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Wanted: Continuity Editors
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The world needs more continuity editors.

Filmmakers hire them to check for plot holes. Like, in “Forrest Gump” the lead character’s friend Lieutenant Dan couldn’t have invested their money in Apple Computer in 1976 because the company didn’t go public until four years later. Or, in “Pulp Fiction” when hitmen played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta narrowly avoid being shot, the bullet holes appear in the wall behind them before the first shot is fired.

Continuity editors ensure that a movie makes sense, has a consistent look, sound and feel throughout, and moves at the right pace or combination of paces. They axe scenes that don’t advance the plot and insert new ones to fill in explanations and backgrounds in order to smooth out awkward transitions.

They track the big picture.

Hollywood isn’t the only place that needs them.

As the United States keeps sliding its slimy way through economic and sociopolitical decline toward the bubbly, brown pit of collapse, our desperate need for people tasked with keeping track of the big picture and given the power to fix inconsistencies — or have access to those with that power — becomes increasingly apparent.

The biggest, most storied organizations have a C-something-O for everything from CFO to CIO to CTO to CDO (diversity). Few (I’d say all but I must allow for the fact that I do not and cannot know everything and everyone) employ a person who brings an outsider’s viewpoint to the deep inside of a corporate boardroom.

Large news organizations like The New York Times, for example, compile, process and disseminate a product whose breadth and depth objectively looks and feels like a miracle every single day. Yet the Times would benefit from an editor with a bird’s-eye view.

Because the left hand of the New York Times Book Review, a Sunday supplement, doesn’t know what the right hand of the features editors who labor in the daily editions is up to, the paper often runs two or even three reviews of the same title. Meanwhile, it fails to review most titles entirely.

Pundits on the op-ed page and analysts in the business section crank out one prognosis after another, but no one ever analyzes their record of success or failure in order to determine whether they are worth paying attention to. (I’m looking at you, Thomas Friedman.)

Newspapers don’t see what’s missing; a country whose voters are 38% pro-socialist might like a socialist opinion columnist. No one ever takes a beat to consider the possibility that a nation in which R&B/hip-hop has dominated music charts for years might not respond well to a music section in which jazz (1% of sales) and classical (also 1%) receives disproportionately high coverage.

Our for-profit medical system is sorely lacking in many respects. One that leaps out is how a la carte recordkeeping makes it so that no one other than the patient themself enjoys comprehensive knowledge of a person’s health.

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My general practitioner, for example, maintains records of my vaccinations, lab test results, examination history and back-and-forth communications. She does not, however, have access to the files and test results collected by my pulmonologist or other specialists, some of whom I see outside my insurance network. Nor can she see the stuff from my local urgent care clinic or the doctors I’ve seen in other states or other countries, or hospital emergency rooms, or from physicians I saw in the past but who have since retired. My dental records, themselves segregated between a dentist and an orthodontist, are similarly inaccessible to my GP. This is the result of the artificial insurance divide between dental and medical care that persists despite the proven link between oral health and such “non-dental” ailments as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Eye care falls into the same “non-medical” category — again, contrary to science and common sense. No one has a comprehensive understanding of Ted Rall’s medical history except Ted Rall — and he didn’t go to medical school.

Everyone ought to be assigned to a big-picture medical professional who pores over all these records in search of patterns that may indicate an undiagnosed illness. Many lives could be saved; hell, insurance companies save cash when patients detect problems early, not that I care about those scum. But Americans are so accustomed to dysfunction (in this case, non-function) that we haven’t even begun to discuss the need for an integrated medical records database accessible by any licensed medical professional, much less a caste of medical analysts whose job it is to try to anticipate problems.

Like most societal shortcomings, our continuity editor-lessness comes straight from the top of the class divide: political and corporate elites. As much as our CEOs’ and political leaders’ small-mindedness is casting us adrift, no one is suffering higher opportunity costs than they are. A national high-speed rail system — the kind every other advanced country has — would open up development of new manufacturing, work and living spaces all over the nation. It would cost at least \$1 trillion.

So it won’t happen any time soon.

But we spend three-quarters of a trillion bucks on “defense” every year — a budget replete with waste before you consider that the entire purpose of military spending is not merely wasteful but obscenely destructive. Slash 95% of that crap and national security would not suffer one whit. To the contrary, it would free up billions for worthwhile programs like making college free, modernizing public schools and a socialized health care system. Building new sectors and infrastructure from scratch generates more profits than maintaining what already exists. But they can’t even begin to think about thinking about such things, much less see them.

If and when the revolution arrives, some of the formerly rich may think to themselves as they journey atop their tumbrels: I should’ve hired a continuity editor.

Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, co-hosts the left-vs-right DMZ America podcast with fellow cartoonist Scott Stantis.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media 
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  1. Ted, good God man! Stay the heck away from the Medical/Industrial Complex. Take some vitamins (start with C & D) and stop feeding the beast. Take a walk, get some exercise and fresh air.

    Yes, internal blindness is a plague on the Corporate/GovCo nexus. It’s the failing of all fascist systems.

    The money pissed away by the MIC is enormous. Shut down all the overseas bases, “Lily Pads” (Rumsfeld the Riddler’s moniker) and idiotic involvements that do nothing but create enemies.

    F Ukraine, F Israel, F Nato, F the WEF. Privatize Amtrak and maybe you’ll get the bullet train you desire.

    • Agree: Bro43rd
  2. But jazz and classical are the best kinds of music, R and B ceased to exist over half a century ago (replaced by other forms of black pop wearing its name like Xipe Totec) and hip hop is bad. So let us praise the newspapers if in some remote corner they maintain something like an aesthetic standard.

    • Agree: meamjojo
    • Replies: @meamjojo
  3. I’m glad they have classical and jazz and no rap. May their oppressiveness continue continuously. Elite stuff isn’t always good. But that elite stuff shore is.

    And just incidentally, more people like country and western than any other music in the US by a mile. But they been cookin’ the books again, you bet yer booties, so you won’t be a-hearin’ that fact any time soon.

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  4. meamjojo says:

    “Everyone ought to be assigned to a big-picture medical professional who pores over all these records in search of patterns that may indicate an undiagnosed illness. Many lives could be saved; hell, insurance companies save cash when patients detect problems early, not that I care about those scum. But Americans are so accustomed to dysfunction (in this case, non-function) that we haven’t even begun to discuss the need for an integrated medical records database accessible by any licensed medical professional, much less a caste of medical analysts whose job it is to try to anticipate problems.”

    I was thinking of this the other day. Most everyone is a specialist these days and all they want to do as a specialist is test or operate on the single area that they claim expertise in. No one analyzes any longer looking for patterns. That is what your old primary MD used to do when going to a specialist was rare. Now primary MD’s just shuffle you off to a specialist.

    There is something called Functional medicine that is supposed to bring the parts together to make a bigger whole.

    “Functional medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.”

    https://www.ifm.org/functional-medicine/what-is-functional-medicine/

    Of course, FM has been flagged by the establishment as a scam. In America, every illness is singular in nature and treatable by often expensive pharmaceuticals. To contend otherwise is hearsay.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_medicine

  5. meamjojo says:
    @Narf Hartley

    Add Doowop to the best music list! Here’s a couple of internet stations that broadcast this wonderful music. You can listen via the web URL’s or through music apps on your cellphones.

    http://doowopradio.com/

    http://www.doowopcafe.org/

  6. (I’m looking at you, Thomas Friedman.)”
    Jeez, Ted, don’t do that — you’ll turn into a pillar of salt!

  7. Medical records are disorganized and private by design. Just think, life would be radically different if all your medical records were collected in one place and PUBLIC. We would know which televangelists were treated for STDs and also which Republican politicians. We would know which Kappa Alpha Theta daughters of rich Republicans had abortions. We would know exactly what plastic surgery the network TV newscaster had, and the same with the congressperson from some Red state. Pubic discourse about all sorts of issues would change if we could see the medical reality.

    Medical treatment would also change. Today you are captive to your own doctor because only your doctor sees your records. Imagine if every nearby doctor and hospital could see your records. They could offer you better treatments at lower prices for what ails you. Open medical records might lead to actual free market competition to sell you medical services. Medical records are disorganized and super secret to preserve local medical monopolies and prevent free market competition.

    Open medical records also allow us to avoid public debates about government’s role in distributing wealth. Reality is, why shouldn’t your potential employer know you are a heart disease and cancer risk? Why should a company invest thousands in an employee who will die of cancer? If we made medical records public, we might have to create a universal basic income system because some people might become unemployable. But so what? That would be social justice AND it would be a good social investment.

    The lack of continuity is by design because it is the space that allows fraud and other bad things in the economy.

  8. meamjojo says:
    @Harry Huntington

    “Today you are captive to your own doctor because only your doctor sees your records. Imagine if every nearby doctor and hospital could see your records.”

    Not actually correct. Many large providers are on the EPIC system for patient records. Everyone n an organization or partnered with that organization can see your records.

    Where I live in CA, I use Stanford, UCSF and PAMF all of whom are on EPIC plus independent MD’s, some of whom are on one of these orgs systems. I share my history between all of them. So all of them on EPIC can see my records whenever I visit anyone in these orgs.

    This is who medical patient systems should work. You want to be able to go to any MD and not have to review and recreate your history everytime. If you are seriously injured and brought into a hospital, you want the people there to be able to see your history and what drugs you take quickly, even if you are not conscious.

    Unfortunately though, most MD’s are lazy and refuse to read the past history (since they only have 7-10 minutes for each patient), so every time you see a new MD, they try to make you fill out a 6-8 page intake form listing all your history. If I know they are on the EPIC system, I refuse to fill out more paper and tell them my history is on the system. This has led to verbal fights with some MD’s and one guy, I even walked out on, telling him I was not going to deal with his BS, that there were plenty of MD’s to choose from! Then I gave him a negative review on Yelp and Google. [lol]

  9. Why do you call The New York Times a news organization? Are you really that invested in the narrative ?

  10. @Harry Huntington

    We’d also know where Uncle Joe got his teeth. That would probably be the same dental clinic where Hunter gets his meth teeth worked on. (an ongoing major US infrastructure project if there ever was one)

  11. I don’t think there’s any such word as “themself”.

  12. Ted contributed to the chaos for decades and now bitches about the results. Fuck you Ted. You’re looking at Friedman.? You ARE Friedman. Changing your tune now that the results of decades of your virtue signaling are at YOUR doorstep won’t work for those of us with long memories. You’re the liberals fleeing SF to move to Texas to ruin THAT. Fucking hypocrite.

  13. TG says:

    “Pundits on the op-ed page and analysts in the business section crank out one prognosis after another, but no one ever analyzes their record of success or failure in order to determine whether they are worth paying attention to. (I’m looking at you, Thomas Friedman.)”

    Umm… come on Mr. Rall, you know better than that. “Pundits” like Friedman etc.etc. are not here to give us facts, or insight, they are here to advance a narrative. I mean, remember during the 2016 US presidential campaign, all those polls showing that this time Trump was doomed? And these polls were always wrong? But these polls were not wrong – they were designed to create a reality. In this case they did indeed fail to achieve their result, but the ruling class is persistent and keeps trying and for now seems to have triumphed.

    The entire point is to NOT notice continuity errors. I mean: the ruling class opens the borders to massive third-world immigration. Competition for housing causes rents to spike to unaffordable levels. We cannot connect those dots.

    Or another example: rainfall in California has trended constant for over a century (yes really). The rich have roughly quadrupled the population of California from 10 million in the 1950’s, to about 40 million today. Constant rainfall, four times as many people, water is running short. We cannot connect those dots.

    I can only say that your insistence on logical coherence and consistency is evidence of your white supremacy. Don’t you know that it’s racist and fascist and Literally Hitler to notice things?

  14. Thrallman says:

    Yes, it is important to take a step back and look at the big picture. Rall doesn’t see it yet. High-speed trains do not fill an important need. Travel is fast enough already.

    Population growth, resource depletion, mass extinction, bio-terrorism, centralization of power, cultural decedance — these are the real issues. Klaus Schwab can see that.

    Buying a woke newspaper is funding the enemy. May they dry up and blow away.

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