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Reflections on America


Nutjars have hijacked the reputation of the US. From the bobblheads that flood the television airways, we would assume that the US is filled with racists, irresponsible gun-totting fools, gluttons for everything offered by Walmart and Costco, evangerical lay-preachers and the most politically naive people on the planet.

I'm hear to say that is mostly untrue. Sure, all the above do exist in a country of 310 million or so. The demographics and beliefs held cut across virtually every catagory and that includes certifiable nuts. What I found, however, was that MOST people understand how screwed up the country is, how disfunctional the government has become, how corrupt the system that is persecuting them has grown. Despite this, the people that I encountered in four states were kind, helpful, nice, and ever so friendly.

This confirms my opinion: media strive to create wedge issues, regardless of how small or petty, to incite viewers and readers, to hype the emotions of a situation in order to garner eyeballs for their advertisers' dollars. One example of this surrounded the record lottery drawing the night before we returned to NZ. One and a half billion, with a B, was up for grabs. All that one needed was $2.00 to buy a chance. News broadcasts must have scoured the earth to find a store that had a line of people waiting to buy a ticket. You couldn't count the number of stories in the paper, onine and on television covering the lottery. In Santa Fe, New Mexico I drove up to a convenience store, parked right by the door, walked inside and asked the cashier for a ticket.

News stories on televsion receive the same treatment. Often, a news anchor (many of us call them news readers) introduces a topic and then pulls in two commentators, one usually with the moniker of "chief garden gnome consultant" or the like. After opening statements are presented, the "anchor" tosses in a grenade. Soon, a brawl erupts with the two commentators shouting over the other. It's all so enlightening. Even during just a straight up presentation (reading) of a news item, the "anchor" tends to yell into the camera. This shrill has bleed over to sporting events, also. Really folks, we can turn up the volume if we need to; save your vocal chords.

The point is this: I am of the opinion that the people of the US have been led down the bullshit path that the corporates want. They are fed a daily dose of drivel to keep them at each others' throats. Yes, please let's continue to debate and create legislation over gay rights or abortion or civil rights or, or, or. Let's get insensed over Bruce Jenner or Kim Katrashian; that'll help humanity. I'm not saying these points are unimportant, except those last ones; I'm saying pettiness keeps people uninformed of the real threats to their lives. The good people of the US deserve better.

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