The world is too much with us. The global and national problems that beset us are overwhelming to those of us who care. Even though these issues of personal well-being and planet survival have been with us since the beginning of time, the fear that irrevocable damage will occur is already within us and is always in the forefront of our thoughts. Thus, another phenomenon on which to capitalize: selling drama.
The media and pundits love the drama. The status quo does not sell papers. After all, their paychecks are dependent on inciting and maintaining all the upheavals of our lives. The ups, and especially the downs, are manna from Heaven for the press. Maybe I take things too seriously, but I have had to cut back my reading of current events because unlike the media, I cannot tolerate the extremes while trying to function in my daily life.
So I present to you some absurdities, magnified by our all-too-willing press and advertising industry, that will make you laugh, although be it in desperation. These issues are hardly as important as the big problems we face, but serve as a temporary escape from our major hurdles. When impotence is clearly the lesson of the day, shit on it.
Gwyneth Paltrow is an accomplished actress. Given. However, in the last number of years, her roles have been few and far between. Instead of going to see her in theaters, we are subjected to the media’s reports of her various body cleansing routines. In great detail. Dear, sweet Gwynnie: clean your colon as often as you like, work those butt muscles so that they will not sag and by all means, purify all of your other body parts. Have a blast! But can’t you keep those processes private? What would ever make you think that anyone else is interested?
I, for one, am sick and tired of all the drug commercials. My fave currently is the one hawking a pill for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. A woman’s voice is heard: “Mom was diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s.” The voice is obviously distressed, cracking and miserable. This commercial is clearly aimed at the caretaker’s worries more than the patient’s status, for which there is no miracle cure yet. The voiceover is the daughter speaking, begging for something that will help her mother. Thus, the response is that this pill will give some hope to the daughter. The actual restorative effects for Alzheimer’s are very tenuous. Besides, all of the side affects of the drug will probably kill the patient anyway. So now we are directing a commercial’s message to the indirect victims of disease. Hey: the market just quadrupled! Stand and applaud for Big Pharma.
Likewise, I am now hearing radio commercials sponsored by our defense industry. GE is especially hitting the airwaves pretty hard. They have an ad peddling their jet engine (in a partnership with Rolls-Royce) as the favored war machine over that of Pratt & Whitney. The ad further offers a telephone number that we citizens should call to let our Congressmen know just how vital it is to award this defense contract to GE/Rolls-Royce. Taking it directly to the people! In addition, GE must really be on a public relations tear, as they have another ad pushing the effectiveness of their anti-IED devices. Another hot-button issue we all should be placing on our to-do lists immediately. Ain’t war grand?
And pray tell, does the NBA and NHL season ever end? For how long do these playoffs continue? Certainly the playoff season is as long as the regular season. Too much of a good thing renders that good thing worthless. Basketball and hockey in the summer? No thanks. End the season and get a day job.
And the oil spill. Besides the facts that our regulatory agencies were bought off by Big Oil and the reality that no technology existed to stem the flow of oil a mile down in the ocean before the well was drilled, is there much sympathy for such players as Mary Landrieu and Bobby Jindal when they bemoan the state of their state? Not from me. I feel for the unfortunate animal life that is being unmercifully damaged and the resulting loss of livelihood and health of the state’s residents. But I feel nothing for the players. Tell me this: if they are so truly disturbed by this catastrophe, how come they have not turned off the spigots on the other oil wells that are 5000 feet down in the waters off of their shores? Why haven’t our regulatory entities, state officials and federal leaders demanded that the technology be in place before these deep water wells are put into operation? These captains of industry and titans of government are no better than the industries that promote useless drugs and destructive weapons of war.
Wait. Hold on. I have a great idea. How about we get on the horn to Gwyneth Paltrow and pick her mind for a purification method for the Gulf of Mexico? Seems to me a Gulf full of oil can’t be too far worse off than a clogged colon. Stranger things have happened, and in this crazy world, Gwynnie just might have a viable suggestion, no? In the meantime, I will continue to irreverently sublimate my frustrations and anger to the ironies and absurdities of my day-to-day existence. While the media is selling constant drama, I will respond by huckstering humor. What other choice do I have?