Bright Ideas For 2018: Give Lenny's Hallelujah A Rest
Everyone has their goals for 2018. A cursory twirl around the internet will reveal any number of scribblers who’ve ventured a list calling for world peace and freedom to the oppressed masses.
My list is somewhat less ambitious. Here are simple requests that would make (my) world a better place in the next 12 months.
- A moratorium on playing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelejuh. From the Giller Awards to figure skating’s Night Of Stars to kd lang’s encore, the song has become the elevator music of the virtue seeking, the Ode To Joy for joyless progressives. For those of you with auditory issues (lucky you) Hallelujah is Cohen’s wry, slightly mocking ode to secular humanism.
Which means that people who’ve foresworn religion can get all Dilly Dilly and sway to the music like it was Mahalia Jackson and they were in the Ebenzer Baptist Church. To see a audience of earnest liberals in full Hallelujah mode must make Mavis Staples split a gut.
Cohen’s Halleluljah is the left’s equivalent of a $750 distressed shirt, $995 torn jeans or pre-washed anything. It implies a coming-through, a struggle, a catharsis on behalf of the listener. If, in reality, the listener had actually struggled with anything more than security tab on their designer wardrobe as they shopped Worth Avenue.
These public penitents would have you believe they’re soulful and resolved. When, in fact, they wet themselves when they read the Trump tweet about how big his nuclear button is. It’s a faux anthem for faux toughies in faux Green cars subsidized with tens of thousands of dollars of public money. Stop.
2) Could someone please send out a search party for what’s left of @CNN’s dignity? For a long time they were the antidote to FOX News’s partisan blather and MSNBC’s conspiracy Advent calendar. You could trust them to be sober and restrained. Okay, Wolf Blitzer has always been a little goofy. But still.
Then, sometime around the ascension to the Mount by Barack Obama in 2008, sober was out and partisan was in at @CNN. A balanced panel was four liberals and a guy who once said Reagan was okay. Sometime after their newsroom moved from Atlanta to New York City, it was as if their booker only had the phone number for The New Yorker, The Atlantic or Mother Jones.
Strident as that became, CNN was still tolerable. Until it decided its stars needed to humanize. Faster than you could say Anderson Cooper’s mother, we were subjected to a network as frat house. Before Kathy Griffin was let go for her carving skills, she was Cooper’s fag hag, ragging him mercilessly for his alleged gayness. To which Cooper, the network’s No. 1 serious guy, giggled like a 12-year-old.
Then we had Don Lemon getting bubbled on air with co-host Brooke Baldwin, dispensing dating advice and dragging his new boy toy on air this New Year’s Eve. We also had reporter Randi Kaye on a Weed Bus in Denver, trying out bongs and generally getting wasted on second-hand clichés. (http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/randi-kaye-shows-off-a-gas-mask-bong-during-cnn-new-years-eve-broadcast/353606) Other nighttime stars and reporters also comported themselves in manner more suggesting Animal House than The Most Trusted Name In TV.
3) Can we admit that the idea of a dating site advertised itself as the home of “highly educated singles” is a really creepy idea. Elite Dating has been running TV ads showing the bubble people in their milieu while offering to hook up the one percenters with other one percenters. As in one percent awareness.
These are the same SJWs who link arms with Bernie Sanders to decry the Stratification of Society, the gaming of the system by people who went to the right schools and hire each other (we see you Robert Mueller). You can hear the class desperation in the emails between defrocked FBI guy Robert Strzock and his DOJ mistress Lisa Page as they plot to stop Donald Trump and his icky entourage.
It’s almost as if the Elite mates want to prove daft Donald right about the swamp. Stop.
4) Can we stop using the following expressions: a) Follow your passion. Better to follow your abilities. Success in them will bring you passion. If you want raw passion, the divorce and bankruptcy courts are full of misspells passion.
B) As good a player as he was, he was a better man. That may be, but we don’t pay someone $10 M to be a good person. We pay to see someone throw a ball 70 yards or dance Swan Lake. Harsh but true.
C) To make a long story short. Wait, I use that one. Never mind.
5) Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris staged a famous experiment in which they asked subjects to count the number of times players wearing white passed a basketball. The correct answer— 15— most of them got. Remarkably, none of the people studying the video noticed a gorilla that walked through the screen partway through the experiment. So riveted were the subjects on passes that they missed the obvious. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo)
This is an example of cognitive blindspots. Seeing but not seeing. Our subconscious over-ruling our animal sense. In an age when so many people are trying to influence your thoughts— me included— we have lost the ability to see what should be obvious. The gorilla in the room, not the number of times a ball is passed around.
In 2018 I hope that we keep our eyes less on what we wish to see and more on what is really visible. See the beauty of the word, not just the strife. Keep minds open to new thoughts, ideas that jolt our value system, challenges that occur when least expected. Never stop.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy.is the host of the podcast The Full Count with Bruce Dowbiggin on anticanetwork.com. He’s also a regular contributor three-times-a-week to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. His website is Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com)