[Kamikaze] The ‘Balloon Boy' Story | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Kamikaze] The ‘Balloon Boy' Story


Brad Franklin

Sometimes I think we live in a bizarro world—a place where logic and reason don't always win out. Up is down. Left is right. Its like we're in an alternate dimension sometimes.

America spent the last week watching and hearing about the "balloon boy." The boy's father got what he craved: press and fame. He's not getting the reality show he wanted, but he did get attention and probably no jail time. So he wins, the kid loses, and America loses ... again.

What I didn't see continued national coverage of was the mixed-race couple in Louisiana denied a marriage license. I didn't see anything on the lesbian Wesson student being denied a picture in her senior yearbook because she wants to wear a tuxedo instead of the "accepted" attire for female grads.

I wasn't inundated with interviews or coverage of the "judge who won't budge" in granting the marriage license. Neither CNN or Fox has run any pieces on the school district that won't waiver on their decision to allow the young lady her yearbook photo. Not saying there wasn't any coverage. There was. But those stories definitely didn't get the coverage that wayward helium balloon did.

Are we being properly served by our media? Are they adequately informing us? Are they making us think? Making us talk? In a moment where news outlets could have forced this country to pay closer attention to matters of race and gender, we were watching the "balloon boy." Now, instead of shining a light on intolerance, we're watching pundits discuss whether or not the balloon boy's parents should be hand-cuffed when they are arraigned.

In this day of reality shows and up-to-the-minute news outlets, we've become so starved for excitement that we've allowed ourselves to be dumbed down. When Jon and Kate Gosslien are better well known than Beth Humphrey and Thomas McKay, then I think we've got a problem. When more folks watch "Real Chance at Love" than know about the fight Ceara Sturgis is waging in Mississippi then something has to change.

Now that reality has become entertainment, I'm afraid our kids will grow up in a world where the lines are so blurred that everything is a show. Let's try to keep the focused on what's important. And that's the truth ... sho-nuff!

Previous Comments


Let the chuuuuch say: Amen!


Yes, we live in Topsy Turvy Land; A place that's very funny; Rich people there work hard all day; And Poor folks have the money. There cold is hot and hot is cold; And what is thick is thin; And What you see is seldom so, Although it might have been. .......... I forgot the other lines, but, this story and the world's response to it, falls into that category.


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