210. Lost

The only news story on any network is the missing Malaysian plane with 239 human beings on board and the mysteries involved thereto. Could it be terrorism or mechanical failure or a kidnapping by…well, who knows? Or could it be the beginning of a new reality t.v. show? Where are the creators of Lost and Survivor? J.J. Abrams and Mark Burnett.  Where are they and have they been interrogated, or, God forbid, kidnapped and forced to write scripts that real life perpetrators are orchestrating in real time? And what about Gilligan’s Island? Instead of a boat, we now have a plane. Still there’s a captain and a first mate. Likely there was at least one millionaire and his wife on board. A professor? Sure. A movie star?  My burritospecial sources are checking. And Mary Ann. Not there yet. Anderson Cooper has his staff researching this as well as Asian equivalents of Mary Ann and Maryanne and Marianne. I do hope that these folks come home, though it seems quite unlikely after a week has passed. This is not about the victims, may they rest in peace. Rather, I’m struck by the media frenzy and what has become the endless perseverating on hot topics in the 24 hour news era.

I don’t remember when it all started, the endless looping of video with dramatic voice overs. I’m thinking the Challenger disaster was an early example in 1986. Everyone over age 20 has the 9/11 imagery burned into their brains now. We were remotely traumatized.  Since then there was the tsunami, the Haitian earthquake, Katrina, Stormageddon, the Arab spring, the Boston bombers, and on and on and on it drones. Newsworthy? Sure, but worthy of being forever tattooed on millions of brains against our wills? No.

In the 19th century Karl Marx claimed that religion was the opiate of the masses. Karl, news flash:  It’s the news junkies who are the opiates of the masses nowadays. Each talking head seems to be strung out on speculation heroin that just isn’t strong enough to get that old 9/11 or Iraq War buzz. So they jack up both dosage and frequency, further and further dramatizing fairly simple news stories….

“Anderson, I’m talking with the bus driver who might remember picking up the bombers about six or seven years ago in Watertown on their way to middle school. Walter Hunsecker of Waltham is the driver’s name. Here’s what he said yesterday.”

[“Yeah, I’m sure it was them. They had the same backpacks on. I’m sure of it.”]

“But Anderson, later when the police interviewed Mr. Hunsecker, he identified an age reduced photo of Amelia Earhart as the older brother and in another photo gallery picked out Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in his high school yearbook picture as the younger brother, leading some to speculate that it was a cleverly perpetrated ruse by Islamic separatists in Chechneya trying to throw the Boston police off the scent. Mr. Hunsecker also claimed to be the Boston Strangler before he was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital for a mental exam.”

“Uh, uh, thank you, Trudy Warped, for that incredibly disturbing and possibly crucial puzzle piece in this ginormous mystery unfolding between commercials. We’ve got it covered, across the country and around the globe here at CNN. Um, where’s that James Earl Jones voice over? I miss that.

Off camera(“THIS IS CNN” in God’s voice.)

Thanks, guys. I love that bass. It’s right up there with Barry White. Uh, so, when we come back after a break, I will be interviewing Bill Murray, who as you might recall was one of the original Ghostbusters, about his insights into that green blob on Malaysian radar screens. Some say it’s a cloud, but we’ll drill down on this conundrum with one of last century’s iconic comic geniuses who has not molested any children yet, after this.”

{COMMERCIALS…5 minutes of COMMERCIALS because we have to pay for the endless stream of nauseating guests in panels of four and five, their make up and hair, their expenses, and their books, which all seem to be hawking, and the on site reporting from Micronesia to the Antarctic.}

“So, Bill, um, it seems eerily similar to the original Ghostbusters plot that some green protoplasm just suddenly shows up on Malaysian radar screens and then a fully loaded Boeing 777 goes missing without a trace.”

“Anderson, it’s sad. But if you recall in Caddyshack–‘

“I’m sorry, Bill, we have breaking news coming in from Kuala Lumpur… it’s Wolf Blitzer. Wolf, what’s it like on the ground there? I hear all sorts of popping and crackling. What’s going on? Is this some sort of Malaysian Islamic uprising?”

“Anderson, no, we are all safe. A big shout out to Bill Murray. Bill, as you know, I’m a big fan of your work, especially What About Bob? I thought you nailed that character.”

“Thanks, Wolf. I have always appreciated your keen assessment of both foreign crises and domestic talent.”

“Anderson, this entire scenario of multiple scenarios is reminiscent of Bill’s Groundhog Day.”

“Yeah, Wolf, I’m seeing the parallels all over the place. Do you think I can get any royalties, cuz this is life imitating art, so to speak. If you recall, I was a disheartened t.v. weatherman stuck in an endless time loop where every day was a repeat of itself… until I learned my exit strategy and swallowed the wisdom pill as my last resort, as Phil Connors, that is.”

“Yes, Bill, brilliant analysis as usual. And, Bill, if I might add– though I’m one of the few news junkies who is not a former attorney, I think you have a good case for royalties here. Also, I think it’s uncanny how we have repeated the same news loop for seven freakin’ days now. Remember in the movie Speed, where the authorities looped the bus video to fool the hijacker?”

“Yes, that was Sandra Bullock’s breakout movie, where she was forced to drive the bus? Wolf, are you suggesting another tie in here?  Or should I say Thai inn? Like Bangkok, yuk, yuk.”

“Bill, you’ve still got it.”

“Well, fellas, it’s time for another break before we break for more breaking news. Right back atcha! I’ll be talking with Jimmy Fallon about his thoughts on Bill Murray’s theories about Flight 370.”