Thursday, December 1, 2005

Please Read

I suspect my previous entry is going to be one of those that gets few comments. Or none. Readers will receive the alert, click on the link. When they discover what it is that awaits them, they'll sigh, "Nothing good here; just a political post." And lightning quick mouse-clicking will take them back into cyber-space in pursuit of juicier game.

I understand. And 75% of the time, I'm right there with you. We're constantly bombarded by the hype that emanates from every media orifice. It's ugly. It's depressing. It's contentious. And most of the time, we can't make head nor tails of it. The political rhetoric in America has risen to such a fever pitch, that to expose yourself to it for any protracted period of time is to risk serious brain damage. Little real information can be found in the screaming, sniping, and name-calling in which our leaders are now engaged, and that our media have deemed constitute all the news we need or want to hear.

To those of us who still feel an obligation to know what's going on, the horrendous noise serves as an effective deterrent to sticking around long enough to dig deeper. I turn on the television or the radio, and within less than three minutes, I'm either hollering back at it, turning it off, or throwing it out a window. Print media are somewhat less offensive. I find that my brain's natural "loud/soft" mechanism sets the emotional volume at a level I can bear for long enough to read an article or two. Still, our city newspaper reads more like "People" magazine every day; magazines are so full of ads that it's almost impossible to find the articles, much less follow all the threads interwoven around and between pimpings for little purple pills.

Besides, reading is work. Unlike audio or video, you need to set your whole mind to reading an article. You can't have it playing in the background while you accomplish five or six other things on your "to do" list. Wouldn't it be nice if we actually could absorb the information we need to understand our complex world that way? Would we tune in if we could? The powers that be in American media apparently think not.

No, we will not be offered the opportunity to be educated in spite of ourselves. Like anything else that is worthwhile, the good information, the whole stories, the truths hidden under the lies, can only be had with the investment of some kind of effort. You gotta want it; and you gotta go looking for it. And let me tell you, folks, we direly need to want it.

When we cruise up to the cashier at WalMart and dole out our $1.88 for the "Support our Troops" magnet for the bumper of our SUV, we have to know what that means. ALL that it means. When the President stands in front of his carefully chosen military audiences and talks about our troops returning victorious when we can "safely" hand Iraq back to the Iraqis, we have to have some idea of the likelihood of that happening. And what the Iraqis will probably do with their country once they have it back. When the commander-in-chief of a military responsible for the prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib, stands before the world and declares, "We do not torture," we have to be able snap to attention and cry, "Foul!" When it's time to go to the voting booth, we need to make informed decisions between "Pull out now," "Stay the course," or something in between.

We need to know whether our prayer should be "God bless America," or "God forgive America."



  1. Exellent post as usual. Too bad we can't find a flag graphic in the upside down position of distress. You've seen our bookcases downstairs. I keep waiting for any of my nephews to show half as much interest in what's on those shelves as they do their video games. I can't imagine not reading and have to admit I just added to the library. Two of Ambrose's books on WWII. The man was fascinated by what made good leader, how they led, how their minds worked. I suspect anything he had to write on our current "leadership" would be unprintable.

    Again excellent as usual.


  2. We need to know, but we're afraid to know.

  3. My husband and I were just discussing this morning how glad we are that we are entering that time in our lives where we can look forward to dying.

    Sorry to sound depressing but the world doesn't feel right to me anymore. It feels like a cold, hostile and threatening place.

    I feel strongly that we should be saying God Forgive America, but I've also almost reached the point where I just want to bury my head beneath the sand like much of America seems to do these days. I don't want to see or know any more.

    It feels like things in America will never again be promising for my children. Their futures, their hopes, their dreams...all seem to be evaporating with each passing day.


  4. Wonderful post as usual. It really bothers me that people don't realize that you can support our troops but not support our president. Where was all this support of the troops 35 years ago?
    I lean more towards God forgive america in my prayers.
    Michelle :)

  5. I heard all this 'STAY THE COURSE DON'T PULL OUT' bullshit before ... almost 40 years ago during Vietnam.
    like Yogi Berra said, ... IT'S DEJA-VU ALL OVER AGAIN.