I missed most of the live breaking excitement of balloon boy yesterday, but reviewing it after the fact made me ponder some things. A few thoughts …
1. People are angry/annoyed/sanctimonious because more important things are happening in the world that aren’t reported, and are by in large ignored by most corporate media. That IS really annoying and frustrating, but I think that we are also justified in being captivated by a story like this (versus, say, most celebrity news). It had all the necessary elements — suspense, potential danger, a missing child, worried parents, a giant homemade aircraft floating above Denver, and kid mischief.
2. It’s the mischief part that makes me love this story. This kid had the entire country watching on the edge of their seats. And he was Tom Sawyer watching his funeral. Granted he’s six years old and probably didn’t have a full understanding of just how big this was going to be, but c’mon! This kid is awesome! He did exactly what kids are supposed to do — cause trouble and show all of us adults how stupid we can be. And of course we respond true to our roles as taking-ourselves-too-seriously grownups by getting flustered and pontificating about the state of media and how silly this news coverage is. It is silly, and that’s the point.
3. For a few hours we were brought together, enthralled by this balloon and completely duped by a kid named Falcon with a crazy family. It just feels so classic and small townie — like this could have happened in any decade and it would have played out exactly the same way. Except instead of gathering in the town square to gossip and fret, we watched CNN and posted on Twitter.
Isn’t that last sentence just fantastic? This may also be the lady hormones talking.
As a companion to Deb’s awesome list of three songs to abolish from the face of the earth, I’d like to offer up a short list of the songs I couldn’t live without (today, at least):
1. “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits
2. “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest
3. “Becalmed” by Brian Eno
4. “Accordion” by Madvillain
5. “Queen Bitch” by David Bowie
6. “Closer than Far” by Viva Voce
7. “I’ve Just Seen a Face” by The Beatles
What are yours?