Jimbob's Journal
by Jim Harris

Broadcast news has left the tracks and everybody knows it. All we can do is enjoy the comic insanity of journalism's final days.

I'm not making this up. A recent local TV news broadcast led with "An alligator is found in OUR AREA!" Turns out it was a dead alligator found frozen to death on a street in Bethlehem and subsequently stuffed by the local taxidermist. No matter, in the interest of the people's right to know, a crack news team was dispatched to the scene to stick a microphone into passing cars, saying, "An alligator was found right over there", and wait for responses. To the editors' credit, the person they picked to air was as far removed from anything alligator (except for maybe shoes) as anyone could possibly be. This large, animated woman looked wide-eyed into the camera and shouted "Alligators? I'm gettin' outta here!" It was like a scene out of Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein, and it will undoubtedly win an Emmy for some sort of excellence. What could have made the piece even more excellent, however, would have been if another reporter had simultaneously snuck up behind the woman and poked the stuffed reptile into her car. A great opportunity missed. The woman in the car has since become the station's resident reporter on nature and wildlife, and her catch phrase is - say it with me - "I'm gettin' outta here!"

The very next story that night was about a man who had lost his thumb in a snow-blowing mishap and had a toe grafted on to his hand to replace it. " It's called a 'thoe' " chirped the health reporter with a smirk crouching coyly just below the surface. The taped portion of the segment consisted of a shot of the poor shlub and his thoe lying drugged in a hospital bed, and a chipper Doc-in-the-box saying how the guy would eventually play banjo again.
I must admit, I really admire the skill of those news anchors in being able to
A. Not laugh constantly
B. Keep from committing Hari-Kari. It's really the only honorable way out.

Oh, and as for our the under-thirty set, they get all of their news from the internet. They find two-minute pieces about stuffed alligators and transplanted toes too tedious and intellectually demanding, so they watch 10-second pieces about narcissistic, dysfunctional "celebrities" and weigh in on such pressing matters as, "Is it fair that Frenchie got booted off of American Idol? - Yes/No/Not Sure". The last society that worshiped idols wound up eating sand for forty years. I suspect our fate may be even worse.

It is now clear to me that mankind's decline has finally carried us to below the intelligence level of monkeys. Anyone who has seen any of the Planet of the Apes movies knows that this day has been coming. I just hope that whatever species now assumes control of the planet - alligators perhaps - is as kind and respectful to us as we have been to them.
I'm gettin' outta here!.

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