Saturday, November 15, 2014

Reflections in a Bloodshot Eye

I’m surprised by surprise, I guess. A hot ticket earlier this week on cable was the Fox News conversation with former Special Operations Senior Chief Petty Officer Robert O’Neill who has come forward as the Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden. I have always assumed it wasn’t a Christmas or Easter seal, so I appreciate the Senior Chief clearing the air on that.

What’s intriguing I think is the murmurings within and without the military on a Code of Silence that may or may not have been violated/breached/ignored by the sharing of operational mission details and notes by both Matt Bissonnette and O’Neill.

And yet. We have a social network for predominantly pictures of the food we eat. Then we also place photos of ourselves, eating the food in the pictures, on another social network and still a third one to exchange comments, caustic and otherwise, over both the food and our behavior in posting the pictures in the first place. I'm as guilty of the same egregious narcissistic stupid stuff. More than once I’ve Facebooked pictures of my Barkley fries from Phillys. Why? Because.

That's the scale and scope so now let me frame the question (to which we both already know the answer): Is there anyone who seriously thinks I’d keep silent about my role, assuming I had one, in something as big (‘epic’ as the kids say these days; I don’t know what they call Homer’s poems, Iliad and Odyssey, unless it’s ‘boring’) as Osamapalozza?  

We have become exhibitionists harnessing the convergence and connectivity of technologies and ideology to send one another grumpy cat pictures and every kind of selfie imaginable. I do not and cannot pretend to be angered or outraged by the electronic detritus that we all have a role in creating.

I dive into the stream and muddy the waters with the same unheeding, single-minded need for self-aggrandizement as anyone and everyone else. Hell, you’re ankle deep in the “dig me” pool of self-admiration right now or did you think this was being made possible by a grant from somebody as a public service? 

Five years ago, people like The Kardashians were an aberration. Now they’re the norm and we have become them. A broadcast network ended up cancelling the most self-referential TV show perhaps so far in broadcast history because we didn’t need to watch it, we’re living it. No one even tweeted about it, or showed a picture of cast receiving the Heimlich maneuver when told of the cancellation. How sad, no visual.

With so much information available, ignorance today is a deliberate choice. And our arrogance in celebrating that ignorance is just another signpost on the road of perdition. No need to dress warmly.

-bill kenny

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