Sunday, May 15, 2011

I May be Vile and Pernicious

I am not the most current of current affairs devotees. I don't have any of the 24/7 news screamers as 'favorites' on my remote (there's an oxymoron). I have to surf to find them, but I always do. I believe I have a pretty decent idea of the scale and scope of all the weird scenes inside the gold mine (I know, 'gee that wasn't hardly creepy at all!' Go ahead and watch the rest of it and drop me a postcard) we have going on across the ant farm, though I am willing to concede every once in a while something out of the blue scares me.

I am NOT unaware the nation's leadership is girding its collective political loins (a mental movie that transforms a fork to a frontal lobe into an act of mercy) on attempts to raise the debt ceiling (the legal maximum amount we, as a nation, can mooch from everyone else), a luxury, should you or I try it, would deservedly land us in jail.

I realize it's been two weeks since Osama bin Laden was part of a targeted Manufacturer's recall, but we still have Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers, and all the folks (and others) who support them, ass-deep in Afghanistan and elsewhere. It's not like that is suddenly over.

To the surprise (seemingly) of some of us, Taliban and Al -Qaida are still around and, as a result, US service people are still being killed and wounded. Note to media who insist the 'right' to death photos of Mr. Swims with Seals is a First Amendment issue: Feel free to share imagery of any of the KIA from Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom because way too many of us have already forgotten about those kids, and the ones who were not kids. And then we can converse about your 'right.'

What's disconcerting for me as I do my hunter/gatherer thing with the TV is how surreal life, as conveyed by the electric fire in the living room, is being shared across the country as the new normal while we hold hands for a summer season of seances.

TV news, with our permission and tacit approval, has decided if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's Gilbert Gottfried (NOT)--I mean, of course, it must be a duck. We have local news kids breathlessly giving us exclusive looks at how the stars of national TV shows, which just happen to be on the same network, manage to get and keep those luxurious locks or how their breath stays so minty fresh. We'll have more right after this. Seriously? Seriously.

A conversation with Khloe Kardashian is promoted before the spot break and leads the news segment when we come back while that report on your state's budget deficit's impact on your local schools gets reduced to a wrap with B roll just before the weather guy eats a bug as part of his "Perfect Weekend Weather Promise" promotion that those Suits in Corporate Just Love. Can you say Ka-ching? Of course you can, and you'd better-because you'll have to.

We've got our mouths to the soda and have long since stopped regarding news, in any form, as a window to the world. We've decided translucent instead of transparent is just fine, really, and no trouble at all. The world is a car crash or perhaps it's duck soup (or even something in between) and we can find a cable news channel to reflect your beliefs rather than inform them.

Too many facts make my teeth hurt anyway so get the bubble-headed bleach blond on the set (would it kill her to undo another button on that blouse? Sweeps Week is almost here!) and where's that Ken doll we hired to read those stories the ugly guys write? Did you see that Dimple? Network will scoop him up in a heartbeat.

Turns out we know less now than we did then. We call it bliss but we know what it really is. I've learned all about Rachael Ray but don't understand anything about speculation on oil futures and the price at the pump. I follow The Situation on Jersey Shore but not the situation in the flooded towns along the Mississippi. If the batteries ever die in my remote, I'll be blind as well as deaf and dumb. Just like everyone else.
-bill kenny

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