Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bread and Circuses

I sometimes feel ashamed of this country - and I'm not talking (this diary, anyway...) about the leadership, I'm talking about the masses, and the class of pimps that cater to their basest..."instincts" is the wrong word, because it implies that cheap thrills, vicarious rage-expression masquerading as "justice" (*cough* Nancy Grace cough) and pornographically violent spectacle are intrinsically, deeply human, and not just an abberation that has been nurtured into a thriving, culture-destroying monster by people who worship Power over Goodness.

About 50 years ago, someone way smarter than me described Television as a "vast wasteland" (as I recall it was someone who was fabulously enriched by helping form and create said wasteland, but I digress) but television has moved so far down the depravity slope that people are actually nostalgic for the sentimentality-opium-softened wasteland he was describing.

"Future Weapons" is a popular show on the Discovery Channel, during which an ex-navy-seal masturbates all over the latest, shiniest, most advanced ways of killing people (not an exact description, but I think I've captured the gist). Cable TV feeds Americans a steady diet of war-glorifying "documentaries."

"Reality" shows (note the term) celebrate people who will stop at no self-annihilation, no debasement, no whorish defilement for a shot at money or fame or both. The "reality" these shows are selling: "America, this is you; this is the world. This Is Who We Are."

"American Exceptionalism"...Nationalism... is that ancient temptation: Pride, hubris, Idolatry, self-exhaltation, narcissism masquerading as idealism. This kind of thinking killed millions and millions and millions of people in the last hundred years, many of them children, many of them burning to death in the wreckage of their homes before they learned to pronounce the name of the country they lived in. The circumstances that killed them are now sold as the "Noble Cause," the "Good War," of the "Greatest Generation" when really it was just an orgy of killing, an obscene, unrestrained slaughter in scenes beyond the imagination of Dante.

Our American culture is descending into barbarism, which citizens of the wreckage of this country keep at bay in a haze of drugs, video games, and anything else that will keep the wolf of truth from intruding into their consciousness.

Maybe this is my depression talking. Then again, maybe not.

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