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  • Wednesday, June 22, 2005


    Not of This World

    My illusions of being a media whore and critic are shattered, dust in the wind. I live far too much in my head, unused to the realities of the Republican Noise Machine. I thought I was tough, a clear-eyed realist of progressive conviction and keen insight. Instead I find I am a wimp of enormous proportions, a weak whimperer when confronted with the massive wall of lies shouted from the TV.

    Let me whisper to you my secret: I am not stupid. Ah, you may think me a braggart or you may think I am confused. Not being stupid is a good thing, right? Wrong. I think. I think critically ofttimes, therefore most mainstream TV news is flawed. Those so-called pundit shows on TV? Apparently they have learned to constantly mouth nonsense, words strung together but rarely making sense. And yet people nod knowingly as if the gibberish was sage wisdom.

    Let me tell you how I came to my crushing realization. Fierce Celt with Axe, my housemate, had Tivoed an episode of Bill O'Reilly because Damali Ayo was going to appear on it. She originated the rent-a-negro site and recently published a book, "How to Rent a Negro." Ms. Ayo was going to appear on O'Reilly's show. Fierce Celt thought this might be amusing.

    Now apparently, despite having read much about O'Reilly in various media critiques, I haven't really seen much of an actual show of his. The first minute left me dizzy. I caught at least one obvious factual lie and several, um, let's say very deliberate spins of a situation. My mouth gaped open. Did this man actually live in the same consensual reality as I did? It wasn't that his politics were different from mine. I can actually respect sane and reasonable conservatives. But this was unreal. He lied, he blustered, he exaggerated. It struck me that he thought every word flowing from his lips was gold, brilliant in incisive edge. He was dazzling in his meanspirited slash and burn tactics. I thought he was a nasty piece of work, as the phrase goes. I can't help but wonder how well he would do in a debate situation where he didn't have all the power.

    So faced with this single example of the exceptionally extreme wing of politics, I fold like a wet blanket. This constant babble of lies, misstatements, accusations comes in varying intensity from these people. These flagrant fictions are on all the time. What value is my finger pointing at the truth I see? The tide of lies is great and strong. Yet still I rise because I must. (uh-oh, do I hear the swell of inspirational and emotionally manipulative music by John Williams?)

    OK, perhaps I'm not as weak as I made out. That's just a trope for writing this piece. I'm prone to that sort of thing. Feeling much better, thank you. Perhaps with more exposure to these chattering media monkeys I will be better able to withstand their outrageous distortions and astoundingly brazen dreck. Exposure may provide a sort of innoculation to these stupid shouters of blather. It's obvious this approach works to persuade many people. Are they all stupid? Or just susceptible to this method of repetitive indoctrination? If I listened to it often enough, it would certainly drive me to dull agreement with their views eventually.

    As Oscar Wilde might have said (but didn't): A reasonable person is rarely a match for a screaming fool. (If I could get paid for it, I swear I'd write epigrams for a living.)

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