I am often astonished and appalled by the increasing amount of phony drama being all but inescapably paraded before us every day. The juvenile and farcical creation of heroes and villains, of success and failure, and of winners and losers in these awful performances are as spurious as they're sad.
No I'm not talking about the bogus build up generated during the hackneyed and unimaginative (everything but) reality shows that dominate television these days, but about the ever increasing amount frenzy that the political parties and pundits seem to want to find in the run up to the 2012 election. Of course the campaigns have now drug on so long that perhaps the only way they feel that they can keep the voter's interest is to manufacture a bit of hysteria where each of the candidates is concerned, but the hype of such histrionics cannot be confused with actual interest.
Like a movie director frantically attempting to keep an audience on the edge of their seats for the entire ninety minutes of the movie, all they end up doing is exhausting their audience. Unable to build higher or even maintain the necessary anxiety for months instead of minutes, they've left all but the most fervent supporters bored with the process, wishing they'd gotten a larger bucket of popcorn so they'd have something to distract themselves with, and waiting for the final credits to roll so that they can escape a theater that's become little more than a prison.
Apparently however, a media that's already gone too far down the path of synthetic stimulation in its offerings to return, and either can't see or refuses to acknowledge that their audience is now mostly unmoved by the shabby performances being given by the bad actors who've taken the stage. Only the critics (pundits) still seem enamored of the process and able to maintain any enthusiasm (perhaps because they're paid to) for a political puppet show that's gone on for far too long already. Their continued attempts to exploit any crumbs of excitement dropped in their path are as inept as they are futile.
Perhaps the problem is simply that in today's version of entertainment (and they've turned this process into little else), people are used to far more variety. If you don't like the reality shows, you can watch the game shows. If those don't tickle your fancy you can watch a mystery series, a situation comedy, or a classic movie. Food is much the same. If a steak isn't on your menu of choice, have a cheeseburger. If you aren't interested in chicken, go Chinese or Mexican or Thai. The veritable cornucopia of choices laid before us in every aspect of today's society is as varied as it's vast; and even with all of this potpourri available, we often find it difficult to choose.
For beyond the individual candidates, we're ultimately left with the same two tired choices that we've looked at for a century. Oh there once may have been actual differences between Democrats and Republicans, but these days it all seems to taste like chicken, and rubber chicken at that. Voters, long starved of anything of substance to choose from, have finally begun to realize that regardless of which party wins the Presidency, the House, or the Senate; things are likely to go on pretty much the way that they have been.
While there's little surprise that a weary audience has already lost much of its interest, perhaps there's a method to this madness as well. Perhaps it's the hope of the two great acting troupes that by wearing down even the most dedicated part of the audience, our gratitude for the process finally ending will be so great that we will at least for a while ignore the fact that nothing has really changed. Perhaps there is a method to the madness of the lengthy performance of this tawdry play, with the directors working feverishly behind the scenes to manipulate the 'sheeple' that most have become into quietly returning to the herd.
And while some few may remain untouched, crying out in anguish at the tired melodrama that they've been subjected to for little amusement and no entertainment; most will instead gratefully return to find out which "American Idol" will next be "Dancing with the Stars", and celebrating the political actors that haven't been voted off "Survivor: Washington DC". Few indeed will recognize that the real "Undercover Bosses" of this nation have once again worked their magic, and that it's only in their efforts that we discover that "America's Got Talent". It may make for little more than a Bread and Circuses form of entertainment for the masses, but for me it's far to much drama for far too little effect.