Wednesday, April 27, 2011
In a real-life horror story, storms and floods are devastating communities in the southern United States with unprecedented ferocity as the death toll mounts. Yet, no one dares even consider that man-made global warming might be a contributing factor. That's just a hoax; global warming's not real. The ecological consequences of industrial oil spills continue to manifest, yet still no outcry from the public in favor of more government oversight of corporations trying to dismantle what little remains of environmental protection laws. Everyone knows corporations are more trustworthy than the government. The evidence of their own senses aside, the public continues to deny the dangers literally destroying their homes daily.
So, what does the public fear? What are the monsters that frighten them? They fear the president might be an illegal alien. They fear that efforts to make healthcare affordable and corporations manageable are communist plots to re-distribute wealth and promote class warfare. The cold war is long over, yet they look at Barack Obama and see Stalin's ghost.
Why? Are we a nation of children unready to face the unpleasant facts of life and choosing instead to live in a world of fantasy and imaginary monsters? Is it that we've lost the ability to distinguish fact from fantasy? Is technology to blame? Is it that cyber-space has proven so enticing a refuge from these paranoid times that opinion blogging has become a substitute for reality? Have we become so alienated, not only from our own government, but from life itself that pompous reality T.V. clowns with their bald-faced lies and empty rhetoric become more viable candidates for the presidency than people who dwell in the real world? Has fantasy truly taken the place of substance?
Or, is the source of the madness a much older monster; Racism? Do we concoct these elaborate paranoid fantasies of forged passports and communist conspiracies merely to cloud the ugly, bigoted face we don't want to see in the mirror? We create imaginary monsters to hide the real monsters we'd rather not have to fight or acknowledge. The saddest part is, we created the real ones, too.