Daily Egyptian

Entertainment an afterthought? No way.

By Gus Bode

The world is an awful place.

Seriously, think about it for a second. Somewhere, maybe in Iraq, maybe in Indianapolis, someone is suffering for no reason. Somewhere, maybe in Africa, maybe in Atlanta, Ill., someone is dying from AIDS. And somewhere, maybe across the globe, maybe across the street, someone has just hit rock bottom.

That’s why now, more than ever, entertainment is important. It’s important to be able to still laugh at “Seinfeld” when soldiers are dying and a tsunami has wiped out thousands of people. It’s important to watch “fake news” when the real thing is too depressing (even if they are the real presidential press releases). And it’s important to prefer “South Park” to “60 Minutes.”

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But, above all else, it’s important to remember entertainment is never unnecessary – it’s essential. Yeah, movies, music, television and books might take a backseat to the battlefield, but who doesn’t feel better after an episode of “Family Guy”?

Come on, who really prefers Jimmy Carter to Jimi Hendrix? George W. Bush to Green Day? John Kerry to John Lennon? Sure, Sandra Day O’Connor was cool, but so was Shakespeare. Ronald Reagan ruled, but that doesn’t mean Ray Charles didn’t.

Why does any of this matter? Because right now someone, somewhere, is dancing to Dexy’s Midnight Runners – and loving it – and that’s OK by me. Because sometimes the real world just gets you down and you need to see Ashlee Simpson so you can feel better about yourself. And because sometimes- just sometimes- life shouldn’t be taken so seriously.

That’s what the Pulse is about – the not-so-serious side of life. It’s not, as some might put it, a “waste of space,” a “dating service” or a model of “shameless promotion.” It’s a place where readers can go to find out what there is to do in Carbondale … well, besides go to school or study.

Because, believe it or not, there really are other things to do on the weekends in Carbondale besides get drunk. There’s some of the best music you’ve probably never heard. There are some of the best small-scale stage productions you’ve probably never seen. There’s even a poetry reading here and there.

And it’s all easily accessible – you just might not know it. That’s what this publication is here for. It’s not perfect and sometimes in the past we’ve been a little too “risqu” or “less than tasteful,” but, hey, Disney inserts phallic symbols into its movies. Which is really more offensive?

We’re not here to change the world or the way anyone looks at, just to give readers a reason to pick up this publication each Thursday. And who knows, maybe even entertain someone.

It’s true that entertainment can be mindless, it can be meaningless and it can even be monotonous – but so can everything else. So don’t feel bad about listening to Bob Dylan instead of watching Bill O’Reilly. Don’t lose sleep over missing a moment with Wolf Blitzer when the Wu-Tang Clan is calling out to you.

Go ahead and watch the news. Listen to the radio. And always, always read the DAILY EGYPTIAN. But take a peak at the Pulse, too. Who knows, you just might learn something. Like maybe the world isn’t so bad after all.

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