Best of Times? Or Worst of Times?

18 Dec
Derek Jeter's home (photo borrowed from ???

Derek Jeter’s home (photo borrowed from ???

The flying monkeys at entertainment mega-corporation Disney’s various sports entertainment venues were all exercised about reports (not, in particular, attesting to their validity) that senior New York Yankee infielder Derek Jeter asked visitors to his Tampa area mansion to deposit their smart phones in a basket at the entrance. Was this an excuse to act like reporters by citing the exact square footage, the size of the reclusive and retiring career-pinstripped ball player’s 30,875-square-foot, seven-bedroom, nine-bath habitat? Yes, I am still trying grasp the reason that this was a news item. Though it does raise questions of what does a 40 year old unmarried male need with 30, 875 square feet of living space (not to mention that this cottage is located on a small island). Or where the notion of privacy has wandered that one must set explicit bondaries for guests?

Gerbil WHEEL

Gerbil WHEEL

Recently, somewhere in the immeasurable information shit-stream, I came across a, uh, report that confirmed that, yes, “60 Minutes” the aged television news magazine has definitely gone down hill (no mention, meanwhile, of news methuselah Meet The Press with Anchorman 3, David Gregory.

Anyway, the example cited has escaped me—not that reaching such a conclusion really needed examples or evidence. But this this item did move me to wondering why no one had commented on Charlie Rose’s recent appalling book licking segment with Jeff Bezos, the ruler of all of Amazonia and now the owner of the Washington Post. I thought Rose has set new lows in journalism or entertainment when he devoted an entire week of his show to one of those gazillionaire Las Vegas casino owners on the occasion of his newest theme park. A whole week people!

Not to digress excessively, but the singular moment for me (of the very few moments that I could bear to watch) was Richard Branson joining Charlie and what’s-his-name to fawn over American culture’s newest marvel. So,as I was saying Bezos is making good use of the pleasant chat he is having (borrowing the example of the Dalai Llama’s inclination to laugh at just about everything) and his coup de media is to introduce Amazon’s plan to have offer same day delivery via, small drones.

Charlie was awed, “Wow!”And his awe no doubt distracted him from inquiring how this would affect Amazon’s warehouse workers. In case you have missed this bit of real news, there is a steady stream of reports alleging difficult working conditions and harsh managerial practices at Amazon. Just like another mega retailer currently anathema to American workers (can you guess who?),that union busts and accepts various state subsidies for their marginally compensated and impoverished workers.

Inquiry along that line would have been worth paying attention to—am I right?

Currently reading The Apartment: A Novel by Greg Baxter (Twelve Books)

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