If you’re not a Jew or from New York, then I need to explain “meshuggana.” It means crazy and refers to someone who is off the wall, unhinged, not playing with a full deck, having a screw loose, not having all their marbles, being short of a full load, or–sincere apologies to Mel Blanc–Looney Tunes. The word is often accompanied by a circular finger gesture beside the temple. Think of certain family members or, unfortunately, redheads. I say unfortunately, because I love red hair.
According to my mother, meshuggana also refers to the kind of people I am interested in romantically, but that’s best left for another post.
It should not come as a surprise when I say that the midterm elections have turned meshuggana. I am happy to see them end this Tuesday. Actually, I take that back. Not my happiness but the likelihood that they will end on Tuesday. Many Armani and Prada-clad experts on network and cable news tell us that the elections will be so close the results may not come for days, even weeks. That gives them more time to scream at each other, lob insults like mud pies, and make such outrageous claims that they look like jackasses.
If you’ve never seen a jackass foaming at the mouth in moral outrage, flip through some channels. Better yet, go on YouTube or Twitter. Just make sure you’ve got hours to spend. It’s a Minotaur’s labyrinth in there. I wouldn’t be surprised if some ambitious underlying at Netflix hasn’t already mined both for the next “original series.”
I suppose it’s cliche by now to complain about news not being news but editorial. I blame socialists and journalism schools. Socialists, because in their drive to undermine the patriarchal order, they ended up rejecting what used to pass for logic, reason, and facts. Journalism schools, because telling the story replaced reporting. Instead of opening with who, what, where, and when, the focus became what the subject was wearing, the weather, or the mood of the interviewer. I’m not interested in any of that.
If, as Victor Davis Hanson has said, we are living in the Age of the Kardashians, then journalism has entered the Era of Cosmopolitan (e.g., Justin Bieber just got a tattoo). To paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel, where have you gone, Walter Cronkite?
This is not to say that real journalism doesn’t exist. Obviously, it does but it is a dangerous profession. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 324 journalists have been murdered in the past decade, Jamal Khashoggi being just the latest and, perhaps, most famous. Last year, investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia, who worked on the global Panama Papers scandal, was killed by a car bomb in Malta.
I don’t expect Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow to put their lives at risk. I just wish they could be more objective, less ideological, and shut up every now and then. But maybe that’s too much to ask. I guess I should be grateful. At least they do not stoop to the level of late night television, which is what you’d get if you put television cameras into a junior high school boys’ locker room, minus the wit.
The problem is that the vitriol and ideological sludge seep into the consciousness of the public, which is whipped into a frenzy. Of course, it isn’t just media people with perfect teeth doing the whipping. There are plenty of irresponsible dolts in Congress and former government officials doing it, too. You know who they are. If you have any doubt, just go back to Twitter, which seems to be a wasteland of junk thinking. It’s as if they couldn’t care less, and maybe they don’t.
As Nancy Pelosi warned, if there are some people who end up being “collateral damage…well, so be it.” That’s the price we must pay for her Utopian society. In the meantime, from Kavanaugh to caravans and Korea to Corey (Sen. Spartacus), we have been carpet bombed with propaganda.
Tell me that’s not meshuggana.
Haven’t had enough? Go to Robert Brancatelli. Feature image by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash; midterms photo by Mirah Curzer on Unsplash; “Error 155” photo by Randy Colas on Unsplash. The Brancatelli Blog is a member of The Free Media Alliance. My prediction: Republicans hold both chambers, gain in Senate.