Obsessive compulsory feeding frenzy
© Claudia Woodward-Rice 7/06/09
First it was the Iran elections with tweeters flooding cyberspace, the so-called news networks and all in sundry. Then Iran was forgotten as the frenzy turned to Michael Jackson, a remarkable uproar devoid of any regard for the abuse he suffered as a child or the danger his warped psyche offered other children once he became an adult. Context and content are peripheral at best, and really irrelevant to the public masturbatory passions being groveled in while servers crash and the media and entertainment establishments try to figure out how to make a buck .
But this isn’t really a new phenomena. Ever since OJ the public has grown ever more willing to obsess about some fleeting person or event, only to drop it down the memory hole and move on. It’s shallow, fickle, compulsive. This exercise also tends to handily bury real issues and effectively censor the news.
Just as American’s bodies grow more obese, their minds grow more undisciplined and anxious to feed on a new trivial pursuit. There is something pathological about the swarm and hunger they embody: something mindless, unclean and repulsive.
As a rule I don’t like moral crusaders. But we are seriously in need of truth telling. Where’s the outrage at the pathology that passes for American public life? Telling-it-like-it-is is refreshing and should be encouraged, and not just when the flip-side does something. Our two-faced form of government is another charade. Each postures and pontificates to their respective choirs while behind the scenes they divide the spoils and push the merry-go-round over the body politic.
That’s one of the reasons Helen Thomas’ face off with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was so welcome. Obama’s contrived “press conferences” and rigged “town meetings” should have the press on their feet in indignation. But most remain silent co-conspirators, licking the hand that feeds them the approved version of the day.
Do we really think our main problems are the economy, or the obscene amounts we spend on wars and things that blow up? Our parasitic institutions and perfidious corporate bosses have perfected a form of cultural genocide. They expect us to leap to the bell and to pay for our punishment. It would be hilarious if it were not so depraved. As more and more Americans choose to become Pavlovian objects instead of sentient humans, it might well cease to matter what becomes of them.