Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Reporting on Absurdity, Straight Faced and Serious
You really have to hand it to news reporters sometimes. How they can manage to take what would ordinarily be a SNL skit, a Jon Stewart bit, or a Colbert Report, and make it seem like it was a serious bit of reality is just amazing.
The report below of last night's primary results in N.H. are a case in point. And what is interesting in all of this is not that reporters have lost touch with reality, but that we as a nation have. And one can only wonder why the major lead here isn't "America Admits to its Own Insanity."
What else is one to conclude when, in the same paragraph the reporter can conclude that
"...The two men are the types of candidates who traditionally succeed in European, not American, politics: the populist conservative and the socialist. Trump is essentially creating a political wing of his own, defined by his outlandish promises to singularly change American government with his leadership and business acumen and his ability to tap into the concerns many Americans have about illegal immigration, the threat of home-grown terrorism, the rising cost of healthcare and other threats to the middle class..."
Just because something might happen in Europe, or that it might have a title like "populist conservative," or even "Socialist," doesn't mean it is either possible, or the same thing. And one can have some confidence in this conclusion precisely because we are subsequently told that "...Trump is essentially creating a political wing of his own, defined by his outlandish promises to singularly change American government with his leadership and business acumen and his ability to tap into the concerns many Americans have..." If you understand that by "creating a political wing of his own" it is meant in the context of a specialized area of treatment for the "Reality Challenged."
The Bud Lite ad I posted on recently featured Amy Shumer and Seath Rogan creating their own wing of a political party, which I'm sure sold a lot of beer. Nobody would ever think, however, to suggest that, if the Europeans were forming a similar party, and having a good time with it, that it would then follow that this was real politics. Good advertising of course, but hardly real politics.
But therein lies an essential aspect of what defines our current form of "Electrified By Polar Disorder." We can sell ourselves on all sorts of fantasies and yet somehow set some aside as no more than that, but others as something else entirely. Desperately clung to in the hopes that a different outcome might come from them even though one hardly ever has in the seemingly endless go around of trying it again and again, and again.
Perhaps even more depressing, however, is the fact that, despite the fact of knowing at least at some level, this is mass delusion at work, we let it take up our attention to the exclusion of so many other, actually important, actually occurring, situations; the particulars of a grand reality of symptoms whose cause we simply do not want to take responsibility for. As I have said before, "the truth is out there." It's not a secret or an X-File. It is our shameful continuance with an organization model that has made us all at least partially crazy, and for which things are only getting worse.