We're all being fed media from both of Mother America's breasts, but it's two completely different, fantastical realities. One reality shows a world that seems positively plausible, and one that is kicking us in the crotch. Fantasy-fed, and reality-reamed.
The revolution will be televised.
We won't really believe it. Until we turn off the set, look out of our windows, and see that it's already happened-we've lost.
What it is, what it was, and what it shall be.
TV, on the one hand, tells us that we have a Madame Secretary, a Veep, and a gun-slinging, ass-kicking woman governmental agent (Homeland) who is gonna save us all from threats to our liberties-real and imagined, foreign and domestic. Look out bad guys. We're comin' to get you, wearing high heel shoes and a low-neck sweater.
We watch like perverts at a peep show: Newsroom, West Wing, Boston Legal, Luther, Sherlock, Person of Interest, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, The Equalizer, House of Cards, and even Dexter. Mess with us, and we'll bring in the big guns and beat you at your own game. We'll sneak in, with might as our right, and let you have it with a shiv between your ribs and a boot to your bread basket-lights out; nobody home. Right will talk, and wrong will run. These shows go back as far as you can remember: Miami Vice, Dragnet, etc.
We have this overwhelming need to see wrongs righted, to watch the downfall of those that would trample our lives, liberties, and the pursuits of our happiness. Turn on the tube, and we've got a hero ready to fight for us and a happy ending. Turn off the television and what do we have? Bupkis.
On the tube, the police have forensics: they take finger prints, have line-ups, wiretaps, grill suspects, catch bad guys, and are relentless in their integrity, dignity, and evenhanded fairness. Some even fall in love. But woe to bad cops. Even they'll get theirs before we fade to black. What do we have in reality land? Don't get me started.
We're tied to our sets by the digital umbilical cord. We like to watch shows where people can sing, dance, and survive better than we ever could; we like to watch pitiful people in pitiful conditions try to overcome things like weight, intelligence, dexterity, and movement/control of one ball could power a third world country's power grid.
"Well," you admit: "I know life ain't like that-it's just an escape. I'm just passing time. It's a much-needed diversion." It's all too true, but what about the rest of our lives?
In the rest of our lives, we are incredulous that immeasurably worse things are happening both around and to us, and in real time. And we're confused as to how to work this.
We got no badges.
We have no power, and we don't look good in high heel shoes and a low-neck sweater. We're caught up in the movie, in the real-life moment, and we haven't been given the script.
The world is on the brink of nuclear disaster, the economy has tanked, the courts are taking away our inalienable rights,and they're confiscating rosary beads from immigrants and putting kids in cages.
What the %&@#? What do you want
The world is starving, the planet is warming, we're killing off species, and children are being sold into slavery; the way we treat animals and each other borders on Satanic, and I've got no idea what I'm gonna fix for dinner.
Cars, critters, careers, kids, and flesh-eating amoeba.
By my estimations, 40 percent of the population, maybe more, are more concerned about simply surviving than pushing to save the chimps, whales, reproductive rights, or our environment.
As you may have noticed, changing the world is a job for the young and the old. No one in the middle has time away from the ever spinning treadmill of life to rally, march, communicate, or even pay attention to the chaos that is dooming our planet and our lives. I see folks with kids, and I haven't the remotest idea how they have time for anything else in their lives, let alone finding the solution to the greed motivated, political, geothermal level sugar rush, tsunami hara-kiri that our so-called leaders are pushing us into-headlong.
The young and the old have time on their hands; however, it appears that the more the young want to change things, the more the old want America to carry on business as usual. New thoughts and solutions are coming up from the bottom, while resistance to change keeps pushing back from the top, and I'm here in the middle trying to get my rent in on time and still put food on the table, make dentist appointments, get the car tuned (in case of evacuation), do laundry, and get heartworm meds for Fido. Even nightly news has to be set before me in knee-jerk sound bites.
And to what end?
Voter turnout is pitiful at best. Things are never going to change until the middle 40 percent can afford to live comfortably and with time free enough to ponder (and do something) about the condition our condition is in, time enough to make their voices heard loud enough and show up at the polls in numbers enough to create a better world for us and our children. Where is the real-world manifestation of the heroes that we cheer on in our favorite TV shows?