We have breached the wall of common sense in this country. In the wake of these horrific shootings in Tucson, we find ourselves in the midst of a fierce debate over political speech – with BOTH sides shoring up their defense, and their offense.
What prompts this is the very real fact that political speech has now turned into entertainment. The frightening thing is, too few people realize it. Olberman and Beck and the like trumpet faux insight through slick graphics, snazzy production and fine fitted suits into the waiting mouths and empty brains of the hungry little birds that are eager to gobble down all the vitriol they can handle – which apparently is a lot.
How can anyone hear the Fox News mantra of “fair and balanced” and not chuckle? They are no more fair and balanced than the Huffington Post. Are we so lazy that we are going to let Bill Maher or Rush decide our views for us? Are we going to follow them right off the bridge of sanity? Scary version? It seems like yes, we are.
This isn’t Jeffersonian debate that rages on our airwaves, this is Snookie with a higher syllable count. It’s like the Manchurian Political Candidate out there – we walk around like zombies until Bill O’Reilly says “talking points” whereby there is this universal snapping of attention, and we mainline someone else’s ideas, immune to the fact that at the end, all we are doing is boosting ratings – same thing as when we watch the Real Housewives. Because it is entertainment!
Here is a quote from the Buddha that has been influential for me, I think it speaks volumes.
“O monks and wise men, just as a goldsmith would test his gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, so must you examine my words and accept them, not merely out of reverence for me. “
Let’s burn, cut and rub the things we hear.