h&f 0006 Productive Parochialism (rubbish into fuel)

Heard this show on npr station wnyc:  Leonard Lopate    Here, a response to the show and one commenter:

I live in Brooklyn and Chicago and see the misreporting or under-reporting simply as acceptable lapses in professionalism – I mean acceptable by the mass media. The errors described by Mr. Lawrence are more than lapses in consciousness since inferences based on fact are involved. That’s poor reporting.

There would still be plenty to report if they stayed away from inference or opinion based on facts they haven’t investigated.

We’ll always have this, though, and I think it makes for a cool moment of arbitrage. As long as there’s the blind spot based on regional differences translating into blurted-out class differences (“the midwest ain’t cool”), then, there’ll always be some good discussion, if only on what Umberto Eco describes as the “force of falsity” in our news culture.

You can’t expect nyc to be literate on other places any more than you can expect Dallas to be literate on nyc. Urban is not urbane. NYC, though, gets a pass on its parochialism as we dare to speak on the world.

That citybilly myopia is, in itself, entertaining.

I’m from Texas originally and that puts me not only ‘behind’ nyc, but also ‘behind’ Chicago. It stays interesting to hear, “You don’t…like you’re from Texas” from folks who’ve only read headlines. But I know I do “whatever” like I’m from Texas. It’s just that my Texas doesn’t fit in the nation’s cartoon coloring book of Texas all the time. (sometimes it does all too well.)

It’s not to take offense, but rather for us to recognize a little window to learn something about each other. We couldn’t do that if we were one homogeneous, non-parochial mass.


~ by ericjhenderson on May 4, 2007.

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