Thursday, July 16, 2009

OM-freakin'-G Michael Jackson was the best

A forest burns at a million degrees and despite the best efforts of firefighters they can't fight it back. The smoke is thick enough to make the forest dissapear behind the firefighters desperate and pathetic attempt to smother the flames with the thousands of gallons of water.

...and no one tells us about it.

The newspaper industry is in a perpetual downward spiral and I blame it on big business.

When papers first started, the eccentric billionaires that started them didn't care if they made money. It was about keeping people in check, pushing your own beliefs, and at least the good ones, print with intregrity. Newspapers used to have the power to bring down politcal machines or build heroes like Limberg.

If not for wire services like the associated press, we would have no news. The sad thing is, its easy to ignore the "Taliban captures British soldiers" headlines because featured on the home page of CNN is yet another Michael Jackson article, or the reprint of an unsolved mystery from 50 years ago, or tracking Michelle Obama's slave roots.

Where were the papers to call the Bush administration out on all of the ignorance and corruption or in that fact, besides Fox News attempts, no one has tried to dig up dirt on Obama. Every news station has the exact same headlines because they all pull from the same wires.

Then there are people like Sallie that believe journalism still has a place. They crave to change the world, but like everything else that is messed up in the world, some rich guy at some point bought up a ton of newspapers, formed a company, and now runs it like a business rather than an artform. An overpaid board of rich powerful people see numbers and charts and decide that yes, the paper can do without reporters and editors.

Its the same for every business actually. Let's not kid ourselves, the economy isn't getting any better. These big companies aren't making as much as they were before 2001, and they continue to cut support staff perpetuating the cycle.

If it were a real company that wasn't ran by greed, there would be stockpiles of money to survive an economy like this. Instead, that board of rich guys gave themselves millions of dollars in bonuses for the past decade instead of saving that money and keeping their staff during these hard economic times. Its becoming impossible to have any sort of company loyalty.

After the forest fire, after the destruction, loss of hope, in the burning embers is a sprout. The ashes fertilize the ground and the trees grow back stronger, more resistant to nature's disasters.

Why won't the companies just let things burn and keep people on? That company will be much stronger once this economy does actually turn around because it will have a population willing to go to war for it.