The biggest non-issue of the day, using up millions of dollars of airwaves and bandwidth in chatter, is whether or not we’re in a recession. Does x=y? Is this thing that thing and vice versa? It’s an exercise in absurd tautologies, and the single clearest example of masturbatory pseudo-news currently at hand.
The real question is not whether we are in a recession but whether you are in one.It doesn’t even measure up to sitting around debating what’s a beer and what’s a lager, or whether something qualifies as irony. Like so many of the electoral questions up for debate, it’s just tedious filler, designed to convince us that something is going on.
After all, the news outlets don’t get it: they’ve been working on the old “sell some papers today” model that requires a certain amount of daily content, regardless of whether it’s useful or just wasting your time. This is one of the many reasons bloggers are kicking their asses. Bloggers haven’t promised a certain number of paper or screen columns, a certain broadcast time of business or weather or politics as a setting for their advertisers. Bloggers have to have a freaking point, even if a lot of them do have sponsors.
True, you’ll read posts containing manufactured issues – excuses to sound off that are stretching to fill a page. Mostly, though, you can tell it’s crap, because it doesn’t even manage a catchy title, a decent photo, or a poignant quotation. And if it’s lengthy, on top of that, it usually doesn’t get read. We should be prepared to turn off “the news” as quickly as clicking off of a blog. Often, it isn’t news at all – it’s just “the news” – just your pre-portioned, TV-dinner plate of information-product, propped up with stabilizers and filler.
Besides, the real question is not whether WE are in a recession but whether YOU are in one. Only you and your financial advisor can answer that; the rest is bullshNews.