Sunday, March 11, 2012

The American Way

What upsets us? Not much. It seems to me that what concerns us are not the horrifying things, but the trivial things. How did I come to this conclusion today? Nothing more unusual than the day's headlines, which I for one, find horrifying quite frequently.

But this is not the sort of thing that seems to hold our attention. Pick just about any day in America and what do you get inundated with on the TV, in the culture? Nothing but shit, really . . . I wrote my $50 check for PBS today (I wish it could make them stop asking me for now every night in the middle of the News Hour.), and I realized that just about the only things I watch that are not on PBS are Ranger games, the few football games we watch, and a smattering of other stuff. This has been Susan's and my pattern for a long time. Why? because PBS is our only antidote for the incredible torrent of garbage everywhere else on television. Collectively, we seem to have embraced all the lightweight diversions we can seize upon to keep us from having to confront ourselves. Do you realize how many people in this country are utterly captivated by celebrities? A horrifying number. Is there anything more

The big news today is the American soldier who methodically murdered 16 Afghan civilians including women and children. Is this going to upset anyone? Not really. Horrify anyone? No more than abuse of Iraqi prisoners, pissing on the corpses of our enemies, and all those innocent people we kill "accidentally" with our lethal drones. No, people are more concerned about whether their favorite on "American Idol" advances. Horrible things like our war crimes, the number of people homeless in this country, our collective callousness and selfishness . . . we don't lose a wink's sleep. We're inured to horror, oblivious to anything that doesn't amuse us. It's the American way.
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