Thursday, September 21, 2006

Terrorizing The Television-Watchers

If you ever needed evidence that the US has become a nation of television-watchers, this past Tuesday morning was a good example. Morning radio shows all talked about the memorial service for Steve Irwin, a television conservationist who died confronting an animal best left alone. Everyone marveled at the speech given by his daughter. Everyone talked about what a hero he was. Except, he wasn't.
A couple times a week, America buries it's true heroes. They don't get tributes from morning radio shows, and dignitaries and celebrities don't turn out to honor them or pay them respects. The cries of their children, their spouses, their parents aren't glamorized by glib personalities. These heroes, too, died confronting something that was best left alone. There is no thank you for giving your life from those who have benefitted the most from their sacrifice. And because these people aren't beamed into our living rooms, spouting catchphrases and mugging for the media as they molest and maul mammals, the television-watchers don't care.
Oh sure, they'll slap a magnetic ribbon on the vehicle and think they've done their part, but the families who have lost a member don't get anything from that. Some cash-craving capitalists pockets the change and gets a tax-cut to boot. Because that's all they want-a tax cut. That and the freedom to exploit the paranoia of the television watcher nation.
This November, the citizens of this country face one of the most important elections since the last one. They have a chance to vote for change that will end the sacrifices made by our heroes for a cause that has turned out to be unjust. They will have the oppurtunity to prevent more heroes needlessly wasted to fill an agenda that serves only those at the top, who have not had to sacrifice a thing.
The tyrants in power know how to manipulate the television-watchers. They know they cannot run on their economic policies, which have created record trade deficits. They have created record budget deficits. They have allowed more and more of our jobs to be siphoned off, so they can enjoy more money, and then refuse to take responsibility for the consequences of these actions. Record foreclosures. Slowing job growths. Slowing construction starts. Lay-offs. Can't take that path.
And they cannot run on their social agenda. Poison the environment. Legalize discrimination and intolerance. Establishing a theocracy to rival those in the Middle East.
So they're back to the one card in the deck they know how to play. National security. The first step, create a problem where no problem existed before. Last time, it was Iraq. Nobody liked Saddam anyway, so no-one would squeak if we took him out. Now our eyes are on another country. Our president tried to convince the world that we needed to stop them. Before they acquired the means to stand up to our agression. Every violation of the constitution is justified for "reasons of national security".
And how are they able to achieve this? The talking heads tell the televison-watchers topics to think about. Glenn Beck says Iran is up to something. Bill O'Reilly says waterboarding is safe and reliable. Free speech is bad, strip searches are good. As long as the television-watchers are terrified, they can do as they please.


sumo said...

So they're back to the one card in the deck they know how to play. National security. The first step, create a problem where no problem existed before.

Exactly! Bartender...make that drink a smokescreen...better yet bartender make it smokescreens all around on me.

Peacechick Mary said...

Lews! That is powerful reality you are saying there. That is our card - Reality! Nothing short of LSD pumped into the water supply will change that.

azgoddess said...

i like that peace chick mary - lsd all around!!!

so what CAN we do about what is projected on TV? or how to get rid of the programming and replae it with our own

hey wasn't that a sci-fi movie???

DivaJood said...

Yesterday, I flew from LAX to Chicago, and forgot I had lip gloss in my purse. I was pulled aside, told how dangerous that lip gloss is (straight face, I swear to god!). Okay, so the color is called Foul Play (I left Orgasm at home) but still.

The reasons this administration advances in power is that so many low level bureaucrats just say okay, we're doing our job. That, and high levels of corruption (Diebolt machines) - and we have a DUTY to protest and overthrow this regime.

Kathy said...

This is a great post, Lew. I'm hopeful November will result in a tidal wave of change, but I have my doubts. For the most part, I'm convinced the public lives in a fantasy world and they can't think for themselves. They only believe what gets fed to them by the talking heads.

Tina said...

It is funny that you said that about Steve Irwin, and while I will whole heartedly applaud Irwin's noble attempts to educate folks about the importance of conservation, the first thing my husband said when we read the news online that he was dead was something like this: "Jesus, he so young. What about his poor wife and kids? That is exactly why once you become a father you have to carefully think about how your actions will directly impact the lives of your kids who depend upon you."
I couldn't agree more.

karena said...

Lew, this is one of your best. I was driving behind a huge SUV the other day that had a magnetic ribbon that said, "Support my son in Iraq" and a Bush/Cheney sticker. I wanted to strangle those people. How the f--- am I suppose to help their son when they vote for the men who refuse to honor his death, refuse to give him protective armor, refuse to rotate him out before he goes bonkers and starts killing and raping civilians? I'm doing all I can to support their son and they vote against him and tool around in a gas guzzler.

This was a very moving post and thanks for writing this.

Diva, I need a tube of Foul Play. I have Orgasm and Deep Throat blush, but I do not have Foul Play. Thanks for the heads-up! The name of that gloss alone could have caused your rendition.