The business section of the December 13, 2012 Los Angeles Times, announces the ecstatic headline, “California real estate sales up 15% year over year, prices rise 19%”.
And yet, several paragraphs down the page, there seems to be profound disagreement.
That’s right. The very same article ends up erasing what the headline of that article states.
How can this be?
It seems that a Mr. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center of Economic Policy in Washington, is quoted expressing grave doubt about the L.A. housing market, countering the optimistic “wisdom” of one Los Angeles Times business staff writer.
Baker is predicting “serious gyrations” and diagnosing a currently artificial home buying environment where “these markets are being driven by speculation”.
Some people might say that it is a “quality problem” to contemplate the Los Angeles real estate market while the day’s horrors are developing in the news of the 28 killings in a Connecticut grade school.
Obviously, the school killing eclipses the economy in its immediacy and tragedy.
Here’s the thing. I think both headlines stand as extreme examples of where we are going as a country.
First of all, the rage of murder; the acting out of intense and extreme out-of-control-ness.
The New York Times reports that there have been 5 mass killings in this country since Barack Obama’s Presidency.
It is not even discussed, but we wonderers must ask the question: why?
We believe in gun ownership in America.
Is there a correlation between gun legislation and mass violence?
Once and for all, we need to figure this out.
Because if this is not the case, what are the causes for these killings?
There are undoubtedly many factors to consider.
Americans have lost the security of feeling safe, since September 11.
We may be in a state of traumatic hypnosis; the life-changing hypnotic glaze of a post-traumatic state.
We are a nation lusting for pharmaceutical solutions.
This means that care and attention to the emotional health of our fellows and ourselves is not encouraged or valued in this society.
We are today still shamed by mental illness and emotional unease, and we are taught to shun those feelings.
Ergo, we do not know who we are, and have little chance to get appropriate help when we need it or potential loving support.
To keep ourselves undercover, from others as well as ourselves, we may choose to get a specific prescription for each mental state we wish to hide.
At the same time, we adamantly sell a conditioned violence to all who watch and listen to the media. It is a conditioning that is in the air; the sounds, sights, and attitudes of human disconnection and destruction.
Add to this the ubiquitous multi-layering of videos, movies, television shows with high volume blasts, the tribal war soundtracks enacting scenes of hatred and betrayal.
I’m not saying that the media is solely responsible for the normalizing of violence. Not solely, but maybe 50%.
The media has long been a matter of big business. Whatever sells big, it advertises.
If a show needs brutality to be a winner, bring it on.
They bring it on in possibly mind-splitting ways to audience members who are on the edge to begin with.
Further, they introduce to all who listen and watch, the notion that terror and horror are waiting for us just around the corner.
Why is the media to blame at all, let alone my giving it the responsibility of being 50% of the violence problem?
Because people are weak and passive while they sleep, and most people are asleep.
This is horrible to say, but to some degree, our moods, thoughts, and lives are brought to us everyday by corporate sponsors.
So, when a hot headline or “news advertisement” arrives seemingly with lush orchestration, huge money support, and can be sung to the tune of “Happy Days Are Here Again”, most people will start cheering and humming along.
Which brings me to the real estate “advertisement” aka business news article in the December 13, 2012 business section the Los Angeles Times.
Believe it or not, most people have receptive minds enough to inhale any business article stating any reality.
I wonder what this good news real estate article is aiming to accomplish, should it not be talking the truth.
It doesn’t take a CFO to understand that the economy is still NG. (Not Good).
Therefore, the 19% hike in Los Angeles home prices is, if accurate, signaling something we need to understand.
What does it mean?
I am not a financial expert, (as my business manager like to say).
However, it’s always possible to scan the news and smell what is not real.
Disclaimers appearing at the end of an article, cancelling the headline’s credibility, can easily be found.
The question remains the same: Where and what is the truth?
I like to think that broadcaster Edward R. Murrow’s passion for finding and reporting the truth shines on; that there are others in the journalistic universe stepping forward to report real news and enlighten the public.
And yes, I still want to know: como estas la casa?