Monday, August 13, 2012

The Search for Intelligent Life


In trying to find anything in mainstream media this morning that approximates news, I came across a headline, "Jennifer Aniston Engaged to Marry Justin Theroux".   Another was about Miley Cyrus' "shocking" new haircut.

Does anybody really care?  I mean, Jennifer Anniston appears to be a perfectly nice human being and I wish her well.  But I have never, nor have I known anyone who has ever lost any sleep worrying, "When will Jennifer finally remarry?"  It's much more likely that friends and colleagues have, like myself, lost sleep worrying, "When will the crashed economy recover?"  I find myself thinking a lot about things like economic injustice, and worrying that I might find myself, in old age, reduced to eating dog food and living in a cardboard refrigerator box on the side of a dirt road somewhere in what used to be a southern state, before the Great Dissolution.  

And may the gods deliver me from election coverage.  Will we ever have discussions of issues, of social and political philosophy?  It's only August, and I'm already sick to death of the headlines that read exactly like  Olympic coverage - who will be the winner, who will be the loser.  I don't mean to denigrate the Olympic athletes.  I'm sure they all have more integrity than any politican, alive or dead. I'll bet that not one of them accepted lobbying money from Merrill Lynch or Goldman Sachs, for instance.  Who will win and who will lose?  Does it really matter?  I know who will NOT win:  the American people.  We're like over-medicated spectators in a Mr. America Triple Crown, stuffed to the gills on junk food and worked up into a lather over which Mr. Pretty Face will tell the most compelling lies, spin the most compelling fantasies.  Seriously.  We know that Obama can nail a good Al Green song, so he's sure to have the talent segment wrapped up.  I'm waiting for the debates to start including a swim suit competition, and try not to imagine Joe Biden in a pair of Jams.

As for Miley Cyrus' haircut being shocking.....well, no, it isn't.  What's shocking is that 
our government has failed to prosecute any of the men responsible for crashing our economy nearly five years ago.  What's shocking is not only the continually outrageous high number of unemployed people in our country, but also that a growing number of under-employed workers, people working full or more than full-time hours are still living at or near the poverty line.  What's shocking is that too many of our legislators call these people lazy, accuse them of milking the system.  And more shocking still are the citizens who actually parrot this bullshit as if it is truth.  What's shocking is how the pundits and media mouthpieces and politicans have convinced so many people that it is more important to worry about banning gay marriage and conducting vaginal ultrasounds on women seeking abortions than to save the economy and the society.    Miley Cyrus' haircut?  It isn't anywhere on the radar screen.  

So where does a person living in the U.S. go to find real news?  It's like a hunting expedition.  I search the BBC, France 24, RT, Al Jazeera - where at least I know that international news will contain more than 18 articles and blogs about Pussy Riot. 

Don't get me wrong.  I succumb to celebrity nonsense, too.  I follow Cher on Twitter. 
I happen to believe that should be a requirement of anyone with a Twitter account. 
I would even consider voting for Cher in the next Presidential election.  She'd make a hell of a stir on her first European tour, getting off that private plane with her back-up dancers -- just imagine all those feathered headdresses and see-through gowns.  It would be interesting to see where they attached those little American flag pins that have suddenly become required.  White House press conferences would never be the same.  Since she and Greg have probably finally buried the hatchet, maybe we could even count on the Allman Brothers to perform at the Inaugural Ball.  Chaz could head up the newly formed Federal Department of Equality, and kick some serious ass.  I've got a totally straight face when I write: I bet Cher would do a better job for the average American than any politician in Washington.  

I'm asking you:  If everything has become "entertainment", why not put the country in the hands of professional entertainers, musicians, writers?  Aaron Sorkin comes immediately to mind.  I'm sure we could find something for Tim Burton to do.  We definitely need a choreographer -- is Barishnikov available?  

A few elections back, completely disgruntled with my lack of choice, I wrote in Stephen Sondheim for President and Danny Elfman for Vice President.  I figured that, even if they didn't do so well in office, at least we'd get one hell of a musical out of it.