I was curious as to how Obama’s visit to New Orleans might be covered in the national media. Would it serve to re-focus attention, however briefly, on our recovery efforts? Perhaps the national economic situation trumps concerns about rebuilding one particular city?
As it turns out, though, there just wasn’t much media coverage at all. (Despite a surprisingly harsh write-up by Eugene Robinson.) The media was distracted because a kid hid in an attic for a few hours while a balloon floated around.
The whole thing is now revealed to be a hoax, but of course that doesn’t stop the coverage; it merely multiplies it. Now the hoax is the story. The real joke is on us, of course — all of us. We seem to have lost our grip. It’s almost like we, as a society, are helplessly riding on a runaway balloon, and all anyone with half a brain can do is relax and try to enjoy the scenery as it rushes past below us.
So in honor of Balloon Boy, here’s a mix to accompany your ride.
Of course there is the possibility that we, as a society, are not hostage to a runaway balloon at all. Perhaps we are hiding. In a box. In the attic. Don’t you think it’s time we came down?