"Our culture's adjustment to the epistemology of television is by now all but complete; we have so thoroughly accepted its definitions of truth, knowledge and reality that irrelevance seems to us to be filled with import, and incoherence seems eminently sane. And if some of our institutions seem not to fit the template of the times, why it is they and not the template, that seem to us disordered and strange."
— Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
What I learned in this last week was there is still at least one billionaires club of old white men so exclusive even Rush Limbaugh can’t get membership. I don’t know if I find that refreshing, or a sad reminder of how exclusive the world really is and how powerful those in power really are.
The United States has exploded into one massive traveling big top circus full of the lowest common carnie folk, Elephants, Donkey’s, and gypsy’s. STEP RIGHT UP AND WITNESS A BOY IN A BALLOON LIVE ON CNN AND FOX! See as the world watches with baited breath possibly witnessing a tragic death or a happy ending!!! Either way it’s all you need to know as THIS IS THE NEWS.
We’ve all seen Webster fly away holding onto the balloons in the opening credits of the show Webster. As a kid that always seemed fun and I wanted to get myself a bunch of balloons to make the same trip. As I listened to what the ring master was barking and the scary tone he was using I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry at the situation. I was waiting, and waiting, and waiting for my chicken sandwich to finish at Franksville as everybody else in the restaurant was watching the TV as the balloon slowly touched down. We all silently judged if it was hard enough of a landing to kill, which I thankfully didn’t think it was. The authorities searched the balloon and it was empty. Yikes.
The speculation was maybe he fell out the balloon if he was ever in it. The police started searching the ground the balloon covered in its 70 mile journey looking for the possible fall out boy. Meanwhile back outside of the tent a Chicago High School is giving away fright passes, only these have nothing to do with Halloween. The Chicago Public School System is offering Fenger High School parents; transportation vouchers or attendance into Carver Military Academy if their children are too scared to return school after Derrion Albert was fatally beaten by a gang of angry thugs.
The nation is now coming together to pray for the safety of the little bubble boy as the news commentators take on a sad disposition. The child, appropriately named Falcon Heene has groups of law enforcement agencies searching for him. Words, no matter how perfectly crafted are only as strong as the people who read them and Heene has the best of the best reading his story winning over the people.
While the broom mustached ring master crafted the story of young Heene --back in Chicago, Romel Handley, a disgusting freak show of a man was sentenced to spend the next twenty years in an overcrowded prison. The tough guy begged for ten years calling himself a dumb kid. Dumb kids fly in balloons, Romel Handley brainwashed children as the head recruiter for the street gang the Insane Deuces. I number two for sure. This monster of a man gave guns to children and instructed them to kill; and murder is what they did. Twenty years…how many lives did he ruin? Teach your children well? What happened, where have we gone wrong?
A day later it appears as if the boy in the bubble was nothing more than a hoax. Just like most circus magic, what we saw wasn’t the full story just the fun parts they wanted us to see and hear. Where and what is the responsibility of the media to tell the stories that matter? What matters anymore?
I walked to the bakery to get a pumpkin pie and as I was thinking I started to crave roller skates. The ability to glide through the sidewalks and roll with the times has a certain freedom that just seems right. Maybe the world should start wearing more roller-skates. Maybe we wouldn’t take Rush Limbaugh so serious if he was on roller skates. Maybe Derrrion Albert would still be alive as the world is a little more cautious near slippery sloops while on wheels. Maybe small kids would skate away from monsters like Romel Handley. Maybe the news would report what mattered. Maybe…maybe.