The Idea Mag - Issue 22 - October 23rd, 2005 - Front Page


Future Perspective

I was surfing through the few channels that come with my cable internet package the other day and I stumbled across CSPAN. I think they should get the blame for reality TV. It's just that they never thought to take a week of coverage and edit it down to one hour of excitement. Well, one hour of less than average boringness.

Something caught my eye as I passed by the station. It was Sam Donaldson. How could he not catch you eye? He was giving some speech to some group about some topic, seemed on the press, or the media, or just journalism in general. Although I can't find a transcript, C-SPAN called it something like a symposium on media bias.

I paused long enough to hear him talk about Sean Hannity. Sam told a story about listening to Sean one day. In a seemingly condescending way he mentioned that he listens to everybody I guess it's so he can identify with rabid rednecks. Apparently Sean went into a break with a teaser that the next segment would be about how the New York Times hates America. Sam laughed a little at that and interjected that of course the New York Times doesn't hate America.

Well, I guess that's where Sean and Sam disagree.

You see, Sean looks at what stories the Times publishes, how they angle their reporting, what they print in their editorials, and he see a paper that attacks, opposes, discredits, and yes, hates, the foundational beliefs that he calls 'American'.

Sam looks at the Times and figures they're 'the press', they're Americans, they like money, things, and being able to do what they want to do. They can't hate America.

That's perspective.

Perspective is how two people can look at the same situation and come to different conclusions. They both see different aspects, and interpret those aspects based on their own personal likes and dislikes, experiences and aspirations.

Life is filled with perspectives even when we think we know 'both sides of the issues', there very well could be a third side we never even realized. Just as a physical vision is limited by were we are, and what's around us so our perspective is limited.

That's why we write about opinions. So we can tell you how things look from where we stand. And so maybe we can gain a little perspective from someone else.

But perspective alone won't get us that far. That's why we write about absolutes. If there's nothing to anchor our perspectives, if there's nothing to build those perspectives on, then who really cares what anyone thinks? It's all just a mirage.

AbsoluteOpinion in another 4 issues we'll have wrapped up our first year. A year of Perspective based on Truth, a year of Absolutes and Opinions. We'll be making some changes for the next year and we hope they'll provide interaction, more perspective, more ideas, more for you our readers.

So we'd like to take a little pause and say thanks. Thanks for taking the time to hear what we have to say, and we hope next year to have more ways to hear what you have to say.

As we put that all together, we'd love to hear your suggestions for what would make AO better, what you would like to see next year. Just send us an e-mail, or stop by the forums.

-- The AO Publisher