Friday, September 12, 2008
Apathy & Red Shoes
The double feature at the cinema of the mind begins with Network and goes to the all-time classic (anti-Communist) film of paranoia and apathy, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." As much as I like the work of Brook Adams, I will go with Don Siegel's original version every time.
The movie has been on my mind of late, if only because I think the population of America has been co-opted, kidnapped and replaced by thoughtless, feelingless "pod-people." I mean, how else do you explain what is happening?
Today's Oregonian, out of Portland, ran an AP piece headlined "McCain's 'straight talk' goes awry". In it, Sarah Palin's "no, thanks" to the infamous bridge to nowhere claim has been disavowed by her earlier (documented) support of the bridge. The article also states how the McCain/Palin ticket has "equated lawmakers' requests for money for special projects with corruption, even though Palin has sought nearly $200 million in such 'earmarks' this year." The article goes on to report on an internet ad the McCain/Palin campaign produced "implying that Obama had called Palin a pig when he used a familiar phrase, which McCain has used, about putting 'lipstick on a pig' to try to make a bad situation look better." And in probably what is the lowest point (so far) in the campaign, "the McCain campaign produced another ad saying Obama favored 'comprehensive sex education' for kindergarteners. The charge was debunked by the media."
The lies and smears are bad enough. But to me, what is worse still is the response. The sound of one hand clapping-- or worse. The dirty tricks and untruths are now being documented in print and here in the Blogosphere as fast as they are spun out... and people don't seem to care. The race is neck and neck. Do I gather from this that the voting public would rather have an old white guy and his gun-toting, hockey mom compadre over a young man with new ideas and a seasoned Senator? Oh, did I forget the word, "black?" I'll go there... later. For now, I cannot help but take note of the conclusion by Michael Delli Carpini, an authority on political ads at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communication, quoted in the AP article as saying that, "... the very notion that facts matter seem to be under assault."
Is it irony or mere coincidence that there was also an article in today's Oregonian raising questions on the guilt of the Rosenbergs because of possible perjury?
The Red Menace has been replaced by "Islamic Terrorists." Ask Ms. Palin, who blathered on and on in the interview with Charlie Gibson, winking and smiling while not answering even the puffball questions.
So, the deal is to be afraid, but for heaven's sake, be quiet about it.
Obama is taking the high road, which I guess is like a monk taking a vow of silence. Kerry did that four years ago. We know where it got him.
And America is, by and large, more concerned with Dancing with the Stars or the next season of Idol, than they are with the fate of the election.
And, oh, by the way, did you know there's a war on? Our country is spending upwards of $10 billion dollars a month trying to "win" in Iraq, and not a word about it appears in the newspaper or on the nightly news.
I am reminded of a conversation Pat Riley, then the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, reportedly had with one of the players. His performance on the court compelled Riley to ask, I don't know if you're ignorant or just apathetic," to which the player responded, "I don't know and I don't care."
All of which brings me back to wonder if all those people on the streeets, shopping in the malls and occupying the homes and apartments in America are really pod-people.
Oh, and the title of this post? Elvis Costello, of course.
I used to be disgusted
Now I'm just amused
Since the wings have got rusted
The angels want to wear my red shoes