Sunday, November 11, 2012

Will They or Won't They?

Will Republicans having lost the election rather soundly now choose to cooperate with President Obama or won’t they? This seems to be the burning question for the media at the moment. I guess it would be too much to expect anyone to just wait and see? Will she or won’t she? Hillary, that is, will she run for President in 2016 or won’t she? I guess that, too, will occupy the media from now until then. There will apparently be no respite from the insanity of U.S. politics. I knew it would be like this. Politics has become no more than professional football, merely an excuse for companies to run their ads. It is also similar in that neither one of these ongoing franchises is worthy of such attention or even very important although we certainly like to pretend they are. They both give people an excuse to dress up in funny costumes and wave flags and banners and root for the team of their choice, an activity having little or nothing to do with the reality of everyday life.

Why should it not be so, our lives in the “modern world” are increasingly detached from reality. We all live in fantasy worlds where hucksters in the form of talking cars, talking insects, talking cookies, talking vegetables, lizards, and other non-human creatures sell us things that we mostly don’t need. Not only that, the shows we watch on television and in the movies are equally divorced from reality even though they pretend to be real. It is so easy to forget or ignore that it is all really just make believe. When the hero or heroine speaks passionately of love or hate or whatever, and the camera zooms in for their romantic or dramatic moments, they are simply pretending to be moved, and we viewers follow it with rapt attention for reasons that have never been apparent to me. This is the main reason I rarely watch television programs and virtually never watch motion pictures. There is also the strange Hollywood idea that everything has to be converted into a love story of some kind, so we have “Pearl Harbor ( a Love Story)”, or The Holocaust (a Love story), or World War II (a Love story), and so on. I’m afraid to even watch the new movie about Lincoln for fear it, too, will be a love story. I could be quite wrong, I suppose, but it seems to me we have become so alienated from nature and so dependent upon the media we no longer actually exist in the real world. When children no longer know even where their food comes from (other than the supermarket), and expect doors to open automatically for them, and depend upon calculators to do their arithmetic, and sometimes have never even seen domesticated animals, we have taken a serious step into an alternative world, certainly a world I did not grow up in. I am not suggesting this is necessarily bad, although I tend to think it is, but it is a development that should at least take some thought. Even our language no longer represents reality when we speak of “hold your horses,” or “washboard roads,” or “clockwise,” “pitching hay,” and other such outdated phrases that still exist but mean nothing to most young people.

And so it will be with the next four years with respect to the elections. It will all be speculation, will she or won’t she, if yes, who will help her, if no, why not, what factors will determine what she may or may not do, what role will Bill play, and on and on, all busy work having no real connection with what will be going on the corridors of power behind the closed doors of the power brokers. And, of course, it will not all be just about Hillary, it will also be about Ryan, Jeb Bush, probably even (horrors) Palin, and no doubt others as well, sound and fury signifying nothing but keeping us occupied in our fantasy worlds while the real world moves on independently of us most probably to our serious detriment (to say the least). Can we escape from Disneyland long enough to get serious?

Along these lines, why should we be arguing about a measly 4% increase in taxes on the wealthy when we should probably be demanding 50% or even more, why should we stick with insurance companies for health insurance when it is obvious we should have a single payer system, why should we continue to compromise with the greedy and avaricious who prefer to see us suffering in poverty and sickness, and why, above all, should we have to put up with those who believe the sounds of the piano are caused by little angels dancing on the strings? The world we exist in now is not only unreal and artificial , it is absolutely surreal.

Men live in a fantasy world. I know this because I am one, and I actually receive my mail there.

Scott Adams

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