Television Patriotism in Natick: the propaganda machine at work

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A few days ago flags put around the tiny Moran plaza at the MBTA stop for Memorial day weekend were found smoldering in a trash can.

At least three television news trucks and crews spent several hours parked on the street Friday afternoon and evening, filming the scene of the misdemeanor. Much outrage was voiced into the television microphones.

Where are the television crews to cover the lack of affordable housing? The homeless and hungry in Boston and everywhere? The lack of living wages? Heck, the library being closed so much. The things that actually affect people.

(The official military view – well, the military in my family – is that that's kind of messed up, and it makes protesters against the war look bad – so people are conflating that, but what are the odds the person who did this is really political, let alone any part of the organized, visible peace movement? The one that meets in public on the Common every Saturday at noon since before the awful, immoral, evil war was started.)

There's no some people, who really shouldn't be letting the actions of one hater affect their feelings.

Today, Memorial day, the morning news on Channel 7 NBC reported that the Home Depot came through with replacement flags (as a point of fact, Moran park had the same number of flags by my estimation as it did Friday afternoon) and that a woman in Texas read the news online and donated money.

The same station, I believe, went on to report on Regis & Kelly (with Howie Mandel instead of Regis) about what swimsuits to wear, and then on the next program what to wear on the weekend.

No television crews or news trucks for the veterans' parade.

Now, who really dishonored Memorial day? At least the flag-burner got people thinking about it.

The propaganda machine at work: focus people on an emotional matter of no real consequence that they can't do anything about; cover every feeling people have and largely symbolic action anyone takes; and ignore the crying need for substantive change now to save our communities from economic and agricultural collapse...