Sunday, October 18, 2009

Headless Chickens and Mutton Merinos

Boy Falcon Heene is accidentally sent flying away in a silver balloon, which seems a garish reject from a 1950’s sci-fi. Dad Richard Heene calls a TV station before dialing 911 ...

Although the “boy in the balloon” is most certainly a hoax, the main issue is more telling, an ignored elephant on the coffee table of US culture: the conformist zeal of a corporate media akin to a barnyard of headless chickens, all running about with exorbitant idiocy, relentless in the search for catchy grains of pablum.

The public is enthralled by insipid sound bytes at the expense of a basic proclivity to think. “Panem et circenses,” or “bread and circuses,” the ancient lament of the poet Juvenal, remarking on the decline of Rome, is eerily appropriate. The good citizens of the US Empire, evoking life under Caesar, fixate like drooling five-year-olds on glitzed up gewgaws of news. Meanwhile the world around them decays. Morally, environmentally, and spiritually.

How has it come to pass that a dumbed-down public waits eagerly for the next morsel of blood and horror, or some doggerel of fairytale, herded like mutton merinos by a few powerful overlords who wag the sheep dogs?

“In this best of possible worlds ... all is for the best.”
Voltaire, from Candide

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