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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cable News vs. Christmas sprit

      Waiting for the start of today’s athletic contest I cruised some of the Sunday morning talk shows. The following is a professionally crafted tease designed to keep me tuned into the coming Cable News shows.

      “Welcome to Cable News, today we will entertain you with relentless outrage, anger, despair, frustration, fear, indignation, fury, resentment, injustice, scandal, shock, horror, insult, loss of honor, offence, wrath, disgust, and all other ungodly acts of mankind.

      We open today’s show with “The War on Christmas”, followed with stories about the destruction of our blessed American Exceptionalism. Our special panel of experts will debate how civilization is collapsing. We have started coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, as a bonus we will review the candidates for the 2020 race.

      The Ebola fear stories played out weeks ago, and now news about Ferguson is getting stale and repetitious, so we have brand new shocking narratives to titillate your fancy and arouse your deepest anxieties.

      Shows calibrated to appeal to the superior intellect of our audience, those few who pride themselves on being the best informed citizen. The assault on your liberty, freedom, Christianity and wealth is documented in a fair and balanced way.”

      After watching the promos I fled into my bedroom and hid under the bed, heart pounding, gasping for breath with palms sweating. Even my dog got spooked, crawling under the bed with me, convinced something was terribly amiss. As we waited for the world to end, nothing whatsoever happened. Eventually I calmed down a little, I pushed the dog out to investigate the damage. She quickly returned with a tennis ball and dropped it into my hand. I found this strangely soothing and normal in a world gone mad. Courage slowly returned with the guidance of my canine companion.

      Confidence restored I return to the TV. The game had started and my home town team was winning. Life is good and I feel a vague absolute and total desperation.

      A jarring oscillation of reality sets in, a duality of perceptions.

      My favorite team is winning: a North Korean sleeper cell is planning my death.

      Gas is down to $2 per gallon: a Mexican drug cartel is stalking me.

      Positive: Negative: Positive: Negative.

      Deep in my subconscious a safety fuse blows, initiating a soft reboot.

      My vision clears and reality asserts itself. I am standing outside a Starbucks, my wife hands me a latte. I stand straight and breathe deeply, soaking in the atmosphere surrounding me. Crowds’ mill about, caroling fills the air and Christmas shoppers rush back and forth. The commercialization of the birth of baby Jesus, getting and gotting abounds, the joyous release of pent up demand, the strange expression of religious belief using financial debt. God, how I love America, I can not imagine a better place to live.

      People are humming Peace on earth, goodwill to all mankind, this stands in sharp contrast to the fabricated doom and gloom of cable news. I see sisters hugging each other, I see children running and laughing, I hear the jingle bells of cash registers. A frenetic joy as women complete their endless Christmas list and the unfocused calm of confused males wandering boutique shops.

      Yes indeed ladies and gentlemen. Merry Christmas to all and a most Happy New Year.

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