Grassroots Commentary

Short Attention Span

L.E. Brown · May 14, 2014

I have been told that the majority of my readers have extremely short attention spans; therefore I have been advised to limit my pieces to two or three primary topics per column.

It is fitting that my first column using this format is about doctors and about celebrities who make big bucks advertising products and/or services.

On television. And they never have to actually see the patient they are advising or the person to whom they hawk their wares.

Going to a limited number of topics in a column is fitting in quite nicely with my own thought process, since I also have a short attention span.

Let’s be perfectly clear: A person with a short attention span is not necessarily stupid and uneducated.

Those who read my work are obviously bright, intelligent people equipped with sound reasoning ability; otherwise they wouldn’t be interested in what I have to say. They know that my intent is not to change anyone’s mind, but to merely stimulate thinking.

Those who watch talk show doctors such as Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil are considered, at least by me, to be a bit dull, dimwitted and can be best described as airheads.

Those who pay attention to has-been actors like Henry Winkler and Fred Thompson are, without a doubt, members of the bottom third of Americans whose reading of print is limited to People, The New York Times and TV program guides. Those who can’t read, and there are hundreds of thousands of them, get their news from PBS and David Letterman.

Besides, it would be very surprising to me if Henry and Fred have signed on to a “reverse mortgage” deal.

The same type of people who watch Dr. Oz and such shows tend to also watch Wendy Williams orate, Dr. Phil postulate, and evangelists cry on Sunday morning television.

(I confess, I have yet to understand the sounds that come from Williams’ studio audience. It is guttural, animal-like emanations, sounds that one would expect to come wafting out of a swamp, located in south Georgia, originating from the offspring of the giant rabbit that once attacked Jimmy Carter.)

It is likely that if Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil would follow the advice they give to others Oz would have long since been confined to a wheelchair, or dead; and Phil would be in a mental institution, or been elected to the U.S. Congress.

My criticism of these types of carrying-ons in no way means that I think such airings will diminish in popularity in the coming years.

On the contrary, I expect that not only will such existing shows continue to be popular, but they will be joined by hundreds of shows of a similar ilk.

After all, there will be a limitless need for Dr. Oz types to take the place of real doctors who will continue to leave the practice of medicine rather than live under the yoke of Obamacare.

The need for Dr. Phil types will grow as real doctors won’t be able to treat the vast number of people being put away under a more strict gun control law.

As I once so famously wrote, Obama and his pals like talk show host David Gregory plan to do an end run with regard to gun control, to not take guns away from people, but to take people away from guns, by first declaring that since they are too unstable to own a gun, they should be locked up in shiny, clean rooms, with times to romp around the lush green lawn outside, under the protection of people wearing white coats.

But they will never be able to shoot themselves, or anyone else. After all, isn’t that what the majority of Americans want?

L.E. Brown, Jr. is an independent writer, based in Magnolia, N.C. Contact him via [email protected]

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