The Undoing of America


John Wright


My wife and I watched a 15 minute segment of CNN® news this morning, and we were exposed to stories about charges filed against Michael Jackson, the Green River serial killer sentencing, preparation for Lee Malvo’s sentencing, a rehashing of old charges against former President Clinton, more stuff about Kobe Bryant’s defense efforts, President Bush going on record in favor of denying Manuel Cedilla the right to due process, and the bombing of yet another building in Iraq. What a delightful way to start a new day!

Other than the fact that these items were reported at the same time, what do all of them have in common? No, I’m not thinking only about the fact that all the stories had negative connotations. Four, three, two, one … okay, you’ve had long enough to identify the common thread. And the answer is: Government! We have six instances of government/court stories and one of government/military nature.

Three Blacks, one Hispanic, two Whites and some unidentified number of Iraqis, spanning the pits of society up to the wealthy and famous. Quite a haul, that! I find myself thinking that the preponderance of "crime and punishment" issues in our news and other shows, all the time now, not just occasionally, marks a sour point in our history. What a sick and unrewarding experience it is to see what the media presents. I am forced to wonder whose agenda is controlling that process.

Is it true that media responds to viewer preferences in the selection of presented material, or is it possible that only one aspect of human curiosity is being overplayed, to the exclusion of other suitable and interesting subjects? One might argue that viewers could always turn to the History channel or Discovery (now called Science) channel or PBS if they don’t like the "news." I find that argument weak as it bypasses the idea that "real time" events in the present, not hiding in digested versions of the past, are of value, and that they need have nothing to do with any part of Government.

For example, wouldn’t it be interesting to be taken on a video tour of a hospital to actually see what is really done on behalf of the patients? Or wouldn’t it be interesting to be taken on a video tour of a major manufacturing facility to see how it all is put together to make the products we buy? Think of the educational value, and the fact that it really is news to the uninformed. This means, in my opinion, that we are being assailed by our government, to elevate control proceedings to a level of importance that diminishes all other activities to a state of unimportance. Whose sick idea is that? I certainly don’t value the control and self-aggrandizement crap at all.

One frightening aspect of media control is that most poll results shown are likely absurd, due to improper sampling methods, yet with the appearance of respectability, leading a vast majority of ordinary people to believe that they are in the minority and that they should get on board with the advertised "majority" that obviously has their act together. This is ill-disguised mind control, and it should be punished, but by whom? The Fox runs the henhouse.

Another frightening aspect of media is that a non-issue can be presented as factual, important and receiving of much attention, legal or otherwise. Soon, the non-issue becomes a real issue because it is given repetitive exposure and "people on the street" are asked their opinions, leading to the idea that the issue is real and important. Think of the garbage about former president Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski … who was it that really gave a damn? It certainly wasn’t the American public, yet the media hyped the story to the point that it got far more coverage than President Kennedy’s assassination! Does that make sense?

I think of what I do see in the media and in the courtrooms as symptoms of a much larger problem that I have already identified, and it is excessive control of ordinary people via government through cooperative media moguls. I don’t care if the basis is ultraconservatism of a religious variety or of a wealthy Vs not wealthy variety, this is the undoing of America, folks, and you are living through it now. Our evolution has proceeded down paths that I can only describe as nightmarish in an Orwellian sense. We have failed to pay attention to legislation that has tightened the noose around our necks over the past thirty years. And we have been turned against each other for fear of arrest or destructive litigation over trifles.

Who can argue about the terrible nature of crimes committed by people like Lee Malvo? Is it enough to air the dirty details and the obvious results, or should our society be looking into the mental health of our children early enough to help our young to grow up as productive citizens? We have glorified the killer and the cop instead of taking sensible steps to reduce or eliminate the originating problems. What a fine role media could play to help our young people form good values, yet the power of media is used in the most base way possible.

We need to be angry and to use our anger to elect people to the Presidency and the Congress in majority numbers to, as one candidate says, "take America back for the people." If you care at all about your future or especially that of your progeny you will get out and convince the dispossessed people who typically don’t bother voting to reject our society formally in its present manifestation. Our nation is very sick and the prognosis is not good.