L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 104, January 8, 2001
Back in the Saddle
"And That's The Way It Is"
by Lowell Potter
Special to TLE
Shoot the television, indeed! Excellent advice, with the possible exception of sacrificing golf telecasts and an occasional Jeopardy segment. The tv, aptly dubbed the idiot box, has become one big excruciating non-stop portal of partisan political demagoguery, and its wearisome and obligatory, attendant putrid punditry adding insult to the festering injury.
The quaint old-fashioned custom of a nightly half hour broadcasting of your favorite talking head's observations of world and national events has followed penny candy, meaningful baseball, and 5˘ cigars down the road to that misty, watercolor world of mere wistful memories.
In our modern techno-wondrous world, where national sports figures command salaries rivaling the GNP of some modest third world nations and play in government funded super-arenas before rabid and illiterate multitudes of latter day serfs and vassals, entire panels of lauded "experts" and "academicians" intone their self-important and gospel-like "analyses" on hundreds of all-news, all-the-time cable-tv channels having enough acronym-based names to make an ocean of alphabet soup blush.
Gone forever is the comforting and regular, paternal image of Walter Cronkite from the livingrooms of millions of dedicated self-perceived "informed" Americans. Cronkite only recently revealed himself as an avowed One Worlder advocating the subservience of United States sovereignty to the whims of the oligarchical United Nations (for the good of the world, of course),
"...And that's the way it is," said our trusted and venerable newsman icon every evening as mom and pop cleaned up another pitcher of martinis. Uhuh. Sure, it is....
Cronkite's "coming out" has done nothing more well than to lend creedence to the cynics who've decried corporate tv programming as little more than establishment propaganda since the heyday of Marshall McLuhan. For any astute, or alert enough news consumer to have noticed ol' Walter's confession, ....sanitized, minimalized, and softly spun for mass consumption as it was, ....this should have been enough of a wakeup call to at least shake the foundations of a few people's illusions of what masquerades as "fair and balanced" journalistic reporting. Just a little bit, anyway.
Perhaps, though, I am being too generous here in my assessment of the national collective intelligence. How many people do you know that are absolute cracker-jack scholars, book-smart to a fault, but don't have a shred of common sense? How many people do you know that just don't have a shred of common sense, period? Scary, huh?
Someone in politics once said, "Never overestimate the intelligence of the American electorate," which reminds me of another quote made by the lately unfashionable and much ignored visionary novelist and thinker, George Orwell. He said, "In a kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." This Orwell was one prescient dude, Kimosabe.
But maybe there is some hope, ....just a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps the terminally ignorant are predominantly composed of those who actually still think voting is a sacred duty, and that their votes are actually meaningful in the grand scheme of things, ....of folks who have been conditioned to NOT think by the benevolent system of public education, ....people who believe that there actually is a significant difference between the two major American political parties, ....and that the government of the United States legitimately functions under law, utilizing a working constitution, ....sadly, to which all pay a customary allegiance, but with which few are even remotely familiar.
Maybe, ....just maybe, the 150 million others in this country who do not exercise the voting franchise, have simply seen the irrelevance of the hopelessly corrupt and mercenary nature of state and federal government, and have resigned themselves to getting on with their own livesin spite of them.
Is it conceivably possible that this vast "silent majority" has correctly deduced that they are the most qualified authority to make the determinations of what is in their own best interests in the pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness, ....not some professional bloodsucking, haughty, snot-nose seat polisher, sitting in some cushy public office building somewhere in Fairfax, Virginia?
We can only hope.
And if you, too, are beginning to weary of the legions of posturing celebrities and news anchor demi-gods splashed all over the airwaves, each spouting his own self-righteous version of what control-rooted policy and agenda he is in favor of foisting upon you and yours (for your own good, of course), just maybe it's time to break out the monkey wrenches.
Hmmmmm. Look out, Clintons, O'Reilly, Ted Koppel, Alec Baldwin, and the rest of you self-righteous control types! Here come the monkey wrenches! Yeah! Throw one right through the tv first, and then go ahead and pitch a few down at the DMV office, or at your local Federal Building. I know you'll start feeling better, pronto!
P.S. How can such a gifted actor as Baldwin (you've got to love his movies) have so much shit crammed in his small mind? ....and, Golly....no slight was intended to Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. reruns in the beginning of this essay.
God Bless us!
"....and that's the way it is!"