Sunday, January 28, 2007
Central Florida Blues
or A Teaspoon Deep Newsmedia.
Sometimes a short sentence can speak volumes.
I've written here about my love/hate relationship with my native state of Florida. Today, I ran into one of those tiny incidents that seem to bring a big picture into sharp focus.
According to various new sources, the mystery of missing guard dogs in a Malaysian village was solved with the discovery of 23 foot python.
You can read that story here.
Now, because giant dog-devouring snakes tend to exert a strong fascination on people (As in: "Don't go away, because, after the break, we'll bring you the story of the snake that ate eleven dogs."), the story seems to have received a bit of play over the weekend. From newspapers in London to local TV stations around the U.S. many news outlets ran the account.
One of the features of the story was that the villagers, after capturing the snake, did not kill it, but turned it over to wildlife authorities.
And, here's where the story brings us back to the central Florida cultural mentality.
When Florida's "Local Six" reported the story, the anchor put it this way: "You may be surprised to find out the villagers did not kill it, they gave it to a wild life official to release it back into the wild....not exactly sure why."
And there it is...a deep, almost unbridgeable cultural divide...that such a nightmarish ambassador from the world of undeveloped, unpaved nature would not be slaughtered immediately as a matter of course leaves the Florida reporter speechless.
To me, it is assumed as a matter of course that the wild animal would NOT be harmed unless it's continued existence posed an immediate threat. If the problem can be dealt with in a more humane way, then that is the way the problem should be dealt with.
Apparently, this is not something that occurs to that most mainstream of mainstream currents of American Thought....the Central Florida Media.
But then, this is the same power structure that delivered us into the hands of George W. Bush, after all.