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Jangled by jingles?
Try fretting over facts

Red alert: We’re about to inflict you, our loyal and innocent readers, the cruelest punishment any human being can heap upon any other human being. Brace yourselves.

Yogi Bear is smarter than the average bear.

Yogi Bear is always in the ranger’s hair.

At a picnic table you will find him there,

Scarfing down more goodies than the average bear.

He will sleep ’til noon but before it’s dark

He’ll have every picnic basket that’s in Jellystone Park.

Yogi has it better than a millionaire.

That’s because he’s smarter than the average bear.

Yes, it’s an earworm. At least we didn’t go choose the nuclear option and go with “1 (877) Kars-4-Kids” or the Gen-X option, the plethora of stylistic variants of “I Know You Know” from “Psych.”

We apologize in advance if you find Yogi or any of them joining you in the shower tomorrow morning, but we did it for a reason. This Sunday, mega-millions will be spent trying to plant an earworm or some other shallow image of various products in your minds while you’re watching the G.O.A.T. vs. The Kid in the Super Bowl.

That got us to thinking about what thoughts should be circling in our minds instead of all these bits of puffery that seem to blow everything else away.

For one, we should be proud of how Marion County is dispensing coronavirus vaccine. We at the newspaper constantly hear about every supposed misdeed and failing in the county, but all we’ve been hearing from people who went to last week’s clinic or are preparing to go to this week’s has been unanimous praise for how well organized, professional, and respectful the clinics have been.

Another thing we’ve been hearing about is all the people getting scammed by identity thieves fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits on their behalf. We have no idea where the data needed to make all these claims came from, but whoever was responsible for lapses in security that allowed this ought to be hung up by their digit — and we don’t mean the digits in their Social Security number.

We also keep hearing about amateurish meth addicts linked to all sorts of mainly petty crimes in the county. Unfortunately, we can’t report everything we’ve been told because, unlike tech giants like Facebook and Google, we’re actually responsible under the law to be able to prove anyone’s allegation we report unless the allegation was made in court.

Those tech giants, including Amazon, are home to much of the spamming, scamming, hacking, and thieving operations that sometimes make us yearn to grow out of the Information Age. But again, they escape all legal responsibility, apparently because politicians who are unafraid to continually bash each other are too fearful to challenge corporate might.

Maybe we all should start forwarding to our elected representatives all the spam and phishing calls and emails we receive along with all the junk the postal service delivers instead of things people actually want and pay for. (The missing papers we wrote about last week were found, by the way, in Kansas City.)

These are among the things, good and bad, worth humming about in the shower or thinking about before nodding off each night. Don’t let anyone — including us — shove them out of your head with lyrics from a 1960s cartoon show or similarly silly matters like most political slogans and all those Super Bowl ads you’re about to see.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified Feb. 4, 2021

 

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