The Council has Spoken 11/05/2010


No more broken hearts
We’re better off apart let’s give it a try
Tell me, tell me, tell me lies

Little Lies – Fleetwood Mac

In her winning post the this week, NPR’s carefully crafted tales — and why I don’t listen anymore, Bookworm Room writes about about the the little lies that moved her to decide that she was “better off apart” from NPR.

The problem is that, once you realize that a narrator is comfortable abandoning the truth, you start to wonder, “Where does that end? I know NPR is lying when it tries to make a moral relativism argument re Israel or, worse, when it presents the Israeli military as an out-of-control killing machine, so I have to wonder if it’s lying about other things too.”

After 9/11, I got some further reality checks regarding the NPR world view. I didn’t like the way NPR kept trying to exculpate Islam from the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. That made no sense to me. I also didn’t like NPR’s relentless negative war coverage. I actually agreed with Bush: when a nation supports mass murderers, you bring war to that nation. I also had a hard time understanding how, despite the fact that Bush spent a year begging the UN for help, eventually ending up with a coalition, NPR could keep selling little story packages that presented Bush as an out-of-control, go-it-alone cowboy. The spin was inconsistent with the facts on the ground.

On the non-council side, I had to cast the deciding vote between two fine entries. In the end I cast my vote for In Praise of Irrational Exuberance at Big Questions Online. Like the council winner, this essay also deals with a measure of dishonesty, or perhaps I should call it delusion. In this case the dishonesty is good thing for society.

All this delusion can, of course, become destructive. But there’s more to it than mere foolishness. The illusions that spur entrepreneurial ventures and consumer daydreams point to the nonmaterial side of markets. Markets not only expand health and comfort, providing a sustaining material existence. They also spur ambition and imagination, the quest for achievement and the pursuit of meaning. They give us an opportunity to exercise our creativity, to enjoy the satisfactions of absorbing, productive work, and to fashion and express our identities.

Council Winners

Non Council Winners

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