it's a goddamn good idea to give myself a break once in a while. One of the beauties of the internet is that I can always go back and catch up on what I missed, which you couldn't even really do just with 24 hour cable news.

Speaking of which, it's amazing to me how things have changed since '91, when CNN basically made its rep in the first Gulf War. Back then, for you youngsters out there, CNN was the only cable news outfit in town, and it was like a gold mine for info junkies - the only place you could go to at 3 am to find out what was going on, and this gave it a huge advantage over the networks when it came time to televise the war.

Now, I find that I can barely stand TV news on the war, generally, for more than a half hour or so, mostly because all of the channels are trying so damn hard to keep my attention. They all have an angle, and they push that angle until they can manufacture a new one. First it was "Shockinaw! - this war'll be over in a week," which quickly segued into "Quagmire, quagmire, quagmiiiiiiiirrrrrrre" when, surprise, it turned out that there was some resistance by those elements loyal to Saddam. Which, by the way, I'm pretty sure was part of the discussions that were had when the battle plan was being put together, even if Tommy Franks didn't call you about it directly, Katie Couric/Dan Rather/Peter Jennings/anyone you'd care to name at the BBC.

So I'm cutting back on the TV news, for the most part, because I'm not really down with the bi-polar thing.


I mentioned The West Wing up there.

I used to really love this show. I mean, really love it. The first 2 seasons (excuse me, Seasons I and II) featured some of the best episodes of dramatic television I've ever seen, and I watch too much TV, so I oughta know. Last year was hit or miss, but still worth watching, for me anyway. This year hasn't really been worse, but the show seems to have been, shall we say, overtaken by events and I found my mind wandering during much of last night's episode, watching a guy who takes himself way, way too seriously play at dealing with issues that are actually being dealt with now. The show was worse than boring or poorly done to me; it was irrelevant.


Good news in the job hunt, which I'll probably post about tomorrow. If you behave and eat all of your vegetables.

Posted by mikeski at 2:14 p.m.