Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Three Ring Media Circus

Warning: This posting will contain adult language and adult concepts. Those who find either offensive or unacceptable may wish to leave this site now

Seldom in recent history have we been treated to such a series of media sideshows in such a short period. In fact both literally and figuratively, it has been a three-ring circus. 

 In ring one we have the president and his birth certificate. Of course the President always had one, but there had been some lingering question over where it had been issued from. Mr Obama had already released his short form birth certificate, a document normally good enough to get a passport issued by this country, but apparently not enough for some of the sideshow geeks and freaks (including one potential presidential candidate) whose tin-foil hats were on just a little too tight. 

Now while I have some experience with tin foil predicaments, I have to tell you that this one was mostly manufactured by a Mainstream Media on a mission, that continued to ask the question long after almost everyone had lost interest in the answer. 

The President of course, was perfectly willing to let them have their way with the situation, as it provided a bit of comic relief and misdirection from bad economic reports, worse foreign policy reports, and reports of horrendous approval numbers. Content to assume the role of innocent victim in this, the President finally brought out the long form Certificate Of Live Birth, which only allowed those who spend most of their time biting heads off of chickens on a political right gone so far around the bend as to be almost left again, to question its authenticity as well. 

Meanwhile self-appointed Ringmaster Donald tipped his top hat (exposing a haircut far worse that any forged document) and patted himself on the back for allowing the president to make him simultaneously a front runner in Republican poling and a caricature. 

In ring two we have the royal wedding. Don't get me wrong here, while managing to miss every bit of the coverage (both during and subsequent to the event) I hear it was both a beautiful ceremony and majestic spectacle, that the dress Kate wore was lovely, and that Prince William looked grand in his military uniform. Of course I place such information in the same category as the fact that the first married couple shown sleeping together in the same bed on TV were ... (wait for it) "Fred and Wilma Flintstone"

The marriage of two people turned into the initiation ceremony in an out-of-date monarchy in Great Britain should only be news for Cosmo and People magazine (and of course TMZ). The fact that every mainstream media outlet and news network felt obligated to send front line anchors and reporters to cover what was billed as the biggest marriage ceremony since .... Prince William's parents, is a commentary on society in general and what reporting the news in particular has sunk to. That a country that recently had to scale back services that it provided to its citizens had to shell out for the security and ancillary costs of such an event speaks volumes to the concept of giving 'bread and circuses' to the peasants. By the way, I hope that the newlyweds are very happy together, produce lots of little princes and princess (hopefully without their grandfather's hideous ears), and manage to stay out of the news for a very long time. 

In ring three we have perhaps the main event, the killing of Osama bin Laden. Now there is little doubt that this POS deserved to die. That being said, the Navy Seals who actually carried out the mission may have been doing the bastard a favor. He was after all rumored to be in failing health, with stories (yet unproven) that he required use of a dialysis machine regularly. Even more incredible than this bastard's death however, is the strange stories that continue to come out surrounding it. He had a gun ... well no, actually he didn't. He used his wife as a human shield ... well, not so much. He resisted being taken. He resisted being taken? Let me tell you, while never having faced Navy Seals in hostile territory, under enemy fire, and with public enemy number one right in front of them; I would suggest that the ability of a 53 year-old terrorist to resist is hardly something of concern. 

Of course the politicians, in typical fashion, quickly moved beyond the heroic efforts of those whose sweat and blood were expended in this effort and to the front of the parade. Instead of tales of the personal heroism of troops on the ground, we were regaled with stories of the bravery and strength of character of politicians and shiny pants generals who made the decision that someone (and not them) needed to go into harms way. 

We were shown pictures of an inner circle, none of whom has probably carried a weapon, let alone fired it in anger; with sleeves rolled up and glaring intently at the televised version of events like it was the final episode of "Terrorist Survivor" (which of course, it was). Then of course there was the courtesy done to this murdering piece of crap after first doing him the discourtesy of killing him. We must of course insure that the body was buried within the 24 hour period as required by Muslim tradition, and it was felt that a burial at sea would prevent pilgrimages to his grave site, even one that would no doubt have been kept secret (well as secret as governments are capable of keeping things)

Personally I would have preferred to have seen him get the same burial treatment that Hitler got, doused in gasoline and set on fire, but no one called to ask me. If they really felt the need for a burial at sea however, using the body of this now former terrorist to chum the water for sharks would have been more than suitable as funerary arrangements with me. 

In the end however, we have little or nothing for the 'big blow off' and little to show for what should have been the big finish of the week. No body, no real proof of the killing; not even a picture of the corpse that the tin-foil hats could argue over the authenticity of. We are told that a picture may be released at some point, though its graphic depiction may be disturbing. (Has anyone at the White House watched HBO lately?) 

We may have achieved a form of vengeance on this evil person, but to what purpose? Will terrorism stop now? Will we be able to stop flying over Libya, pull out of Iraq or Afghanistan (or South Korea, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, or the hundred other places around the world where we have troops deployed)? Will this mean that the intrusive surveillance measures of 'The Patriot Act', passed for our protection, will now be withdrawn. Will we now be able to fly without being scoped or groped and feel safe in the 'friendly skies' again? Will any of these circus acts get those who need and want it a good paying job, lower their taxes, or reduce the crushing national deficit that threatens this nation's very existence?  

Of course not, but they were great fun and a wonderful distraction for many while they lasted. What's more, they were all good theater and helped flagging network TV ratings. And though they appear to be over for now, don't despair. There's always the usual brand of clowns to keep us at least mildly entertained while we wait for the big top to return. And there's little doubt of course, that the media circus will indeed be in town again soon.

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