Part 1—With a New York twist: As not seen on cable TV, there seems to be room for improvement in the Los Angeles schools.
This topic is "not seen on TV" because the corporate entity called "cable news" is selling you The Chase. The process, a spinoff from Groundhog Day, goes exactly like this:
Groundhog Day cable procedures:This is the ongoing business model of the corporate entities known as "cable news" channels. These repetition-based, subrational practices have been developed over the past thirty years.
1) Cable stars seize on Donald J. Trump's most recent statement or action. (In a pinch, Giuliani will do. To pretend you're above it all, you get in the weeds about Manafort.)
2) Stars proceed to say that they're shocked, just shocked, at this latest action or statement. Stars fritter away the rest of the day expressing their rank stupefaction.
3) Cable stars speculate about the possible consequences of this latest action or statement. (They may also speculate about the possible consequences of some claim by some visible crackpot. In these instances, they will mumble a phrase: "if true.")
4) Everyone will say the same things for perhaps the next eighteen hours. Viewers will be told that they're hearing from "the great [INSERT NAME]," one of their cable news "friends."
5) As alarm clocks sound, the next day arrives. The process starts over again.
In line with the corporate desire to dumb the human race all the way down, you're likely to see a lot of embellishments in the various things your favorite cable stars say. Of one thing, though, you can be sure:
Your favorite stars will never ask you to move outside the comfortable boundaries of The Chase. It simply isn't done!
You won't be asked to think about anything but The Chase. And The Chase will generally be presented in its dumbest possible form.
More specifically, you'll never encounter a Los Angeles story like the one we'll explore this week. Such stories aren't seen on cable TV, except perhaps on MSNBC's beloved series, Lockup.
Our Los Angeles story involves that well-known city's public schools. The school district in question—the Los Angeles Unified School District—is the nation's second largest.
More than 600,000 kids attend these public schools. Cable stars are devoted to the idea that these kids and their interests must never be mentioned because 1) these kids and their interests are terminally boring, and because 2) their lives and their interests don't count.
Rachel would jump off the Golden Gate Bridge before she'd ask you you to think about any part of this Los Angeles story. This is part of every cable star's pact with her cable news bosses and "friends."
Alas! The Los Angeles story we're going to tell doesn't involve The Chase. Even more offensively, it doesn't suggest any obvious way to send Donald Trump Jr. to jail!
For these reasons, discussion of this Los Angeles story would depress cable ratings. In time, this would affect the fame and the earning potential of the medium's most popular stars.
In the world of corporate cable, some basic ideas obtain. Regarding our Los Angeles story, our major stars reason like this:
Sure, there are a lot of kids who attend the Los Angeles schools. But they have parents, or possibly guardians, or maybe grandparents or aunts.
On that basis, why should seven- and eight-figure "cable news" stars have to waste their time and their celebrity worrying about those kids?
(Remember—these cable stars can't even bring themselves to discuss the babies, toddlers and other children who got "ripped away from" their parents may never be returned! Cable stars like The Chase straight. Why bring Others in?)
At any rate, that's the thinking to which Lawrence, Rachel, Chris and Chris have sworn corporate allegiance:
The Chase is fun, and it may lead to jail time for Donald Trump Jr. By way of contrast, our Los Angeles story involves tedious data, and it quite plainly won't.
For these reasons, the story we'll briefly explore this week has never been told on TV. On that basis, our story has earned its award-winning hook.
We're discussing this Los Angeles story in response to a recent op-ed column in the New York Times. As such, there's a New York story involved in all this, one we'll include this week. (Also, there's a Washington story, leading back to that puzzling column by Arne Duncan in the Washington Post.)
The New York story is built upon total indifference to the Los Angeles story. It's built around the idea that it's the current column by Frank Bruni whose subject really counts.
Bruni's column involved the best way for young people to spend their time if they're attending an elite, selective college. Under current arrangements, most kids in our Los Angeles story won't be part of that mix!
This New York story is typically pondered on the way to a Hamptons weekend. Tomorrow, we'll start our Los Angeles story, which often plays out with kids on the way to homelessness or to jail.
Warning—some data will be involved in our Los Angeles story! Plus, you won't have stars amusing you with endless mugging and clowning.
Corporate cable isn't going to bore you with this boring Los Angeles story. Neither will the New York Times, which can't stop telling our Los Angeles story in the ludicrous way we'll describe.
Tomorrow: Apparent room for improvement