I don’t care.
That’s really it. I don’t care. That sums up my position on 99 percent of stories that are on the news, and today was no exception. Indeed, I possibly cared less about today’s developing human interest story than I’ve ever cared about any other news story.
You probably know the details, but I’m going to rehash them. A family was (naturally) building a giant balloon in their backyard; their six-year old (Falcon) got into the balloon when the dad was working on it; dad yelled Falcon; Falcon hid in the attic; balloon took off; everyone panicked when they mistakenly assumed that Falcon was in the balloon; he wasn’t. End of story.
But wait, there’s more. In a postgame interview with the family, Wolf Blitzer (who has always
weirded me out) asked Falcon why he hid. Falcon’s reply was “we did it for the show.”
Then someone in the family farted, which was funny.
The internet rage machine went crazy. Over the lie, not the fart. I swear, I could hear blood vessels rupture under the pressure and fingers develop massive callouses as enraged e-warriors hammered at their keyboards with every ounce of energy they had.
And it would be kind of outrageous if he actually put him in the balloon (which, by the way, would not have been able to take off with a 6-year old). But he didn’t. The whole thing was farce, and we ate it up. Even the outrage against him for lying is playing into his attention-whoring hands; even my typing of this blogpost is giving him what he wants.
The stunt in the first place didn’t surprise me. This shit happens all the time; everyone wants to be on TV (including me – do you think I post on this blog for my health?) The surprise, and irritation, was in the moral crusade against him afterwards by the internet for lying.
We’re so quick to judge people that we forget how inconsequential their actions are. So he lied about his kid being in a balloon. Call me overly forgiving, but I’m fairly sure there are worse things he could have done.
Or lying about getting a blowjob in office. Oh wait, there was a moral crusade over that non-issue as well.
This whole thing has just emphasized how dumb we are. We are so furious over small lies by normal people that we conveniently forget about the bigger lies by the people who lead us, who spend our money, and whose honesty is far more important. We’ve somehow lost – or never had – our collective sense of perspective.
And yes, okay, he wasted some public money. But again he’s taking his cues from our politicians. He lives in the Western USA, near Iowa, where billions of dollars per year are given to farmers
to keep them in what are essentially make-work jobs. He lives in a country where military spending makes up a majority of the budget yet universal healthcare still doesn’t exist and investment banks are given public money to keep them in business. One rescue operation is chump change.
So more power to ye, balloon man. You told a lie and got caught. I don’t care. You told your son to hide in the attic and play with his toys for a few hours. I don’t care. Basically, you lived your life in a slightly bizarre way that ultimately doesn’t affect me at all. Please continue doing so, and I'll continue trying to focus what limited energy I have on liars whose lies actually matter.