In response to Dan's post today.
I think the 'thing' that it is so disheartening, is to find out that you've been lied to.
Remember that feeling when you learned Santa wasn't real? It grabs you by the balls and makes you sick to your stomach and you just want to hide and cry a little. Not because you really wanted Santa to be that pure and perfect. You could have handled it if Santa had a closet masturbation problem or was the type of guy that would fart in yoga. I mean, he’s a real guy, and real guys have issues. And that’s OK. It was the fact that you were lied to. And lied to on a massive scale.
You knit your eyebrows into a tight knot, considering all the falsities of the story. You have books (false histories!), movies on TV (propaganda!), even the weatherman ‘tracking’ the sleigh with the weather tracking system (deception!). There were songs, games, the bourbon-soaked jerk at the mall that your mom promised really was Santa – just sit still and smile for the camera. You realized that it wasn’t just something that your parents made up to keep you in line, like the “I’ll get my belt” threat, this was an enormous conspiracy. It was a cover-up that went all the way to the top.
“It’s meant to make kids feel good, be happy for the holidays,” they say. Ha! It’s a device to manipulate your gooey little kid brain and prepare you for the rest of your life. To open your mind to manipulation and control. “If this idiot believes that reindeer can fly, then she’ll never question it when we give the ‘alls-well’ on the nightly news.” I assume this was followed by an evil chuckle [bwah ha ha] but since they don’t show it on my happy-go-lucky local news, I’ll never know.
Now I am at the age when the newspapers that I read are no longer the free variety that come in bundles at my local coffee house. I pick up the Times, read Newsweek, scour the internet for the truth. And honestly, it’s sad business. Flip on the BBC news (free on PBS in the afternoons, if you don’t get BBC as part of your cable/satellite package) and you get 10x the story that you will ever get on American news. They don’t have any bias – they just show things the way they are. Soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq. It's astounding! It blows your mind to see what the Iraqi people actually have to say about the U.S. being there and their hopes and fears. To see the stories from remote parts of the world that we, as self-centered Americans, don't even consider. The genocide! The starvation! The suffering!
How I wish I could go back to my nightly local news (complete with "hot" weather chick and morons with bleached teeth reading ripped off headlines), where they carefully gloss over the President's most recent bumblings and political screw ups. Where they avoid poverty and hunger and the suffering of our own people. Where they talk about Cosmetic Enhancement Expo as if it's the single most important thing happening in the Western Hemisphere. Where they give a sense of America being safe and sound. Nothing new to report, nothing controversial happening. Enjoy your fast food dinners, people, and sleep well tonight.