The “news”/media is a fickle, transitory, grasping, obsessive, strange monstrosity disseminating stories of bullshit hyper-reality, politically partisan features, and the occasional war coverage. TV stars, Hollywood, and strange local happenings provide a bulk of the daily diversionary “news.” If we were ever actually presented with real journalism, provided with the information regarding Monsanto’s farming lawsuits, the dubious “War on Terror”, Wall St.’s gambling ways, all the global banks’ selfish complicity in crashes, bubbles, bursts, setting of mortgage and interest rates, or even the insatiable stream of tainted lobbyist money which has now inseminated D.C. politicians’ corrupt and decadent wombs, we would hopefully rise to the streets in protest for revolution! But, I think we would just change the channel. And that’s why they don’t report on those things. Networks need eyes to feast upon advertisements proclaiming the appeal of the new artery clogging pretzel burgers or dual-layered cheese pizzas; antidotes to ennui such as jealousy invoking flashy cars or big, strong, manly pick-up trucks, followed by make-up, medicine, cell phones and Disney to round out the 3 minutes of the covetous advertising nightmare ingested every fifteen minutes in TV-land. It’s the cycle of television and 24-hour “news” channels. “News” is in quotes here because networks decide the “news” based on their company’s allegiances and sponsors, thereby making it subjective and only an idea of what is news.
As an expat, most of my news is gleaned from online articles, The Daily Show and word of mouth from my friends in America. However, sometimes there are stories that don’t slip between the cheese-greased cushions, and are headlines for weeks in the States and elsewhere. Anthony Wiener’s genitals and the new prince of Cambridge, George, were popular this week. We have two different stories, with different appeals, but no doubt, they were the headliners.
Anthony Wiener is actually old news because he did this same embarrassingly childish sexting business last year. He was busted, kicked out of office, waited, schemed, posed for People and arranged his current bid to return to politics in the NYC mayoral race. He is such a dweeb to get caught sexting again. He is such a little geek, probably with a prudish wife who won’t play his sex fantasy games. He is such a loser to text his lascivious ideas, instead of just doing them like a truly depraved person. He is like those annoying dogs that bark ferociously before running away as you approach them. He is a man of many words and little substance.
But, why are we surprised? Politicians are not looked up to as moral anymore. They are not the best examples of Americans, if they ever were. They are not real people with real personalities. They are corporate shills, paid sponsors of lobbyist interests. They live and vote, lost in a chaotic, greedy sea, without checking their moral compass, figuratively looking into the darkened corner where the hazy outline of their real employer sits listlessly watching his acquisition’s ambitions of making formative changes to the American political and social landscape rot like fungus on a fallen tree.
Politicians are elected by citizens but molded by corporations. We shouldn’t be surprised by Wiener’s goofiness. We should be surprised by the lack of interest in true political crime: i.e. failure to pass gun legislation, legitimate campaign finance reform, closed-minded partisan divisiveness or improved financial regulations.
We should not see the Occupy Wall Street movement as represented by the fringe hippies and idiots popularized by the media, but rather as calling attention to a true, horrific, worrisome feature of modern American life where less than 1% of the country maintains the monopoly of wealth, not trickling down through taxes and expenditures, but stockpiled in shady off-shore accounts by the avaricious and crooked for unknown motives. Unknown might be too friendly a term, their motives, as any rich man in history, is to preserve their wealth and thereby, their power, usually by any means necessary.
As we devolve into the future of a middle-classless America and poverty overtakes the urban centers, we look for distraction. Here, in this vibrant and varying world, we find Kate Middleton and her little baby. They provided a welcome disruption from global turbulence by expressing the world as it could be, seen through the eyes of an innocent, cute little child.
She is a beautiful commoner; he is the descendant of a once massively popular, deceased former princess. She is a classic woman with genteel charm; he seems to have gotten his mother’s grace and his father’s undesirable hairline. It’s not hard to understand this story’s allure. As evinced from my Facebook friends’ posts, having a child is a major life-changer, complete with messy food pictures and baby on the beach updates. We like to see happy couples with happy babies. It helps stir away the bitter aftertaste of murder, conspiracies, wars, deception and killer robots of the day-to-day. It doesn’t matter that they are British royalty, living among guards in protected, ancient castles. We can feel connected by seeing pictures and understanding the mutual joy of a new life.
Sometimes, the news is full of Wiener’s and sometimes there are nice, pointless headlines about babies. Whatever it is, we’re all doomed.