Predictable Patterns

Photo by Burak K on

I’ve really tried to make it a habit of watching less TV news these days as ever before. Having worked in media in my 20’s in the 1990’s probably makes me more jaded than most of you – but yesterday I noticed instances where the news goes on in predictable patterns, maybe meant as a psychological ploy to keep you watching.

Yesterday as I type this was the first attempt by SpaceX to launch two Americans into orbit from American soil – which only failed due to bad weather at Cape Canaveral. As soon as the astronauts got suited up and headed to the pad, it got all kinds of media attention. This is one of those cases where if something is done in space for the first time – or the first time in a long time, it gets plenty of media attention. Once we get to the fifth, tenth, or twentieth such mission – the media gets bored, and only a tragedy such as what happened to Challenger or Columbia brings media attention back unless some new wrinkle is thrown in.

I also couldn’t help but notice that the amount of time SpaceX had to launch the vehicle (it had to be launched the very second the “window” opened) wasn’t mentioned at all – so the weather at launch time has to be perfect, and the ship must be ready to fly at that one given moment. There will likely be several other launch attempts, so I guess the MSM wants to build up drama not mentioning that the actual launch has slimmer odds of happening on each effort than in other manned endeavours in American history.

Then, there’s the sad case of what’s happening in Minneapolis right now and the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of four of Minneapolis’s finest, all of whom having since been fired. It’s downright tragic these events have happened over the past 30 years in my adult life – but we never get around to asking a simple question: why does it keep happening? Why do these events always escalate in a similar pattern?

I’m sure a major network could have ran footage from the racial unrest from St. Louis of a few years ago (or any other recent incident, for that matter) and presented it, saying this was from Minneapolis last night – and gotten away with doing so. The incidents all look the same, and the people all eventually take to the streets, using the same phrases – such as “no justice, no peace” and so on.

Much like the shootings that have gripped our country – there is a pattern there. But if you note the pattern, you are labeled something with an I-S-T on the end. All I ask is: why is that so, and why do we not question such predictability?

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